Wildlife in Orissa
The picturesque Nandankanan,
or the Garden of the Gods, is a beautiful biological park,
20 kms from Bhubaneshwar, established in 1960. It sprawls
across the Chandaka forest, where the flora and fauna flourish
in their natural habitat. The park houses the very first captive
gharial breeding centre of the country. The zoo at Nandakanan
is world-renowned for its white tigers. In 1980, for the very
first time, three white tiger cubs were born from normal coloured
With facilities for boating, white tiger and lion safaris,
a nocturnal animal house, reptile park, aerial ropeway and
cable car, it is the place for a person with a penchant for
the great outdoors.
Chandka Elephant Reserve
Located in Bhubaneshwar, this reserve is the ony one of its
kind in India. Besides elephants, sambar, bears, wild dogs,
pea fowls and pythons can be spotted.
Located at a distance of 100 km from Bhubaneshwar, this lake
covering an area of 900 sq. km, is Asia's largest salt and
fresh water lake. It attracts a large number of migratory
birds, like the flamingo, teal, bar headed goose, shoveller
and white - bellied sea eagle. For bird-lovers, Chilika is
best visited in winter when the migratory populations wing
in from places as far as Siberia.
Close to the mouth of the lake, is a large population of Gangetic
dolphins. Chilika is easily accessible from both Bhubaneshwar
Bhitarnika is an adventurist's
paradise and a breeding ground for Olive Ridley turtles. The
second largest mangrove forest of the country, it was declared
a sanctuary in 1975, in order to protect the estuarine crocodile
and the turtles in their rare mangrove habitat. Other residents
of the sanctuary include water monitor lizards and king cobras.
Similipal Tiger Reserve
The Simlipal National Park, one
of the earliest to come under Project Tiger, is located in
the forest belt of north Orissa. It was the erstwhile hunting
preserve of the Maharajas of Mayurbhanj. Simlipal, covering
an area of 2,750 sq kms was declared, in 1973, as one of the
nine tiger project reserves in the country. A vast tract of
stately sal forests, beautiful waterfalls and grassy valleys,
twelve rivers run across its expanse. It is home to panthers,
tigers, gaur bison, antelopes, sambar, mouse deer - the tiniest
of the deer family, mugger or crocodiles, and more than 223
species of birds.
The best time to visit
is October to early June.
How to get there
Air and rail - Jamshedpur (140
km), Bhubaneswar (350 km), Calcutta (240 km)
The nearest town is Baripada
Accomodation is available
at Forest Rest House.
Contact: Field Director, Simlipal, Project Tiger, Baripada,
Orissa - 757002.
Satkosia - Baisipalli Sanctuary
Flanking the Satkosia gorge and very rich in flora and fauna,
this sanctuary is famous for its Gharial breeding project.
A stay here, and a trek in the 25 km long gorge, with beautiful
forests on either side, is a memorable experience.