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Bhitarkanika-The Home of the Wild in Odisha

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Bhitarkanika is intersected by a network of creeks with the Bay of Bengal on the East. It is 672 sq km of mangrove forest & wetland and is home to many bird species including winter migrants from Central Asia and Europe.

This wetland is protected by three different areas: Bhitarkanika National Park, Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, and Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary.

After the Sunderban, Bhitarkanika is India’s second-largest mangrove ecosystem.

A newly hatched crocodile resting on unhatched eggs at a crocodile farm
A newly hatched crocodile resting on unhatched eggs at a crocodile farm

The National Park is essentially a network of creeks and canals that are inundated with water from the rivers Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra, and Patasala, resulting in a unique ecosystem. Bhitarkanika is home to the country’s largest population of the endangered Salt Water Crocodile.

Baby Olive Ridley hatching from its egg
Baby Olive Ridley hatching from its egg

The Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is the home to the world-famous Olive Ridley Turtles. They have trusted this landmark and have always come from various parts of the world to lay their eggs here.

Black-headed African ibis and Pink-Backed pelican
Black-headed African ibis and Pink-Backed pelican

The Salt Water Crocodile is the apex predator of the region, besides it, the park is home to numerous reptiles like the water monitor lizard, pythons to name a few.

The Wild kingdom in the mangroves at Bhitarkanika
The Wild kingdom in the mangroves

Bhitarkanika is also home to numerous animals like deer, hyenas, wild boar, etc, and migratory birds which make it their home during the winter season lending a vibrant hue to the ecosystem.

Brahmani river running down the Bhitarkanika Delta
Brahmani river running down the Bhitarkanika Delta

An unusual occurrence is the Bagagahana, or heronry, near Surajpore Creek. Thousands of birds flock to the creek to nest, and the aerial acrobatics performed prior to mating are breathtaking.

Bhitarkanika is also home to eight different types of Kingfisher birds, which is a rare sight.

Bhitarkanika National Park entrance
Bhitarkanika National Park entrance

Find your way to the Home of the Untamed!

  • Nearest Railway Station-Bhadrak
  • Nearest Airport-Bhubaneswar
  • Road Transport-Bhadrak is well connected by road service. From Bhadrak one can book a cab/auto to Bhitarkanika.
  • Distance from Bhubaneswar-172km
Bhitarkanika Sanctuary
Bhitarkanika Sanctuary

Prerequisites for your special experience at Bhitarkanika

  • Sightseeing and wildlife viewing are done on boats that have Forest Department licences.
  • Eco-cottages with affordable facilities are available in and around the sanctuary.
  • Bagagahana Island: A large heronry spread over 22 acres, located within the sanctuary’s Bhitarkanika Forest Block.
Brown-winged kingfisher at Bhitarkanika
Brown-winged kingfisher

A must do in your wild expedation at Bhitarkanika 🙂

While visiting Bhitarkanika, be sure to try the following must-do activities:

  • Boating – take a boat ride through the network of creeks and canals and observe the inhabitants of India’s Mini Amazon.
  • Birding – Bhitarkanika has a plethora of birding opportunities. Aside from a plethora of native and migratory birds, there are eight varieties of Kingfisher birds.
Black-tailed godwit at Bhitarkanika
Black-tailed godwit

Most preferable time to visit this Wild Kingdom!

The Bhitarkanika tour is designed to expose tourists to all of these incredible experiences. Bhitarkanika’s modes of accommodation are the forest rest houses at Ekakula, Dangmal, and Gupti. Winter, from November to February, is the best time to visit the sanctuary.

Salt Water Crocodile at Bhitarkanika
Salt Water Crocodile