Chilika Lake, Odisha – A Real Paradise for Bird Lovers
Chilika Lake is the largest salt water lake in India which is situated in coastline of Odisha. The lagoons there have shallow water ecosystems which are rich in biodiversity. Though the Chilika Lake tour is famous for the ultimate boat ride & delicious cuisine but not many know that it is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds. The story of Chilika Lake is inspiring as long back villagers used to be expert hunters for their living before the wildlife conservation authorities carried out various awareness initiatives that turned Hunters to Protectors.
With most serene varieties of flora and fauna, the Chilika Lake Sanctuary also has some heavenly sunrise/sunset view to die for. The area around the Chilika Lake comprise the Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary. If you are on a birding tour then no birding tour will be complete without visiting Chilika Lake of Odisha. Now you can experience over 100 species of Migratory birds from different parts of Russia, Himalayas & Southeast Asia thatmakes this area most formidable in India. It is also a habitant of one of biggest breeding places of flamingos in the world. Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular picnic spot to spend time in natural environs. All kind nature lovers enjoy the beautiful Chilika Wildlife surroundings.
How to reach: For air travellers, post the flight to Bhubaneshwar, the most convenient way is to take a taxi from the airport which would take an hour to reach the destination. If travelling by bus, then the nearest stop is Tangi and most convenient stop is Mukteswar Passenger Halt station.
When to plan: Mid October is when the birds start arriving at Mangalajodi, but to maximize the number of bird sightings, December to February is the ideal period to visit. It is observed that around more than 100 species of birds can be found there. Birds start departing by March.
Where to stay: Accommodation near the village is limited but there are a few eco-tourism resorts one can completely rely on. You can also find cottages, eco-friendly rooms at more than a considerable price for you stay.