South of Puri
, the sea mixes with Chilika
Lake to create the largest brackish water lake in Asia, and a spot
of enchanting beauty. These shallow waters enclose an immense area of
marshes, lowlands, and islands.
A number of islands dot the expanse of the lake. The large fishing community adds flavour to the lake with their traditional colourful sailboats bobbing expertly across the water, reminiscent of the ancient maritime heritage of Orissa. In fact, the fisher folk can be persuaded to take visitors on their boats.
While Chilika is worth visiting the year round, the winter months, when the air reverberates with the din of the birds, are the nicest times. Barkul, Rambha, Balugaon and Satpada are the bases for visiting Chilika, where boats can be hired.
At Barkul, the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (OTDC) has organised a Water Sports Complex where facilities for canoeing, kayaking, and boating are available. The complex also has water scooters.