Wildlife Sanctuary, situated on the delta of Brahmani-Baitarani river
systems is located in Rajnagar Tehsil of Kendrapara district. It is the
second largest viable stretch of mangrove forest in the Indian mainland.
The area is intersected by a network of tidal creeks and rivulets, with varieties of wildlife, particularly crocodiles in water, herds of deer on the bank and migratory birds in the sky, making the place a nature's wonderland. Covering an area of 170-sq-kms, Bhitarkanika has been declared as a wildlife sanctuary since 1975.
Out of seventy-two species of Mangroves identified in the world, sixty-three species are found in Bhitarkanika. Some of the species are Avicinia, Exocaeria, Rhizophora, Soneratia, Heriteria and Phoenix, etc.
Reptiles are the dominant species here. The area is equally rich in mamals, birds, amphibians and fishes besides insects and other micro fauna. This has the largest concentration of estuarine crocodiles with as large as 22feet. The Gahirmatha beach in this sanctuary is also the largest rookery of "Olive Ridley" turtles in the world.
Temple Of Nahak Babu
Interestingly here one finds temples, sculptures, mud forts and pattery datable to the 10th-11th century A.D. The temple of "Nahak Babu" is a renovated 'Khakara' temple and enshrines Durga, 'Uma Maheswar' and other sculptures. Another small but compact and beautiful temple built in sand stones of rich hue is found closely.
Situated slightly further away is the coastal area of Gahirmatha, where the giant Pacific Ridley Sea Turtles, travelling annually from as far away as South America nest by the millions. Special arrangements were made to ensure their protection as the turtles were preyed upon by the local folk many years ago.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: The nearest airport is situated at Bhubaneswar .
Rail: The nearest railhead is situated at Cuttack and Bhadrakh.
Road: One can reach the sanctuary from north through Rajnagar via Bhadrakh and from south through Rajnagar via Patamundai, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
Inland Water Transport:
Rajnagar to Dongmal -3 hrs.
Gupti to Dangmal - 1 ½ hrs.
Gupti to Ekakula - 3 hrs.
Chandbali to Dangmal - 3 hrs.
Dangmal to Ekakula - 4 hrs.
Chandbali to Kalibhadrain - 2 hrs.
WHERE TO STAY
Accomodation can be availed by obtaining prior reservation from the Divisional Officer, Rajnagar for the following places.
Forest Rest Houses & Tourist Cottages
Forest Rest House at Dangmal
Forest Rest House at Ekakula
Forest Rest Shed at Gupti
Dormitory at Dangmal
Tourist Cottage at Ekakula
Log Cabin on sea at Habalakhati
FOR MORE TRAVEL INFORMATION
Assistance (Forest Authority): Divisional Forest Officer, Mangrove forest Division, At/Po. Rajnagar, District - Kendrapara, Pin - 754225
Assistant Conservator of Forest (W.L.)
Conservator of Forest (W.L.)
Ex-office Director, Nandankanan
Mayur Bhawan, Sahid Nagar
Bhubaneswar - 751 004