Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary
Chilika, the largest brackish water wetland (1000 sq. km aprox.) in the country is situated in the east coast of the state in the district of Puri, Ganjam and Khurda. A vast and picturesque lagoon/lake is famous for rich bio-diversity including the migratory birds and has been acknowledged as a "Ramsar site".
This vast lagoon studded with small fascinating islands and sandy beaches interspersed with casuarina grooves along the Bay of Bengal. Over 167 species of resident and migratory (94 species) birds including flamingo, white bellied sea eagle, brahminy kite, spotbilled pelican, barheaded goose, openbilled stork, spoonbill, brahimny duck, wigeon, pintail, shoveller, ibis, stilt, heron, egret,avocet, gull, tern, king fisher etc. find their winter abode in this wetland.
Containing a large variety of fish, the lake provides a livelihood to thousands of fisherman. Hundreds of boats sail out daily on the lake's blue expanse in search of sight providing an insight into the pageant of rural India at its colourful best .
The best time to visit this sanctuary is from December to March. There are forest and tourist lodges on the banks of Chilika sanctuary situated at Barkul, Rambha and Balugaon. For reservations at the rest houses and entry to the sanctuary one should contact the Divisional Forest Officer, Chilika Sanctuary. Chital and black buck are found on the scrubby shoreline of this sanctuary. Dolphins re occasionally sighted near the mouth of the lagoon.
Orissa is singularly fortunate for this salt-water lake as it fosters a wide range of aquatic plants and microscopic life essential to the maintenance of the environment. Bhubaneswar, the nearest airport, is situated about 100 kilometers away.