Bhitarkanika National Park

Why To Go

Spreading across an area of around 145 sq.km., Bhitarkanika National park is situated at Kendapara district in the state of Odisha in India, and encompasses Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary that spreads over 670 sq.km. The park comprises rich marine vegetation and rarest varieties of flora and fauna. Home to salt water crocodiles, this mangroves in the Brahmani, Dhamra and Baitarani river delta is full of canine teeth owners.. The river systems of the sanctuary are the habitats of giants saltwater crocodiles – the largest amongst all species of crocodiles – and mangrove forests. Crocodiles are as long as 20 feet in length, which creates a fearsome look within a single glance.

There are creeks and islands in the forestry area, keeping the dangers hidden under its warmth. Indian python, back ibis, king cobra are the other famous residents living in this region, offering the natural view to the tourists. The Bhitarkanika National Park is the second-largest sanctuary in India. Dense mangrove forests crisscrossed by tidal creeks are the distinguishing features of the Bhitarkanika National Park.

Apart from salt water crocodiles, the park is also famous for Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.

This forest is rich in biodiversity and sensual beauties. Waterbirds and migrated birds increase the population by a high notch, which can’t be experienced at other sanctuaries in India. Open billed storks, kingfisher, woodpecker, hornbill, Brahmani duck, sea eagle, seagull, egrets and darters along with as many as 215 species of avian population can be spotted in the park. Spotted deer, hyena, porcupine, sambar, wild boar, leopard cat, jungle cats are the other focal points of this forest’s long list of animals.

The name Bhitarkanika means the interiors of the Kanika Kingdom, which was located close to the Dhamara Port of yore, a relevant trading post.

Travel Tips

As temperature soars to 40 degree Celcius during summer, so it’s better to explore the park during winters, when the temperature hovers around 12-14 degree Celcius. The forest is closed from 1st May to 31st July every year and the second week of January (for crocodile census). The entry permit is required for domestic and international visitors, which is available at the entry points. Every domestic individual is required to show the valid ID proof to enter the forest at all the check-in point of zones. Every non-domestic individual is required to show ID proof along with passport and VISA before entering the forest. It is advisable to avoid littering the forest area by any means. Guests must wear grey or greenish coloured forest favourable clothes during their visit. Any blingy jewellery and accessories and footwear should be avoided. Wear comfortable clothes, depending on the season. Heavy woollen clothes are advisable during December and January. Nearest ATM and police station is at Rajnagar only. There are no other such facilities available around this area. Do not walk around the restricted areas of the forest. Do not go down in the river at any point of time. Take a boat to travel via stream only. Do not create loud noises. Animals get distracted due to this. Make yourself abide by the forest rules to have a comfortable trip. Carry repellent creams to avoid the stings of the insects. Carry emergency medicines and kit always. Keep off all types of flashes of mobile cameras and video camera.

Things To Do

Those in love with nature, forest and animal can complete their thirst by visiting this forest. Water crocodiles are making this forest famous in the world. That fearsome grumpy look of the crocodiles will make you feel conscious about your presence also. Drinking coconut water will be an added advantage at any point in time. There are beautiful pristine beaches around the forest which can be explored on foot. Small islands in the river are an excellent spot to locate the animals in motion also. Bird watchers will enjoy their best glimpse of clicking the pictures of some rare domestic and migrated birds in the area. Garimatha beach is known as the zone of Olive Ridley turtles. They come and lays eggs inside the sand of the beach. River dolphins, snakes, can also be spotted. Bhitarkanika takes the crown of preserving 60 types of mangroves in its forest. Angling at some of the particular points would be fantastic too. Bhitarkanika is explorable by motorboat. Dangmal, amidst mangrove forest and creeks is the most sought-after spot because of the chance of witnessing more wild animals than any other spots. This spot can be accessed through Khola and Gupti – the two main entry points. You can get a thrilling experience of the rich eco system, while walking along the entrance of Khola. Factor in at least a two night stay. Ekakula is an island, with the river on one side and the sea on the other. Plan a stop at Habalikhati an hour away by boat.

Getting Around

The best way to enjoy the views of the forest is via boat. Boats will take you at the points from where the animals can be watched easily. Another way to explore the forest is by trekking. Take a guide along with you to avail the best experience. Motorboats can be hired from Chandbali, Gupti, Khola and Dhamara. The government run boats and private boats are both available.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

Bhubaneshwar airport is 160 km away from the entry points of the forest. Domestic flights are available regularly by connecting the place with major metro cities of India. There are regular bus, auto and taxi services available outside the airport. International tourists can come via Mumbai, New Delhi airport, with ease.

TRAIN

Nearest major railheads are at Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar, which are 140 km and 160 km away, respectively. People can come via Bhadrak station by bus and hired cars also. It is app. 80 km away only.

ROAD

The nearest national highway is NH5A, which comes via Daitari and Paradip. There are private cars available from Bhubaneshwar to reach the forest. You may also come from Cuttack, which is around 140 km. away or Bhadrak, at a distance of 60 km.

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Surrounding Attractions

Ekakula and Habali islands are surrounding attractions of the forest. There are three Buddhist sites which can be reached by Bhitarkanika also. They are Udaygiri, Ratnagiri, and Lalitgiri. You van visit the historical Barbati Fort in Cuttack, a 14th century architecture built by the Ganga dynasty. Make a trip to paradeep beach, a seren and tranquil beach, 84 km grom Cuttack; or to the beautiful Puri beach and the Jagannath Temple. The Sun Temple at Konarak is yet another attractions of the many tourist spots in and around the place.
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