PLACES TO VISIT IN CHILIKA
Chilika is a blend of cultural, spiritual, religious and scenic aspects lies at a distance of 58 km from the capital city of Bhubaneswar. The Chilika Lake is the 2nd largest brackish water lagoon in the world. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds in the country. The lake is home to a number of endangered species of flora and fauna.
Tourists can visit Nalbana (house to threatened species of plants and animals), Kalijai Temple, Kalingeswar Temple, Chadheihaga Island and watch the famous Irrawaddy Dolphins.
Maa Kalijai Temple: Kalijai temple considered to be the abode of the Goddess Kalijai or Kali is located on an island in Chilika Lake. As per folklore the goddess is living and powerful and is the first 'Mahavidya' of 'Dasmahavidyas'. The island provides an excellent destination for pilgrims as well as tourists. Every year in January, a huge gala fair is held during the festival of Makar Sankranti. Flanked by pristine clear deep blue waters the temple is situated on Kalijai Island and one has to cross the brackish waters of the lake to reach it. Every year lakhs of tourists throng the shrine to seel blessings and fulfill their desires. Holiday makers find the place sublime due to magnificent sunrise and sunsets. From poets to thinkers to nature lovers everyone loves this place for its tranquil atmosphere and nearness to god like serenity.
Rambha: Rambha is located at the southern coast of the Chilka lagoon, at a distance of 40 km from Berhampur on National Highway 5. Dotted with numerous islands, Rambha boasts of its enchanting picturesque beauty overlooking the Chilka Lake and the hills. While in Rambha you can go for Dolphin watching and bird watching to different islands like the Breakfast Island, Becon Island and Birds Island. The Breakfast Island, which has been formed between Badakuda Island and Somolo Island in the Rambha Bay is truly the most beautiful place to have your packed breakfast. The Somolo Island has the remnants of a dilapidated bungalow, built by the King of Kalikote. Some of the other major islands are Honeymoon Island, Birds Island, Parikud Island, Island of Nalabana, Rajhans Island and New Mouth. You will also truly treasure your visit to the nesting of Olive Ridley Turtles in Rusikulya Beach near Rambha. You will never have a single dull moment during your stay here, with so many activities around. Cruising on Chilka Lake is truly an unforgettable experience. Rambha is also considered a great spot for bird watching. The place being a home of around 150 species of migratory birds is truly a bird watcher’s paradise. Rambha welcomes guests throughout the year. However, winter is more charming as the migratory birds visit the region during this time. Monsoons in Rambha have a different beauty with the dark clouds rolling through the mountains over the deep blue Chilka. It is very well connected by all forms of transport. The nearest airport is located at Bhubaneswar, 130 km. If you prefer to travel by train, then the closest main railhead is at Balugaon, located at a distance of 35 km from Rambha. Publi buses running between Bhubaneswar and Berhampur also stop here.
Mangalajodi: Mangalajodi is a name quite well know for people who love to bird watching. Considered as bird watcher’s paradise, it attracts lakhs of tourists who love to wander and just love see winged guests every year especially during winter. Named after a village, the area is covered by huge wetlands along the edge of Chilika lake. Its vast wetlands attract thousands of migratory birds, journey from as far different places of the world. Its wetlands now host more than 1.5 lakhs of birds in the peak season. It is an importance global wetland habitat and has been declared as an International Bird Conservation Area. Nature’s harmonious symphony is sweet music to the ears with the floating white water-lilies lending a soothing sense of peace. The smudgy orange glow of the setting sun casts an ethereal spell on the ambience truly making for a “wish time could stand still” kind of moment. An hour and thirty minute drive from the capital city of Bhubaneswar, Mangalajodi is slowly making a mark on the birding map of India. Inhabited by nearly 150 species of migratory birds and about 40 resident species.
Nalabana Bird Sanctury: Nalbana Bird Sanctuary or Nalbana Island is the core area of the Ramsar designated wetlands of Chilika Lake and is the breeding an nesting ground of bids in all of Chilika. Declared a bird sanctuary under the Wildlife Protection Act in 1973, it is home to an area of 1555 hectares of dense green forests large ecosystem of aquatic animals and birds due to its unique mixed marine waters from Chilika and heavy inflow of water from rivers Bhargavi and Daya. There are more than 150 species of fish and shrimps in the lake along with hundreds of bird species. The island disappears during monsoon season due to inundation only to emerge again in post-monsoon. Ideally, the best time to visit Nalabana Bird Sanctuary would be between October and March. This is the time when the maximum number of migratory birds alt at the sanctuary.
Satpada: Satpada is famous for its dolphins and beach sightseeing. Located 50 kilometers from Puri, Satapada on Chilika is home to the only known population of Irrawaddy dolphins in the country. It is classified as Endangered according to IUCN. Satapada is also for Sea Mouth Island where Chilika Lake meets the Bay of Bengal. There are also ample opportunities for canoeing, kayaking and boating.
Rajhans Island : A perfect picnic spot and spend some quality time with loved ones, it is a small and serene island in Chilika. Perfect to spend an entire day here, it is bordered by a lagoon on one side and an ocean on the other and with mountains and forest in between. It is worth visiting.
Irrawaddy Dolphin Watch: The Irrawaddy dolphin watch at Chilika Lake is the flagship species and one of the reasons to come here. One of the two spots worldwide is housed with these species of dolphins and Chilika is one of them. Satapada is the point to watch dolphins and a lot of tourists and travellers come by every year to watch them.
Nearest Airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport (55km)
Nearest Railway Station: Chilika Railway Station (2km) OR Balugaon Railway Station (5km)
Nearest Bus Stand: : Local Bus Stand, Chilika