Who doesn't love to tour around the forests? Interestingly, even the risk of running into wild animals do not stop us from heading towards forest reserves. That is why, national parks and bird sanctuaries are a hit among the tourists. Our thoughts always goes towards famous national parks but not much about the lesser-known destinations. So giving prominence to the unexplored side, let us explore the vistas of Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha.
River in Bhitarkanika
PC: Vishnu Sharma
Highlights of Bhitarkanika National Park
- Bhitarkanika National Park is the second largest mangrove forests in India. It is one of the top mangrove forests in India.
- Many rivers like Brahmani, Dhamra, Baitarni, etc. which cascade across the reserve supports the biodiversity of the forest.
- You may not be very interested in crocodiles but here you will be impressed by them. Yes, Bhitarkanika National Park in Orissa is famous for saltwater crocodiles which are said to be around 16ft in length. Tourists are prohibited to go near the river banks inside the national park.
- Unlike other reserves, tourists can stroll around as there are no carnivorous here. Of course, you cannot go without a tourist guide.
- Bhitarkanika Forest is known for the species of reptiles. You can also see white crocodile, monitor lizards, Indian Python and several snakes along with the saltwater crocodiles.
- Due to the abundance of water, it is also a home to avifauna. Resident birds as well as migratory birds flock around the forest. Bhitarkanika National Park is one of the best places for bird lovers. It gets migratory birds in winter which is also the best season to visit the place.
- Other animals such as chitals, rhesus monkeys, jackals, sambar deer, spotted deer, wild boars, jungle cats, wolves and hyenas are seen here.
Spotted Deer at Bhitarkanika
- Bhitarkanika National Park is near to Gahirmatha Beach and Marine Sanctuary which is famous as the nesting place of Olive-Ridley Turtles in Odisha, India. You can see a several baby turtles hatching and joining the sea during the season.
- Tourists are given a tour in boats and this is definitely fun. You can explore the beauty of mangrove forest and rich bio-diversity.
- Bhitarkanika National Park is still a lesser-known destination in Odisha. Tourism has picked only in the recent years. The forest department has declared it as an eco-tourism place in Odisha.
Birds at Bhitarkanika
Facilities in Bhitarkanika
- Bhitarkanika has a small eatery inside which serves decent food.
- Tourists can stay in the Forest Guest House inside the national park but have to book before hand.
- Visitors have to book for boats to go inside the park.
Beautiful Sunset at Bhitarkanika
PC: S K Nanda
How to Reach Bhitarkanika National Park
Tourists have to reach Cuttack which is around 140km from Bhitarkanika National Park. You can either take a bus, a train or a cab from Cuttack to reach Bhadrak. Bhitarkanika is around 70km from Bhadrak.
Click: How to Reach Cuttack
Overall, a journey to Bhitarkanika will be a memorable one. The pristine landscapes, rivers, mangrove vegetation, huge crocodiles and colourful birds will keep you engaged.