Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary

Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary

Chilika the largest lake of Odisha is the brakish water lagoon spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts flowing into the Bay of Bengal, covering an area of over 1,100 km2. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest lagoon in the world.It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent. The lake is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals.

The lake is an ecosystem with large fishery resources that let sustains more than 150,000 fisher–folk living in 132 villages on the shore and islands.

The lagoon hosts over 160 species of birds in the peak migratory season. Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. These birds travel great distances; migratory birds probably follow much longer routes than the straight lines, possibly up to 12,000 km, to reach Chilika Lake.

In 1981, Chilika was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

You can see a number of islands dot the expanse of the lake. Nalbana Island, because of its varied flora and fauna, forms the core of the Chilika sanctuary. Kalijai Island is home to the Goddess Kalijai, venerated by the local fisher folk. This island plays host to a huge fair on 'Makar Sankranti' held annually in the month of January. You can also the satapada dolphin hub as the nearest attraction to Chilika.

Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport, Berhumpur and Puri are the nearest railhead. This lake is easily connected to large number of road ways.