- Chill in one of the best inland salt-water in Asia says Manjari Singh
For any first time traveller, Chilka Lake will sound like any other usual picnic spot in Orrissa . Indeed, it can be a picnic spot but not a usual one. To unfurl the hidden fact, Chilka Lake is the largest inland salt-water lagoon in Asia. Spanning over an area of 1100 Sq Km, Chilka Lake endorse an inimitable ecosystem comprising estuarine characters and unique flora. Identified by the National Wetland Coral Reefs Committee, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India as the priority site for conservation and management, the lagoon attracts tourist all the year round.
Bliss for Birds Lovers!!
A delight for ornithologist, Chilka is houses many residents as well as migratory birds. As a host, Chilka presents an orchestra of birds that you can enjoy while cruising on the lake. Here you get the chance to glimpse at birds like White bellied sea eagles, grey-legged geese, purple moorhen; Jacana, herons and flamingos. For bird lovers, the best time to visit Chilka is during migratory season - November to February. Take your boat from OTDC at Barkul and Ramba and sail though the lake that will take you on to the journey of discovery.
Sporting the Sport!!!
Those who love fishing, this is right place to be in. The lake inhabits 160 species of fishes. Fishes are not only added attraction to Chilka but they also provide livelihood to 1,50,000 fisher folk who live in and around the lagoon.
The Lake Entrada!!!!
The lake complex houses places like Nalabana, Birds Island , Kalijai , Satapada , Parikud and Malud, Brahmapura, all showcasing the splendors of nature in one form or another. Surely these places of interest add an extra zing to reservoir.
If you think that your trip has finished then you are highly mistaken, since you have the choice to prolong you tour by opting to visit places like Kalijai Temple, Narayani, Banpur (15 Kms ), Gopalpur on Sea (90 Kms ), Taptapani that lies in the vicinity of the exotic lake.
Obviously, by now you must have set your mind and planned your tour to Chilka. But it seems that you are still apprehensive about your stay? Don't be because Chilka houses an OTDC run hotel. This hotel is quiet famous amongst travelers since it provide not only good accommodation but also a panoramic view of the virgin lake.
Zone: East India
About 100 kms from Bubhneshwar, you can get to Chilka by NH5 that rune along the lakes and touches Balugaon, Barakul, Rambha and Satapada, 50 km from Puri. Taxis are available from Cuttuck, Bhuneshwar, Puri and Berhampur.
Motor launches of OTDC at Barkul and Ramba. The Revenue Department also maintains some boats at Balugaon. One can also hire country boats from private operators at these places and at Satapada as well.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the area and see the bird sanctuary is from October to March.