Wednesday, December 7, 2016

11 Places You Need To Visit In Odisha For The Best Wildlife Experience!

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Endowed with a remarkable throng of faunal diversity, the wildlife attractions of Odisha are mesmerizing. Over all these years, the sanctuaries have not just conserved the rich species of fauna, but have also attracted tourists from far & wide. Jotted below are some of the wildlife sanctuaries of Odisha that will provide an enriching experience to the sightseers.

 

1) Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary

Located about 20 kms from Bhubaneswar, this sanctuary harbors a variety of wildlife animals. Beginning from mammals to reptiles and aviary birds, one can find diverse natural habitat here. Some added attractions are the Lion safari, Nocturnal house, Reptile park & topmost being the White Tiger safari. Famed for its breeding of white tigers born out of a pair of normal tigers, Nandankanan witnessed its first born hybrid of White Tigers back in 1980. Besides, the area also includes the Kanjia Lake & State Botanical Garden which elevates its beauty even more!

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Courtesy: odishasuntimes

When to visit: Open on all days except Mondays. Timings vary from 7:30 am-5:30 pm during April-September & 8:00 am-5:00 pm during October-March.

 

2) Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary

A serene creation, Bhitarkanika is located on the north eastern part of Kendrapara district. An important habitat for wild boars, porcupines and other animals, the key attraction are the saltwater or estuarine crocodiles which reside in this sanctuary. In fact, one can find the largest number of saltwater crocodiles at this place and more interestingly, these crocodiles hold a Guinness Book of World Records for its 23 ft long size. Bhitarkanika even comprises of the Mugger crocodile & is certainly a picturesque place to visit.

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Courtesy: 2-lip.com

When to visit: While the sanctuary is closed during the monsoon season, one can visit on any other day or season between 6:00 am-6:00 pm

 

3) Gahirmatha (Marine) Wildlife Sanctuary

This sanctuary extends from the mouth of Dhamra River to that of Mahanadi. The beach of Gahirmatha is famous for the breeding site of the Olive Ridley Turtles that are believed to travel thousands of miles from the Pacific Ocean to this nesting ground. The turtles spend about six to eight months in the beach. And if lucky enough, one can spectate the breathtaking sight of these unique migratory species while watching them swarming out of the sea, labouring, picking up a site, laying eggs, burrowing them with sand and lastly swarming back to the sea.

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Courtesy: orissapost

When to visit: Best if visited between 6:00 am-6:00 pm during February-April

 

4) Chandaka Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in the north western periphery of Bhubaneswar, the Elephant sanctuary at Chandaka is a wildlife reserve designated to elephants. As Indian elephants are considered to be one of the chief species, they represent the potential productivity of the habitat. Therefore this sanctuary is known for the successful conservation of elephants which is the principal species here. Make your trip worthwhile by watching the animals from the watch towers during day-time!

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Courtesy: VagabondImages

When to visit: While the sanctuary is closed during the monsoon season, one can visit on any other day or season between 6:00 am-6:00 pm

 

5) Badrama or Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary

Situated roughly about 40 kms away from the Sambalpur district, this sanctuary attracts visitors with varieties of fauna. The sanctuary is rich in avian type fauna amongst which Racket Tail Drongos and Flying Squirrels are the prime allurements. Besides, the sambar and bison found here also add up to the list. The sanctuary has watch towers installed to let the tourists get a good view of the forest as well as of the animals present therein. But one needs to issue a permit card by the Forest Range Officer at Badrama to enter the area.

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Courtesy: Flickr

When to visit: While the sanctuary is closed during the monsoon season, one can visit on any other day or season between 6:00 am-6:00 pm

 

6) Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, Similipal is a unique destination with distinguished explores like a Tiger reserve, Wildlife sanctuary, an Elephant reserve & a Biosphere reserve. Home for varieties of fauna, the important wildlife species found here include tigers and elephants in huge numbers. Visitors can explore the splendid biodiversity under the reserve and can even avail the facility to watch wild animals in their natural habitat from the watch towers.

When to visit: While the sanctuary is closed during the monsoon season, one can visit on any other day or season between 6:00 am-6:00 pm

 

7) Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary

Constituted between Puri and Konark, this sanctuary is designated to sandy beaches, coastal dunes & an array of casuarina and cashew plantations. Tourists can find the pleasures of forest life amidst the serenity found here. The star attractions are the cheetals (spotted deer) & black bucks. Moreover, this sanctuary serves to be the eternal abode for black bucks as well as it offers the equal share of habitat for the spotted deers. The visitors can surely get some scenic natural views while spotting the rare species in this sanctuary!

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Courtesy: Wikipedia

When to visit: While the sanctuary is closed during June to October, one can visit on any other day or month between 6:00 am-6:00 pm

 

8) Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary

This sanctuary is a proposed tiger reserve located in the Nuapada district of Odisha. The place has an excellent bio-diversity and a unique eco-system alongside the potential for great tourist attraction due to the wildernesses. Visitors can find a populace of wild water buffaloes residing in this sanctuary apart from the small population of hard footed swamp deer (barasingha) which is reported to be living in the area for long.

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Courtesy: Wikipedia

When to visit: While the sanctuary is closed during June to October, one can visit on any other day or month between 6:00 am-6:00 pm

 

9) Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in the Bargarh district of Odisha, this sanctuary is an important site for the vividness which it possesses in its flora and fauna conservation. The main attraction here is the chausingha or the four-horned Antelope. Apart from that, the visitors can also spectate an array of beautiful migratory birds. Moreover, one can even take the advantage of nature with the breathtaking waterfalls tumbling down the hillsides during the monsoon season.

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Courtesy: VagabondImages

When to visit: While the sanctuary is closed during June to October, one can visit on any other day or month between 6:00 am-6:00 pm

 

10) Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary

Spread over the glorious gorge of the Mahanadi river in Odisha, this sanctuary is one of the best ecosystems found in the country. It was in 2007 that the region was declared as the Satkosia Tiger Reserve, which comprises of two adjoining wildlife sanctuaries, the Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary & Baisipalli Sanctuary. Home to the Gharial breed of crocodiles, one can also find numerous elephants, leopards and other animals at the Satkosia Gorge sanctuary. And in Baisipalli sanctuary, bison is the key attraction apart from the rest of the wildlife creatures residing therein.

When to visit: During November-May between 6:00 am-6:00 pm

 

11) Chilika (Nalabana) Wildlife Sanctuary

At the heart of the Chilika Lake is located the Nalabana bird sanctuary or the bird paradise. Home to thousands of migratory as well as local birds, one can see Flamingo, White bellied sea eagle, Spot billed pelican and many more during the migratory season. Nalabana stands as a distinguished place for an array of avifaunal species and acts as a treat for the bird-watchers during winters. Also one can find Irrawaddy dolphins at Satapada which is located at a distance of 50 kms from Puri on the southern parts of Lake Chilika!

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Courtesy: Flickr

When to visit: During winter months and it remains entirely closed to visitors during monsoons

 

So, if you are the kind of traveller who watches out for an offbeat destination to explore, visiting these wildlife sanctuaries would be a great option.

 

F.T Image Courtesy: Flickr