Lake, Puri :
The Chilka Lake in Orissa
is Asia's largest inland salt-water lagoon. Studded with small
islands- including the picturesquely-named Honeymoon Island and
Breakfast Island- the lake
is separated from the Bay of Bengal by a sandy ridge. The pear-shaped
lake spreads across 1,100 sq km, and has a unique ecosystem with
a range of aquatic flora and fauna found in and around its brackish
waters. An impressive array of bird life, both native and migrant,
makes Chilka one of the best places in India for a bit
of satisfying bird-watching. White bellied sea eagles, greylag
geese, purple moorhen, jacana, herons and flamingos are among
the many species which make the lake a bird watcher's delight:
Chilka, in fact, is home to one of the world's largest
breeding colonies of flamingos.
Other than the birds, Chilka's shores are home to blackbuck,
spotted deer, golden jackals and hyenas, and the
lake is rich in aquatic life- its waters harbour around 160
species of fish, crustaceans and other marine creatures, including
the famous Chilka dolphin. Prawn, crab and mackerel fishing are
an important source of livelihood for the local people, and hundreds
of small fishing boats set sail each morning to bring in the day's
catch from the lake. he Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve harbours Indias
second largest pachyderm population, and the chances of seeing
elephant herds is pretty high, especially during the dry season.
to see (CHILKA LAKE) :
Nalabana: It is a forest of reeds and is famous for the long-range
migratory birds in winter.
Island: It is heaven for the resident and migratory birds.
One can watch the birds in their natural habitat here.
The abode of Goddess, Kalijai. The island is famous for the temple
and the scenic surroundings.
The famous Chilka Dolphins are can be seen in their natural best.
and Malud: They are islands within the lake.
The place is known for its scenic beauty.
Chilka is approximately 120 km from Bhubaneshwar, the nearest
airport; state transport, OTDC tour buses and private operators
ply the roads between Chilka, Puri, Behrampore, Bhubaneshwar
and Cuttack. The nearest railway stations are at Rambha and Balugaon,
both of which have train connections to cities as distant as Kolkata,
From both Balugaon and Rambha buses are available to the lake.
transport is basically limited to three wheel rickshaws and auto
rickshaws, bicycles and cars are sole modes of private transport.
The services of local boatmen and the OTDC's motorboats are available
for access to the islands though outboard motors are not allowed
near the bird sanctuary.
time to visit
The weather remains moderately warm the whole year round, so come
any time of the year except during the rainy season from June
to September. The best time, however, is from October to March,
when the lake is crowded with migrating birds, usually at least
50-70 species. Pilgrims flock here in January during Makar Mela
(at the time of Makar Sankranti) to pay obeisance to the Goddess
Kalijai, whose temple is situated on Kalijai island in Chilka
There are a few hotels on the banks of the lake including an OTDC
run hotel and two tourist bungalows (the `Panthnivas' at Rambha
and Barkul) that have stunning views and a relaxed vacation ambience.
A number of state-run as well as privately-operated resthouses
and tourist lodges also dot the shores of the lake, and tariffs
vary considerably, depending upon the facilities offered.