of natural beauty, Chilika, the largest brackish water lake in
Asia covering an area of over 1,100 sq. km is a great attraction
for the tourists for fishing, bird watching and boating. In winter
Chilika aflutters with thousands of indigenous and migratory birds
of many varieties from far and near - even from the distant Siberia.
The fabulous beauty of Chilika which has inspired poets to sing
its glory and which can be best enjoyed from Balugaon, Barkul,
Rambha and Satpada must be seen to be believed. One can also have
a glimpse of the lake from the moving trains and vehicles on the
road near these places. The atmosphere is just serene and undisturbed
amidst the blue expanse of water on one side and an evergreen
range of hills on the other. Dotted with a host of islands with
romantic names, a cruise in Chilika will be a life-long memory.
Places of tourist interest in Chilika
Kalijai Island, Honeymoon Island, Breakfast Island, Birds
Island, Nalabana (Island of Reeds), Parikud Island, etc. are some
of the important and interesting spots inside the lake.
The Island of Kalijai is famous as a center of religious worship
due to the temple of Goddess Kalijai where a big fair is held
on the occasion of Makara Sankranti that falls in January every
year. The Island of Nalabana, 8 km in circumference occupies a
unique place in the vast expanse of Chilika Lake as it happens
to be the central point for the migratory birds. One can view
the dolphins at Chilika mouth near Satpara.
time to visit: October to June
By air to Bhubaneswar (Chilika is around 100 kms from Bhubaneswar),
road and rail.
Stay arrangements can be done with the local hotels and in
the OTDC Guest House, at Rambha, Barkul and Satpada on Chilika.
(22 km)* Goddess Narayani adorns the valley hill-top which
is girdled by a stream. It is an ideal picnic spot.
Nirmaljhara: (11 km)* Nirmaljhara has earned its name as an
ideal place for picnic as well as pilgrimage. A stream that emerges
out from the feet of a Vishnu image enhances the importance and
sanctity of the place.
Banpur: (42 km)* Famous for the time honoured temple of Goddess
Bhagabati, Banpur has earned celebrity as a center of religious
activities. Once it was the capital of Sailodvaba dynasty, responsible
for the construction of the early group of temples in Bhubaneswar.
The large number of Buddhist images discovered at Banpur relate
the place to the Vajrayan cult of Buddhism. The temple of "Dakshya
Prajapati" is a fine specimen of extraordinary artistic excellence
of Orissan art. Banpur is 8 km from Balugaon, 42 km from Rambha
and 104 km from Bhubaneswar.