Bhitarkanika is known for its dense mangrove forests that constitute a healthy ecosystem, complete with large saltwater crocodiles, migratory birds and rich flora and fauna in it. This sanctuary is known as the Bhitarkanika National Park that was also recognized by UNESCO on 16th September 2018. Hugely popular among local tourists, Bhitarkanika is a journey of the lifetime – as you experience the wildlife on the waters.
Here are the three things that you’ve got to try in Bhitarkanika:
- Jungle Safari on Water:
Spreading over an area of over 145 sq. km, this estuarine is also surrounded by the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary spreading over an area of 672 km. Sightseeing is done on boats or jetties which also have got the forest department licenses. The main entrance to the forest is from Khola Gate, even though there is another gate called the Gupti Gate.
- Spotting the Larger Than Life Crocodiles:
In 2006, Guinness Book of World Records accepted the claims of a 7.1m, 2,000 kg male saltwater crocodile living within the Bhitarkanika National Park. Because of the difficulty of the same, park officials over a course of ten years from 2006 to 2016 – regardless to be compared to a verified tape measurement, considering the uncertainty inherent in visual size estimation in the wild.
- World’s Largest Olive Ridley Turtles Nesting Ground:
Gahirmatha Beach is the world’s largest Olive Ridley Turtles Nesting Ground where turtles across the world come to lay their eggs. While the Gahirmatha Beach is preserved and conserved by the government, you can easily steal a ride to the outskirts of this beach where eventually you can catch a peek of the little ones trying to get to the waters.
Though there are many ways to get to Bhitarkanika, there are three best ways to keep it real easy:
While the nearest airport is in Bhubaneswar, it is about 160 km from the Bhitarkanika National Park. But, the roads are all connected to major cities, where numerous government and private transport go to Bhitarkanika National Park at regular intervals. Bhitarkanika can be easily accessed from Chandbali, Bhadrak through motor jetty. Or you can even take the jetty from the Kasturikon Ghat that is around 1-2 km before en route to Chandbali that has a motorized country boat that would take you across the Brahmani River in just 15-20 minutes. Also, Bhitarkanika can also be accessed via the Bhadrak Railway Station – which is about 70 km from the Bhitarkanika National Park.