Bhitarkanika Sanctuary

Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Odisha and it is one of the few sanctuaries in India, which has crocodiles and turtles as its prized attractions. The sanctuary is spread over an area of 650 sq km and was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1975. Located in the district of Kendrapada, Bhitarkanika harbours rich and unique bio-diversity which has been declared as a wildlife sanctuary and also a National Park.
The area is surrounded by rivers such as Brahmani, Baitarani and Dhamara and is criss-crossed by several creeks and creeklets.

The area supports rich bio-diversity including dense mangroves (63 species), largest population of estuarine crocodiles (1098 as per 2000 census), the rare white crocodile (sankhua), largest Indian lizards (water monitor), poisonous and non-poisonous snakes like king cobra and python, varieties of risident and migratory birds (217 species) and a number of mammalian species (spotted deer, sambar, wildboar, fishing cat, jungle cat, otter etc).

The sea beach, borderding the sanctuary attracts thousands of olive ridley sea turtles for mass nesting/ egg laying during the winter months (January to April). Bhitarkanika mangrove ecosystem is unique of its kind and it is a best reptile refuge in the entire country. The sanctuary is a protected zone for estuarine crocodiles. The sanctuary is also home to a number of birds and every year a large number of migratory birds come to nest into the mangrove area. The other animals that you can see at the Bhitarkanika sanctuary include King Cobra, Indian Python and Water Monitor Lizard.

Every year large number of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles flock at the Gahirmatha coast to lay their eggs. These turtles attract a number of wildlife enthusiasts to Bhitarkanika National Park. To ensure the safety of these turtles, the area was converted into a national park in 1998.
Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary is rich in marine vegetation and trees like sundari, casuarinas, thespia and grasses like the indigo bush. The fauna at the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary include estuarine crocodiles, sea turtles, wild pigs, chitals and rhesus monkeys. You can see a large number of birds at the sanctuary that include fish eagle and white-necked sea eagle.
Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary is about 160 kilometres from Cuttack via Chandhali and about 100 kilometres if you come via Kendrapara and Rajnagar.

Around Bhitarkanika Sanctuary
There are a number of tourist places around Bhitarkanika that you can visit. Kendrapara, Cuttack, Konark and Bhubaneswar are some of the popular tourist attractions that you can include in your itinerary.

Travel Tips
Light cotton clothing in summer and light woollen garments is essential during winter at the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary. Prior booking and travel information will help in making your wildlife tour a smooth affair.

The temperature in the region can go up to 34°C in summer while in winter the temperature can drop to 13°C.

How To Reach
Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport to Bhitarkanika and is about 190 kilometres from the sanctuary. The nearest railhead is Bhadrak, which is at the distance of 77 kilometres. You can travel to Chandabali, which is 35 kilometres and well connected by road with other parts of Odisha. You can also take a ferry to Nalitapatia from Chandabali.

You can stay at Dangmal, Ekabula and Gupti forest houses on your tour to Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary. It is ideal to make advance booking as the rest houses are limited.

Wildlife India Tours offers complete information on wildlife in India. There are a number of wildlife tour packages on offer from Wildlife India Tours. To book wildlife tour package in India or a tour to Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary, all you have to do is just fill up the form given below.

Best Time :
visit March-July and September-November