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Bhitarkanika National Park

Bhitarkanika – The largest National Park in Eastern India

A Considered as a mini Amazon, Bhitarkanika National Park is one of the most impressive wildlife sanctuaries of Asia. With its outstandingly unique biodiversity, and captivating natural beauty comprising the mangroves, an array of domestic as well as migratory birds and turtles, twisty water courses, the frightening estuarine crocodile, Bhitarkanika is the second largest Mangrove ecosystem in India.

A Considered as a mini Amazon, Bhitarkanika National Park is one of the most impressive wildlife sanctuaries of Asia. With its outstandingly unique biodiversity, and captivating natural beauty comprising the mangroves, an array of domestic as well as migratory birds and turtles, twisty water courses, the frightening estuarine crocodile, Bhitarkanika is the second largest Mangrove ecosystem in India.

Located on the estuarial delta formed by Brahmani, Baitarani Dhamra, Mahanadi and the Bay of Bengal in the Kendrapara district of Orissa, the sanctuary covers an area of 672 square kilometers of mangrove forests and wetlands, crisscrossed arivulets, streams, backwater and mud flats; out of which 145 sq kms in the core area declared as Bhitarkanika National Park in 1998.

The entry point for Bhitarkanika is through either Khola Check Gate near Rajnagar or through Gupti by boat.Enriched with many tropical and sub-tropical region lush green mangroves, tranquil surroundings echoing with twitters of domestic as well as migratory birds, Bhitarkanika stahds out as a lavishly vibrant eco-system.

The sanctuary treasures vivid flora and fauna spices to leave visitors spellbound. Bhitarkanika Mangroves are home to 55 of India’s 58 known mangrove species. Geological structure of the area makes Bhitarkanika safe home for diverse fauna. The sanctuary is highly enriched with various species of avifauna, including winter migratory birds from Europe and central-Asia.

The salty marshes of the sanctuary also home to a vivid spices of reptilian and mammalian population including mongoose, rhesus monkey, leopard, jackal, leopard cat, striped hyena, fishing cat, lndian fox, wild pig, lndian porcupine, mole rat, long tailed tree mouse, r, sambar, otter, water monitor lizard crocodiles, king cobra, pythons, and Spotted Deer and many such spices.

The sanctuary is well-known as a home to Giant Salt Water Crocodiles and-numenous. Sight of Crocs basking on the muddy banks, least perturbed about the sound of moving boats is common. Some wildlife experts are of the opinion that the largest saltwater crocodile ever was in Bhitarkanika, measuring an estimated 23 feet (7.0 m). Shot near Dhamara in 1926The skull is preserved by the Kanika royal family.

During the 2004 census, 1358 Crocodiles were counted at Bhitarkanika which was an increase by 3.8 % over-the 2003 results. Kanika Range holds 84% of entire croc population.

There are so many things to be explored in Bhitarkanika Sanctuary. in this place one can find hoards of Chitals all around, even gazing near the Guest House, unperturbed by human presence and cameras. Of the many islands in Bhitar Kanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Dangmal is the most prominent one for its population of salt-water crocodiles that one must visit. Visitors can enjoy a boat ride through the mangroves to explore the sanctuary.

The 9th century Lord Shiva Temple in Dangmal; Ratnagiri, Lailtgiri and Udaygiri Buddhist complex or Chandipur Beach are the nearby tourist attraction.

Bhitarkanika Wild life sanctuary is in Kendrapara district of Orissa, located at a discance of 190 km from Bhubaneswar, the State Capital and is easily accessible from all parts of the country by air (Bhubaneswar, Kolkata), waterways (Chandabali, Ragnagar and Gupti) and railways (Bhadrak, Balsore, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar).

Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport, Cuttak and Bhadrak are the nearest railheads form the Bhitarkanika Sanctuary that is well connected with Bhubaneswar, Cuttak and Bhadrak and other placed of importance through a nice network of roads.

Middle of October to middle of April is the best time in the year to visit Bhitarkanika.

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