Bhitarkanika: An Unexplored Treasure Trove of Nature
Get greeted by Olive Ridley turtles that come to the shore at 35 kilometers long stretch of a beach at Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary which is a World Heritage site. This little known beach where the rare species of Oliver Ridley breed,s separates the Bhitarkanika mangroves from Bay of Bengal.
Do you know what Bhitarkanika mean? It is made up of two Oriya words ‘Bhitar’ meaning interior and ‘Kanika’ means ‘something which is extraordinarily beautiful.’ The confluence of Brahmin, Patasala and Baitarani rivers is truly mesmerizing.
PRISTINE BEAUTY OF MANGROVES
The pristine beauty of mangroves, the chirping of birds, turtles and the meandering water courses will leave you spellbound in this little-known Nature’s treasure trove called Bhitarkanika. Situated at a distance of 130 kilometers from Bhubaneswar is one of the unique places that have been attracting tourists from far and wide. The place has been providing abundant food for exploration and thought.
This wetland of Bhitarkanika is the finest creations to be imagined on the earth. It is represented by three protected areas “The Bhitarkanika National Park”, “The Garhirmatha Marine Sanctuary” and “The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.” Tranquil surroundings of the wildlife are intercepted by chirping of birds and to embrace the beauty of nature far off places throng here. The sand, the sea, mud creeks and the scenic beauty have made this place one of the most sought after destinations for the tourists.
Sprawling over an area of 650 sq.kms with a forest cover of 380 sq.kms which includes 115.50 sq.kms of mangrove forest, Bhitarkanika is widely acclaimed for its rich bio-diversity. It is not as well known as Sunderbans of West Bengal but it is second largest mangrove after it. It is one of the rare swamps with a compact mangrove ecosystem that enhances the overall beauty of this place.
BREEDING AND NESTING GROUND OF BIRDS
Bordering Bhitarkanika, you would find another Marine Sanctuary known as Gahirmatha Wildlife sanctuary which is the biggest breeding ground for Olive Ridleys which is the breeding ground for endangered sea-turtles. In the nearby area of Bagagahana as many as 170 varieties of the residential as well migratory birds are found which keep the ambiance filled with the pleasant sound of chirping. It is a breeding, feeding and nesting ground of these birds.
Some of the rarest varieties of the wildlife found in Bhitarkanika are salt-water crocodile, water monitor lizards, leopard cat, hyena, fishing cat, wild boar, spotted deer, porcupine, dolphin, python, hornbill, king cobra, marine turtle and white bellied sea eagle. We will help you explore the pristine beauty of Bhitarkanika.