Chilika Lake is known as one of the most beautiful lakes in India. It is the largest saltwater lake located in India and the second largest in the world. This lake is spread over an area of more than 1100 square kilometres. This lake is located in the eastern part of the state of Orissa, at the mouth of the rivers Daya and Bhargavi.
Description of Chilika Lake
Actually, Chilika Lake can be found in the form of a lagoon. There is a part surrounded by land on all three sides of it. And on one side this lake can be found connected to the sea.
Chilika Lake was selected in 1981 as a ‘Wetland of International Importance’ i.e. India’s first wetland area according to the Ramsar Agreement. Due to this, the importance of this lake has increased even more. Many tourists from all over the world come here to visit.
Specialities of Chilika Lake
Chilika Lake is made up of many islands. Among them, islands like Honeymoon Island, Somalo Island, Kalijai Island, Nalban Island, Breakfast Island, and Beacon Island are famous.
The speciality of this Lake is that from about December to June, there is salt water in this lake. But when the monsoon rains come, the sweet water from this rain gets stored in this lake. Then its water becomes sweet.
The length of this Lake is about 70 km. Also, its average depth is about 3 meters. Around 132 villages are situated around this lake. For many fishermen of these villages, this lake is the biggest means of fishing. The people here make a living by trading the fish caught from this lake.
About 160 species of birds are also found on the premises of this lake. Birds from different places like Russia, Mongolia, Central Asia, the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, etc. are also found here.
These migratory birds reach here, covering a distance of more than 12,000 km. These birds live on the premises of this lake from October to February. Seeing the flock of these birds can be the most thrilling experience for bird lovers.
Along with thousands of birds, rare species of dolphins can also be seen in this lake. Dolphins of Irrawaddy dolphin species are found here. They have been classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Because of this, these dolphins have been protected here. Along with this, about 37 types of reptiles and amphibians also live here.
Best tourist places to visit in Chilika
Nanban Bird Sanctuary:
Nanban Bird Sanctuary situated in the central part of Chilika Lake is famous all over the world. Here in winter many birds coming from the country and abroad can be seen. These birds from remote areas like China, Iran, Iraq, Himalayas etc. come here for breeding. Many types of birds are found in this bird sanctuary like the flamingo, mental, spoonbill, stork, heron etc.
Satpada village is also called the stronghold of dolphins. It is known as the centre place for dolphins. Many tourists from all over the country and abroad come here to see the dolphins.
There is a 250-year-old Raghunath temple in a village called Mangala Jodi. Mangala Jodi This name is named after the twin temple located here. There is a water swamp at this place. There is a domicile of more than 3 lakh birds here. There is no dearth of food for animals and birds in this place. For this reason, this place is also called the paradise of birds.
Considered as the attraction of Orissa, Maa Kali Devi is worshipped in this temple. You have to go by ferry to reach this temple. There are a lot of crowds here at the festival of Makar Sankranti celebrated in January.
Best time to visit Chilika Lake
If you want to visit Chilika Lake, then you can go here in the winter months from November to February. Many types of migratory birds can be seen here during this season.
Along with this, you can also enjoy seeing many beautiful tourist places present on the premises. Chilika Lake should not be visited during the rainy season. Because in the rain you may have to face many problems here.
How to reach Chilika Lake?
If you want to go to Chilika Lake by road then you have to get down from Bhubaneshwar at Balugaon, Barkul or Rambha. From here you can take a taxi or cab to Chilika Lake.
If you want to go to Chilika Lake by railway, then Balugaon is the nearest railway station. This railway station is located at a distance of about 5 kilometres from Chilika Lake. It may take around 1.5 hrs to reach Balugaon from Bhubaneshwar.
The nearest airport to Chilika Lake is the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar. This airport is about 113 kilometres away from Chilika Lake. From there you can board a private taxi or bus and go to Chilika Lake.
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