Just imagine a dawn in the midst of a water estuary type lagoon where you discover yourself with some of the world’s most exquisite migratory birds. Doesn’t it sound astounding? Sprawled over 1000 sq. km areas in Odisha, Chilka Lake is one such amazing destination that can give your imagination a pragmatic feel. Are you ready for a virtual ride to the second largest coastal lagoon in the world?
Chilka Lake, the largest coastal lagoon in India sees plenty of tourists from various parts of the sphere. Nestled over three major districts (Ganjam, Khurda and Puri) in Odisha, this lake is also one of the biggest hotspots of biodiversities inhabiting more than 160 species of birds. The most of it can be revealed during the winter when plenty of birds fly here from the terrains of Central Asia, Russia and South-East Asia. Besides, within a very close proximity to the lake, you get to explore some of the picturesque islands like Kalijali Island, Nalbana Island, Parikud and Malud.
In 1981, the lake was recognised as the first Indian wetland under the Ramsar Convention with global importance. Today, the lake area became an important fishery resource that supports the livelihood of many fishermen residing adjacent to Chilka.
The climatic cycle in Chilka is temperate all round the calendar. Summer hits the region in the month of March and lasts here till June. During summer, the maximum temperature one can experience here is something around 24°C, which is quite relaxing. Monsoon brings an intense rainfall in the region making the climate more soothing for visitors. Monsoon enters the terrain of Chilka in the month of July and it lasts here till October. After monsoon, winter blankets the region in the month of November and continues to be there till February/March. In winter, the minimum temperature in Chilka curbs down up to 6°C making the weather quite relaxing for travellers.
Winter is considered to be the best season to be there in Chilka Lake.
Things to do in Chilka Lake:
If you make it happen to Chilka Lake, make it sure you do the following things:
- Sightseeing is one of the must to when in Chilka. Don’t forget to carry your binoculars while going for a boat ride around the lake.
- Chilka Lake offers you an enticing vista of some migrated birds. In addition, catching a glimpse of the dolphins frolic is something amazing that you must witness during your stay around the place.
- Kalijai Island is one more leading attractions in Chilka, which is popular for a Hindu shrine devoted to Goddess Kalijai. If you want to reveal the best out of the location, visit here during Makar Sankranti when plenty of worshipers flock here to pay their reverence to the Goddess. On the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, a huge fair is celebrated here with great enthusiasm.
- If you want to witness a place with a diverse range of migrated birds from Siberia, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, do visit Nalbana Island. This place is known for housing the famous Nalbana Bird Sanctuary making it an absolute delight for nature buffs and photographers. In addition, Nalbana Island is equally popular for angling activities as well.
- Parikud and Malud are two other attractions around Chilka where you can catch an eye-catching panorama of lush bush and green wetland.
- If you want to fill up your gastronomic desire near Chilka Lake, don’t forget to try the sizzlers here including crabs, tiger prawns and sea fish. Some of the local food stalls and Dhabas can also be visited here to taste some luscious platters with prawn pickles.
Chilka Lake is frequented by travellers from all across the globe. If you are planning to make it to Chilka, the following are the convenient modes of transport that you can avail to travel there:
By Air: The nearest airport to Chilka is Biju Patnaik International Airport, which located nearly 105Kms away. The airport is connected various major destinations. From airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the lake area.
By Train: For railway commuters the nearest railway station to Chilka is located in Balugaon, which is nearly 5Kms away. From railway station one can easily hire an auto or take a taxi to travel till the lake. Some of the trains to reach Balugaon are Howrah Chennai Mail, Muzaffarpur Yeshvantpur Express, East Coast Express and many other passenger trains.
By Road: Like flight and train journey, travelling to Chilka Lake is quite convenient for neighbouring visitors. There are regular OSRTC buses that run from Cuttack. One can also travel via NH5 from the Bhubaneswar to reach Chilika Lake. For commuting within the city areas, one can hire rickshaws and cycle rickshaws.
Places to stay:
There are several budget and luxury resorts and hotels in and around Chilika Lake that you may refer for a pleasant stay. Depending on the time of your visit and amenities that you avail, the charges may vary from INR 650 to INR 2500 and more.
For your convenience some of the comfy accommodations are listed as follows:
#Puri – Golden Sands, A Sterling Holidays Resort
255/2 & 255/3, Sipasarubali Village,
Baliapanda, Puri, Odisha 752002
#OTDC Panthanivas , Barakul
Panthanivas, Near OTDC Water Sports Complex,
Barkul, Odisha 751014
#Hotel Golden Dust
On Sea Beach, New Marine Drive Road Lighthouse Area,
Beside ITC Nilambu, Guesthouse, Puri, Odisha 752001
#The Lagoon Chilika – Resort & Restaurant
Plot No.111, Opp. Solari Hills, NH 16 (NH-5 BYPASS),
Balugaon, Odisha 752030
#Swosti Chilika Resort
Odia Alapur, Bejiput, Ganjam,
Chilika, Odisha 761029
After spending a fabulous stay in any of these hotels/resorts, you can plan your next day excursion in some of the nearby attractions like Konark Sun Temple, Jagannath Temple and Puri beach. Don’t forget to share your travel tale with us. Before we come up with other enticing travel destinations, keep exploring the largest coastal lagoon in the country.
Have a wonderful voyage!
Image courtesy: Google