Bhitarkanika is home to largest population of giant salt water crocodile in India.Bhitarkanika is a hot-spot of biodiversity.On the coast of bay of Bengal between Paradip and Chandipur Bhitarkanika National Park is a unique habitat of Mangrove forest criss-crossed with numerous creeks and mud flats located in Kendrapara district of Orissa. It is an area of 145 sq-kms. Have been notified as Bhitarkanika National Park vide Notification No. 1968/F &E dated 16.09.1998 of Forest & Environment Department, Govt. Of Orrisa. It is one of the largest mangrove Eco system in India, Bhitarkanika is home to diverse flora fauna.
Bhitarkanika National Park is home to the salt water crocodile, white crocodile, Indian pythan, black ibis, wild pigs, rhesus monkeys, chitals, darders, cobra, water monitor lizard. Olive ridley sea- turtles nest on Gahirmatha and other nearby beaches. Bhitarkanika has one of the largest populations of endangered salt water crocodile in India and is globaly unique in that of 10 per cent of the adults exceed 6 m length.Some wildlife experts are of the opinion that the largest saltwater crocodile ever was in Bhitarkanika, measuring an estimated 23 feet (7.0 m) which could be traced from the skull preserved by the Kanika Royal Family.The crocodile was shot near Dhamara in 1926, and later its skull was preserved by the then Kanika King. Crocodile experts estimate the animal to have been between 20 feet (6.1 m) and 23 feet (7.0 m) long, as the size of the skull was measured one ninth of the total length of the body. 215 species of avifauna including eight varieties of kingfishers.Birds such as Asian open Bill, Cormorants, Darters, Egrets, are frequently seen in the Bhitarkanika National Park.
Permission to visit Bhitarakanika can be obtained from Division Forest Officer,Rajnagar or Assistant conservator of Forest ,Chandbaii on pament of prescribed fees. Best season to visit - October to June.
Bhitarakanika is in itself a complete package. But if you like ,you can visit a few more places around it. Ratnagiri-Lalatgiri-Udaygiri-Buddhist Complex (100 km from Bhubanswar). The unique beach at Chandipur where the sea vanishes twice a day (16 km Balasore).
Bhitarakanika can be approached only through water ways. Most convenient entry points being
- Chandbali (60 km from Bhadrak and 190 km from Bhubaneshwar)
- Rajnagar (30 km from Kendrapara and 130 km from Bhubaneshwar)
- Gupti (25 km from Rajnagar)
Motor boats are available on hire
- Chandbali to Dangmal-3 hrs.
- Rajnagar to Dangmal- 3 hrs.
- Gupti to Dangmal -1.5 hrs.
Regular bus services are available to Chandbali and Rajnagar.
Nearest Rail Head
- Bhadrak (60 km from Chandbali)
- Balasore (110 km from Chanbali)
- Cuttack (110 km from Rajnagar)
- Bhubaneshwar (190 km from Chandbali and 130 km from Rajnagar)
- Bhubaneshwar and Kolkata
Motorboats are the only means of commutation as this island is approachable only through waterways. Orissa is blessed to have a rich and vivid wildlife. Hunting, poaching and illegal encroachments have endangered the life of most of these species and are facing threat of extinction. Many Wildlife sanctuaries in india have been set up to protect these species. Your Orissa wildlife tours is not complete if you have not witnessed the way these wonderful creatures are being nurtured in these sanctuaries and national parks. Wildlife Sanctuary tour Orissa is an indispensable itinerary of the Orissa trip. Bhitarkanika Tour Packages providing a glimpse on the ecosystem of the tidal region and its animal wealth is like an icing on the cake.
Tourist from all over the world calls for Bhitarkanika round the clock moved by the beauty and diversity of the place. Mainly three main seasons are witnessed in the Bhitarkanika National Park region summer, rainy and winter.
The summer season hails from March to June. During this span, the days are hot that restricts the presence of the fauna to mornings and evenings.
The rainy season starting from the month of June and extending till October gives tough times to the travelers. Since waterways are the only mode of reaching Bhitarkanika, the downpour gives a frequent flow o the canals and brooks thus blocking the pathways to reach the lodges.
Winter that falls in the months of October to March is a pleasant time to witness the ultimate beauty of the National Park. The actual pleasure for bird-lovers comes with the arrival of the migratory birds from Europe and Central Asia. The olive ridley turtles comes out to lay their eggs on the beach and goes back young ones comes out.
So pay visit such in the summer and winter season when the Bhitarkanika National Park is at its apex beauty. Though Rainy season can give a hold to you visit, the summers and winters will cater your desires.
An area of 145 Sq.kms. have been notified as Bhitarkanika National Park vide Notification No.19686/F & E dated 16.9.1998 of Forests & Environment Department, Govt. of Orissa. It has much significance with regard to ecological geomorphological and biological background which includes mangrove forests, rivers, creeks, estuaries, back water, accreted land and mud flats. Bhitarkanika National Park is the core area of Bhitarkanika Sanctuary. Mangroves are salt tolerant complex and dynamic eco-system that occur in tropical and sub tropical inter- tidal regions. Bhitarkanika is one such location of rich, lush green vibrant eco syatem lying in the estuarine region oh Brahmani- Baitarani in the North- Eastern corner of Kendrapara district of Orissa. The alley between the meandering creeks and rivers, houses the second largest viable mangrove eco-system of India. Its 672 sq-kms. Of mangrove forest & wetland, provides home to well over 215 species of birds including winter migrants from central Asia and Europe.
During 2002 the Bhitarkanika mangroves having an area of 2672 sq-km. been declared as a ramsar site being a wetland of international importance.