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How To Reach Bhitarkanika National Park
Bhitarkanika National Park is a haven for a variety of marine and wildlife, situated in the north-eastern part of Kendrapara district in Orissa. The park is spread over an area of 145 sq. km. and makes up the core area of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, which occupies an area of more than 500 sq. km. While the sanctuary itself was established in 1975, the area for the national park was demarcated in the year 1988. It is a vast region packed with extensive biodiversity supported by the numerous rivers that flow through the sanctuary.
Khola and Gupti are the main entry points to the park, which are accessible from all major cities of Orissa. Read on to know more about some of the most convenient ways to reach Bhitarkanika National Park.
The Biju Patnaik International Airport situated in the capital city of Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport from Bhitarkanika National Park and the most convenient way to reach the sanctuary for those travelling from outside the state or overseas. The entry points to the park is 145 km or around 4 hours away from the airport and are easily reachable via buses and taxis available outside the airport.
The Bhadrak Railway Station is the closest railhead from Bhitarkanika. Bhadrak is situated on the Kolkata-Chennai main line and connects to a number of major junctions in the country. From Bhadrak, one can choose to reach Chandbali, a river port, via bus and take a boat directly to Bhitarkanika. The Cuttack Railway Station is situated around 116 km away and is also an important railhead that can be used as a connecting junction to reach one of the entry points to Bhitarkanika.
Khola and Gupti are the two chief entry points to the park. A lot of people choose to drive directly to Khola from cities nearby like Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, both 115 km and 107 km away respectively. These entryways can also be reached via buses and taxis from either city. Visitors can also choose to reach the river ports Chandbali or Jayanagar first via road and then take boats from either port to reach Bhitarkanika, both of which are 52 km and 70 km away from Bhadrak respectively.
Prior permission is required to enter the park, which can be obtained from the entry gates of Khola or Gupti. Any kind of movement within the park is either via boats or through walks in the dense forests. All the boats available for hire in the park are licensed from the Forest Department and require prior booking that will ensure a comfortable travel experience.