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How To Reach Chilika Lake
Chilika Lake is Asia’s largest salt-water lake situated along the coast of the East Indian state Orissa, and is spread across the Khurda, Puri and Ganjam districts of the state, flowing into the Bay of Bengal. It is best known for being an exotic refuge for migratory birds and nothing less than paradise for bird-watchers, while also being home to several resident species of aquatic and bird life. Being one of the most frequently visited sites in Orissa, Chilika Lake attracts visitors from all walks of life; animal lovers, nature lovers, or folks simply looking for a short break from a busy life.
Chilika Lake can be reached through a number of different entry points – Barkul, Rambha, Balugaon and Satapada are towns near Chilika from where one can take boats to reach the lake and the many islands around it. Detailed below is an account on some of the most convenient ways to reach Chilika Lake.
With no airports around the Chilika Lake region, visitors are required to fly in to the Biju Patnaik International Airport located in Bhubaneswar. The capital is located 130 km away from Rambha point, 105 km away from Barkul and 110 km away from Satapada. Buses and taxis can be availed from the airport to reach any of the aforementioned places.
There are no direct trains that will take you to Chilika Lake. However, travellers can board a train to the Balugaon Railway Station, which is the nearest junction at around 50 km away from Chilika. The station is located on the Kolkata-Chennai line of the Southeastern Railways. All trains that cross this line can be used to reach Balugaon. Those coming in from Bhubaneswar have the option of boarding the Berhampur-Vishakhapatnam-Chennai train directly to Balugaon.
The different entry points to Chilika Lake can be accessed via different routes. Tourists planning a road trip to Chilika Lake from Bhubaneswar or Cuttack are first required to reach Balugaon, which is around 2 hours away through National Highway 5; there are numerous options with buses from either city. From here, a taxi or auto rickshaw can be hired to reach Rambha or Barkul. Visitors can also catch a bus from Puri to reach Satapada; from Bhubaneswar, Satapada can be accessed only through taxis.
Travelers coming in from Kolkata and Chennai via road are also required to get on to National Highway 5 to reach Balugaon.
While cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws are available in the towns around Chilika Lake, the true charm of this region lies in the boating activities that can be enjoyed around the various islands of the Chilika area. The Orissa Tourism Development Corporation boats can be hired from Rambha and Barkul, with options between 7-seater or 34-seater boats to choose from.