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How To Reach Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary
Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is India’s first and only marine wildlife reserve and is situated in the Kendrapara district of central Orissa, an ancient state located along the eastern coastline of India. A visually appealing area of pristine beach shores that has gained significant recognition worldwide for being one of the largest mass nesting grounds for the Olive Ridley sea turtles every year.
Covering an area of over 1400 sq. km, the Gahirmatha sanctuary extends from the Dhamra River in the north to the Mahanadi River in the south. Accessibility to the sanctuary can be conveniently accomplished through a number of ways; here is a detailed account on the easiest ways to reach Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary.
The nearest airport from Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is situated around 75 km away in the capital of Bhubaneshwar. The Biju Patnaik International Airport is the only international airspace in the state and connects Orissa to all major cities and states within the country and outside the country. For those traveling from within the state, the airport also has a domestic terminal making it accessible from other domestic airports in Orissa.
Outside the airport, there is private and public transportation available in the form of buses and taxis to connect you to Gahirmatha.
Being surrounded by the waters of Bhitarnika Wetland and the rivers Dhamra and Mahanadi that eventually open into the sea, Gahirmatha can be reached by waterways after getting to Bhitarkanika via road. Ferries can also be arranged from Gupti, Rajnagar and Chandabali that reach Gahirmatha directly.
Traveling via trains is a fun way to enjoy the scenic routes of Orissa's landscape. The Bhadrak Railway Station is located 49 km away from Gahirmatha, being the nearest railhead from the sanctuary. There are buses, jeeps and cabs available from outside the station that connect to Bhitarkanika Reserve, from where a boat can be used to reach Gahirmatha.
The state of Orissa is well connected with a network of state and national highways that make road accessibility an easy task. Those interested in driving to Gahirmatha can start from Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Puri, Patna or Kolkata.
- From Bhubaneshwar: Via two routes; either National Highway 16 or the Cuttack-Chandabali Road.
- From Cuttack: Via three routes; National Highway 16, Cuttack-Chandabali Road or via NH 16 and State Highway 35.
- From Puri: Via two routes; either Badshahi Road and Cuttack-Chandabali Road or the State Highway 60.
- From Patna: Via two routes; either GT Road or National Highway 20.
- From Kolkata: Via one route only; the National Highway 16.