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Things To Do In Chilika Lake
Chilika Lake is a pear-shaped salt water lagoon spread over an area of 1100 sq. km and is situated along the coastal area of the East Indian state Orissa; having been formed after it was split from the Bay of Bengal through a narrow strip of marshlands. It is most known for being a favorite among bird-watchers who visit during the winters to experience the influx of the migratory birds from colder regions like Siberia and Central Asia. It is also known for housing various resident species like blackbuck, deer, and jackals along with more than 150 species of aquatic life.
Apart from the diverse range of wildlife found in this region, the natural beauty of Chilika Lake attracts people from all walks of life where tourists can enjoy activities like fishing, boating and even picnics. For the best kind of experience on your trip, here is a list of the top things to do in Chilika Lake.
Bird Watching at Nalabana Bird Sanctuary
The Nalabana Island in Chilika Lake is home to thousands of migratory birds that visit from colder regions like Siberia, Iran, Iraq and even the Himalayas to make this lake their temporary residence each year in the winter season. It covers an arena of Exotic species like the Black-tailed Godwit, Spoon-billed Sandpiper and the White-Bellied Sea Eagle, along with regal flamingoes are commonly seen in and around Nalabana Island during peak migratory season. The best time to visit the island is in the months of October to April; the island remains mostly submerged through the rest of the year.
Nalabana Island was given the status of a sanctuary in December 1987, which covers an area of around 15 sq. km and provides refuge to increasing numbers of bird species each year in the winters. The easiest access to Nalabana is through a boat ride from Barkul that takes a couple of hours to reach.
Dolphin Watching at Satapada
Located south of Chilika Lake, Satapada is the famous spot where tourists flock to witness the Irrawady dolphins. The constant influx of tourists in the region has led to the development of a Dolphin Sanctuary, being one of the only two sites in the world where Irrawady Dolphins can be observed. Other varieties like the Common Dolphin, White Nosed Dolphin and the Bottle Nosed Dolphin can also be seen here. Visitors can hire boats from different islands in the region to experience the dolphins prancing around in the sea.
Boating at Rambha Bay
Rambha is made up of a collection of small islands, each with distinct names like Breakfast Island, Honeymoon Island, and Bird’s Island etc. The Rambha Panthanivas is a brilliant place to stay in the area while you explore the different islands and go boating for hours on end. With scenic surroundings as far as the eyes can see, you might even spot the rare Olive Ridley Sea Turtles that occasionally visit the Rushikulya Beach nearby for nesting and laying eggs.
Eat Fresh Sea Food
All forms of lodging around Chilika Lake offer lip smacking varieties of sea food like jumbo prawns, crabs and different types of fish. The OTDC Panthanivas at Rambha and Barkul has some excellent sea food options at reasonable prices; other eateries definitely worth checking out are the Chilika Dhaba, Lake View Restaurant, Narayani Restaurant and Sagar Fast Food.