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Tourist Places To Visit In Chilika Lake
A pear-shaped salt water lake situated south of the Puri district in Orissa is one of the state’s most spectacular highlights – the famous Chilika Lake. Apart from being home to hundreds of migratory and resident species of avian life, Chilika Lake accommodates vast ecosystems that consist of a wide assortment of flora and fauna. In fact, Chilika Lake is well known for being home to one of the largest colonies of flamingoes.
There are also numerous small islands dotted around the water body; spending a day boating across these islands will prove to be an experience worth cherishing for a long time to come. If this looks like the perfect place for a weekend trip to you, here is a list of some of the best places to visit around Chilika Lake.
As the name suggests, Bird’s Island is known for the spectacular varieties of bird species that visit this island during the migratory season. It stands out from other islands in the region for its display of massive hanging rocks that are actually remnants of the Eastern Ghats. The rocks tend to appear white, caused by folic acid in the immense amount of bird droppings that cover these rocks.
Also known as Sankuda Island, this pear shaped island is situated between Somolo Island and Badakuda. Its main highlight is a bungalow that, although now in ruins, is a historical structure constructed by the King of Kalikote.
The Kalijai Temple is located on an island in Chilika Lake and is dedicated to the goddess Kalijai, who is a highly revered deity among the locals. Approachable through a boat ride from Chilika Lake, the temple witnesses a huge celebration in the form of Makar Sakranti during the month of January every year.
The deity worshipped here was apparently once a girl named Kalijai who was going to her in-laws through a boat on this lake, and was killed in an accident after a heavy storm capsized the boat. The temple was built on the site where the boat sank; the locals, fishermen, sailors and even some tourists visit the temple to pray for a safe journey to the lake.
Another area famous for the influx of migratory birds each year, Mangalajodi is one of the oldest villages in the Chilika region that was once also popular as a fishing village. The vast wetlands of Mangalajodi have been declared as an International Bird Conservation Area. The village also has a number of temples that make it a significantly religious spot for the local Hindus. Festivals like Danda Yatrais and Paika Akhada are some ritual celebrations that are an important part of the village’s traditions.
Maa Tara Tarini Temple
The Tara Tarini Temple is located on a hilltop along the banks of the Rushikulya River and is a popular sacred spot that is dedicated to the twin goddesses Tara and Tarini. The visitors are required to climb a thousand steps to reach the temple that attracts a lot of devotees almost all year long. The most important event in the temple is a procession hosted by the locals in the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar each year.
Sea Mouth Island
A boat ride away from the town of Satapada, the Sea Mouth Island is located where Chilika Lake meets the Bay of Bengal, and has the unique feature of remaining submerged under water during high tide, and emerges only during low tide. One part of the island boasts a beach so pristine the water appears to sparkle like diamonds under the sun. This part of the island remains unknown to majority of the tourists, and is mostly unmarred by human interference.