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Tourist Places To Visit In Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary
In the central region of Kendrapara district of Orissa, the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is one of the most impressive attractions of the state that drives hundreds of tourists each year to this picturesque location. The region is known worldwide for being the largest nesting grounds of the Olive Ridley sea turtles, which travel all the way from the South Pacific Ocean to lay their eggs on the beaches of Gahirmatha.
A perfect weekend destination for locals that also features as a prime seaside spot for tourists looking for some solitude and serenity, Gahirmatha should be one of the top places to visit for all those who travel to Orissa. Read on to know more about other attractions close to Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary.
Bhitarkanika National Park
The Gahirmatha Beach lies to the east of Bhitarkanika National Park, and in close vicinity to the animal reserve. Home to over 200 different species of birds and animals, including one of the largest populations of the saltwater crocodile, Bhitarkanika is a great place to explore with friends and family while visiting Gahirmatha. While Bhitarkanika has a rich history of being the hunting grounds of the ancient kings, with medieval temples dotted around the grounds of the park, its main attraction remains the wealth of wildlife that can be found here.
Boating is also a fun activity to explore among the mangroves of the national park while moving among the various animals that saunter around.
Devi Beach and Rushikulya Beach
The nesting area on Gahirmatha Beach lies in a restricted zone for protection of the hatchlings from predators, so it might not be possible to always get a good view of the turtles even if you visit in the nesting season. The beaches located on the mouth of the rivers Devi and Rushikulya are also known for being breeding grounds for the Olive Ridley turtles on a smaller scale, and could be a better alternative to watch the hatchlings make their way to sea since these areas are not under government protection.
About 2 km from Gahirmatha Beach, Dangmal features some charming forest rest houses and a couple of ancient religious monuments – a Shiva temple and a Shakti shrine – that are mostly in ruin today but still worth checking out. The roads leading to Dangmal are not in very good condition; reaching it via boat is a more convenient and scenic option.