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Chilka Lake - Chilika Lake / land of Bird sanctuary, Brackish water lagoon & Natural scenery

One of the prominent tourist places of Orissa, Chilka Lake is India's biggest inland lake. Spread over an area of nearly 1,100 square kilometers, the lake has also the distinction of being Asia's largest inland salt-water lagoon. Several tour operators, from India and abroad, chalk-out interesting itineraries for the travelers to Orissa that enable them to tour most of the attractions of the state, including, of course, the lovely Chilka Lake.

Coming back to the Chilka Lake, it runs along the peripheries of the three districts, namely, Pun, Khurda and Ganjam, prior to joining the Bay of Bengal via a narrow mouth and giving birth to a massive lagoon of brackish water. Interestingly, the color of the water of the Chilka Lake -- which is surrounded with hills – takes a different shade with passing clouds and the moving sun.

Chilka is the habitat of a rich variety of aquatic fauna and has numerous emerald green islands with interesting names, including Honeymoon Island and Breakfast Island. Chilka is the habitat of the only identified population of the lovely Irrawaddy Dolphins in the country. Chilka Lake is a sanctuary and winter resort for the migratory birds as well - some of which visit the place from as far as Siberia. In fact, Chilka, declared a sanctuary in 1987, is a haven of sorts for the bird watchers, and it offers them a stunning display of its colourful avian attractions in all their glory.

Among the many types of the birds, these are the well-known names that remarkably boost the appeal of the wonderful lake: Purple Moorhen, the white Bellied sea Eagle, the Grey-Legged Geese, Pelican and Flamingos. Actually, Chilka Lake is the habitat of one of the leading breeding colonies of flamingos on the world stage. No wonder, this incredible tourist destination occupies a rather high place on the radar of the nature enthusiasts and bird watchers.

Chilika Lake Attractions

The Chilka Lake boasts of several attractions which are amply on display inside the lake which itself is a huge draw.

Nalabana: It is a refuge of sorts for the long-range migrants during the winter season.

Birds Island: Another paradise for the resident and migratory birds.

Parikud & Malud: Lovely islands located inside the lake. They double as excellent picnic spots.

Satapada: A nice spot from where one can see the frolicking dolphins.

Kalijai Temple: Home to the island Goddess "Kalijai", this temple is much revered by the local fishing community.

When to Visit

Winter is the best time to visit the Chilka Lake. During this time, thousands of migratory birds -- which arrive here from as far as Siberia, Iran, Ladakh, the Caspian Sea, Russia and other nations -- make the place their stopover.

How to Reach

Chilka Lake is well connected to many key destinations such as Puri, Bhubaneswar, Behrampore, Cuttack, Hyderabad and Chennai. The nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar which is located only 120 km away from this place, while Rambha and Balugaon are the nearby railheads. Barkul, Balugaon and Rambha, besides Satpada, are the key spots for making a visit to Chilika. At these places, one can hire boats.
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