Bhitarkanika: An Exploration To The Wilderness And Nature's Trails
Adventure tourists from all over India flock to Odisha to get their thrills manifested in real life so they can enjoy them to the fullest. Bhitarkanika National Park, also known as the Amazon of India, is a large national park located in the Kendrapara district of Odisha and is surrounded by the vastly dense Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. Bhitarnika also houses the second largest ecosystem of mangroves in all over India and is thus an entire ecosystem of its own. Rich in flora and fauna and the home of countless species of the animal and plant kingdoms, it is rich in numerous resources and is kept hydrated all throughout the year by 3 significant rivers flowing into the Bay of Bengal after crossing it.
Additionally, Bhitarkanika is also home to some of the largest saltwater crocodiles not only in India but even in the entire world. Some grow to be 23 feet in length and you can see them sunbathing on the swamp areas or just simply sleeping under the sun. Nearly 2000 crocodiles live in the rivers and the nearby creeks and a lot more are born during the nesting seasons. Even the wetlands of Bhitarkanika were declared a Ramsar Convention site by UNESCO in 2002 and are, currently, of immense international importance today.
Bhadrak is the nearest railway station to Bhitarkanika and Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport. You can visit the park anytime after early morning hours and have an incredible time grasping in the huge variety of natural elements that are waiting to greet your eyes.
Given below is a list of the things you MUST do when you visit the humongous national park-
1) Bird Watching
Bhitarkanika is home to around eight varieties of kingfisher birds which is a rarity in India because it is hard to find even 2 varieties of them in the same place here. In addition to that, there are more than 200 species of permanent residence birds in the park such as black ibis, Asian openbill, egrets, cormorants, darters etc. The winter times are particularly fruitful because they see the coming of many migratory birds from Central Asia and Europe who find a refuge in the swampy lands, seeking warmth from the harsh cold of their own homes. If you love birds and genuinely enjoy watching them, we highly recommend you give the park a visit during winters to make the most out of your trip.
If you are into photography and love to capture wildlife in its natural state, Bhitarkanika should be your go-to option! It is perfectly equipped to take your lenses on a journey filled with the natural vibrancy of the various birds that live in it and you get to silently watch in awe the way they function in daily life. You might catch them drinking water near the banks, hiding among bushes or leaves with their eyes fixed on their prey or feeding worms and other insects to their young ones. It is a marvel to witness and wraps you up in an aura of peace that refuses to leave even when you physically leave the place.
2) Nature Trekking
Bhitarkanika does not have a huge amount of dangerous or carnivorous animals and remains peaceful throughout the entirety of the year. It has an element of gentle peace that carries with it the subtle music of the sounds of the creatures that inhabit it. More than opting for a safari, you can simply go on natural treks and explore the beauty of the park in a calm and quiet manner without disturbing the solace it so graciously offers to everyone who chooses to visit it. Trekking is also relatively common here and a lot of people find experienced guides to take them through the area without denting their pockets too much.
As long as you keep away from the river areas and swampy banks, you can bask in the safety the vast lushes of greenery offer, away from the lands of the vast crocodiles. This will keep you on your toes at all times, thus fully engaging your body in the hues of physical health and you will also get to enjoy the beauty of the moment by being an exemplary part of it.
3) Experiencing the awe-invoking sight of Olive Ridley turtles and their nesting
The olive ridley turtles are wildly famous in the world of wildlife, known also as the smallest and most abundant sea turtles found all over the world. They come to the shores of the Bay of Bengal after facing countless threats imposed upon them due to harmful and often illegal human practices of either directly trying to catch them or indirectly posing harm on them due to their unethical processes.
In huge amounts, the olive ridley turtles flock the national park and if you are fond of turtle watching as well, you would love to watch this phenomenon take place in real life. Their nesting takes place around the rivers of Bhitarkanika very often and is truly a sight worth witnessing at least once in your life.
4) Boating in the creeks
Surrounded by water and marshy areas that are mostly taken by crocodiles, the swampy areas of Bhitarkanika are worth experiencing and watching as well. You can opt for boating by booking it under the forest department of the park and explore the greenery and wildlife of the same from the lenses of its calm and serene waters. An experienced boat rider will also know the areas that have the most amount of crocodiles so you can keep away from them and be safe in your exploration. Eco retreats, especially the one in Bhitarkanika, let you take part in these activities with the promises of both pleasure and enjoyment as you enjoy them and also get enough thrills out of them. Imagine living luxuriously in the great outdoors and being able to experience camping at its most comfortable without harming the environment! That is glamping for you.
Framed by multiple coupled trees, the village of Raghurajpur is one of the most beautiful craft villages in India. It has a heartwarmingly traditional culture of craft making and most villagers invest in the performance in its entirety to ensure it does not stop existing. The works are mostly inspired by the temples and other attractions of the state of Odisha, and have their own stories to tell. Almost every household is covered in art and decorated by craft.
Pipli is another phenomenal village in Odisha that is famous for its applique work, which is essentially carried out by stitching and embroidering different pieces of cloth that are based on the most amazing decorative items such as umbrellas, pouches, wallets, mirrors etc. Take them with you to add a certain twist and change to your homes in the best way possible.
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