Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary, Orissa
About Chilka Lake Sanctuary, Puri
The Chilka Lake in Orissa is Asia's largest inland salt-water lagoon. Studded with small islands- including the picturesquely-named Honeymoon Island and Breakfast Island- the lake is separated from the Bay of Bengal by a sandy ridge. The pear-shaped lake spreads across 1,100 sq km, and has a unique ecosystem with a range of aquatic flora and fauna found in and around its brackish waters. An impressive array of bird life, both native and migrant, makes Chilka one of the best places in India for a bit of satisfying bird-watching.
White bellied sea eagles, greylag geese, purple moorhen, jacana, herons and flamingos are among the many species which make the lake a bird watcher's delight: Chilka, in fact, is home to one of the world's largest breeding colonies of flamingos.
Other than the birds, Chilka's shores are home to blackbuck, spotted deer, golden jackals and hyenas, and the lake is rich in aquatic life- its waters harbour around 160 species of fish, crustaceans and other marine creatures, including the famous Chilka dolphin. Prawn, crab and mackerel fishing are an important source of livelihood for the local people, and hundreds of small fishing boats set sail each morning to bring in the day's catch from the lake. he Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve harbours India’s second largest pachyderm population, and the chances of seeing elephant herds is pretty high, especially during the dry season.
Places to see (Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary):
Nalabana: It is a forest of reeds and is famous for the long-range migratory birds in winter.
Birds Island: It is heaven for the resident and migratory birds. One can watch the birds in their natural habitat here.
Kalijai: The abode of Goddess, Kalijai. The island is famous for the temple and the scenic surroundings.
Satapada: The famous Chilka Dolphins are can be seen in their natural best.
Parikud and Malud: They are islands within the lake.
Brahmaputra: The place is known for its scenic beauty.