Monday, July 22, 2024

Tourism      Wildlife      National Parks      Orissa     Balasore    

Bhitar Kanika Marine National Park




Balasore district, Orissa

Best season


November to February

Nearest Town


Chandbali (35km)



Olive Ridley turtle, Crocodile

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Bitharkanika National park and Gahirmatha marine sanctuary are situated in Balesore district in the state of Orissa. It is famous for lush green mangrove forest and Turtle nesting beaches. Covers an area of, it is better known as a marine park. The park with its mangrove forests in the rivers Brahmani- Bhaitarani Delta and  creeks, estuaries, back water, accreted land and mud flats was mainly established to protect the saltwater crocodile and other marine inhabitants of the region. It was notified as a Crocodile sanctuary in 1975 and a crocodile breeding centre has been established by the Orissa Government.

The park contains tidal swamp forests consisting of an abundance of mangrove, saltwater and brackish water mixed species such as Causarinas, Thespia, grasses like indigo bush etc. It is the second largest viable stretch of mangrove forest in the Indian mainland. The Fauna of the park include Olive ridley turtles (sea turtle), saltwater crocodiles, wild pigs, rhesus monkeys, leopard, wild boar, hyena, jungle cat, sambar, giant squirrel, water monitor, chitals, king cobra, python, fishes besides insects and other micro fauna. Birds found are strokes, ibis, white necked sea eagle and fish eagle etc. The best season for visiting the park is winter (November to February).The park situated along the Gahiramatha Coast is a haven for thousands of marine species especially the Olive ridley turtles which come here to lay eggs during the nights in winter. The giant Pacific Ridley sea turtles believed to come as far away as South America nest on the Gahirmatha Coast.

Before entering to the sanctuary , one has to apply for entry permit and obtain the permit from D. F. O Rajnagar. The permit has to be produced at Forest Check gates both on Roadways & Water ways.