Archive for the 'Chilika' Category

Chilika Dhaba near Barkul Pantha Nivas rated as the best dhaba by NDTV Goodtimes Food award 2010

Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Odia/Odisha cuisine 3 Comments »

Thanks to Nilachakra for the pointer. The wsj blog at mentions this and has this to say:

Chilika Dhaba, Barkul, NH5, Orissa: This is apparently “Rocky’s favorite dhaba in the world.” It’s next to the Chilika lake and serves great seafood, the writers say. They especially recommend the chilli prawns and giant crab.

See pictures of the huge crabs at and

The link has the following video.

Recent Odisha Tourism Department plans and initiatives

Chandaka, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Ecotourism, Ganjam, Jajpur, Kandhamala, Khordha, Koraput, Lakes, Mayurbhanj, River Cruise, Sambalpur, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Waterfront 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a report in

The Empowered Committee on Infrastructure (ECI), chaired by Chief Secretary has decided to run water sports facilities at Rambha, Barkul and Satapada in Chilka lake and in Ramchandi, Nua Nai, Tampara, Jhumuka, Naraj, Hirakud, Deras, Derjang, Bhanjnagar, Upper Kolab, Upper Jonk and Pitamahal.

… To start cruise, house boat and other water sports facilities in the above locations, it was decided to rope in private players on PPP Mode.

Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) will be implementing the project and Department of Tourism will provide onsite infrastructure.

The developer will provide boats and other sporting equipments and operate and manage the facilities.

… The ECI has decided to invite bidders for development of water sports in the above places.

Recently the leading Seashore Group has started water sports facilities in Mahanadi, which has attracted great attention of the tourists.

Tourists are flocking to avail the facilities, said Prashant K Dash, Chairman of Seashore Group.

Experts feel that to start with two main places for the dare-devils of the water are Chilka and Dhabaleswar.

Barkul, Rambha, Balugaon and Satpada are the bases for visiting Chilika, where water sports can be developed in a big way.

Similarly Dhabaleswar in Cuttack also provide an excellent opportunity to enjoy water sports, feel experts.

Following is an excerpt from another report in

The meeting decided to hand over 9 properties of the State Tourism for renovation by the private players and it was decided that these properties would be offered to these highest bidding private players on a long-term lease of 30 years.

… These properties at Kapilas, Daringibadi, Dhabaleswar, Patharajpur, Sunabeda, Rameswar, Jaipur, Ramachandi and Aradi are to be handed over to highest bidders, ECI decided.

DOT will go for fresh tender for Ratnagiri, Nrusinghnath, Bangiriposi and Sohela, where offers were found less attractive.

The Government will also go for fresh tenders for 17 properties which failed to attract any bidder in the tendering process held earlier.

Another 10 properties will be included in the new bidding process to attract private players, said sources.

These properties include Panthashala, Panthika and Wayside Amenities Centre (WAC) in various tourist centres of the state.

With the help of these private players the properties will be given a face lift which has been rendered decrepit due to want of maintenance.

While the State Government will continue to hold the ownership of such properties, the onus will be on the private players to refurbish and maintain them.

The renovation of the properties is being done on the public private partnership (PPP) mode.

The private players, who will refurbish and maintain the properties, will give us an upfront payment besides paying the usual annual royalty”, said Mr.Tripathy.

A 3-Star hotel and a Convention Centre will be developed at Puri on PPP mode, where the DOT has 2 acres of land as Puri is the most important destination of the state.

And Puri has the potential to be developed to a Meeting Incentive Convention Exhibition Destination (MICE), said Principal Secretary Mr.Tripathy.

PIB: CCEA NOD for Rs. 1156 crore Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project; 200+ crores for Odisha

Bhadrakh, Chilika, ENVIRONMENT, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Khordha, PIB - GOI, World Bank Comments Off on PIB: CCEA NOD for Rs. 1156 crore Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project; 200+ crores for Odisha

Following is from The Odisha part and some other important parts are highlighted in red by me.

CCEA Decision

            The CCEA today approved a Rs.1156 crore World Bank assisted Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Project.  This project is to be implemented over the next five years by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The World Bank’s contribution as soft loan/IDA credit is around         Rs. 897 crore (78%).  This ICZM project assumes special significance in the context of climate change since one of the definitive findings of the IPCC relates to the increase in mean sea levels as a result of global warming.

            The ICZM project has four main components:

1.       National ICZM capacity-building at a total investment of about Rs.356 crore which will cover (i) mapping, delineation and demarcation of the hazard lines and delineation of the coastal sediment cells along the mainland coast of India; (ii) mapping, delineation and demarcation of environmentally-sensitive areas that require protection; (iii) establishment of a National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management at Anna University, Chennai; and (iv) a nation-wide training programme for coastal zone management.

2.       ICZM activities along the Gulf of Kachchh and in Jamnagar District in Gujarat at a total investment of around Rs.298 crore.

3.       ICZM and wetland conservation activities in two stretches of the Orissa coast (i) Gopalpur-Chilika; and (ii) Paradip-Dhamra at a total investment of Rs.201 crore.

4.       ICZM activities in Sunderban, Haldia and Digha-Shankarpur regions of West Bengal at a total investment of Rs.300 crore.


The project would develop capacity and institutions to effectively implement the CRZ Notification 1991, to control pollution of coastal waters and to expand livelihood options for coastal communities. The elaborate and extensive exercise in hazard mapping along the 7500-km coastline, which is being done for the first time, by the Survey of India at cost of Rs.125 crore will greatly assist in protecting coastal communities and infrastructure located in coastal areas.


The total number of direct beneficiaries of the project is close to 15 lakhs, while the number of indirect but identifiable beneficiaries will be close to 6 crore. The initial set of three states have been selected on various grounds including pressure on coast, presence of critical ecosystems, risks of natural hazards, etc. The Asian Development Bank is supporting a less comprehensive shoreline management project in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa. It is envisaged that the second phase of ICZM would take up the other coastal states with project preparation in all remaining coastal states commencing immediately.


Of special focus in the project will be identification and demarcation of coastal fragile areas like mangroves, brackish water wetlands, coral reefs, etc based on which a new category of “Critically Vulnerable Coastal Areas”(CVCAs) would be designated and appropriate management plans implemented for their preservation and regeneration. These would include areas around Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Gulf of Khambat in Gujarat, Malvan, Vasasi-Manori,Achra-Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Karwar and Coondapur in Karnataka, Vembanad in Kerala, Bhaitarkanika and Chilika in Orissa, Coringa, East Godavari and Krishna in Andhra Pradesh,Sunderban in West Bengal, Pichawaram and Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu etc.


This is the second World Bank assisted project of the Ministry of Environment and Forests to be approved by the CCEA in the past two weeks. The first was a Rs. 350 crore project for initiating the process of remediation, rehabilitation and restoration of contaminated hazardous waste/municipal solid waste dumpsites in the country. There are over 120 such sites in different states and this project would be launched to clean-up 2 sites in Andhra Pradesh and 8 in West Bengal to begin with, apart from to prepare a national plan for remediation and restoration of all legacy contaminated sites which have become public health hazards.




Sanghamitra Jena, founder of Eastern Treasure India Tours, brings Orissa to the world

Bhitarakanika, Chandaka, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Ecotourism, Gopalpur-on-Sea, National Parks and Sanctuaries, Odisha personalities, Puri, Raghurajpur, Similpal, Tour Operators, Tourist promotion, Village Tourism, Wild life 4 Comments »

Following are excerpts from a beautiful Forbes India piece by Mindtree CEO Subroto Bagchi.

… it is called Dangamal.

This is a tiny village bordering 672 sq. km. of luxuriant mangroves that are home to the giant Indian saltwater crocodiles. It is an unbelievably beautiful and relatively un-spoilt place. There is the usual forest rest house here, but for the real enthusiast, there is tented accommodation of commendable quality run by a first generation woman entrepreneur named Sanghamitra Jena. I am here to see her.

… After some years, when we came back to Bhubaneswar, I contacted the government-run tourist office to check if they ran courses for would-be tour guides. There was a three-month course coming up and I signed up after paying a fee of Rs. 200.

… But how did you end up becoming an entrepreneur?” I ask. “It was a story of adversity,” she says. “After many years in the same organisation, I had to leave because of disagreements with a new supervisor. For a moment, I was at the crossroads. To my surprise and delight, it led to a flood of offers from other tour operators who had known my work. Seeing that, I told myself that these people are reaching out to me because they have confidence that I could bring them business. So why wasn’t I doing it for myself?

“I had a saving of just Rs. 40,000. I bought a laptop and started sending mails to people I knew from a cyber-café. Eastern Treasure India Tours was born. Clients started coming, I took them on my off-the-beaten track tours to not just places in Orissa but also Pelling, Gangtok and Kaziranga. Word spread. Business grew. Then one day, I felt I should have a product that enables the nature-lover to enjoy a place like the mangroves of Dangamal by living in a completely rural setting. So, I came to this village and I leased a plot of land for five years. I started a high-quality, tented accommodation, complete with Western-style toilets and clean food in a completely rural surrounding. I built a make-do Web site so people could check out the options and pay online.”

… I am not in Mumbai or Bangalore. This is Orissa. This is not a land of enterprise. For girls, there is a cul-de-sac called marriage. Yet, here is Sanghamitra who has built a business in the middle of nowhere.
Before we leave for the creeks to see the giant crocs basking under the mangroves, I ask her the size of her business this year.

She is bashful for a moment. Then she replies, “I will touch a crore this year”. also has a nice article on her at


Kamat Hotels India Ltd (KHIL) redeveloping properties in Puri, Konark and Chilika

Bhubaneswar-Puri, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Food joints, Hotels and resorts, Khordha, Konark, Puri, Puri, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a report in

Kamat Hotels India Ltd (KHIL) which owns and operates hotels brands like The Orchid, VITS, Lotus Resorts and Gadh Hotels … has acquired the heritage palace ‘Mahodadhi Niwas’ in Puri and also the Eco Resort at Ramchandi, near the Sun Temple in Konark, in addition to the Parikud Palace and Rambha Palace, which are located near the Chilka Lake.

Of the three heritage properties acquired by KHIL, Mahodadhi Niwas opened for business on November 28, 2009. In the first phase, Mahodadhi offers 12 rooms and an additional 60 are expected to be developed over the next phase. KHIL is presently involved in restoring Parikud and Rambha Palaces, which will be commissioned in a phased manner in 2010.

… KHIL intends to strengthen the portfolio of its heritage brand – ‘Gadh Hotels’ in the state. We have already acquired three palaces from OTDC on a long-term lease and their restoration work is currently in progress.” As a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity, KHIL has also undertaken cleaning and conservation task of Chilka Lake.

KHIL’s F&B arm Kamat Restaurants Pvt Ltd (KRPL), which operates the ‘Vithal Kamat’ chain of vegetarian quick-service restaurants is also making inroads in to Orissa. KRPL has recently commissioned four company-owned outlets in Orissa, on the Bhubaneswar-Puri highway.

Youtube videos of the 13 Orissa sites in NDTV’s shortlist of 7 Wonders of India

Angul, Anugul- Talcher - Saranga- Nalconagar, Bhitarakanika, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Heritage sites, Keonjhar, Konark, Lakes, Nandan Kanan, Puri, Raghurajpur, Rural artisan villages, Sambalpur, Sambaplur- Burla- Bargarh- Chipilima, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Sundergarh, Temples, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Tourist promotion, Turtle nesting sites, Waterfalls 1 Comment »

The NDTV site of the 13 Orissa sites is at The youtube videos below are from The descriptions below and the pictures are from the NDTV sites and the youtube sites.

EIGHT Sites near Bhubaneswar:

A 64 Yogini Tantrik Site

Located in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
The Sixty Four Yoginis temple at Hirapur is a circular enclosure with a narrow doorway to the eastern side. The diameter of the enclosure is 7.62 meters or 25 feet and height of the wall on the paved floor inside is 1.87 metres or 6 feet 2 inches. Yogini was considered sacred, hence this temple was created. Inside the temple there are 60 niches and in every niche there is a figure of a Yogini. All the Yogini images stand and are carved on black chlorite stone.

Nandan Kanan National Park

Located in Chandaka Forests, 20km from Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.
The park is spread in about 4 of area, while the wildlife
sanctuary is spread in around 5 sq. km. The park is home to more than 75 species of mammals and reptiles.The Nandan Kanan National park houses the very first captive gharial breeding centre of the country. Nandan Kanan justifies its literal meaning i.e. "Garden of Pleasure".

Lingaraja Bhubaneshwar Temple

Located in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
The Lingaraja temple is located in a spacious courtyard covering
over 250000 sq feet and is bounded by fortified walls. Its tower rises up to 180 feet and is elaborately carved. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Lingam here is unique which is a harihara lingam -half Shiva and half Vishnu.
Built by Yayati Kesari in the 7th century. This temple is dedicated to Tribhubaneshwar or the Lord of Three Worlds. The Lingaraja temple is about 1000 years old.

Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves

The caves are located atop the twin hills known as Udayagiri
(meaning the hill of the sunrise) and Khandagiri (meaning the
broken hill) which rise abruptly from the coastal plain, about 6km
West of Bhubaneswar, separated by a highway. Udaygiri caves are approximately 135 ft high and Khandagiri caves are 118 ft high.
The main attraction of these caves consists of its stupendous carvings. Of all the caves in Udaygiri, the largest one is the Rani Gumpha or the Queens Cave. The origin of the rock cut caves of Udaygiri and Khandagiri dates back to the 2nd century BC.
The caves are reminiscent of influence of Buddhism and Jainism in Orissa. The inscription and carvings on the walls show that they once served as Jain Monasteries.


Raghurajpur Craftsman Village

Located 14 kms from Puri in Orissa. The village is inhabited by artisans producing sheer poetry on pieces of treated cloth, dried palm leaf or paper. The Villages runs from east to west with houses arranged in two neat rows facing each other. In the centre runs a line of small temples. The village has a community of artisans who produce different verities of handicraft items like pata paintings, palm leaf
engravings, stone carvings, wooden toys and mask, wood carving, wooden toys, cow-dung toys, tusser paintings, etc. 


Puri Beach

Located on Shores of Bay of Bengal, at a mere distance of 35 kms from the Sun Temple and 65 kms from Bhubaneshwar. Pilgrims from all over India visit Puri to take a dip in the holy water of the rolling waves which is considered religious. It is renowned for the sand sculptures created particularly by the internationally famed Sudarshan Patnaik. Puri is the abode of Lord Jagannath and considered one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage destinations. The beach is a festive place where people come to relax and be entertained. It serves as the venue of the Puri Beach Festival.



Sun Temple, Konark

Situated at a distance from the famous religious and tourist centre of Puri (35 Km.) and the capital city of Bhubaneswar (65 Km). The entire temple was designed in the shape of a colossal chariot with seven horses and twenty four wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter, with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings. The Sun Temple of Konark marks the highest point of achievement of Kalinga architecture depicting the grace, the joy and the rhythm of
life all it`s wondrous variety. It was built by King Raja Narasinghs Deva-I of the Ganga Dynasty in the thirteenth century. It is a temple to Surya, the sun God.



Chilika Lake

Chilika Lake (also called Chilka lake) is a brackish water coastal lake in India`s Orissa state, south of the mouth of the Mantei River.
The area of the lake varies from 1165 km sq. in the monsoon season to 906 km sq. in the dry season, and is studded with numerous small islands. The lake is an important habitat and breeding ground for both
resident and migratory and aquatic birds, most notably flamingoes.
The lake was formed due to the silting action of the Mantei River
which drains into the northern end of the lake, and the northerly
currents in the Bay of Bengal, which have formed a sandbar along the eastern shore leading to the formation of a shallow lagoon.
The main attractions inside the lake are Kalijai Island, Honeymoon Island, Breakfast Island, Birds Island, Nalabana (Island of Reeds) and Parikud Island.


The Other Five sites in Orissa:

Olive Ridley Sea Turtles

Found in the Indian Ocean along the Bay of Bengal is Orissa. Average weight of the turtles is just over 100 lb (up to 50 kgs). They have a high-domed shell, with a carapace length of only 30 inches (70 cms). Olive Ridleys are omnivorous, feeding on crabs, shrimp, rock lobsters, sea grasses, snails, fish, sessile, pelagic tunocates and small invertebrates. The Orissa coast is one of the three sites worldwide where mass nesting of the olive ridley turtle occurs. This sea turtle is especially known for its mass nesting when several thousand turtles migrate to the breeding ground to mate and nest simultaneously. Hindu mythology worships sea turtles as an incarnation of one their gods. Over the past five years, sea turtles have suffered mass mortality along the Orissa coast due to death by drowning as incidental catch in trawl- fishing nets. About 5000 to 10,000 dead turtles have been washed ashore each year, a total of over 100,000 in the last ten years.


Sitabinji Caves

Situated on River Sita, 30 km from Keonjhar.  The structure is like a half opened umbrella. It depicts a royal procession.
It has gained prominence for the ancient fresco painting on a rock shelter called “Ravan Chhaya”.

Khandadhar Waterfalls (youtube videos)

Khandadhar Waterfall is located amidst the forest of Sundergarh  (specific location is Nandapani). The Khandadhar Falls is categorized as a horsetail waterfall. The falls appear to be located on a smaller watercourse, though are said to be perennial.
During the monsoon months the water from the Koprani Nala, a rivulet, overflows and it drops down as a fall from a height of 800 feet.
This waterfall because of its height is visible from a distance of about 5 kilometres.

Hirakud River Dam (youtube videos)

Located 15 km from Sambalpur, Orissa. The Hirakud Dam is built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 km from Sambalpur in the state of Orissa in India. The dam regulates the flow of the Mahanadi River and produces hydroelectricity through several hydroelectric plants. Hirakund dam is about 4.8 km long, bordered by earthen dykes on its left as well as right. Built in 1956, the dam is the world`s largest earthen dam. The dam helps control floods in the Mahanadi delta and irrigates 7,500,000 hectares of land. Hirakud dam was the first post- independence river valley project in India.

Sleeping Vishnu Temple

The sleeping statue of Lord Vishnu is situated in Bhimkund, at a distance of about 28 kilometres from Talcher. The sleeping image of Vishnu at Bhimkund is second only to Gomateswar (Karnataka) in size. It has the honour of being the largest sleeping image in India.
In spite of its magnanimity, image contains a natural softness. The period of its creation is believed to be 8th-9th century AD.

State funding to develop Puri as part of a mega tourist circuit

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, New Indian Express, Indian Express, Financial express, Puri, Puri Comments Off on State funding to develop Puri as part of a mega tourist circuit

Following is an excerpt from a report in expressbuzz.

The State Government today decided to develop Puri as a mega tourism circuit with an investment of Rs 50 crore.

An outlay of Rs 30 crore will be made in the next budget for the project that includes improvement of Badadanda (grand road), beautification of Puri town and sea beach, dynamic lighting system of Jagannath temple and Gundicha temple, development of parks and parking lots and construction of a tourist complex.

The high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also decided to give a facelift to the peripheral areas of Puri, a major tourist attraction.

At Satapada, a sunset viewpoint and a park will be developed. There will be tourist jetty at Sipaguda and Rajahansa, official sources said. Plans are afoot to paint the buildings lined up on both sides of the Badadanda with a unique colour to give an added attraction to the Puri town. This will be done in consultation with various stakeholders.

While additional parking places for vehicles will be created in various parts of the city, arrangements will be made to ease out traffic during festivals like Rath Yatra. There will be three interchanging nodes within the town to evacuate traffic. It has been proposed to set up a multi-media museum called Srikhetra Sankrutika Sangrahalay. Vending zones will be set up on the sea beach to keep it clean and free from pollution.

Special board and lodging arrangements will be made for tourists. A few tourist complexes will be developed in various locations.

It has been estimated that about 34 lakh out of 52 lakh tourists coming to the State every year visit Puri.


Swosti Hotel group’s plan for Puri and Chilika

Beaches, Bhubaneswar-Berhampur, Bhubaneswar-Puri, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Ganjam, Hotels and resorts, Khordha, Puri, Puri, Tourist promotion 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a report in

Swosti Group is redesigning two of its upcoming resorts according to chartered tourist requirements, since both properties were initially designed for individual and MICE segments. Puri’s Swosti Chandan Spa Resort and the company’s upcoming resort at Chilka, Orissa will undergo a number of redesigning and renovation processes as they target chartered segments (in large numbers), instead of regular tourists.

About this sudden change in plans, S Patnaik, General Manager, Swosti Group, told Hospitalitybiz, “We have experienced a sudden influx of MICE travellers in Bhubaneswar; this has resulted in many hospitality giants commissioning projects in the state capital. Similarly, other places in the state, especially Puri and Chilka, will be ideal to host chartered segments. Moreover, the segment’s favourite Indian destinations like Goa and Kerala are exceeding their carrying capacity; therefore, chartered operators are now looking for other options.”

The number of chartered flights to Puri is increasing from 180 to 250. Hence, Swosti Group is already in talks with leading chartered tour operators in India, who have exhibited an interest in the suggested places and upcoming properties. “Our Puri property was earlier designed with 70 rooms, but the inventory has been hiked to 100 rooms in favour of hosting chartered groups. The Chilka property, which has not been named as yet, will offer 50 cottages to start with, while it will be somewhat experimental with chartered tourists. The Chilka property will upgrade rapidly if it did well with the mentioned segment,” informed Patnaik. Slated to start operations in October 2008, both properties will take another few months to start. “The season for this segment (to visit India) is from October – March 2008,” added Patnaik. He added that even though the company will lose out on most of the season, it wishes to atleast begin catering to some chartered tourists.

On the other changes in terms of architect and design, Patnaik said that both properties will highlight their swimming pool as it is the biggest attraction for the chartered segment. The resorts will be equipped with bigger lawns and additional private areas as the segment does not appreciate external disturbance from other guests. “We are working on the properties’ sloping structures and the proximity of the pools and beaches from the resorts,” informed Patnaik.

…  We are inclining our properties towards chartered tourists as we will be able to provide them with the peace and serenity that they seek.” Swosti Group is also interested in presenting Buddhist tourism to this segment, in a new light. has a good collection of articles on Orissa spots

Chandipur, Chilika, Circuit: Bhubaneswar-Chilika-Puri, Gopalpur-on-Sea, Heritage sites, Hills and hill stations, Historical places, Konark, Mahanadi tourism, National Parks and Sanctuaries, Nature spots, Puri, Similpal, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar, Temples, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Tourist promotion, Travelogue 1 Comment »

Their page on Orissa is at The list of sites in Orissa that they cover are:

Puri-Bhubaneswar-Konark-Chilika among the 20 select tourist sites

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chilika, Khordha, Konark, Puri, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar Comments Off on Puri-Bhubaneswar-Konark-Chilika among the 20 select tourist sites

Following is an excerpt from an IANS report in

India is developing 20 places, including Agra – home to the Taj Mahal – as short-halt destinations to attract more foreign tourists, the tourism ministry said here Tuesday. The 20 sites were selected on the basis of the number of national and international travellers visiting the place. Being a world heritage site was also a factor in the selection, the ministry statement said.

The tourism ministry will provide financial assistance of up to Rs.250 million for development of a mega destination and of Rs.500 million for a mega circuit.

“The ministry’s objective is to ensure that with enhanced investments and an integrated approach, the mega destinations will be developed to maximize their potential,” the tourism ministry’s statement said.

“The resulting increase in tourist inflows, in turn, will lead to economic development and employment generation in and around these places,” the statement added.

The sites are Agra – revitalization of the Taj (Uttar Pradesh), Varanasi-Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh), Bodhgaya-Rajgir-Nalanda (Bihar), illumination of monuments of Delhi (Delhi), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Puri-Bhubaneswar-Konark-Chilka (Orissa), Haridwar-Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), Hampi (Karnataka), Gangtok (Sikkim), Ajmer-Pushkar (Rajasthan) and Kurukshetra (Haryana).

Other sites include Charminar area of Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), Jagdalpur-Tirathgarh-Chitrakoot-Barsoo (Chhattisgarh), Dwarka (Gujarat), Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Churches of Goa, Ganga Heritage River Cruise Circuit (West Bengal), Vidarbha Circuit (Maharashtra), Aurangabad (Maharashtra) and Amritsar (Punjab).

Puri-Bhubaneshwar-Konarak-Chilka Lake among top 20 destinations of the country

Chilika, Konark, Nandan Kanan, Puri, Sites in and around Bhubaneswar 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a news report in

Union tourism minister Ambika Soni has identified 20 top tourist destinations in the country, with an eye on wooing the potential foreign and domestic tourists. Under this new initiative, financial assistance up to Rs 25 crores would be provided for development of a mega destination and Rs 50 crore for a mega circuit. Apart from this financial assistance, ministry of tourism is also working with other Central ministries and concerned state governments to achieve convergence and synergy with other government programmes, so that the impact of investment on these destinations is maximised. Ms Ambika Soni’s policy initiative is aimed at developing tourist destinations/circuits of national importance in a holistic and integrated manner. The objective is to ensure that the infrastructure of these mega destinations/circuits is developed to the extent that it can cater to the future tourist inflows so that visitors get a satisfying and memorable experience.

… So far 20 such destinations/circuits have been identified in consultation with the state governments on the basis of data indicating potential arrivals.

These include: Taj in Agra (UP), Varanasi-Sarnath (UP), Bodh Gaya-Rajgir-Nalanda (Bihar), illumination of monuments in Delhi, Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Puri-Bhubaneshwar-Konarak-Chilka Lake (Orissa), Haridwar-Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) etc.

For identified destinations/circuits covered by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, convergence of resources is being ensured so that the tourism related infrastructure and urban civic infrastructure complement each other.

Ecotourism in Chilika

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Following is an excerpt from a report in Pioneer. (See also this report in

"Honeymoon Island is one of the best preserved islands in the Chilika," said Mishra. Scions of the erstwhile Khallikote royalty used to experience scenic beauty of the island for which they had erected a luxurious villa. "Now, this will be refurbished with modern amenities and presented to the tourists as a heritage resort," he said.

Maharani of Khallikote and senior legislator V Sugnana Kumari Deo has evinced her keenness to develop the resort into a full-fledged one. "It will be the most attractive ecotourism resort in the Chilika", she said.

Minister Mishra said the State-owned Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC), along with private partners, would run the ecotourism complex. Swiss tent accommodations would be made available in the Honeymoon Island, he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that Chilika, the largest blue lagoon of Asia along with a cluster of tiny islands, presents a unique assemblage of marine, brackish and fresh water ecosystem. Islands like Honeymoon, Bird’s, Breakfast, Sago and Rajhans in the lake with their own characters and distinct features allure the tourists.

Flamingoes in Nalabana, Chilika

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Following is an excerpt from a report in the Pioneer.

… with reports of flocking of a huge number of flamingoes from the Far East and South Asian countries including Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh to the Nalabana Bird Sanctuary in the Chilika lake pouring in. There are also speculations that the birds, in due course of time, may make the sanctuary their permanent home.

Nalabana Bird Sanctuary, which falls under the Chilika lagoon, is situated some 100 km away from Bhubaneswar. While 40 per cent of the visiting birds have already left Chilika with the onset of summer, flamingoes and pelicans are yet to start on their journey, informed Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Abhimanyu Behera. Around 1,680 flamingoes were counted this year during the annual bird survey, conducted on January 5. Their number increased to 2,600 by the end of February. Almost all of them had gathered in the 16.59 sq km Nalabana sanctuary, Behera said. In the last two years, hundreds of flamingoes have chosen to stay back in Chilika instead of returning home, he said. "The flamingoes which preferred to stay back in Chilika, go to Kutch in Gujarat during the rains for breeding before returning to the lake," he said.

Bird season in Chilika: Samaja

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IRCTC tour packages from Orissa

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chilika, Hotels and resorts, Railways 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a news report in New Indian Express.

Giving safety and passenger comfort the utmost priority, the regional office of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has rolled out well-knit packages for pilgrims and holiday-makers for the first time to major tourist places in the country.

… The new packages, however, do not include ghat sections. Nonetheless IRCTC has left no room for complaints. We have even posted a manager who would look into the wellbeing of the people round the clock, he said.

The packages include a week-long tour to North covering New Delhi, Jammu, Haridwar and Risikesh. The cost per adult has been fixed at Rs 11,800. Similarly, the explore Rajasthan tour package, taking travellers to all known places, has been priced at Rs 17,050. They include expenses like on and off board catering, board and travelling.

Optimum return of the money spent would be the USP of the plans. The third package called Southern Splendours I and II covering places like Bangalore, Mysore, Ooty and Hassan among others would cost between Rs 10,250 and Rs 10,650.

In the ensuing months, IRCTC would also offer travel plans to Madurai , Rameswaram and Kanyakumari. Likewise, tour packages to Darjelling , Gangtok and Peling are also on the cards. It is also contemplating to offer customised packages.

Meanwhile, IRCTCs budget hotel project in Bhubaneswar would start soon, having received nod from the State Government. It will come up in front of the Railway station. IRCTC has also acquired about five acres at Bhabakundaleswar near Satapada at Chilika Lake for a similar project.

Mohanty said, plans for the budget hotels in Cuttack, Puri and Visakhapatnam are awaiting the Railway Boards clearance.

Pradeep-Dhamara and Gopalpur-Chilika beach project to start soon: Samaja

Balasore, Beaches, Bhadrakh, CENTER & ODISHA, Chilika, Coastal highway - beach preservation, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Ports and waterways, Puri, Roads, highways and Bus stands, World Bank Comments Off on Pradeep-Dhamara and Gopalpur-Chilika beach project to start soon: Samaja


Tender call for establishing tent camps in Chilika Islands: Samaja

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World Tourism Organization Officials to explore coastal tourism in Orissa

Balasore, Beaches, Chilika, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Khordha, Puri, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING Comments Off on World Tourism Organization Officials to explore coastal tourism in Orissa

Following is an excerpt on this from a report in

A joint team of experts from the United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation and the Union government will prepare a report on the long term integrated sustainable development of coastal tourism in Orissa and West Bengal.

Orissa Minister for Tourism, Debi Mishra said this after he chaired a preliminary meeting convened here today for this purpose.

… Mr. Mishra said though around 20 per cent of the total coastline of the country lies in Orissa and West Bengal and has a high potential for development of beach tourism but it had not developed like Kerala and Goa.

The team would prepared a vision 2022 draft plan, a long term plan for the development of coastal tourism which would give a boost to the tourism and economy.

The team would visit the coastal areas from Digha to Gopalpur from the middle of November to Middle of December and would submit a report on January 30 after assessing the potential of Talsheri, Chandipur, Dhamra, Paradeep, Hukitola, Konark, Astaranga, Gopalpur, and Chilika for development, he said.

Railways and others plan hotels and resorts in Chilika

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Following is an excerpt from a Pioneer report.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has decided to open a hotel at the river mouth at Chilika Lake. The corporation has identified a patch of 500 acres required to set up the resort to which the State Government has agreed, according to official sources. Earlier local hospitality groups like Mayfair, Holiday Resort and Marrion had procured land to set up hotels, near the proposed project site of IRCTC. The river mouth of Chilika Lake is situated in Babhukundeswar in Puri district. Notably, Chilika is spread over a area of 11,000 sq km in Puri, Khurda and Ganjam district and is India’s largest lake , which attracts huge number of tourists and also birds.

Oyster park in Puri

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Pioneer reports that an oyster park will be created in Puri.


The Puri coast will soon have an international oyster development project covering about 3,000 acres of the sea beach to attract more and more tourists from abroad. 31 corporate giants and industrial houses both from India and abroad, for which the State Government received applications recently, will fund this ambitious project.Announcing this to the Press, State Tourism Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said that in addition to this, global quotations would be invited for the establishment of a new ‘Conference and Golf Tourism’ in the same belt in Puri district as the State has vast potential for such type of ventures for tourism development .

The Government has also decided to go ahead with a new project named ‘Camp Tourism’ in the vast coastline connecting Puri, Rajahansa in Chilika, Sanaparikuda and Harachandi Temple to attract tourist traffic to various spots.

For this, the Government has introduced a Mega Circuit Area Development Project to operate in the area.

The Minister further said that the Government is hopeful of at least 20 per cent increase in tourist flow to the State this year. He said special attention would be given for heritage tourism, cultural tourism, eco tourism, beach tourism, Buddhist — Jain temple tourism and tribal and rural tourism.

Dolphin Theme park in Satpada, Chilika – Orissa

Chilika, Nature spots, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Tourist promotion, Wild life 1 Comment »

(a picture of Dolphins in Satapada from the Orissa government photo gallery)
Dolphins in Satpada

New Indian express reports that an ecological park will be setup in Satpada. Satpada is famous for Irrawady dolphins in the area. Following are excerpts from the New Indian Express article.

Satpada, the approach to the home of Irrawady dolphins in Chilika, will soon have a distinct feel and look about it. Almost everything about this tourist spot would now connect either to the brackish water lagoon or to its rare aquatic species.

A theme-based park and illumination based on dolphins will be the highlight of the face-lift that the State Government is planning for this tourist site.

The tourist arrival in Chilika through Satpada is on the rise – from 76,000 in 2005 to 96,000 in 2006 and the Government is keen to leverage from it.

The Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad, has been roped in by Chilika Development Authority (CDA) to conceptualise and design an eco-park at Satpada over a 4.5 acre land near the latters visiting centre.

Estimated at a budget of Rs 15 lakh, the parks central theme will revolve around Chilika itself. “The park will give tourists a feel of the ambience of the lagoon. Special sections on avian and aquatic species of Chilika will find place in the park,” CDA Chief Executive Dr Sudarshan Panda said.

Besides, CDA has also tied up with a private sector electrical major which has designed what it terms dolphin-lights for the first time. Panda said, the lights are designed in dolphin shape and are going to be launched at Satpada where streetlights will be installed over a stretch of 400 metres.

Apart from disseminating information about the lagoon, these measures will also put up a strong case for conservation needs of the lagoon. The Orissa Government has already banned use of polythene bags in the lagoon and CDA has been authorised to implement it.

Panda said a local development committee is also being constituted to look after maintenance of the new installations. The committee will have power to collect parking fees from tourists and maintain streetlights in days to come.”

Island tourism for three Chilika islands

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Following are excerpts on this from a New Indian Express report.

… Island tourism is a big hit elsewhere, but Orissa is waking up to it now for the first time. The Orissa Tourism and Chilika Development Authority have joined hands to launch it at three islands near Muggermukh from November.

Over 96,000 tourists – domestic and foreign – visited Chilika taking Satpada route in 2006 but most visitors take a boat ride, look to sight dolphins and go back home. But both Tourism Department and CDA want tourists to spend more time in the lagoon and that’s how the Island Tourism concept came into their minds.

The three islands near Muggermukh were identified by the CDA. Created out of dredged materials, the islands are of different sizes – largest being 21 acre and the smallest spread over eight acre.

According to Director, Tourism Rabi Narayan Nanda, private operators will be roped in to provide 3-star and 4-star tenting accommodation for visitors. …

The private vendor would take care of the transportation through fast-moving boats, food and accommodation, lighting as well as security measures. In fact, this will be marketed in attractive tourist packages, he said.

Called Dredged Islands 1, 2 and 3, these three are free from forest laws and do not come under Coastal Regulatory Zone provisions making the task easy for Tourism Department well as CDA. However, no construction will be allowed in the islands.

“We’ve developed these islands and carried out extensive plantation. Babul, Neem and Casuarina plants have given them a whole new face,” Chief Executive of CDA Sudarshan Panda said.

A business standard article on monsoon tourism talks about Goa, Kerala and Orissa

Arts village, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Chilika, Puri, Raghurajpur, Temples, Tourist promotion Comments Off on A business standard article on monsoon tourism talks about Goa, Kerala and Orissa

A business standard article on monsoon tourism talks about Goa, Kerala and Orissa. Following is what it says about Orissa.

The monsoon at one of the most underestimated destinations in India, Orissa, is a surprise. The destination is wonderful, but unfortunately its just not sold very well yet. You can get a three night, four day Bhubaneswar and Puri package from Thomas Cook for Rs 12,950 onwards per couple, not including the airfare.

The trip includes visits to Khandagiri, Dhaulagiri and Udaygiri in Bhubaneswar as well as many temples, including the world-famous Lingaraj and the Mukteshwar temples. You would also be taken to Kalijai island, about three hours from Bhubaneswar, and then, on the way to Puri, you can check out the applique work at Pipli village.

Puri is famous for the Jagannath Puri temple, with its fabulous annual procession. Close to Puri is an interesting artisans village called Raghurajpur. The village is famous for Patta Chitra work (paintings on palm leaves). In Orissa you get an opportunity to view dolphins in the Chilka Lake. After you are through with the Sun Temple at Konark, dont forget to pick a few Sambhalpuri sarees.