Archive for the 'Ecotourism' Category

Current and planned eco-toursim centers in Odisha

Angul, Balasore, Bhadrakh, Bhitarakanika, Ecotourism, Gajapati, Kandhamala, Kendrapada, Mayurbhanj, Nature spots, Satkosia gorge and tiger reserve, Similpal, Waterfalls Comments Off on Current and planned eco-toursim centers in Odisha

Following is an excerpt from an article in Pioneer.

In the biodiversity management, three eco-tourism destination sites were developed in Satkosia, Bhitarakaniaka and Similipal. Community reserves and heritage sites were developed in five places. Bichitrapur mangrove area near Jaleswar, Rissia wildlife sanctuary in Baleswar wildlife division, Mandasaur in Phulbani forest division, Khasada waterfall, Black Pepper plantations, Gandahati waterfall and Red Sanders plantations in Paralakhemindi Forest Division were taken up for development as  new eco-tourism destinations.


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.

Camping on the riverbed in Satkosia: a Telegraph travel report

Angul, Ecotourism, Nature spots, River Cruise, Satkosia gorge and tiger reserve, Tourist promotion, Wild life 1 Comment »

The full article by Bibhuti Barik is at Following is the graphic from that article.

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


Bhitarakanika, a Ramsar site of International importance, is proposed for a world heritage site

Bhadrakh, Bhitarakanika, Dhamara- Chandbali- Bhitarakanika, Ecotourism, Heritage sites, Island tourism, Kendrapada, River Cruise, Tourist promotion, Turtle nesting sites, Wild life Comments Off on Bhitarakanika, a Ramsar site of International importance, is proposed for a world heritage site

Following is an excerpt from a report in

… In India, just five natural sites have been accorded the WHS status. Manas, Kaziranga, Keoladeo, Sundarbans and Valley of Flowers – all national parks – have made it to the list between 1985 and 1988. No natural site has made into the list after that.

Currently, the Sun Temple at Konark is the only site in Orissa to have been accorded the elite WHS status. The Sri Jagannath Temple at Puri was proposed but in vain.

This time around, the Government of India has chosen seven natural sites to be projected before Unesco. Deserts have made it to the list this year.

It is Bhitarkanika’s unique eco-system that has worked in its favour. After Sunderbans, it is home to the second largest mangrove forest in India.

The wetland, one of India’s finest coastal ecosystems, is home to the country’s biggest salt water crocodiles. The latest crocodile census has put their number at over 1,500. Besides, it possesses Gahirmatha, largest nesting ground for Olive Ridley turtles in the world.

However, much depends on the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, which is entrusted with the responsibility of presenting the case of the natural sites before Unesco. In fact, role of IUCN too would come to play during selection in case of natural sites.

In view of its exquisite flora and fauna, the State Government had notified it as a wildlife sanctuary in 1975. The sanctuary spreads over 672 sq km. In 1998, the core area of Bhitarkanika consisting of 145 sq. km was declared a national park.

The area was accorded the status of Ramsar site of International Importance in 2002 in view of its unique and fragile biodiversity. A proposal to notify it as a biosphere is underway.

The following map is from

Following are some pictures from a report in

Following is a description of it from

Widely acclaimed for its biodiversity in flora and fauna, it is the second largest compact mangrove ecosystem in India. It is also a Sanctuary and National Park. Extending over more than six hundred square kilometres, it is one of the very few evergreen repository of most luxuriant mangrove vegetation in the world. More than sixty varieties of mangrove plants are found here which provide home to a variety of rare and endangered species. The pneumatophores, better known as breathing roots, stand like sentries of the land.

Bounded by rivers on the three sides and the sea on the fourth, Bhitarkanika is criss crossed by numerous creeks and canals which finally meet the sea and make the estuarine delta, the playground of the Bay of Bengal. When the tide enters, the forest floats and the water kisses the foliage. As it recedes, the multi layer mud flats on the banks of the creeks expose their bosom with fiddler crabs, mud skipper fish, little reptiles and the like. it’s a sight to watch.

This deltaic region comprises a couple of tiny islands formed by the meandering creeks. With Dangmal at the centre stage (the others being Ekakula, Habalikhati etc), Bhitarakanika is a natural habitat of a lot of wild creatures like Crocodiles, King Cobra, Pythons, Wild Pigs, Rhesus Monkey, Sambars, Spotted Deer etc. There. is a Crocodile Breeding Farm at Dangmal. The pride possession of this Farm is the White Crocodile Sankhua, a rare species in the World.

Over 170 species of resident and migratory birds of different hue enhance the beauty of the wild. Prominent among them are King Fisher, Open billed Storks, Sea Eagles, Kites, Sand Pipers, Darters, Whistling Teals, Sea Gulls, etc. The chirping of birds nesting at Baga Gahana is sure to leave an indelible impression in any body’s mind. Watching the wildlife in their natural habitat while cruising through the creeks is a thrilling experience. A trek on the laid out routes will also be equally rewarding.

Another amazing phenomenon of nature here is the visit of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles to Gahirmatha in lakhs twice every year between January and March to lay eggs en masse.

An unexpected additional attraction is the remains of tw 9th century monument – a temple dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and the other, a Shakti Shrine at Dangmal.

Away from the blinding lights and deafening sound, Bhitarakanika is a different world altogether, a real retreat in the lap of nature. Once in here, the world outside will virtually disappear. Back in work place, the memory will haunt like a fairy tale.

Entry Points :
Permission to visit Bhitarakanika can be obtained from Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar, PIN : 754225, Ph: (06729) 72460 or Assistant Conservator of Forests, Chandbali, Pin . 756133, Ph: (06786) 20372 on payment of prescribed fees.
Best season to visit – October to June.

Approach : Bhitarakanika can be approached only through water ways. Most convenient entry points being –

    *      Chandbali (60 km from Bhadrak and 190 km from Bhubaneswar)
    *      Rajnagar (30 km from Kendrapara and 130 km from Bhubaneswar)
    *      Gupti (25 km from Rajnagar)

Motor boats are available on hire
Rajnagar to Dangmal – 3 hrs
Chandbali to Dangmal – 3 hrs
Gupti to Dangmal – 1.5 hrs
Regular bus service are available to Chandbali and Rajnagar.

Nearest Rail head –

    *      Bhadrak (60 km from Chandbali)
    *      Balasore (110 km from Chandbali)
    *      Cuttack (110 km from Rajnagar)
    *      Bhubaneswar (190 km from Chandbali and 130 km from Rajnagar)

Nearest Airport – Bhubaneswar and Kolkata


    *      Aranyanivas, Chandbali
      Reservation : Tourist Officer, Balasore. Ph : (06782) 362048
    *       Forest Lodge-Dangmal, Ekakula, Gupti and Habalikhati.
      Reservation : Divisional, Forest Officer, Mangrove,,Forest,Division, Rajnagar. Dist: Kendrapada, PIN -754225 Ph.(06729), 72460. 

Travel tales of Orissa: a beautiful blog of travels to various scenic places and temples in Orissa

Ecotourism, Hills and hill stations, Lakes, Mahanadi tourism, Nature spots, Puri, Travelogue, Waterfalls 2 Comments »

Following are the links as of today:

Ecotourism in Chilika

Chilika, Ecotourism, Island tourism Comments Off on Ecotourism in Chilika

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.

Ecotourism plan for Balianta and Balipatna near Bhubaneswar: Samaja

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Ecotourism, Puri, Samaja (in Odia) Comments Off on Ecotourism plan for Balianta and Balipatna near Bhubaneswar: Samaja

Ecotourism plan for Balianta and Balipatna near Bhubaneswar:


World Tourism Organization interested in developing Chandipur-Balaramgadi beach

Balasore, Balasore- Chandipur, Beaches, Ecotourism Comments Off on World Tourism Organization interested in developing Chandipur-Balaramgadi beach

Following is an excerpt from a news item in on this.

World Tourism Organisation (WTO), a United Nations body has expressed its interest to develop the coastline from Chandipur to Balaramgadi as a tourist resort of international standard.

Recently, a seven member expert team of WTO headed by James Craig Jessamine has visited the 3 km beach to examine its potential for growth and marketing.

Maintaining it as one of the world’s best tourist sites, the expert team has stressed on immediate steps to arrest coastal erosion, besides development of the beach site.

The WTO members included tourism infrastructure specialist Samuel E Sapuay, Thomas Fletcher, Richardian Batchelor, KVS Menon, Bez Beoura and BN Mishra also discussed the matter with government officers, NGOs and hoteliers after visiting the site.

"Considering Chandipur as base point for coastal development, the team put forth a plan to erect one tourist resort of international standard over 200 acres of land between the Panthaniwas and Balaramgadi," said ADM Sribatsa Jena, who accompanied the team.

… Of the 480-km coastline in Orissa, the golden beach of Chandipur in Balasore district has a unique characteristic of its own. …
It is the only beach where the seawater recedes more than five km everyday and return rhythmically after a regular interval – a phenomenon seldom found anywhere else. It’s like magic when one can see the sea literally vanishing before his own eyes and coming back as if playing hide and seek with the beholder.

"This uniqueness has attracted WTO to develop it as a tourist resort of world class," said Balasore Collector Alekh Chandra Padhiary.

The Collector said that with an assistance of Rs 2.06 crore from government of India the tourism department has started preliminary work for the development of Chandipur beach. …

Ecotourism to start in Similipal: Samaja

Ecotourism, Similpal Comments Off on Ecotourism to start in Similipal: Samaja


Tender call for establishing tent camps in Chilika Islands: Samaja

Chilika, Ecotourism, Forest camps, Island tourism, Nature spots Comments Off on Tender call for establishing tent camps in Chilika Islands: Samaja


Ministry of tourism sanctions some projects in Orissa

Ecotourism, Nature spots, Satkosia gorge and tiger reserve, Village Tourism Comments Off on Ministry of tourism sanctions some projects in Orissa

Following are excerpts from the PIB

During the current financial year the Ministry has sanctioned so far Rs.323.00 crore for various projects throughout the country. This is an all time record and will facilitate timely execution of projects during the working season.

Some of the important infrastructure projects which have been sanctioned in the current financial year are:

A. Heritage Destinations/Circuits

III. The project of Development of Mahanadi Central Heritage (Rs.3.94 crore) has been sanctioned. In this project Jetties, River Bank, Nature Trail, picnic area, etc. will be developed at various places along the river to enhance the experience of visitors to these destinations.

C. Rural Tourism

[Note: Its not clear if the “Mahanadi Central Heritage” project covers parts of Orissa or not.]

The Ministry has launched the redesigned website which is very visitor friendly. 36 sites are being developed in collaboration with UNDP for Rural Tourism in various States. 15 sites have been completed and these places are ready for marketing from 31st October, 2007. These projects will facilitate revival of art & craft, encouragement to local skills and pride in diversity.

The list of 36 is given at It has two locations from Orissa: Pipli and Raghurapur. The above document also has a larger list of 77 locations which has 6 locations from Orissa. Those six are: Raghurajpur, Pipli, Khiching, Barpali, Hirapur and Padmanavpur.

E. Eco tourism

II. The project of development of Satkosia in Orissa (Rs. 4.25 crore) has been sanctioned in which Interpretation Centre, Landscaping, Elephant camps, Trekking park, Watch Towers and parking facilities, etc. are proposed to be developed.

Oyster park in Puri

Beaches, Chilika, Ecotourism, Nature spots, Puri, Puri, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING Comments Off on Oyster park in Puri

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.

Padmatola lake and Kuldiha sanctuary

Balasore, Ecotourism, Lakes, National Parks and Sanctuaries Comments Off on Padmatola lake and Kuldiha sanctuary

The New Indian Express has a report regarding plans to revamp the Padmatola Lake in Balasore district to attract eco-tourists. Following is an excerpt.

The lake in a picturesque location at Kansa near Nilagiri, is spread over 41.26 acres. Migratory birds in large numbers visit it during winter. The Kuldiha sanctuary is also about 10 km away.

Ecotourism: CM’s suggestion of camps inside forest to be implemented

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Following are excerpts from a Pragativadi report:

For the first time, the state government, under its eco tourism has decided to set up camps inside the forest for the tourists, to be known as the eco camp.

The state government has taken elaborate measures to attract the tourists to enjoy the long stretch of forests replete with wild animals in the state.

This novel scheme is the brainchild of chief minister Navin Patnaik under whose directive, the forest and environment department has taken up the eco camp project.
The tourists, during their stay at these eco camps would enjoy the natural forest landscape and witness free movement of wild animals.

The department, in its first phase has decided to set up three eco camps at Ramchandi, Sankuda and Rajhansa islands.

In the next phase, these camps would be set up at Satkosia-Baisipalli, Bhitarakanika, Similipal, Talasari-Dogra, Ushakothi-Badarama, Koraput, Phulbani, Hirakud and some other selected places.

Talking to this paper, tourism minister Debi Prasad Mishra said that a project report on eco camp has been completed.

The project would be taken up on a public-private partnership while the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation would construct the eco camps, he added.
As per the project proposal, laid down by the tourism department, the eco camps would be set up at a selected site in the forest where permanent tents would be set up.

These tents will have toilet and food arrangement facilities. The tourists can stay at these tents in night if they wish. The forest staffs would provide adequate security for the tourists and enable them to enjoy the landscape and free movement of wild animals. The state tourism department would seek cooperation from the forest department in this connection. Mishra said that there has been gradual increase in the number of tourists in the state to enjoy its natural environment.

He said that since tourists are keen to enjoy the 480-km long sea coast with a long stretch of forest cover, natural streams laced with a variety of flora and fauna while staying within the natural environment, the state government has come up with eco camp concept that would surely provide a thrilling experience to the tourists.

Economic Times also reports on this.