Archive for the 'Island tourism' Category

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. 

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.

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


Shamuka beach high end luxury tourism project in Puri with multiple 5 star hotels; other hotel projects

Angul, Anugul- Talcher - Saranga- Nalconagar, Beaches, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Hotels and resorts, Island tourism, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Jajpur Rd- Vyasanagar- Duburi- Kalinganagar, Jharsugurha, Jharsugurha- Brajarajnagar- Belpahar, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Puri, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING, Websites of Interest Comments Off on Shamuka beach high end luxury tourism project in Puri with multiple 5 star hotels; other hotel projects

Update: The Orissa government’s tourism web page has additional information on the Shamuka beach project.

Following is an excerpt on this from

Shamuka Beach in Orissa near Puri is being developed as a high-end luxury tourism destination by the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation. The department has acquired a 1000 acre property south of Puri, and is in the process of acquiring 2000 acres more. It is a natural island and is being developed by the name Shamuka Beach project. Divulging further details about the project, Asit K Tripathi, secretary, Orissa Tourism, says, "It is going to be one of India’s best integrated, dedicated and up market tourism project, with only 5-star hotels. We had advertised and the response has been overwhelming. We have got responses from leading players in the country as well as abroad. ITC-Welcomgroup, the DLF-Hilton combine, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, IHHR’s Ananda Spa, Casino Group of Hotels Earth (CGH Earth), The Oberoi Group, Apeejay Surrendra Group, Marriott International, and Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific have all shown interest. We can allot land to approximately 20 national and international hotel brands. We are coming out with a blue print to develop infrastructure. The third stage will be to establish a golf course and convention center. This will raise the value of Orissa as a leisure destination." "Although we have 934 hotels in Orissa and 2000 rooms, the majority cater to primarily low spending groups, and the rest target high spending tourists or corporates. With this initiative, within 1-2 years, we will have more quality rooms," says Devi Prasad Mishra, tourism minister, Orissa. Samukha Beach and Puri, as well as industrial growth centers like Paradeep, Talcher, Kalinganagar, as well as Jharsuguda and Angul have generated interest from the hospitality industry in recent times – especially budget hotels and business hotels. The no-frills brand of The Indian Hotels Company, Ginger Hotels opened their first hotel in Bhubaneshwar. Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific plans to open its Radisson Hotels & Resorts in Chilika, Puri and Bhubaneswar. Cabana Group, the master licensee of the world-renowned chain of hotels – Best Western International from California is setting-up an international standard culinary college cum 5-star property in Bhubaneswar, and is eyeing Puri to develop the brand.


Island tourism for three Chilika islands

Chilika, Island tourism, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT and SHOPPING Comments Off on Island tourism for three Chilika islands

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.