Archive for the 'Wild life' Category

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. 

Tiger presence in Orissa

Wild life Comments Off on Tiger presence in Orissa

Following is an excerpt from a report in Kalinga Times.

The details of the latest report titled `Status of the Tigers, Co-predators, and Prey in India ‘ (2008), published jointly by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and WII, were made public in New Delhi on Tuesday.

According to the report, Orissa has a total forest cover of 27,427 sq km with mapable tiger occupancy reported in 9,144 sq km. Orissa reported mapable leopard presence in 25,516 sq km, dhole presence in 8,215 sq km and Sloth bear presence in 43,236 sq km of forested habitat.

Amongst prey species wild pig were reported from 21,525 sq km, nilgai 711 sq km, chital from 6,040 sq km, Gaur from 2,772 sq km and sambar from 6,112 sq km of forested habitat.

“Tigers were distributed in four larger occupied units, three smaller units and sporadic occurrences largely in Southern and Central part of the State.

“The larger occupied units comprise of:
a) Simlipal Landscape comprising of 3824 sq km patch of forest has recorded tiger presence in 2 units having a total tiger occupancy of 2297 sq km with an estimated tiger population of 20 (17-34) tigers.

b) Sunabeda-Udanti-Indravati Landscape is part of a contiguous forest patch of 34,000 sq km having a tiger occupancy of 570 sq km of about 9 (7-11) tigers.

c) Tiger population in the tehsil of Malakangiri in the district of Koraput comprising the sanctuary of Balimela and Kondakamberu comprises a part of the forested patch of 6254 sq km that extends from East Godavari , Khammam and Vishakapatnam of Andhra Pradesh.

Tiger occupancy in this forest patch in Orissa was reported in 879 sq km. Sporadic tiger presence is recorded in several places within Koraput district.

d) Satkosia Landscape is part of a forest patch of 13,459 sq km and has tiger occupancy in 787 sq km with several smaller pockets reporting tiger presence. The low density population was estimated to about 6 tigers. The area covers the districts of Phulbani, Gangam, and Kalahandi,” the report said.

“The smaller tiger occupied units having between 6-8 tigers were:
a) In the forested area of Raigarha tehsil in Koraput district with a tiger occupancy of 97 sq km.

b) The tiger occupancy of 221 sq km was recorded in Sundergarh tehsil.

c) The Bargarh tehsil having an occupancy of 142 sq km.

“The total tiger population in Orissa was estimated to be 45 (37 to 53) tigers,” according to the report.

According to the recommendations made in the report, the major source population of tigers in Orissa is in Simlipal. Due to its large size and good habitat it can potentially sustain a viable population for long term conservation. It also has the potential to connect with the forests of Saranda in Jharkhand.

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 latter’s visiting centre.

Estimated at a budget of Rs 15 lakh, the park’s 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.”

Wildlife rescue center in Kapilas

CENTER & ODISHA, Dhenkanal, Nature spots, Temples, Wild life Comments Off on Wildlife rescue center in Kapilas

Statesman reports that the central government is planing to establish one of three animal rescue centers in Orissa. Following are excerpts of that report.

Kapilas is chosen only to house the wild lives rescued from different places for protection of wild animals. …

Kapilas is chosen for various reasons such as suitable infrastructure, water flows, habitable environment for wild animals, natural forest growth, an existing deer park and communication for proper management and other facilities. Divisional forest division has already communicated to government about existing facilities and amenities available in Kapilas.

The purpose of the centre is to bring those wild animals being wounded or troubling villagers in human habitation to be brought to the rescue centre from different places. Thus animals including elephants will be protected and villagers be tension free. After primary care they will be sent back to forest. Union ministry will take a decision in the last week of this month to approach the Supreme Court for final approval. If approved, Kapilas will be first rescue centre in Orissa.

Kapilas is 16 kms from Dhenkanal and considered a tourist spot.