Chilika Lake (Bird's Paradise)


Chilika lake is a brackish water lagoon, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha state on the east coast of India, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal, covering an area of over 1,100 km2.It is the Asia's biggest internal salt water pond studded with few tiny islands including the most charming Honeymoon Island and the Breakfast Island. This pear shaped lake, separated from the Bay of Bengal; also imbibes one of the most supportive ecosystem in the name of Chilka Lake Sanctuary in the region. With a wide range of flora, fauna and aquatic faunas, observed in and around the brackish water of the lake.The lagoon hosts over 160 species of birds in the peak migratory season.

Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. The lagoon is also home to 14 types of raptors. Around 152 rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphins have also been reported. Plus, the lagoon supports about 37 species of reptiles and amphibians.Microalgae, marine seaweeds, sea grasses, fishes and crabs also flourish in the brackish water of the Chilika Lagoon. As per the Chilika Development Authority, 323 aquatic species, which includes 261 fish species, 28 prawns and 34 crabs are reported out of which sixty five species breed in the lake.27 species are freshwater fishes and two genera of prawns. The Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) is the flagship species of Chilika lake. Chilika is home to the only known population of Irrawaddy dolphins in India. A small population of Bottlenose dolphins, also migrate into the lagoon from the sea.

Many small islands are in the lake ,among them Kalijai island is ideally being treated as the abode of Goddess Kalijai. Pilgrims flock here in January during Makar Mela (at the time of Makar Sankranti) to pay obeisance to the Goddess. The ancient belief of the locals describes that a girl named jai was drowned in the island, when she went to her inlaws house after marriage with her husband and father.The local folks used to hear her cries in the Kalijai Island area.

Places To Visit: Travel Info:

Best time to visit: Winter (Oct-Mar)

District: Ganjam

Elevation: 1m

Popular Cuisine: Sea food

Specialities: Brakish water lagoon, islands, Kalijai Temple, Migratory birds, Boating, Water Sports, Dolphin

Nearest Bus Stop: Satapada, Chilika

Nearest Railway Station: Chilika

Travel Options: Train, Bus, Cab

Nearest town: Berhampur

Distance from Bhubaneswar: 103 km

Average user rating

5 / 5

Rating breakdown

80% Complete (danger)
80% Complete (danger)
80% Complete (danger)
80% Complete (danger)
80% Complete (danger)
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