Chilka - The Destination
with bird life, thick with fishes and strewn with lush green
wetlands along its shores—welcome to Chilika Lake,
a vision straight out of a picture book. One of Asia’s
largest lagoons, this wetland of the Indian subcontinent
sustains over 25,000 small fishermen. It attracts a large
number of aquatic birds, most of which are the focus of
intensive studies and research.
Studded with many small islands,
including the picturesque Honeymoon Island
and Breakfast Island—a sandy ridge separates
the lake from the Bay of Bengal. An extraordinary
array of bird life, both native and migrant, makes
Chilika one of the best places for all bird lovers.
Among other rare birds, Chilika is home to one of
the world’s largest breeding colonies of flamingos.
Chilika is the abode of the Goddess Kali. In fact,
Chilika has an island dedicated to the
Goddess , by the name Kalijai. A
ferry or a boat is
always available to cross over.
On the shore of the lake, is the Orissa tourism rest
house - the rooms are a good bet for they overlook
the lake. The other advantage is the mouthwatering
sea food which is served here - fortunately, there
are no birds on the menu or one would tend to suspect
the cause for dwindling numbers! The lake is fascinating
and if you can brave the luxury of time, it is certainly
a journey worth making.
Chilka - Facts at a Glance
||1100 sq kms
- 73°C (Summers)
17°C - 24°C (Winters)
best time to visit this picturesque lake is
between October to March. This is the time when
migrating birds—almost 50-70 species -cover
thelake. Also, pilgrims flock this place during
Makar Mela (at the time of Makar Sankranti)
to pay respects to Goddess Kali at the Kalijai
Attractions in Chilka
All you prudent bird-watchers will find the
Chilika Lake an appropriate destination. Birds
like Cormorants, Pond Herons, Egrets, Snipes
Stints and Water Fowls flock around the lake
all throughout the year. During the recommended
months of winter, nearly 50-70 species of migratory
birds visit the lake. They assemble around the
shallow waters surrounding the unpopulated island
15 km North-East of Chilika known as Nalban.
Winter would present you a magnificent sight
with a lot of migratory birds feeding, preening
their feathers, or simply splashing in the water.
These migratory birds include Pochards, Brahminy Duck,
Grey-leg goose, Sandpipers, Spot-Billed Pelican, Teals,
Gulls and Albatross. These birds come mostly from
the Himalayas and Siberian region where the water
freezes in the winter and they can no longer feed
there. Chilika preserves
its natural green lush shrublands near the lake front
so that it can preserve this natural bird sanctuary.