If you have a thirst for adventure and you are willing to explore the greenery of the mangrove forests, Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary in Orissa is one of the best places to go for a vacation. The region is surrounded by everything from rivers, islands, beaches, and above all, the serenity and peace you seek during a trip. There are plenty of places to visit in Bhitarkanika that will mesmerize you and that makes for a very fulfilling journey.
Initially, the region was a happy hunting ground for the local kings and later it slipped into the hands of the zamindars. Later, after the abolition of the Zamindari system, the forests were taken up for conservation by the government. In the year 1988, the region was designated as a National Park.
Things to do and Major attractions:
Bhitarkanika tourism is rich in variety as you have numerous options to pick from as a tourist. The Bhitarkanika National Park is known for over 55 species of mangroves that grow here and attract the migratory birds. Leopards, saltwater crocodiles, hyena, wild boar, and jungle cat are some of the animals you might see during the safari. One of the major attractions besides the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is the Garhimata National Park that is a sea beach. This was made into a protected National Park because the place is frequented by the rare and endangered Olive Ridley Turtles for their nesting site. There is an ancient Shiva Temple that is popular among the tourist attractions of this region.
Near Bhitarkanika there is another amazing place for wildlife enthusiasts and that is the Simplipal National Park where you will find tigers, sloth bears, leopards, elephants, and numerous other animals. There is also the beautiful Joranda Falls and Barohipani Falls within the National Park. The other popular places that attract tourists are Udaigiri, Nandagiri, and the Palace.
People and Culture:
Local inhabitants are dependent on tourism and forestry and you can experience a rich wealth of tribal and local culture while you are here. The people have managed to preserve the culture and tradition over the years.
Local Food and Popular Shopping Items:
You will find delicious food in The Crocodile Restaurant. It is advised to carry your food and water while you are here.
There are not many shopping options around Bhitarkanika. To pick up souvenirs, you must look for shopping destinations in the nearest towns.
Best Time to Visit:
You can visit Bhitarkanika all through the year as long as you avoid the rainy season when the roads are often blocked. So if you do not go during June to October, visit whenever it suits you. Summers and winters are enjoyable here and you can explore the region properly.
Availability of Accommodation Type:
There are living options near Bhitarkanika and you will find all kinds of hotels and resorts. The Sand Pebbles Bhitarkanika Jungle Resort is the most popular hotel here. The other popular choices of the tourists are the Toshali Ratnagiri Resort and Toshali Udayagiri Resort among others.