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Bhitarkanika National Park

 

bhitarkanika-national-park

 

Bhitarkanika National Park is situated in the Kendrapara District on the state of Odisha, India. Spread across an area of 672 km² of the mangrove swamp situated on the delta formed by the three rivers namely Brahmani, Baitarani, and Dhamra. The National Park houses an array of creeks, backwaters, estuaries, deltas and mudhuts. The region has truly preserved and maintained the region’s geomorphic and ecological balance.

Established in the year 1998, the park is surrounded by the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. The mangroves are separated from the Bay of Bengal by the Gahirmatha Beach that lies in the eastern part. This beach is the nesting grounds by hundreds of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles and thus is a protected UNESCO site. Bhitarkanika National Park truly plays a vital role in promoting eco-tourism in Odisha.

Flora

The Bhitarkanika national park is home to over 70 species of Mangrove that is spread across the forest region, park, swamps, marshy lands, ceeks etc. Some of the other flora comprises thespia, casuarinas & sundari and indigo bush grasses. Apart from this, trees of Teak, Hair, Babul, Salaia, Bamboo, Zizphus, Palas and Kauriculata also cover some part in the national park.

Avi-fauna
Bhitarkanika National Park is home to an array of avifauna such as Asian Open Bills, Darters, Egrets, Woodpecker and so on. Additionally, the park is flocked with Ibis & Cormorants, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Brahmany Ducks, Sea Gull, Hornbill, Waders and Bar Headed Geese. Apart from these species, the park is also home to eight varieties of Kingfishers.

Fauna

Owing to the keen efforts of the national park authorities, this protected area had been successful in protecting Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and White Crocodile. Some other species that the park houses are Indian Pythons, rhesus monkeys, black Ibis, darters, wild pigs, cobras, water monitor lizards, wild boars, chitals and spotted deer.

Entry Points
The two main entry points to Bhitarkanika are Khola and Gupti. An array of boat services run by the private sector and the forest department can be availed to reach the Bhitarkanika National Park.

Best Time to Visit
One can visit Bhitarkanika from October to April, when the weather remains pleasant and allows the movement of the wildlife as well as the tourists.

How to Reach Bhitarkanika National Park

Bhadrak and Cuttack are the nearest railheads to Bhitarkanika.
The nearest airports to Bhitarkanika are Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar.
Chandibali, the nearest town to Bhitarkanika is well connected to the other cities of Odisha via road.

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