Set up in 1962, Ushakothi wildlife sanctuary is sprawling in an area of 285 sq kms. It is located at a distance of 22 kms from the silk city of Sambalpur on NH6 connecting it with Kolkata. The majestic Hirakud Dam lies on the west of the Sanctuary. This small pristine wildlife reserve is home for many wild beasts and serves as abode for numerous flora and Avi fauna. Its wild wealth and natural beauty make it a splendid location for ecotourism, tourists from distant locations flock here to witness this great biodiversity called Ushakothi.
The Royal Bengal Tigers and the wild Asian elephants are the flagship beasts of this sanctuary. Apart from them it also serves as natural habitat for leopards, bisons, Sambars, Nilgais, Cheetals, sloth bears and Wolves. Panthers are sighted occasionally here.
Ushakothi is home for a wide variety of fauna. The most impressive amongst them are the flying squirrels and racket tail drangos.
The forest cover of Ushakothi is primarily Dry deciduous.
Neem, Sal, Acacia, Sandalwood, Arjun, Casuarinas are the common trees of this sanctuary.
Wardha and Penganga are the main rivers flowing through this sanctuary. On occasions the wild animals of Ushakothi venture into the nearby villages following the trail of these rivers.
The wildlife of Ushakothi is primarily comprised of nocturnal. Many watch towers have been erected on the prominent spots to allow the tourists to have an aerial view on the life of these wilds. Jeep Safaris are also available on rent which takes the tourists in the wee hours of the night into the territories dominated Royal Bengal Tigers and Elephants.
Best time to visit this sanctuary is between October to May.
By Air: The nearest Airport Bhubaneshwar is 300 kms form the sanctuary
By Rail: The nearest railhead is Sambalpur which is at a distance of 22 kms, it is also the nearest city to Ushakothi. The Indian Railways network connects Sambalpur with all the major railheads in India.
By Road: Ushakothi is located on the NH6 which makes it easily accessible by road.