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One oBhitarkanika Sanctuaryf the greatest benefits of Orissa ‘s vast expanses of unspoilt natural landscape has been its ability to offer a protected yet natural habitat to the state’s incredible wildlife.Apart from the Nandankanan Zoo and sanctuary and Similipal National Park, there are atleast eighteen smaller sanctuaries which are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna ,bird life reptiles and water creatures.Some of the most important experiments of wildlife conservation are taking place in these natural habitat, giving the tourists an excellent opportunity to see nature’s bounty, propagated in an environment that is as healthy as it is beautiful.

Bhitarkanika Sanctuary
Located in the mangrove forest in the coastal belt of Orissa, the Sanctuary has protected the estuarine crocodile since 1975. Further down at Gahirmatha, olive ridley, sea turtles come to nest by millions from south America. This region was converted to a national park in 1998. Numerous migratory birds come to nest in the mangrove islands. The sanctuary is 100 km via Kendrapara & Rajnagar and 160 km from Cuttack.

Tikarapara Sanctuary
The sight of one of the most fabulous vistas of river and forest, the Satakosia gorge where the great Mahanadi river crashes in with monumental force is a dizzyingly enervating experience for the visitors.

The meandering pace of the sensuous river,22 kms of thick forest, offers scenic delight of the frothing, boiling water, as it wends its way through the fabulous gorge, considered to be one of the most enchanting spots in the world. It is the ideal place for boating, angling and other adventure sports.

The gharial sanctuary at Tikarapara is a must see for wildlife fans. Located at about 211 kms from BBSR and 58 kms from Angul, it offers forest bunglow accommodation at strategic places. If you want to camp inside the sanctuary you need special permission to do so.

LeopardSimilipal Sanctuary
Mayurbhanj district is the home of one of the mportant national parks not only in Orissa but also in the country.Spread over an area of 2750 kms.the park was specially chosen by project tiger for continuing the onerous task of conserving for the country’s deteriorating tiger population.One of India’s tiger reserves Similipal has over more than 95 tigers within the lavish bounds of the sanctuary. Leopards, elephants, Mugger crocodiles and numerous reptiles abound here. Over 231 species of birds people the forest and waterways in the park.

A short distance from the capital city, Bhubaneswar, the Nandankanan zoo lies in the splendid environs of the Chandaka forest, along the rippling waters of the Kanjia lake.It also contains a botanical garden and part of it has been declared as sanctuary.

Famous for its white tiger population ,Nandankanan or the Garden of Gods has become a hot family favorite ,with visitors getting an excellent opportunity to enjoy seeing these regal animals in their natural glory- in an environment conductive to their growth. Over 67 kinds of mammals, 18 varieties of reptiles and 81 species of birds coexist in the deeply forested boundaries.

The zoo enjoys an excellent reputation internationally, forsuccessfully breeding black panthers,gharial crocodiles and white tigers in captivity.

Gharial Breeding
For the first time ever, a captive breeding center was created for gharial crocodiles.This important task was also facilitated by the gift of an adult male from the Frankfurt zoo.

White tiger Breeding
One of the raCrocodilesrest creatures in the world the regal white tiger received a new lease of life with the important research and concerted efforts initiated to try and breed them in the natural environs of Nandankanan.

In 1980 on a day full of excitement and jubiliation the first litter of white tigers were born to Deepak and Ganga, two normal tawny tigers. Subsiquent litters of white tigers have been distributed to zoos both at home and aboard.

Currently Nandankanan is home to over 34 white tigers.

Endangered species such as the Asiatic lion, 3 Indian Crocodiles, Shanghai lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Indian pangolin, mouse,deer and countless birds, reptiles and fish have been breeding successfully at Nandankanan.

Some of the other attractions of Nandankanan are the 34 aquaria which are home to a large variety of fresh water fishes. The reptile parks cave –like entrance is guarded by a lifesize dinosaur,Inside, numerous species of crocodiles, lizards turtles and snakes share the park with natural ease.

The rope way connecting the zoo with the botanical garden over the lake, the boating facilities and the toy train for children have added new features.

The Chandaka Elephant Reserve
Only one of its kind it is perfect for ecotourism activities.Apart from the fabulous elephants, Cheetal, Bear, Peafowl, Sambar, and numerous other animals roam about doing their daily business unhampered.

Lakhari valley sanctuary
Located in Ganjam, it has a huge concentration of elephants and other wildlife. Black bucks abound in the Bhetnai regionl.

About 35 kms from Bhawanipatna, the dist. Hq. Of Kalahandi, on Bhawanipatna Thuamula Rampur roud is Karlapat famous for charming wildlife. Tigers, Sambarsm Leopards, Gaur and Chitals have rich presence in these forest tracts.

Other regions such as Debrigarh and Sunabeda are in wildlife too.

Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary
Established in 1962 over a forest area of about 285 square kilometres, the Ushakothi Sanctuary is situated at a distance of about 22 kilometres from Sambalpur. To the west of the Sanctuary lies Hirakud dam. Principally comprising of dry deciduous forest type, floral species like sal, sandalwood, arjun, neem, acacia, casuarinas are of frequent occurrence. The fauna includes, amongst others, tigers, elephants, sambar leopards and bison. Presently there are about 15 tigers and 35 elephants in the sanctuary. It is rich in avifaunal wealth and the main attraction of this sanctuary are racket tail drangos and flying squirrel. For night halts there is one two roomed forest rest house inside the sanctuary. The reservations can be done through the Divisional Forest Officer of the same sanctuary, Bankura District, Sambalpur. The nearest town and railwaystation is Sambalpur and the nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar about 300 kilometres away. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between October and May.

Main Wildlife Found: Tiger, Lepoards, Sambar

Best Time to Visit October to May


Information on wildlife tours, wildlife viewing, wildlife park and nature of Orissa - India

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