Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Orissa and it is one of the few sanctuaries in India, which has crocodiles and turtles as its prized attractions. The sanctuary is spread over an area of 650 sq km and was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1975. The sanctuary is a protected zone for estuarine crocodiles. The sanctuary is also home to a number of birds and every year a large number of migratory birds come to nest into the mangrove area. The other animals that you can see at the Bhitarkanika sanctuary include King Cobra, Indian Python and Water Monitor Lizard.
Every year large number of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles flock at the Gahirmatha coast to lay their eggs. These turtles attract a number of wildlife enthusiasts to Bhitarkanika National Park. To ensure the safety of these turtles, the area was converted into a national park in 1998.
Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary is rich in marine vegetation and trees like sundari, casuarinas, thespia and grasses like the indigo bush. The fauna at the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary include estuarine crocodiles, sea turtles, wild pigs, chitals and rhesus monkeys. You can see a large number of birds at the sanctuary that include fish eagle and white-necked sea eagle.
Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary is about 160 kilometres from Cuttack via Chandhali and about 100 kilometres if you come via Kendrapara and Rajnagar.
There are a number of tourist places around Bhitarkanika that you can visit. Kendrapara, Cuttack, Konark and Bhubaneswar are some of the popular tourist attractions that you can include in your itinerary.
Light cotton clothing in summer and light woollen garments is essential during winter at the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary. Prior booking and travel information will help in making your wildlife tour a smooth affair.
The temperature in the region can go up to 34°C in summer while in winter the temperature can drop to 13°C.
Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport to Bhitarkanika and is about 190 kilometres from the sanctuary. The nearest railhead is Bhadrak, which is at the distance of 77 kilometres. You can travel to Chandabali, which is 35 kilometres and well connected by road with other parts of Orissa. You can also take a ferry to Nalitapatia from Chandabali.
You can stay at Dangmal, Ekabula and Gupti forest houses on your tour to Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary. It is ideal to make advance booking as the rest houses are limited.