Chilika Lake is a beautiful and diverse destination that offers a range of attractions and activities for visitors whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway, a wildlife adventure, or a cultural exploration.
Best places to visit in Chilika Lake in summer, and why you should add them to your itinerary.
Chilika Lake is the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia and the second largest in the world, covering an area of over 1,100 square kilometers (420 sq mi). It is located on the east coast of India, in the state of Odisha, and spans three districts: Puri, Khordha, and Ganjam. It is fed by 52 streams and rivers and connects to the Bay of Bengal through two outlets. It is a Ramsar site of international importance and a tentative UNESCO World Heritage site.
It is famous for its rich biodiversity, especially its birdlife. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory waterfowl in the Indian sub-continent, hosting over 160 species of birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea, and other remote parts of Russia, Central and Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas. Some of the rare and endangered birds that can be seen in Chilika Lake include the black-necked stork, the Asian dowitcher, the spoon-billed sandpiper, and the lesser flamingo.
Chilika Lake is also home to other wildlife, such as the Irrawaddy dolphin, the fishing cat, the Indian otter, the Indian pangolin, and the olive ridley turtle. The lake supports about 37 species of reptiles and amphibians, and more than 225 species of fish. The lake also has a variety of aquatic plants, such as seagrasses, seaweeds, phytoplankton, and macrophytes.
Chilika Lake is not only a natural wonder but also a cultural treasure. The lake has a long history of human habitation, dating back to prehistoric times. The lake is considered to be sacred by the local people, who worship the deity Jagannath, the lord of the universe, and his consort, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. The lake also has many temples, shrines, and monuments, such as the Kalijai Temple, the Nirmaljhar Temple, the Narayani Temple, and the Chilika Museum.
Chilika Lake is a perfect destination for summer, as it offers a pleasant climate, a scenic landscape, and a variety of activities. Enjoy boating, fishing, crab catching, kayaking, birdwatching, dolphin watching, island hopping, camping, and more. taste the local cuisine, which is famous for its seafood, such as prawns, crabs, oysters, and fish.
Some of the best places to visit in Chilika Lake in summer, and what can expect to see and do there:
Nalaban is an island in the middle of Chilika Lake, which is declared a bird sanctuary. It is a haven for birdwatchers, as it hosts thousands of migratory and resident birds, such as flamingos, pelicans, herons, egrets, storks, ibises, ducks, geese, and waders. The best time to visit Nalaban is from November to February when the birds are in their peak numbers.
Kalijai Temple is a famous temple dedicated to Goddess Kalijai, believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. The temple is located on an island in the southern part of Chilika Lake and is accessible by boat from Balugaon or Rambha. The temple is visited by thousands of devotees, especially during the Makar Sankranti festival in January, when a large fair is held on the island. The temple also offers a panoramic view of the lake and the surrounding hills.
Satapada is a small town on the eastern shore of Chilika Lake and is one of the main entry points to the lake. It is famous for its dolphin-watching tours, where you can see the rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphins in their natural habitat. Visit the nearby islands, such as Honeymoon Island, Beacon Island, Birds’ Island, Breakfast Island, and Somolo Island, where see various birds, plants, and animals.
Also enjoy some water sports, such as jet skiing, speed boating, and banana boating, at Satapada.
• Mangalajodi: Mangalajodi is a village on the northern shore of Chilika Lake, and is another birdwatching hotspot. It is known for its community-based ecotourism initiative, where the local villagers, who were once poachers, have become conservationists and guides. Take a guided boat tour from Mangalajodi to see the birds and the wetlands, and learn about the local culture and livelihood.
These are some of the best places to visit in Chilika Lake in summer, plan your trip to this amazing destination. Chilika Lake is a place where you can experience the divine and the adventurous, the natural and the cultural, and the serene and the lively. It is a place where you can create memories that will last a lifetime.