Endangered saltwater crocodiles, black ibis, white crocodiles, fishing cat, Indian python King Cobra, porcupine, and their other fellow inhabitants, if you ever hear a tale of these mighty jungle creatures then undoubtedly it is coming from the palatial national park settled in the Kendrapara district of Odisha known as Bhitarkanika.
The Ideal Distinction of Bhitarkanika ~
The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is regarded as the country’s sizable and mammoth estuarine crocodile habitats along with being a massive coastal eco-system. The sanctuary was further proclaimed to the status of a National Park owing to its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, and zoological association and significance and for the crucial aim of protection back in the year 1998. In August 2002, it was designated as the second Ramsar site meaning the wetland of international importance present in the Indian subcontinent.
Traits of its unique mangroves ~
This site is one such distinct national park having a large range of biodiversity since it covers various ecosystems including the landmass, estuaries, tidal water bodies of the delta region, territorial waters of the Bay of Bengal which is inclusive of their unique flora and fauna.
Bhitarkanika – The strong and tough mangroves aid as the protective layer element to a much larger extent, as it protects the national park against arising cyclonic storms amid the cyclone phase, or tidal surges along with the other emerging natural catastrophes substituting as a proactive shelterbelt. The unprecedented super cyclone which occurred back in the year October 1999, the mangroves of this forest owns a history of withstanding the onslaught of the massive cyclonic winds which further safeguarded the life and property of millions of people.
Mangrove wetlands perform a variety of high yielding as well as preventive functions. This mangrove wetland of the Indian subcontinent takes pride in being the repository of biological diversity in terms of plant and animal life
Wilds of the forest ~
The ecosystem of Bhitarkanika has the largest number of saltwater crocodile population in the Indian sub-continent. Other reptilian animal life of the forest include Monitor lizard, Indian python, King cobra, and varieties of other snake species. It also has a large number of endangered faunas like a Fishing cat, Leopard cat, Dolphins, and Porpoises.
This unexplored mangrove home of the wild’s is on the other ground quite popular for its Gahirmatha coast that finds a noteworthy position in the turtle map of the globe because of its distinction of possessing one of the world’s enormous nesting and breeding congregation of Olive Ridley Sea turtles.
Mangrove wetlands consisting of the mudflats grant a supreme and absolute feeding, perching, and nesting space to a variety of occupants and migratory waterfowl of the forest.
The gorgeous and the second largest mangrove ecosystem of India. (The wetland supports one of the largest mangrove ecosystems after Sundarbans, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh in the Indian mainland.) This sanctuary is home to various endangered wildlife species. Being the habitat of numerous and the largest share of saltwater crocodiles in India along with being a unique piece of land which takes pride in having the longest saltwater crocodiles within its boundaries, the national park recently made to the Guinness books of the world record for having a 23-foot long crocodile in its region.
Arial Compliments of the forest ~
Nevertheless, the park is also the fondest companion of many bird lovers and photographers, as it has over 215 species of unique colorful birds.
Over 300 Avian species from across the globe arrive at Bhitarkanika each year where 8 distinct varieties are of kingfisher itself. More than 1,20,000 migratory birds migrate to this region, especially during the winter months. And nearly 80,000 Arial creatures are the local inhabitants of this forest area which includes: Cormorants, Asian open bill, and Egrets.
Interestingly, the park also welcomes several migratory birds each year from Central Asia and European regions owing to the particular varieties of its mangroves which is further utilized by them for nestling purposes giving an international level boost to Bhitarkanika tour packages on yearly basis.
Why visit Bhitarkanika ~
At present, the park also has numerous jackals, common langurs, hyena, otter, spotted deers, jungle cats, hornbills, wild boar, water monitor lizards, bar-headed geese, seagull, white-bellied sea eagles, sambar deer, and the list is never-ending.
The mangrove vegetation of the park is all spread out in the wholesome 525 sq km of the region inclusive of both the marshy and wetlands. Apart from the emblematic animal viewing venture the park even provides a chance to each of its visitors for witnessing the crisscrossing unique creeks, the designed mudflats, estuaries, rivers, the beautiful backwaters granting them a full-on jungle type feel coupled with the benefits of camping, trekking or having a forest sort of picnic just like the way shown in movies.
If you are a true traveler craving to explore unknown places instead of publicized tourism then Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary is an ideal choice for you. This place will not only level up your interest in the region’s history with its stories of zamindar properties and temples found inside the core forest region but would also give you absolute reasons to boost your energy after seeing it’s classic jungle road conditions filled with varieties of leaves fallen from the branches of different faunas.
Sole and novel Characteristics of the forest ~
Bhitarkanika is that one forest which has a rich history and refined culture, as it is believed that the king of the region often used to tour the major hotspots of the area for hunting the remains of which are available till date all across its jungle especially the areas surrounding its watchtowers and its Hindu temples.
Teeming with exotic boat rides thrift boat rides the national park attracts tourists from across the world. Having watchtowers placed at distinct positions of the forest, these towers again grants the tourists the much-needed break to take in the cool waves coming from water bodies along with spotting deers, Water Monitor Lizard, Indian Monitor Lizard, Indian chameleon, Indian Python, Estuarine sea snakes, Sand Skink, Banded Kraits,.and it’s other forest mates in candid locations conducting their activities.
All in all, Bhitarkanika tourism provides a dramatic experience, which in reality cannot be brought by coins or paper notes. The long walks, the campfires, the tales of the Hanuman temple situated within the forest premises, the land where darkness engulfs the nature, boating on the water bodies having few of the world’s longest crocodiles along with having typical thali style food. The forest tick marks it all for its tourists which appears one after the other just like the way it takes place in documented tales. Highlighting its expression in the hearts of its visitors for a life long period.