Indian Wildlife >> East India >> Orissa >> Bhitarkanika Sanctuary

Bhitarkanika Sanctuary

Location : 190 km from Bhubaneswar, Rajnagar Tehsil, Kendrapa District, Orissa Coverage area : 170-sq-kms
Main attractions : Estuarine Crocodile & Pacific Ridley Sea Turtles
Best time to visit : Mid-October to Mid-March
Accommodation : Forest rest houses & Tourist cottages
Arrival information : 
-- By rail : The nearest railhead is situated at Cuttack and Bhadrakh. 
-- By air : The nearest airport is situated at Bhubaneswar.
-- By road : One can reach the sanctuary from north through Rajnagar via Bhadrakh and from south through  Rajnagar via Pattamundai, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
Nearby excursions : Assia range-Lalitagiri and Ratnagiri. These hills possess the ruins of the most unique  Buddhist monastic complex in the world.
Nearby cities : Kendrapada, Konark, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar  

Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary is an adventurist's paradise. It is also a breeding ground for the Olive Ridley turtles. This is the largest forest of the country. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1975, just to protect the estuarine crocodile and turtles in their rare mangrove habitat.

Flora :
Out of seventy-two species of Mangroves identified in the world, sixty-three species are found in Bhitarkanika. Some of the species are Avicennia, Exocaeria, Rhizophora, Soneratia, Heritiera and Phoenix, etc.

Fauna :
Reptiles are the dominant species here. The area is equally rich in mamals, birds, amphibians and fishes besides insects and other micro fauna. This has the largest concentration of estuarine crocodiles with as large as 22feet. The Gahirmatha beach in this sanctuary is also the largest rookery of "Olive Ridley" turtles in the world. 
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