Odisha is a spectacular state which has a lot to offer to the tourists. Chilka ( Chilika ) Lake is beautiful pear shaped lake which stretches across 1100 Sq km. Located just south of Puri, the sea blends in with Chilka Lake to create the largest briny water lake in Asia. Lake is home for many migratory birds in winter (November through March – best time to visit). According to a survey Chilka Lake attracts 150 species of migratory birds every year and hence is a bird watcher’s paradise. The lagoon is also home for 14 types of raptors, around 152 rare Irrawaddy dolphins, red crabs, other species of fishes and amphibians. The wide array of aquatic flora and fauna can be seen in and around its brackish water. The spectacular array of birds, both native and migrant, makes Chilka Lake one of the best places in India for bird lovers.
Visit to Chilka Lake
Summer vacations had begun and kids wanted to go out station. We wanted to visit a place where kids would enjoy too hence we pinned on Chilka lake of Odisha. Our travel was scheduled for the last week of May. We took flight from Delhi to Bhubaneswar Airport and from Bhubaneswar to Chilka Lake hotel via Intercity Exp. Train. (Minimum time a train takes to reach Chilka Lake is 1hr 40m and this is the fastest way to reach lake. There are 5 trains which go to Chilka Lake).
Stay at Chilka lake
Our stay was at Barkul Panth Nivas. As we had book our stay online we got our AC cottage, which was nice and had gardens with swings for kids. Next day we had our booking at 8Am for Kalijai Temple. (The booking for the Kalijai Island can finalised a day prior with the local Speed boat at the Barkul) Our boatman had come to our hotel to pick us up. We got in to his speed boat at the water sports complex and move towards the opening into Chilka.
Our destination Kalijai Temple was 10km away (We carried a lot of food and eateries and water bottles). After an hour of boat ride we saw the temple. Temple of goddess Kalijai (Goddess Kali), we offered our prayers. It plays host to a huge fair in the month of January on “Makar Sankranti”.
Rich Heritage of Chilka Lake
Chilka Lake is dotted with number of beautiful Islands, The Islands of Nalbana is another major attraction as it happens to be a Sanctuary, It is a bird’s watcher’s paradise indeed! My little one had a great time spotting the birds and red crabs. The entire day was amazing. Next day we left early in the morning for “Rajhans Island, hidden paradise in Chilka“. It is spectacular seeing a thin stretch of sand separating Chilka Lake from the open waters of “Bay of Bengal”.
I was bewitched by the sight, on the one hand the calm water of the lagoon was like soft music to my ears and the trees were dancing with the music (wind) and on the other side of the sand I could witness and hear the crashing of the ocean waves. Oh! The captivating sight was so breath-taking! We spend the rest of our day in the Island, ate fresh roasted shrimps and crabs and yes, nice cold beer.
We had a chance to sight dolphins cruising through the Lake. My little champ, who was busy making castle of sands, was jumping with the joy to see Dolphins. Beware of frauds who try to sell pearls from the shells. Next day we headed to Satapada (means Seven Village in Oriya) It is located 50Km from Puri. We took a Ac taxi and left for Puri.