If you are looking for a place off the beaten track for your next holiday, Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary could well be your destination. For sea, sand and adventure. Because the Bhitarkanika group of islands in northeastern Odisha offers not just great beaches but exciting trekking trails through forests teeming with wildlife and some thrilling boat rides.
Bhitarkanika Sanctuary is spread in an area of 672 sq. kms. The sanctuary comprises Mangrove forests and rivers, with innumerable crisscrossed tidal inundated creeks. The forests and creeks of Bhitarkanika provide habitat to the endangered salt water Crocodiles. Besides the Crocodiles, Bhitarkanika sanctuary is also home to rich avifauna, mammalian and reptilian population such as King Cobra, Indian Python and Water Monitor Lizard.
Getting to Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary
The easiest way to visit the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is by an organized trip with any travel or trekking trip, which includes pick-up from Bhubaneswar and visits to the in and around Bhitarkanika destinations.
If you want to go your own then getting here by public transport is a bit of a mission. Two or three direct buses to Dangmal leave from Cuttack.
There are three early-morning buses from Dangmal. The 5am and 7am both go as far as Kendrapara (a small town just past Pattamundai), from where you can catch onward transport to Cuttack or Chandikhol (for the Pusphagiri ruins). The 6am bus goes all the way to Cuttack. After that, you’ll have to catch an autorickshaw from Dangmal to Rajnagar (around ₹600) from where the last bus to Cuttack leaves at 2pm. You can also take one of the 10 or so trains (2¼ to three hours) to Bhadrak (the nearest railhead, 60km away from Bhitarkanika) from Bhubaneswar and request to be picked up from there by Nature Camp Bhitarkanika.
There are so many things to be explored in Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary. In this place one can find hoards of Chitals all around, even gazing near the Guest House, unperturbed by human presence and cameras. Of the many islands in BhitarKanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Dangmal is the most prominent one for its population of salt-water crocodiles that one must visit. Visitors can enjoy a boat ride through the mangroves to explore the sanctuary.