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Wild Life in Orissa

Bhitar Kanika




Nandan Kanan

The site of one of the most fabulous vistas of river and forest, the Satkosia Gorge where the great Mahanadi river crashes with monumental force is an enervating, if dizzying, experiance. The meandering pace of the sensuous river through 22 km of thick forest offers scenic delights of the frothing, boiling water as it wends its way through the awesome gorge is considered to be one of the most enchanting spots in the world. It is an idealplace for white water rafting and other adventure sports. Located in these wonderous surroundings is the Gharial Sanctuary where Gharial crocodiles are bred. A success story of conservation, this crocodile breeding farm is a must for all wildlife enthusiasts.

Gahirmatha (Marine)
District:- Kendrapara
Area (sq. km) 1435.00
Ideal season for visit October-February
Contact Officer
D.F.O.: Mangrove Forest Division (WL), Rajnagar
FAX/Phone: 906729) 272460(O), 272464(R)
Asst. Conservator of Fprests (Wildlife)
Phone: (06786) 220072

Close to the Bhitar Kanika Sanctuary is another of Orissa's special sanctuaries - the Gahirmatha Turtle Sanctuary. This stretch of beach is the breeding ground for the giant Olive Ridley Turtles, who travel all the way from the Pacific Ocean to mate and lay their eggs here. Every year, thousands of these wonderous creatures can be seen here. In order to protect the turtles, special arrangements have been made by the Government of Orissa.

Located 77 kms from Bhawanipatna and 45 kms from Nowrangpur, Ambapani is famous for the   deity of Budharaja installed in a small temple at the foot of a hill. The picturesque Ambapani hills present a panoramic view of nature. A frolicking valley called Haladigundi in this range of hills  exhibits some peculiar features due to the reflected rays of the sun. The whole area abounds in Spotted Deer, Sambar and Black Panthers which can be seen at the Behera reservoir. 5 kms away are the pre-historic cave paintings at Gudahandi.

District Sambalpur
Area (sq. km) 304.03
Ideal season for visit October-March
Contact Officer Bamara, D.F.O. (T) 
Bamara D.F.O. (06642) 279211(O), 279204(R)

Badarama sanctury also popularly known as Usakothi, located in the district of Sambalpur, 48 km. from Sambalpur on the NH-6 under Bamra Forest Division. Its prominent and attractive location in western Orissa with hilly undulating areas and rich dry deciduous mixed forests and wide variety of fauna including tiger, leopard, elephant, hyena, wildboar, spotted deer, sambar, bear, porcupine and a number of birds, reptiles etc. make it very beautiful.

Contact : Khurda, D.F.O., Puri(T)
Phone: (06755) 220540(O)
FAX/Phone: 220540(R)

This sanctury is situated at convenient location along sea coast between Puri and Konark. The flora of the area includes casuarina, anacardium, neem, tamarind, karanja, etc. The prominent founa include blackbuck, spotted deer, monkey, squirrel, jungle cat, hyena, jackel, mangoose and variety of birds and reptiles. Puri is located just 3 km. from entry point of the sanctury and the Puri - Konark marine drive passes through it.

Nayagarh, D.F.O.(T)
Phone: (06753) 252226(O), 252227(R)

Adjacent to Satkosia gorge and located in the Nayagarh district,the Baisipalli wildlife sanctury is having similar and contigoous habitat features as the Satkosia gorge sanctury. The panoramic view of the Satkosia gorge along with the forests in most scenic.

158 kms from Phulbani are the thick tropical forests of Belghar. The dense vegetation of the area is a host to a variety of flora and fauna. Wild elephants abound in this area which is inhabited mainly by tribal peoples.

Sambalpur, D.F.O., Badrama(WL)
Phone: (0663) 2240271(O) 2402729(R)

The combination of dry deciduous mixed forests with rich wildlife, Hirakud reservior, attractive topographical features are the important features of Debrigarh wildlife sanctury. The Hirakud reservoir attracts large number of migratory birds during winter. The forest area is ideal habitat for Chousingha. Other prominent fauna includes tiger, leopard, gaur, sambar, spotted dear, sloth bear, resident and migratory birds, monitor lizards, chameleon etc. The sanctury entry point at Dhodrokusum adjoining Hirakud reservoir is 40 km. from Sambalpur and 60 km.  from Baragarh.

Keonjhar, D.F.O.(T)
Phone: (06766), 254315(O) 255315(R)

Hadagarh sanctuary in the district of Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj is close to Hadagarh reservoir of Salandi dam. The area is rich in mixed deciduous forests and wildlife which includes tiger, leopard, fishing cat, hyena, elephant, langur, pangolin, a variety of birds and reptiles. The Baula hill range lying on the east and west of Salandi river, the valley occupied by the reservoir and its catchments are the main features.

Bhawanipatna, D.F.O. (T)
Fax/Phone: (06670) 230526(O) 232626(R)

About 35 kms from Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters of Kalahandi, on the Bhawanipatna-Thuamula-Rampur road is Karlapat, famous for its enchanting wildlife. Tigers, leopards, sambars, gaur and cheetal have a rich presence in these forest tracts.

Angul, D.F.O. (WL) Satkosia Phone: (06762) 230218(O), 230219(R)

Kotagarh wildlife sanctuary located in the Baliguda subdivision of Kandhamal district is rich in bio-diversity. Major wildlife species are tiger, elephant, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, peafowl, red jungle fowl and a variety of reptiles. The dense lush green forests with sylvan and serene picturesque beauty is the major attraction. A wooden bunglow at Belghar attracts many nature loving visitors.

Redhakhol, D.F.O. (T)
Phone: (06644) 253004(O), 253005(R)

Khalasuni's undulating topography ranging from 223 mt. to 750 mt. offers a wide ranging scenic beauty of wild virgin forests. There are a variety of wildlife like tiger, leopard, elephant, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, pea fowl, horn bill and a number of reptilian species. It is an ideal place for nature lovers and tourists.

Baripada, D.F.O. (T)
Phone: 252613(O) 252532(R)

This sanctury is located in the district of Balaosre and is blessed with a charming forest and a variety of wildlife such as tiger, leopard, elephant, gaur, sambar, giant squirrel, a number of bird species like hill myna, peafowl, hornbills and various reptiles. The sanctury is linked with Similipal through Sukhupada hills and Nato hill ranges. A trek from Nilgiri amidst Kuldiha forests is worth enjoying. Two rest houses at Kuldiha and Jadachuan and the perinnial streams are treat for the visitors.

Paralakhemundi, D.F.O. (T)
Phone: (06824) 22214(O) 22204(R)

This sanctuary located in the Lakhari valley near Ganjam has a large concentration of elephants and other wildlife. Blackbucks abound in this region.

The little hamlet of Padmatala, located 37 kms from Phulbani, is famous for the presence of a pond which is used by the wild animals of the area as a watering hole. During most evenings one can spot an amazing variety of wildlife at the pond.

Angul, D.F.O. (WL) Satkosia Phone: (06762) 230218(O), 230219(R)

Satkosia gorge is a unique feature in geomorphology in India. Here Mahanadi has cut right across the Eastern Ghats and has formed a magnificent gorge. Located in the districts of Angul, Cuttack, Nayagarh and Boudh, Satkosia gorge sanctury(795.52 sq.km.) with sylvan beauty and excellent natural features is an attractive destination for scientist and nature lovers.  The major attraction of the area is 22 km. long gorge (known as Satkosia gorge) of the river Mahanadi which divides the area into a two distinct parts accessible respectively from Angul and Nayagarh or Boudh. The area supports moist deciduous forest, dry deciduous forests and moist peninsular sal forests and is stronghold of tiger,leopard,elephant,gaur,sambar,spotted deer,mouse deer,nilgai,choushingha,sloth bear,wild dog etc., varieties of resident and migratory birds reptilian species(gharial,mugger crocodile,fresh water turtle,poisonous anmd non-poisonous snakes etc.). Major attraction of the sanctury is the gorge,river Mahanadi,the Gharial Research and Conservation Unit at Tikarapada,hill slopes,various tracking routes and boating.

Nuapada, D.F.O. (WL), Phone: (06678) 223372(O) 232626(R)

Located close to the boundary of Chhatisgarh state on the western fringe of Orissa in the newly created Nuapada district, this sanctury covers 600 sq. km. of dry deciduous forests. The plateau on the hill top holds a slightly undulating flat land with good edible grass. Eleven beautiful waterfalls and seasonal streams which dry out during summer leaving few deep pools of water. These are very fascinating attractions. Major wildlife species are: tiger, leopard, hyena, barking deer, chital, gaur, sambar, sloth bear, varieties of birds such as hill myna, pea fowl, partridge and a number of reptilian species. This sanctury is considered as an ideal habitat for Barasingha (locally extinct).


One of Orissa's smaller sanctuaries, Ushakothi, situated 45 kms from Sambalpur, offers visitors a perfect opportunity to see elephants, tigers, panthers, sambars etc. from the strategically placed watch towers or from on board a jeep.


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