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Facts About Chilka ... .. .
WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM   Coordinates               :      19°43'N 085°19'ECoordinates: 19°43'N 085°19'E .

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  Lake type                   :       partly freshwater , partly saltwater

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  Primary sources        :       Mahanadi River

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  Primary outflows      :       Bay of Bengal

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  Basin countries         :        India

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  Max length                :        29 km

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  Surface area             :        906-1165 km²

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  Rainfall                      :        135.23 Cms.

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  Language Spoken     :         Oriya, Hindi and English

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  Clothing                     :        Light cotton in summer and light woolen in winter.

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  Best season to visit   :       October to June

Lagoon in eco-friendly... chilika

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Situated on the south part mouth of the river Mahanadi , Chilka Lake is a brackish water coastal lake of Orissa state . It is the largest coastal lake in India. The lake was formed due to the silting action of the river Mahanadi , which drains into the northern end of the lake and the northerly currents in the Bay of Bengal . The lagoon is a unique assemblage of marine, brackish and fresh water eco-system . It is one of the hot spots of biodiversity and shelters a number of endangered species . It is an avian grandeur and the wintering ground for more than one million migratory birds. The highly productive lagoon eco-system with its rich fishery resources sustains the livelihood of more than 0.15 million-fisher folk who live in and around the Lagoon. The water spread area of the Lagoon varies between 1165 to 906 sq.km during the monsoon and summer respectively. A 32 km long, narrow, outer channel connects the lagoon to the Bay of Bengal, near the village Motto.

The total number of fish species are reported to be 225 including Dean and Saaltink in 1991. Along with a variety of phytoplankton, algae and aquatic plants, the Lagoon region also supports over 720 species of non-aquatic plants . A survey of the fauna of Chilika carried out by the Zoological Survey of India in the year 1985-87 recorded over 800 species in and around the lagoon. This list includes a number of rare, threatened and endangered species, including the Barakudia limbless skink. On account of its rich bio-diversity, Chilika was designated as a "Ramsar Site", i.e. a wetland of International Importance. The Nalaban Island within the Lagoon is notified as a Bird Sanctuary under Wildlife Protection Act, the lagoon is also identified as a priority site for conservation and management by the National Wetland coral reefs Committee of Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India. The Lagoon is a highly productive ecosystem and with it’s rich fishery resources sustains the livelihood of more than 1,50,000 fisher folk who live in and around the lagoon.

The north shore of the lake is part of Khordha District while the western shore is part of Ganjam District.The larger islands lie between the sandbar and the lake and include Parikud, Phulbari, Berahpura, Nuapara, Nalbana, and Tampara. These islands, together with the peninsula of Maluda, constitute the Krushnaprasad revenue block of Puri District.

Chilka Lake is designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary .

The Chilka Lake in Orissa is Asia's largest inland salt-water lagoon. Studded with small islands- the lake is separated from the Bay of Bengal by a sandy ridge. The lake spreads across 1,100 sq km, and has a unique ecosystem with a range of aquatic flora and fauna found in and around its brackish waters. An impressive array of bird life, both native and migrant, makes Chilka one of the best places in India for a bit of satisfying bird-watching.

Chilka, in fact, is home to one of the world's largest breeding colonies of flamingos. White bellied sea eagles, purple moorhen, greylag geese, jacana, herons and flamingos are among the many species which make the lake a bird watcher's delight. Other than the birds, Chilka's shores are home to blackbuck, spotted deer, golden jackals and hyenas, and the lake is rich in aquatic life- its waters harbour around 160 species of fish, crustaceans and other marine creatures, including the famous Chilka dolphin. Prawn, crab and mackerel fishing are an important source of livelihood for the local people.

Places to see .

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SATAPADA:   Located on the eastern shore of the Chilika lake, it is 55 Kms from Puri. It is bounded by the lagoon on three sides and thus offers an excellent view of the Lagoon. One main attraction of Satapada is irrawaddy Dolphins.

Birds Island: It is heaven for the resident and migratory birds. One can watch the birds in their natural habitat here.

Kalijai: The abode of Goddess Kalijai,the island is famous for the temple and the scenic surroundings. She is venerated due to the folk-lore and the legend. An excellent destination for the tourists.

Nalabana: It is a forest of reeds and is famous for the long-range migratory birds in winter.

Parikud and Malud: They are islands within the lake.A group of composite islands constitute parikud ,the Garh Krishnaprasad Block and are ideal spots for nature lovers, during the winter season it becomes an avian grandeur.

Satapada: The famous Chilka Dolphins are can be seen in their natural best.

Accessibility .

Air : Nearest Airport is at Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India.

Rail : Nearest Railway Station is at Balugaon and Rambha on S. E.

Road : National High Way No. 5 touches Chilika at Balugaon, Barkul and Rambha,approximately 120 km from Bhubaneshwar.

Best Time to Visit.

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The best time, however, is from October to March, when the lake is crowded with migrating birds . The weather remains moderately warm the whole year round .So any time of the year except during the rainy season from June to September one can come to this scenic place. Pilgrims flock here in January during Makar Mela (at the time of Makar Sankranti) to pay obeisance to the Goddess Kalijai, whose temple is situated on Kalijai island in Chilka Lake.

Accommodation Available

There are a few hotels on the banks of the lake including an OTDC run hotel and two tourist bungalows ,the `Panthnivas' at Rambha and Barkul.A number of state-run as well as privately-operated resthouses and tourist lodges also dot the shores of the lake, and tariffs vary considerably, depending upon the facilities offered.

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