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Facts About Gahirmatha ... .. .
WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM    The total area of the sanctuary is 1435.0 Sq. Km.

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  It includes 1408.0 Sq. Km. of water body and 27.0 Sq. Km. of land mass including reserve forests, mud flats and accreted sand bars.

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  It has been observed that Olive Ridley sea turtles migrate from the coastal water of Srilanka in the Indian ocean to the coastal water of Gahirmatha in the north.

WWW.AMAZINGORISSA.COM  Olive Ridley sea turtles migrate every year from the beginning of November for mating and nesting along the coast of Orissa.

Only marine wildlife sanctuary of Orissa .....Gahirmatha

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Gahirmatha is the only marine wildlife sanctuary of Orissa . Very nearer to the Bhitarkanika Sanctuary , this stretch of beach is the best and unique breeding ground for the giant Olive Ridley Turtles. Every year, thousands of these wonderful creatures travel all the way from the Pacific Ocean to mate and lay eggs here. Apart from Gahirmatha rookery, two other mass nesting beaches have been located which are on the mouth of rivers Rushikulya and Devi.The spectacular site of mass congregation of Olive Ridley sea turtles for mating and nesting enthralls both the nature lovers and the scientists .This unique phenomenon is hardly seen anywhere in India. That rarity of mass congregation and the cruelty meted out to these innocent marine creatures, paved the way for declaration of the stretch of water body from old light house near Batighar to Maipura river mouth as Gahirmatha marine as Wildlife Sanctuary

Location and area .

Gahirmatha is the only marine wildlife sanctuary of Orissa. The entire sanctuary area comes within the revenue district of Kendrapara. It is located between 86 degree 45'57" to 87 degree 17' 36"- East longitude and 20 degree 17' 32" to 20 degree 45'58" - North latitude. The total area of the sanctuary is 1435.0 Sq. Km. . It includes 1408.0 Sq. Km. of water body and 27.0 Sq. Km. of land mass including reserve forests, mud flats and accreted sand bars. Core area of the sanctuary consists of 725.50 Sq. Km.

Importance.

Since Gahirmatha coast serves as the natal nesting beach for millions of turtles, it has immense importance on turtle conservation. In huge numbers , Olive Ridley sea turtles migrate every year from the beginning of November for mating and nesting along the coast of Orissa. Gahirmatha coast has the annual nesting figure between one hundred to five hundred thousand . The 'Homing' characteristics of the Ridley sea turtles make them more prone to mass casualty. The voyage to the natal nesting beaches is the dooming factor for the sea turtles.Olive Ridley sea turtles feed on marine snails, smaller forms of fish, fish eggs, crustaceans and jellyfish. Algal material is also used as food by the Ridleys. Ridleys generally crush and grind the food materials before intaking.

It has been observed that Olive Ridley sea turtles migrate from the coastal water of Srilanka in the Indian ocean to the coastal water of Gahirmatha in the north. The sea turtles migrate thousands of kilometres to meet both the ends. Immediately after the arrival of ridley sea turtles in the coastal water of Gahirmatha, they indulge in matting activities. Males mount over the females and are often seen floating on the surface with the intermittent movement of flippers.

Mortality .

Every year large scale mortality of Olive ridley sea turtles are observed. The reasons are incidental capture in fishing net, large scale conversion of traditional crafts into mechanised boats and release of toxic effluents by the chemically factory at Paradeep.

Approach to Gahiramatha.

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One can access to Gahirmatha turtle sanctuary by road only. It is about 125 km from state capital Bhubaneswar and about 100 km form cuttack. Regular private busses which are plying to Kendrapara town will be the best option for a visitor to Gahirmatha.From Kendrapara town this marine sanctruary is about 45 km by road. Busess in regualr interval and private higreen vehicles is plently available for the visitors to reach to the spots.

Accomodation.

Only private accommodation is available here in Gahirmatha.

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