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Chilika Bird Sanctuary(Mangalajodi), Orissa

posted Feb 12, 2011, 9:12 PM by sandip mishra   [ updated Mar 3, 2015, 2:33 AM by Sandip Mishra ]
Chilka Lake in Orissa is the largest inland salt water lagoon in Asia, and measures around 1000 sq Kms. We have visited Chilka Lake quite a number of times since our childhood days. Our trips were always very typical with the traditional boat ride to the Kalijai Islands, looking out for the Irrawaddy dolphins, enjoying the lake and savouring the coastal food – fish, crabs, prawns etc. 

Since we took up to wildlife, our focus changed towards the migratory birds that come to Chilka Lake (during the winter) from all over the world especially the cold northern countries. They make Nalabana(which is a designated Bird sanctuary) their home for a few months before moving homeward. 

During my last visit to Bhubaneshwar, I came across a flier in the newspaper about a place called Mangalajodi, 75 Kms from Bhubaneshwar, which was promoting Ecotourism and birding activities. This area is a notified Wetland and the same migratory birds that visit Nalabana also make this place their nesting ground. 

Early in the morning we travelled to a place called Sunderpada and got a glimpse of the huge tracts of land being used for fishery activities. Also, we walked about the channel to get a view of the Open Billed Storks, Black Tailed Godwitt, Nothern pintails, Shovelers, Painted Storks, Shelduck etc. 

Then we quickly moved to Mangalajodi where we met with the birding guides promoted by the village eco-tourism. This place was once infamous for bird poachers who earned their living by killing, catching and selling these beautiful birds and their eggs. The local village committee and a wildlife NGO, WildOrissa have converted these poachers to protectors of the birds.

As we navigated along the various channels in the wetland we got a glimpse of the wide variety of migratory birds never seen before. The 2 &1/2 hours of boat ride was very enriching and definitely a bird watcher’s paradise.
        Black Tailed Godwit    
      Brahminy Kite 
         Black winged Stilt