(Last Updated on : 27/11/2010)
The ecological changes and environmental factors from region to region make Orissa`s wildlife as exciting as it is varied. It is also a major reason why so many important projects for the conservation of wildlife have met with so much success. The state of Orissa has dedicated around 4.1 percent of its total land area to the wild life protection drive.
Today, Orissa`s numerous sanctuaries, both large and small play a prominent role in the protection of wild life, while they also provide a great deal of pleasure to the wild life enthusiasts. Simlipal Tiger Reserve
, Bhitarkanika, Gaharimatha, Nandankanan Zoological Park
and Chilka Wildlife Sanctuary
have established their names in the international map while Sunabeda, Kotgarh, Debrigarh, Baisipali and Hadgarh sanctuaries do excellent service to their wildlife inhabitants. As large tracts of land in the state have been dedicated towards the protection of wildlife the chances of human infringement in order to devastate the land areas have been reduced to a large extent.
Similipal Tiger Reserve, Wildlife Sanctuaries Of Orissa
Similipal encompasses an area of 2750 square kilometer in the Mayurbhanj District
. It is not only a famous wildlife parks in Orissa but it is famous all over India. Similipal has been specially chosen to be one of the Tiger Reserves and has been identified for Project Tiger. The Reserve has around 95 tigers and several other wild animals which include leopards, crocodiles and it also has a number of birds. Besides the wonderful wildlife, tourists get an excellent bonus of lush valleys and forest lands. The other places of tourist attraction in Similipal are Barehipani Waterfall, the Joranda Fall and Lulung. The best time to visit Similipal is November to June.
Bhitarkanika Sanctuary and National Park, Wildlife Sanctuaries Of Orissa
Bhitarkanika, located in the country`s second largest mangrove forest in Orissa`s coastal belt has protected the estuarine crocodile since 1975. The sanctuary was converted into a National Park in 1998. Numerous migratory birds come to nest amongst the large mangrove islands.
The sanctuary is 160 kilometers from Cuttack
via Chandbali and 100 kilometers via Kendrapara District
and Rajnagar. The best season to visit the place is between October and April.
Nandankanan Zoological Park,Wildlife Sanctuaries Of Orissa
Nandankanan was established as a sanctuary in 1979 around 20 kilometers from Bhubaneshwar
. In effect it was really a Biological Park encapsulated in lush and natural landscape, offering its inhabitants a true feel of their natural habitat. For the first time in Nandankanan gharials and white tigers were bred in captivity. Nandankanan also runs a Lion Safari and White Tiger Safari. Near to Nandankanan is the Chandaka Elephant Reserve. Nandankanan can be explored by the visitors throughout the year.
Tikarpara Sanctuary, Wildlife Sanctuaries Of Orissa
The tiny village of Tikarpara has one of the splendid settings in the world. It is home to the mightiest gorge of India. The Gharial crocodile population obviously enjoys these exotic environs and has an excellent breeding place in this sanctuary created to protect them. The best time to visit the place is between October and April.
Chilka Wildlife Sanctuary,Wildlife Sanctuaries Of Orissa
is Asia`s largest brackish water lake. It is located at a distance of 100 kilometers from Bhubaneshwar. Chilka is spread across an area of 1100 square kilometer and was declared a sanctuary in the year 1987. The lake`s Nalbana Island has been declared a sanctuary for its varied flora and fauna. Chital and black buck roam freely on the scrubby shores while dolphins gambol playfully in the foam of the churning waters. The best season to visit the Chilka Lake is October to February.
Ushakothi Sanctuary, Wildlife Sanctuaries Of Orissa
The small sanctuary of Ushakothi was established in 1987 only 48 kilometers away from Sambalpur District
. Tiger, elephant, sambar, leopard and bison make their home amongst the deciduous forests that share ground with sal, sandalwood, arjun, neem, acacia and casuarinas. In this particular sanctuary visitors can get a close-up of the animals from the watch towers placed near the watering holes. The best period to visit the region is October to April.
Balukhand Sanctuary, Wildlife Sanctuaries Of Orissa
Black buck, deer and hyena nest in the precincts of this 72 square kilometre coastal site. The sanctuary is located 10 kilometres from Puri
and the best season to visit the site is from October to March.
Karalpat Sanctuary , Wildlife Sanctuaries Of Orissa
Karalpat is famous for its charming wildlife. Tiger, sambar, leopard, gaur and chital abound in this forest tracts. The most suitable time to visit Karalpat Sanctuart is from October to February.
Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary, Wildlife Sanctuaries Of Orissa
This sanctuary is located on the western fringes of Orissa in the Nuapada District
. It encompasses an area of 600 kilometers. There are a variety of wildlife species in this sanctuary. They are tiger, leopard, hyena, barking deer, chital, gaur, sambar, sloth bear, variety of birds and several reptilian species.
Kotagarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Wildlife Sanctuaries Of Orissa
Kotagarh Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Baliguda Subdivision. The major species that are found in the sanctuary are tiger, gaur, sambar. The added attraction of this particular sanctuary is a beautiful lush green nature which has made the region a treat for the eyes of an onlooker.
Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Wildlife Sanctuaries Of Orissa
Hadagarh Sanctuary is situated in the Keonjhar District of Orissa. The region includes mixed variety of deciduous forests and several wildlife species like tiger, leopard, fishing cat, jungle cat, hyena, elephant, langur, pangolin and a large variety of birds and reptiles.
Hence it can be concluded saying that large areas of Orissa have been dedicated for the preservation of wildlife and at the same time the wildlife sanctuaries adds revenue to the tourism industry of Orissa.