(Last Updated on : 01-11-2013)
Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 22 kilometers from Sambalpur District
and stretches over an area of 285 square kilometers. It was established in the year 1962. It is one of the popular tourist destinations of Orissa as it houses a variety of wildlife. The position of the Sanctuary is advantageous in the sense to the west of it lies the Hirakud Dam
The region is rich in both flora and fauna. The principal trees that are found in the area belong to the category of dry deciduous forests. The trees include sal, sandalwood, arjun, neem, acacia, and casuarinas. The fauna of the place is very rich and varied in nature. It includes tigers, elephants, sambar, leopards and bison. It has been estimated that there are 15 tigers and 35 elephants in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is also rich in avian fauna and the main attraction of the region with regard to avian fauna is racket tail drangos and flying squirrel.
As many nocturnal animals are found in the region a tourist in the Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary has to take a Jeep Safari in order to spot them. Besides the Jeep Safari at nights there are two watchtowers in the Ushakothi Sanctuary from where the tourists can have an aerial view of the surroundings. Wardha River
and Penganga River
are the two main rivers which flow close to the Sanctuary and it is through these two rivers that many of the wild animals infiltrate to the nearby villages.
The Ushakothi Sanctuary is easily accessible by rail and air. The nearest airport is Bhubaneshwar
which is located at a distance of 300 kilometers from the region and the closest rail station is Sambalpur. The best time to visit the Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is from October to April.