BhitarKanika National Park

The oldest bird sanctuary in India and the place famous for saltwater crocodile, Bhitarkanika is situated at Kendrapara district of Orissa state of India. This mangroves in the Brahmani, Dhamra and Baitarani river delta is full of canine teeth owners. Crocodiles are as long as 20 feet in length which creates a fearsome look within a single look. There are creeks and islands in the forestry area keeping the dangers hidden under its warmth. Indian python, back ibis, king cobra are the other famous residents living in this region offering the natural view to the tourists. The Bhitarkanika National Park is the second largest sanctuary in India. Dense mangrove forests criss-crossed by tidal creeks are the distinguishing features of the Bhitarkanika National Park.

The river systems of the sanctuary are the habitats of giants saltwater crocodiles - the largest amongst all species of crocodiles - and mangrove forests. The sanctuary was formed for their protection. The name Bhitarkanika means the interirs of the Kanika Kingdon, which was located close to the Dhamara Prot of yore, an important trading post.

This forest is rich in biodiversity and sensual beauties. Water birds and migrated birds increases the population by a high notch which can’t be experienced at other sanctuaries in India. Open billed storks, kingfisher, wood pecker, hornbill, brahmni duck, sea eagle, seagull along with as much as 215 species can be seen here. Spotted deer, hyena, porcupine, sambar, wild boar, leopard cat, jungle cats are the other focal points of this forest’s long list of animals.

Travel Tips

The forest is closed from 1st May to 31st July every year and the second week of January (for cocodile census).

Entry permit is required for domestic and international visitors which is available at the entry points.

Every domestic individual is required to show the valid ID proof to enter the forest at all the check-in point of zones.

Every non-domestic individual is required to show ID proof along with passport and VISA before entering the forest.

It is advisable to avoid littering the forest area by any means.

Guests must wear grey or greenish coloured forest favourable clothes during their visit. Any type of blingy jewelleries and accessories and clothes should be avoided.

The temperature stays between 14 to 40 degree centigrade during the winter and summer times. Wear comfortable clothes depending on the season. Heavy woollen clothes are advisable during the month of December and January.

Nearest ATM and police station is at Rajnagar only. There are no other such facilities available around this area.

Do not walk around the restricted areas of the forest. Do not go down in the river at any point of time. Take boat to travel via river only.

Do not create loud noises. Animals get distracted due to this.

Make yourself abide by the forest rules to have a comfortable trip.

Carry repellent creams to avoid the stings of the insects.

Carry emergency medicines and kit always.

Keep off all type of flashes of mobile camera and video camera.

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
sprinkles Pleasant
  • 29.2° Max
  • 15.2° Min
  • 41.3 mm
  • Carry Light woollen
Things to do

Those in love with nature, forest and animal can complete their thirst by visiting this forest. Water crocodiles are making this forest famous in the world. That fearsome grumpy look of the crocodiles will make you feel conscious about your presence also. Drinking coconut water will be an added advantage at any point of time. There are beautiful pristine beaches around the forest which can be explored by foot. Small islands in the river are an exquisite spot to locate the animals in motion also. Bird watchers will enjoy their best glimpse of clicking the pictures of some rare domestic and migrated birds in the area. Garimatha beach is known as the zone of Olive Ridley turtles. They come and lays egg inside the sand of the beach. River dolphins, snakes can be spotted also. Bhitarkanika takes the crown of preserving 60 types of mangroves in its forest. Angling at some of the particular points would be amazing also.

Bhitarkanika is exploreable by motorboat. Dangmal, amidst mangorve forest and creeks, will be the main destination, si said to have the highest animal concentration. It is approached from two entry point - Gupti and Khola.

Factor in at least a two nights stay. Ekakula is an island, with the river on one side and the sea on the other. Plan a stop at Habalikhati an hour away by boat.

Getting Around

The best way to enjoy the views of the forest is via boat. Boats will take you at the points from where the animals can be watched easily. Other ways to explore the forest is by trekking. Take a guide along with you to avail the best experience.

Motorboats can be hired from Chandbali, Gupti, Khola and Dhamara. The government run boats and private boats both are available.


Places to Stay

Within the sanctuary, there are some modest Forest Rest Houses. For reservations, contact DFO, Mangrove Forest Division, Rajnagar. The riverside property offers clean and comfortable cottages and swiss tents with good food.

How to Reach

  • Bhubaneshwar airport is 160 km away from the entry points of the forest. Domestic flights are available on regular basis by connecting the place with major metro cities of India. There are regular bus, auto and taxi services available outside airport. International tourists can come via Mumbai, New Delhi airport with an ease.
  • Nearest major railheads are at Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar which are 140 km and 160 km away respectively. People can come via Bhadrak station by bus and hired cars also. It is 55km away only.
  • Nearest national highway is NH5A which comes via Daitari and Paradip. There are private cars available from Bhubaneshwar to reach to the forest.
  • There are waterways or boating facility available to reach the forest. The routes of boating are from Khola, Chandabali, Jaynagar and Gupti.

Surrounding Attractions

Ekakula and Habali islands are surrounding attractions of the forest. There are three Buddhist sites which can be reached by Bhitarkanika also. They are Udaygiri, Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri. The sun temple at Konark, Puri and cuttack city can be reach also.

Emergency No.

Orissa Forest Development Corporation DFO, Mangrove Forest Division (wildlife), Rajnagar, district: Kedrapara, Orissa, India

Phone: 06729 242460

Police: 100

Fire: 101

Ambulance: 102

Divisional Forest Officer, Chandbali, Bhadrak District: 06786-220472

ACF, Cell: 9437550247

Chief Wildlife Warden, Orissa Prakruti Bhawan, BDA Apartment, 5th floor, Nilakantha Nagar, Nayapally, Bhubaneswar # 0674-2564587/5019