a recent phytodiversiy survey by CDA ( 2002) 710
number of plants identified from Chilika( within
the waterbody, including the Islands and shoreline
A survey of the fauna of Chilika
carried out by the Zoological Survey of India in
1985-87 recorded over 800 species in and around
the lagoon. This list includes a number of rare,
threatened and endangered species, including the
Barakudia limbless skink. On account of its rich
bio-diversity, Chilika was designated as a "Ramsar Site", i.e. a wetland
of International Importance. Spread over 1,100 square
kilometres, it runs along the borders of three districts
of Puri, Khurda and Ganjam and finally joins the
Bay of Bengal through a narrow mouth, forming an
enormous lagoon of brackish water.
Chilika is a shallow
lagoon with estuarine character. It can be divided
in to four ecological sectors i.e. the Northern,
Cental, Southern and Outer Channel. The major part
of the lagoon (the Nothern sector) has a depth of
less than 50 cm, while the maximum depth of 3.7m
is encountered in the central sector. The link between
the lagoon and the outer channel (Muggermukh) was
20cm and was preventing the exchange of water between
sea and the lagoon. The pear-shaped lagoon is about
64.5 km long and its width varies from 18 km to
5 km (Das and Samal 1988). The lagoon is connected
to sea by a 32 km long, channel with several shoal
restricting the flow and head loss . About 1.5 km
wide, the channel runs parallel to the Bay of Bengal
and is separated from it by a narrow spit whose
width very between 100m to several kilometers. The
channel opens to the sea near village Motto which
is extremely narrow .Recently a new mouth was opened
by CDA which is only 14 Kms away from the lagoon.
Dotted with many
emeralds green, islands with colourful names such
as Honeymoon Island and Breakfast Island, Chilika
is home to a rich variety of aquaticfauna. It is
also a sanctuary and winter resort for migratory
birds, some comingfrom asfar as Siberia.
Containing a large variety offish, the lakeprovides
livelihood to thousands offishennen. Hundreds of
boats sail out daily on the lake's blue expanse
in search of mackerel, prawn and crabs- the sight
providing an insight into the pageant of rural India
at its colourful best.
Encircled by hills all along its arched shape shores
Chilika lake's colour changes with passing clouds
and the shifting sun. The water ripples languidly,
occasionally dancing with the breeze from across
the Bay of Bengal.
An asylum for long-range migrants in winter .The
Nalaban Island within the lagoon is notified as
a Bird Sanctuary under Wildlife (Protection) Act,
the National Wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs
Committee of Ministry of Environment & Forests,
Government of India, have also identified the lagoon
as a priority site for conservation and management.
The Lagoon is a highly productive ecosystem, with
rich fishery resources.
A haven for resident and migratory birds
Abode of the island Goddess "Kalijai"
An ideal place for viewing cavorting dolphins
A place of scenic beauty.
Colourful islands within the lake
Jhar - (11 km from Rambha
and 21 km from Barkul)
A place of religious worship as well as a picnic
spot of great interest.
- (10 km from Barkul and
22 km from Rambha)
By the side of a perennial stream, the shrine of
Goddess Narayani adorns the place. It is also an
ideal place for pleasure and relaxation.
Banpur - (13 km from Barkul and 8 km from Balugaon)
A centre of religious activities revolving the time-honoured
shrines of Goddess Lbati and Dakshya-Prajapati.
- (125 km from Barkul and
100 km from Rambha)
A pleasant health resort with a hot sulphur spring
having medicinal properties. The water of the spring
is channelised to bath - tubs of the Panthanivas
- On - Sea - (75 km from
Barkul and 60 km from Rambha)
An ancient sea-port, it is at present a favourite
To Reach There Approach
Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport
- 105 km from Barkul and 130 km from Rambha and
110 km from Satapada. Indian Airlines has flights
from Delhi, Calcutta, Visakhapatnam, Raipur, Hyderabad,
Mumbai and Chennai.
The Calcutta - Chennai rail
route of South Eastern Railway touches Chilika lake
of Balugaon, Chilika, Khallikote and Rambha. The
nearest Railway Station for Barkul is at Balugaon
(5 km) and for Satapada, at Puri (50 km).
The Chennai bound N.H.No.5 linking
Calcutta - Cuttack - Bhubaneswar - Balugaon - Barkul
- Rambha - Berhampur and Visakhapatnam runs along
Buses and taxis to Chilika are available at Cuttack,
Bhubaneswar, Puri and Berhampur. Autorickshaws are
available at Balugaon for Barkul.