Nalabana Bird Sanctuary – Chilika | Travel Odisha

Nalabana Bird Sanctuary, Odisha

Nalabana Bird Sanctuary is a small island, named as Nalabana island in the center of Chilika Lake. It is a famous place for watching the migratory birds. You can call it as bird watching heavenly place of Odisha. It can be reached through Barkul panthanivas in Ganjam district of Odisha. The Orissa tourism department provides boats to the travelers to explore the Nalabana bird sanctuary island. It was declared as a bird sanctuary in 1973. This place is full of natural beauty and is just 12kms from Balugoan. It is a must visit for bird lovers, with so many birds at the same place. You can see various species of threatened and endangered birds and can take wonderful photographs. It is a famous spot for bird photography.

Chilika Lake is India’s largest brackish water lake, spreading over the   Ganjam, Khurda and Puri regions of Odisha on the eastern shore of India, at the mouth of the Daya and Bhargavi river, when gushing into Bay of Bengal. This mixing of sea and fresh water supports a large number of ecosystems. The margins of the Chilika lake are covered with common weeds with the large aquatic grasses.

Top Attractions:

Nalabana Bird Sanctuary is a home to the migratory birds who comes to feed on large scale in mud flats or tidal flats, situated in the mouth of Daya River. During the winter season you can see thousands of migratory birds in the park. A large number of Flamingos come during the migratory season to feed in the shallow waters of the brackish water lagoon Chilika Lake. Some other birds such as long-legged wading birds like storks, grey and purple giant herons, Siberian cranes, egrets, peregrine falcon, Asiatic dowitchers, gadwall, pintails, white bellied sea eagles, Brahminy ducks, black necked ibis and spoonbills like sandpiper are all found in Nalabana Bird Sanctuary during the peak season, i.e., winter.

Small Birds at Nalabana Bird Sanctuary

Some medium sized water birds like the marsh hens (or little hens), small water birds like the coots, and the tropical waders known as jacanas are also found in the area of the Nalabana island which is covered with plants and trees.

Migratory Birds at Nalaban Bird Sanctuary

The nesting or breeding colony of some birds like the gull-billed terns and the largest colony of Indian river terns can also be found on the Nalabana Island bird sanctuary.

Odisha's Nalabana Bird Sanctuary

Best time to visit the Nalabana Bird Sanctuary:

The best time to visit Nalabana bird sanctuary to see the migratory birds is during the winter season, from October to March. The climate is also pleasurable and beautiful photographs can also be taken. Photography is allowed here. You should plan a trip to the Nalabana island only during winter season but not in rainy season because during monsoon the entire island submerges underwater. So, the best time is between November to February.

Nalabana Bird Sanctaury Of Odisha

How to go Nalabana Bird Sanctuary?

First you have to reach Balugoan by train or taxi then you have to go Barkul panthanivas, and then hire a boat to visit the bird sanctuary and nearby islands, both govt. and private boats are available by Odisha tourism department.

  • By Air:

The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar International airport. From there you can go via train to Balugoan or rent a taxi. Then, go to Barkul, and through the boat visit the bird sanctuary.

  • By Train:

Balugoan railway station is the nearest railway station situated at a distance of 12kms from the Nalabana bird sanctuary. From the station you have to go Barkul panthanivas, Chilika and then via boat.

  • By Road:

From Bhubaneswar, Nalabana bird sanctuary is around 127 kms. You can rent a cab; it takes only 2 hours from Bhubaneshwar to Barkul, to reach the bird sanctuary. Private buses are available from Bhubaneshwar and Berhampur to Balugoan.

Places to visit nearby:

Kalijai Island Temple:

Kalijai temple is a temple of goddess Maa Kali, Makar Sankranti festival time is considered to be auspicious. It is a famous temple of Odisha.

Rushikulya Beach:

Rushikulya beach is famous for the nesting of rare species of turtle named “Olive Ridley Turtle”. The best time to visit is during February to May, during this time the turtle undergoes mating process on beach. It is also a clean beach to enjoy.

Nirmaljhar Temple:

Nirmaljhar is a pure water perennial stream near Khalikote, Ganjam, Odisha. Goddess Vimala is the presiding diety; there is also a Vishnu temple, a Jagannath temple, and a Sun temple.

Gopalpur Beach:

Gopalpur beach is the topmost tourist attraction place located at a distance of 65 kms from Barkul. It can be visited throughout the year. Sea beach festival in December is the major attraction, it promotes tourism and culture of Odisha. Famous Indian celebrities, dancers and singers perform live concerts and, classical and folk dances. 

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