Wildlife Sanctuaries in Odisha, a state best known for its temples and the coastal city of Puri, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. While the expansive sea and revered temples attract the majority of tourists, the state also has wildlife sanctuaries that are worth visiting! These wildlife sanctuaries, which are covered in thick forests and teeming with fauna, provide you with the opportunity to meet wild creatures that you have only seen on television or in books. The adventurous jungle safaris are the cherry on top of these sanctuaries!
Ambapani Sanctuary – Orissa Wildlife Sanctuaries
Ambapani, located 77 kilometers from Bhawanipatna and 45 kilometers from Nowrangpur, is well-known for the Budharaja deity, which is housed in a small temple at the foot of a hill. The picturesque Ambapani Hills offer a panoramic view of nature. A frolicking valley called Haladigundi in this range of hills has some unusual features caused by the sun’s reflected rays. Spotted Deer, Sambar, and Black Panthers can be found throughout the area, including the Behera reservoir.
Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuary
Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuaries was established on May 6, 1981, and is located in Nayagrh, Odisha, India, near the Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary area measures 168.35 square kilometers (41,600 sections of land).
The Baisipalli Sanctuary was established by Notification No. 8F(W) 25335ft. of the FE & AH Department, Government of Odisha, on May 16, 1981. The Sanctuary’s boundaries are 84° 35.4′ E to 84° 48.5′ E longitude and 20° 23.8′ N to 20° 31.3′ N latitude, with an elevation range of 40mt. to 843mt. from MSL.
The Wildlife Sanctuary shares a boundary with the Baisipalli Reserve Forest. The Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuaries is located south of the Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary.
The sanctuary is proud of its tigers, elephants, mouse deer, the state animal Sambar, and a plethora of other wild species that live there. The sanctuary is also home to a diverse range of domestic and migratory birds, whose dulcet chirps and colorful plumes add to the beauty of the surroundings.
Belghar Sanctuary: Orissa
The Belghar Sanctuary is located in Kandhamal district, about 158 kilometers from Phulbani in Odisha, India. The sanctuary spans 16,174,46 acres and is located in the Kandhamal district. The area is at an elevation of 2255 feet above sea level.
The sanctuary is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna species, with wild elephants being the most notable. It has a diverse collection of medicinal and commercial plant species, some of which are known to shed their leaves in the spring.
The majority of the plant species in the sanctuary can grow to great heights. The dense forest supports several rare and endangered animal species. Aside from wild elephants, there are many other smaller mammal species, such as deer. The sanctuary also has several bird species. The thick tropical forests of Belghar are located 158 kilometers from Phulbani. The area’s dense vegetation provides a habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna. Wild elephants abound in this region, which is primarily populated by tribal peoples.
Bhitarkanika Sanctuary – Odisha in Kendrapa
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for adventure seekers. It is also a breeding ground for Olive Ridley Turtles. This is the biggest forest in the country. It was established as a sanctuary in 1975 solely to protect estuarine crocodiles and turtles in their rare mangrove habitat.
Flora: Bhitarkanika contains sixty-three of the world’s seventy-two Mangrove species. Some of the species include Avicinia, Exocaeria, Rhizophora, Soneratia, Heriteria Phoenix, and Odisha Wildlife Sanctuaries.
Reptiles are the predominant species here. Aside from insects and other microfauna, the area is equally rich in mammals, birds, amphibians, and fish. This has the highest concentration of estuarine crocodiles, some as large as 22 feet. The sanctuary’s Gahirmatha beach is also home to the world’s largest rookery of “Olive Ridley” turtles.
Chandka Elephant Reserve – Orissa
Chandaka Elephant Reserve is located in Bhubaneswar. It is the only of its kind in India. The reserve’s residents include elephants, sambar, bears, wild dogs, peafowl, and pythons. Aside from the magnificent elephants, Chital, Bear, Peafowl, Sambar, and a variety of other animals go about their daily business unhindered.
Chilika Lake: South West of Puri – Orissa
Chilika Lake is located southwest of Puri, 100 kilometers from Bhubaneswar. It covers 1100 square kilometers and is Asia’s largest salt and freshwater lake. It attracts many migratory birds, including the flamingo, teal, bar-headed goose, shoveller, and white-bellied sea eagle. Bird lovers will enjoy visiting here in the winter because migratory populations fly in from as far away as Siberia. Flamingos, teal, bar-headed geese, shovellers, and white-bellied sea eagles are among the prominent fauna. Ganges dolphins.
Gahirmatha Turtle Sanctuary: Odisha in Sanctuary
The Gahirmatha Turtle Sanctuary, located near the Bhitar Kanika Sanctuary, is one of Orissa’s unique sanctuaries. This stretch of beach is a breeding ground for giant Olive Ridley Turtles, which come from the Pacific Ocean to mate and lay their eggs here. Every year, thousands of these amazing creatures can be seen here. The government of Orissa has made special arrangements to protect the turtles.
Karlapat: Bhawanipatna – Orissa
Bhawanipatna, a picturesque landscape in Orissa, boasts a large number of religious sites and national parks. This place, named after the presiding deity Bhawanishankar, is home to a variety of Hindu Pantheon gods and goddesses. Karlapat, a very old and unique city, is also home to a large number of wild animals.
These natural creatures, in their simple ways, beautify the landscape, adding to its allure. Karlapat, in addition to serving as a religious pilgrimage center, is a popular tourist destination for nature lovers. Karlapat, located about 35 kilometers from Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi’s district headquarters, on the Bhawanipatna-Thuamula-Rampur road, is known for its charming wildlife. Tigers, sambars, leopards, gaurs, and chitals can be found in abundance in these forests.
Lakhari Valley Sanctuary: Ganjam – Orissa
Lakhari Valley, located in Ganjam’s Gajapati district, is home to Orissa’s southernmost population of elephants. Tigers, leopards, peacocks, and other tropical forest fauna can be found here. Mahendragiri Hill, located near this sanctuary, is rich in botanical diversity and medicinal plants.
Nandankanan Wildlife Nation Park – Chandaka Forest – Orissa
Nandankanan translates as the ‘Garden of Pleasure’ or ‘Garden of the Gods’. It is located 20 kilometers from Bhubaneshwar and consists of a beautiful botanical garden, a zoo, and a sanctuary. The zoo at Nandan Kanan is well-known for its white tigers. For the first time in 1980, three white cubs were born to parents of normal color. It extends across the Chandaka forest, where flora and fauna thrive in their natural environment.
Endangered species such as the Asiatic Lion, three Indian crocodilians, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Indian pangolin, mouse deer, and numerous birds, reptiles, and fish have successfully reproduced at Nandankanan.
Nandankanan’s wildlife Sanctuary other attractions include 34 aquaria, which house a wide variety of freshwater fish. A life-sized tyrannosaurus guards the Reptile Park’s cave-like entrance. Crocodiles, lizards, turtles, and snakes coexist peacefully inside the park. Other attractions at the park include a nocturnal animal house, Reptile Park, aerial park, and cable car.
Padmatala Sanctuary – Phulabani – Orissa
Padmatala, a small hamlet 37 kilometers from Phulbani, is well-known for its pond, which serves as a watering hole for the area’s wild animals. During most evenings, one can see a wide variety of wildlife at the pond. Padmatala Wildlife Sanctuary is located 37 kilometers from Phulbani and 211 kilometers from Bhubaneswar.
There is a large pond in the sanctuary. Many different animals live near the pond. The main attraction of this location is the Gharials crocodile (habitat). The wildlife sanctuaries is surrounded by hills and dense forests. The environment is pleasant and attractive to tourists. Padmatala Sanctuary is a picnic area in Kandhamal District.
Satkosia Basipalli Sanctuary – Orissa
The Satkosia Basipalli Sanctuary is famous for its Gharial breeding program. This area is abundant with flora and fauna. Staying there and trekking through the long gorge is a fascinating experience. Satkosia Basipalli wildlife Sanctuaries is famous for its Gharial breeding program. This area is abundant with flora and fauna. Staying there and trekking through the long gorge is a fascinating experience.
The diverse flora and fauna bring nature’s pristine beauty to life. The Fleming Red flowers of Genwa and the crab-like red flower of Khalsi contribute to nature’s dazzling display. The millions of microorganisms found on the islands’ edges add to the allure of this ‘fairyland’. Prominent fauna. Leopard, gaur (or Mithun), elephant, Himalayan black bear, takin, wild goat, Patkoi range, musk deer, slow loris, binturong, and red panda. Species include the Assamese macaque, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque, and hoolock gibbon.
Simplipal Tiger Reserve: Mayurbhanj District – Orissa
Simplipal is in the central Mayurbhanj district of Orissa. Simlipal National Park was one of the first to fall under Project Tiger. It covers an area of 2,750 square kilometers. It was declared one of the country’s nine tiger project reserves in 1973. It was declared a sanctuary in 1979.
Fauna: Thanks to massive conservation efforts, this sprawling ecosystem now supports nearly 100 tigers. Other mammal species found here include leopards, sambhars, langurs, deer, gaur (Indian bison), elephants, antelopes, chitals, chevrotains, wild dogs, wild boar, sloth bears, monkeys, hyenas, and porcupines. These forests are home to approximately 230 different species of birds in wildlife sanctuaries in Orissa.
The officially recorded species include the red jungle fowl, hill myna, peafowl, alexandrine parakeet, crested serpent eagle, gray hornbill, Indian pied hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill, and Indian trogon. Most of these bird species can be found in the park’s Newana area. Reptiles, such as snakes and turtles, are also abundant. The crocodile population has grown significantly since the Mugger Management Program began.
Tikarapada: Anjul District – Orissa
The ‘Satkosia Gorge’, where the great Mahanadi River crashes in with monumental force, is one of the most spectacular vistas of river and forest, providing visitors with a dizzyingly energizing experience. The sensuous river meanders through 22 kilometers of dense forest, providing scenic delights of frothing, and boiling water as it wends its way through the fabulous gorge, which is considered one of the most enchanting places in the world.
It is an excellent location for boating, fishing, and other adventure activities. The forest and hills surrounding the village are home to a diverse range of fauna that will fascinate visitors. The Gharial Sanctuary at Tikarapada is a must-see for wildlife Sanctuaries enthusiasts.
Ushakothi Sanctuary – Orissa
One of Odisha’s smaller wildlife sanctuaries, it still provides visitors with an excellent opportunity to see elephants, tigers, panthers, and sambars from the strategically placed watch towers near the watering holes or by board a jeep. The nearest forest rest house is Badrama, which is only 3 kilometers from here and is approximately 45 kilometers from Sambalpur.