Chilka Lake Bird SanctuaryChilka Lake also are home to blackbuck, spotted deer, golden jackals and hyenas, and the lake is rich in aquatic life- its waters harbour around 160 species of fish, crustaceans and other marine creatures, including the famous Chilka dolphin. Prawn, crab and mackerel fishing are an important source of livelihood for the local people, and hundreds of small fishing boats set sail each morning to bring in the day's catch from the lake. he Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve harbours India's second largest pachyderm population, and the chances of seeing elephant herds is pretty high, especially during the dry season.
Places Near Chilka
Kalijai Temple : Kalijai is the presiding deity of Chilka. Kalijai Island the abode of the Goddess is situated just 2 Kms of INS Chilka. Every fisherman in Chilka prays to Kalijai before he goes for fishing. Thousands of devotees go there and pay respect to Kalijai. Boats are available at balugaon and barkul at resonable rates.
Narayani : 7 Kms from Chilka, is a picnic spot of great scenic beauty. By the side of a natural springs, the temple of Goddess Narayani adorn the place and it is an ideal place for relaxation.
Nirmaljhar : 35 Kms. From Chilka, the place is haloed with the shrine of Lord Vishnu. The perennial stream that flows at Nirmaljhar is channelised to different ponds. It is a picnic spott and a religious place of distinction.
Banpur : 15 Kms from Chilka, Banpur is a center of religious activities, revolving round the time honoured shrine of Goddess Bhagabati the existing temple of Dakshya Prajapati. Banpur is famous for its various cane furniture items.
Gopalpur on Sea : 90 Kms from Chilka, Gopalpur-on-sea is one of the ancient ports of Orissa and presently famous as a sea-side resport. Being a quite place, Gopalpur become a favorite resort for the tourists or combating the foamy waves of the sea.
Taptapani : 125 Kms from Chilka, Taptapani is a pleasant health resort with a hot sulfur spring which has medicinal properties to cure skin diseases. The water of the spring is channelised to the bath-tubs of the panthanivas (Tourist Bungalow) to afford spa-bath.
Chilka is approximately 120 km from Bhubaneshwar, the nearest airport; state transport, OTDC tour buses and private operators ply the roads between Chilka, Puri, Behrampore, Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack. The nearest railway stations are at Rambha and Balugaon, both of which have train connections to cities as distant as Kolkata,Puri, Hyderabad and Chennai. From both Balugaon and Rambha buses are available to the lake.
Local transport is basically limited to three wheel rickshaws and auto rickshaws, bicycles and cars are sole modes of private transport. The services of local boatmen and the OTDC's motorboats are available for access to the islands though outboard motors are not allowed near the bird sanctuary.
Best time to visit
The weather remains moderately warm the whole year round, so come any time of the year except during the rainy season from June to September. The best time, however, is from October to March, when the lake is crowded with migrating birds, usually at least 50-70 species. Pilgrims flock here in January during Makar Mela (at the time of Makar Sankranti) to pay obeisance to the Goddess Kalijai, whose temple is situated on Kalijai island in Chilka Lake.