By Saumya Parida; “A thing of beauty is joy forever”. Three rivers, competing with each other and the Bay of Bengal is inviting them to join. This is lover’s mystery. Isn’t it? Who will reach the destination faster? Who would embrace the sea sooner? Who would cross miles to meet the loved one? This is a beautiful creation of nature in the far away noise of cities. Surrounded by Mangroves and jungles, it conveys the aesthetic beauty of water and greenery. This deadly combination makes it a visitor’s paradise. Away from an environmentally polluted city/area where you leave, nature will provide you unbelievable natural beauty with silence.
Its non-other than “BHITARAKANIKA” Wild Life Sanctuary & National Park located in the Kendrapada District of Odisha, India. The area is surrounded by rivers such as Brahmani, Baitarani and Dhamara and is criss-crossed by several creeks and creeklets. The sanctuary is a protected zone for estuarine crocodiles. There is a crocodile breeding farm at Dangamala. The pride possession of this farm is white crocodile “Sankua”, a rare species in the world.
This conveys a beautiful message about life as well. Despite of all odds, hurdles and obstacles; one has to survive. Like the three rivers did. Learning from these trips would be immense emotionally and intellectually.
With the second largest compact mangrove eco system in India, the Sanctuary and national park situated in more than 600 square kilometres. More than 60 varieties of mangrove plants are found here which provide home to a variety of rare and endangered species.
Bhitarakanika is a natural habitat of wild creatures like crocodiles, pythons, king cobra, rhesus monkey, wild pigs, spotted deer and sambars etc. Over 170 species of resident and migratory birds of different hue enhance the beauty of the wild. The prominent among them are king fishers, sea eagles, billed storks, kites, sand pipers, darters, whistling teals and sea gulls. The chirping of birds nesting at “Baga Gahana” is sure to leave an unforgettable impression in anybody’s mind. An unexpected additional attraction of nature here is the visit of Oliv Ridley sea turtles to Gahiramatha in lakhs twice every year between January and March to lay eggs an masse.
Watching the wild life in their natural habitat, isn’t it a thrilling experience!
The temperature can go up here to 34 degree Celsius in summer while in winter the temperature can drop to 13 degree Celsius. So, light cotton clothing in summer and light woollen garments is required in the sanctuary.
With added attraction of pilgrimage for spiritual mind, a 19th century monument-A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva; A shakti shrine at Dangamal stands tall. Soul searching with a poetic mind, will lead to definitely creation of something meaningful.
This beautiful place was not discovered till the time, Paradip port was made. This place came into the prominence and got developed in 1960s. It was declared a wild life sanctuary in 1975 and became national park in 1998. Alas...with all its beauty, still it has not got its due. Awareness creation is still at large a word of mouth affair.