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Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Orissa

Main Wildlife Attractions: Indian python, black ibis, wild pigs, rhesus monkeys, chitals,

Coverage Area: 672 sq.kms

Established: 1975

Best Time to Visit:November to February

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The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the estuarial region of Brahmani-Baitarani, in the north-eastern place of Kendrapara district of Orissa. The area of the sanctuary is crossed by a network of brooks, with the Bay of Bengal on the east. There is a passage between the winding creeks and the rivers, which houses the second largest feasible mangrove forest of India.

The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 672 square kilometers of mangrove forests and wetland, and is a home to over 215 species of birds, including winter migratory birds from places like Europe and central-Asia. The ecosystem of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is inhabited by the Giant Salt Water Crocodiles and numerous varieties of other animal species. The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary in Orissa is considered as one of the most impressive wildlife sanctuaries of Asia.

A vast area of 145 square kilometers have been officially been declared as the Bhitarkanika National Park. The national park in Orissa has enormous significance, considering the ecological, biological and geomorphologic backgrounds. The national park includes mangrove forests, creeks, estuaries, rivers, accumulated land, backwater and mud flats.

Besides the estuarine Giant Salt Water Crocodiles, the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary in Orissa is also rich in avifauna, reptilian and mammalian population. The mangrove forests in the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary are a good habitat for the King Cobra, Water Monitor Lizard and Indian Python.

Inside the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary , there is an area of approximately 4 hectares, which is visited by a large number of water birds, from the month of June to October every year. This area is in the Bhitarkanika Forest Block near Suajore creek. Some of the birds seen in this area are the Asian Open Bill, Cormorants, Darters, Black Ibis, Egrets and many more.