Covering an extensive area of 1100 sq km and located to the south west of Puri, a major pilgrim destination in the state of Orissa, the Chilka Lake is not just the largest brackish water lake in Asia but also a treasure trove of some of the most amazing birds that one can get to see in this planet. This repertoire of birds in the Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary has been attracting a large number of tourists from all across the country.
The Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary is best known for the birds which come from as far as Siberia to make it their temporary home in the winter season. A bird census conducted in the year 2005 with the aid of the global positioning system in early January is sure to surprise most of us. It revealed that as many as 9 lakh migratory birds come here in the winters. The sight of these birds is a pleasure to the eyes. The most commonly visible birds are Eagle, Geese and Flamingoes.
The Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary is indeed an ornithologist's paradise. But it is also a must visit for the common tourists. Boating in the crystal clear water of the lake and seeing so many beautiful feathered creatures will surely be a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all and sundry.
Chilka Lake is dotted with several islands and each of these islands is a tourist attraction in itself. Nalbana is the forest of reeds which has made a name for itself because of the migratory birds which come here. The well known Chilka dolphins are to be sighted in Satapada. The most reputed of them all is the Birds Island where you can see the largest number of birds in their natural habitat. Each of these islands contributes to the name and fame of the Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary.
The white-bellied sea eagles, jacana, purple moorhen, greylag geese, herons and flamingos are simply a delight to watch. The Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary is probably the best proliferation ground of the flamingoes. It is also the home of about 225 species of fishes. Other inhabitants of the Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary include Irrawaddy Dolphin, prawns, crabs, the limbless lizard, crustaceans. Witness all of them when visiting the Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary.