Orissa tourism has much in its stores for its tourists, it is a land of culture and traditions, where majestic monuments, temples and bewitching beaches are present to excite you.Orissa tourism guide offers perfect holiday tour to spent on Chilka Lake, one of the most exquisite picnic spot for the locals as well as visitors.

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Chilka Lake

Not more than one hour's drive, south-west of Puri, is the Chilka lake, noted for the many migratory birds which flock here each December-January. Known as the Honeymoon Island or Breakfast Island, this 1,100 sq. km shallow lake is Asia's largest salt water lagoon and is separated from the sea only by a narrow sand bar. The lake is peppered with many small rocky islands and is a vast reserve for aquatic flora and fauna. It is also a premier training establishment for sailors of the Indian Navy. After recruitment, all sailors undergo their basic naval training here for about 6 months before they branch off into various trades for specialized training.

Chilka Lake
¤ Chilka Lake Attractions

Jungle Attractions
This part-salty and part-fresh water lake attracts around 150 species of migratory birds every year during winter and hence is a bird-watcher's paradise. This natural habitat of varied species of flora, harbours the 'aquatic vegetation' of its own by providing refuge to many extinct species. The dunes and sandy areas of the beaches by the lake have the floral composition of their own, favoured in the conditions they offer. The water and the land go hand in hand to create a new world for around 158 different species of entities, including insects, mollusca, fishes, prawns, amphibians, reptiles, birds and animals. Limbless skink, a rare reptile which was discovered for the first time in 1917 from loose soil, attaches much significance to this place. You can always spot a dolphin or two here, while keeping an eye for Siberian cranes, especially near the sand bar where the lake runs into the sea. So to enjoy the trip up to its brim, it is a good idea to hire a boat.

Kalijai Temple
The temple is dedicated to Kalijai who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Kali. The temple is located on one of those emerald green islands, that dot the lagoon. Interestingly, the depth of lake around the island is not yet known.

Another island in the cluster, Nalabana, boasts of a superb beach with golden sand and blue water. One can enjoy boating and fishing at leisure. A nice place to hang around, this island also has patches of green forests holding hidden ecological treasures in its pockets. Every year, the migratory birds compensate their stay by providing stupefying photographic safaris.

Cruise on Chilka Lake
To cruise on Chilka Lake as well as to visit discrete islands, motorised yatch and speed boat services are available at fixed rates from OTDC. You can also hire a sea kayak from Orrisa Tourism's Water Sports Complex (WSC) to explore the Nalaban island.

Sea Sizzlers
Enjoy delicious sea food preparations in patta (leaf plates), here in Chilka. Satiate your taste buds with fresh Tiger Prawns, Red Crabs and other fish delicacies in food stalls set up by the locals.

¤ Best Time to Visit

Chilka Lake is a all season destination, but ornithologists should make a trip during December-January. As per the 2005 census, 2.36 lakh of avian guests were seen in the Nalabana Bird Sanctuary, who left eternal impression on the minds of the tourists.

¤ Accommodation

Numerous hotels, rest houses, villas and huts are dotted in and around the lake. Some places of accommodation are owned and managed by OTDC, while others are maintained privately. Moreover, at the southern end of the lake, there are tourist bungalows at Rambha and Barkul which is 6 km north of Balugaon railway station.

¤ How to Reach

Nearest airport is Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneswar, 105 km from Barkul and 135 km from Rambha. The nearest railhead is at Balugaon, on south-eastern railway which is directly connected to Kolkata, Puri, Orissa, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Both Barkul and Rambha, the nearest destinations to Chilka, are situated on National Highway 5. Regular buses ply between Bhubaneswar and Berhampur, while stopping en route at Barkul and Rambha. Auto and cycle-rickshaws are available at both Barkul and Rambha to convey visitors to the lake.

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