Enjoy Bhitarkanika despite crocodile-infested areas : new offerings from Sand Pebbles
‘Bhitarkanika’ the marshy wetland mangrove ecosystem located in the river delta of the Brahmani and Baitarani rivers in Odisha is considered to be India’s second largest mangrove. A home of crocodiles and known of having one of world’s largest nesting and breeding congregation of Olive Ridley Sea turtles.
Designated as the second Ramsar site (i.e. Wetland of International importance) of the State during August, 2002, Bhitarkanika is a unique area with rich biodiversity as it covers different ecosystems such as the landmass, tidal waterbodies of the deltaic region, estuaries and territorial waters of the Bay of Bengal along with their associated flora and fauna.
The deltaic region formed by the alluvial deposits of river Brahmani, Baitarani and Dhamara (Bhitarkanika) and the Mahanadi deltaic area, comprising of about 3000 Sq. Km. forms the proposed Bhitarkanika Biosphere Reserve. This deltaic region is a unique bioclimatic zone in a typical geographic situation in the coastal region of Bay of Bengal. It includes at present three protected areas namely Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhitarkanika National Park and the Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary.
Being an ideal eco-tourism destination for camping, trekking and picnics, tourists can witness the vast mangrove cover and wetland spots. Beside this tourists can enjoy boat rides to the mangrove-covered water bodies.
In view of the breeding season of salt water crocodile, the authorities have imposed a three month ban on the entry to the Bhitarkanika National Park. But Sand Pebble Bhitarkanika Jungle Resorts offers you beautiful stay and enjoyment nestled by nature here.
Bhitarkanika will remain out of bounds to tourists from May 1 till July 31. During the ban period, tourists would be denied access to crocodile-infested areas of Bhitarkanika, Dangamala and Ragadapati forest blocks.
However, tourists and guests can book their stay in Sand Pebbles Bhitarkanika Jungle Resorts at Bhitarkanika National Park to experience the nature. The resort offers boat cruising and sightseeing tours outside the National Park i.e. to Dhamra Port, Udabali Sea Beach, Pentha Beach during this period.
During the ban period the female reptiles lay eggs near the water bodies in the mangrove forests of the park and guard them till the hatchlings emerge. According to a survey in January 2016, there are 1,671 salt-water crocodiles in the Bhitarkanika river system.
Bhitarkanika has become an identified tourist destination in Odisha and is a paradise for nature lovers, conservationists, and biologists. It’s a heaven for tourists and infrastructure is presently available in places like Chandbali, Dangmal, Dhamara, Habalikhati, Gupti and Ekakula for catering the need of tourists.
The wetland is endowed with a variety of habitats and microhabitats to shelter wide ranging aquatic, terrestrial and avifauna. Bhitarkanika is endowed with a very complex and dynamic ecosystem and is highly fragile in nature. The ecosystem is complex in a sense that all the sub ecosystem namely fresh water, marine and terrestrial are intricately mixed with each other.
Bhitarkanika mangrove wetland is one of the most productive ecosystems. It adds to the coastal fishery production. The rivers and creeks in the wetland are a major source of variety of indigenous fish. The sheltered waters of mangroves provide nursery ground for commercially harvested prawns and shrimps. Several fish species come to the estuary for breeding.
Tourists can experience the unique marshy wetland mangrove ecosystem, beaches in the lap of nature in the resorts.