Bhitarkanika National Park

The BhitarkanikaNational Park is home to many rare species of flora, fauna, and birds. You can also see a large number of crocodiles in the river. Apart from that, you can also spot a few deers and wild boars in the sanctuary. If you love wildlife photography, Bhitarkanika is the perfect place to visit. The wetland is represented by as many as 3 bulwarked Areas, namely The Bhitarkanika National Park, The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary. Bhitarkanika is located between 86′-45″ To 87’17” East longitude and 20′-17″ to 20′-47″ North latitude. At the south cessation of the national park is the Gahirmatha Beach which is the lone mass nesting spot in the Indian Ocean region and the only turtle sanctuary in Odisha. The beach is a UNESCO-listed heritage site.

The Bhitarkanika National Park is home to one of the largest mangrove forests in Odisha. A mangrove is a type of forest found in coastal areas. It is a rich source of a variety of foods, medicines, and fuel. However, mangrove forests are threatened by many factors such as climate change, unsustainable harvesting, and pollution. Bhitarkanika National Park is home to many species of birds, fish, and a wide range of rare flora. The lush green forest attracts many tourists who come here to see the natural beauty of the sanctuary. The park is of immense geomorphologic, ecological, and biological paramount because of the crisscrossing creeks, rivers, estuaries, backwaters, mud flats, and accumulated lands and constitutes an ideal location for trekking, camping, and picnic. The park comprises Mangrove Forests, meandering rivers, and innumerable crisscrossed tidal inundated creeks that provide the last refuge to the already imperilled brine crocodile which is the flagship species.

Khola and Gupti are the two main ingress points of the park. Prior sanction is needed from the Forest Check Gate to enter the national park via waterways.

Important Animals and Birds in Bhitarkanika

This ecosystem harbours the largest saltwater crocodile population in the sub-continent. Apart from that, you can also spot a few years and wild boars in the sanctuary. The Indian gharial is another rare species found in Bhitarkanika. It is an aquatic crocodilian found in the Bhitarkanika River. The Indian pangolin is a scaly, ant-eating mammal found in Bhitarkanika. Many other animals are found in the Bhitarkanika and they are the Indian python, Black Ibis, Wild Boar, Rhesus Monkey, Chital, Darter, Cobra, and Monitor Lizards. The Park is withal a prime habitat of leopard feline, fishing feline, jungle feline, hyena, wild boar, spotted deer, sambar, porcupine, dolphin, dihydrogen monoxide, etc . The Indian pangolin is also found in the Sundarbans, the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, etc.

Bhitarkanika is a perfect place to spot migratory birds. It has a large water body along with a mangrove forest that attracts various species of migratory birds from different parts of the world. Some of the exotic birds we get to witness here are the Black Kite (Pariah Kite), Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea Eagle, White-rumped Vulture (Indian White-backed Vulture), Kingfisher, Woodpecker, Brahminy Ducks, Sea Gull, Hornbill, Waders, Bar Headed Geese, etc. are other avifauna of the region. The national park is the habitat of about 215 species of birds which includes eight different species of Kingfishers. The sanctuary has 55 different varieties of mangroves which are utilized as a nesting ground by the migratory birds emanating from Central Asia and Europe. Teak, Salaia, Bamboo, Hair, Babul, Zizphus, Kauriculata, Palas are the other consequential flora of the region.  The types of fishes available are – Illisha, Khainga, Bhekti, Kantia, Kokill, Rice fish, Panchx, Puffer fish, Acer fish, Climbing Perch, Dwart gourami, Glass fish, Pipe fishes, Mud skippers, etc. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between October to March.

Ascendant flora

Sundari, Thespia, Casuarinas, Teak, Salaia, Bamboo, Hair, Babul, Zizphus, Kauriculata, Palas, indigo bush etc.

Ascendant fauna

Mammals – Wild pigs, Rhesus monkeys, Chitals, Indian wild boars, Leopard feline, Mundane mongoose, Minute Indian civet, Indian porcupine, Indian mole rat, House Shrew, Indian Field Mouse, Jackals, Mundane langur, Otter, Sambar deer, Jungle feline, fox, Mongoose, Wolf, Fishing felines, Hyena, etc.

Reptiles – Brine Crocodile, Indian monitor lizard, Yellow monitor lizard, Dihydrogen monoxide monitor lizard, Indian garden lizard, fan throated lizard, Indian chameleon, Spotted Indian house gecko, sand skink, Indian python, Prevalent vine snake, Golden tree snake, Indian red snake, Prevalent Kukhi snake, Mundane worm snake, Banded kraits, Mundane Indian Kraits, Estuarine sea snakes, Green viper, Russel’s, etc.

Crocodiles: The Heart of Bhitarkanika

Bhitarkanika has one of the largest populations of the endangered saltwater crocodile in India and is worldwide popular for it. Approximately 1671 saltwater crocodiles inhabit the rivers and creeks. Around 3,000 saltwater crocodiles were born during the 2014 annual breeding and nesting season. A crocodile of Forty-years is named ‘Gori’, hatched and bred by the Forest Department in 1975 as a part of a crocodile conservation program. It was the first albino crocodile spotted in Bhitarkanika. A rare albino salt-water crocodile has been recently identified at Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park, as reported by the forest officials. Most tourists are thrilled about the existence of a massive number of breeds of exotic crocodiles. From only 96 crocodiles in the year 1974 to a wide population of 1768 crocodiles in the year 2021, Bhitarkanika has become the county’s largest crocodile conservation place. A 23-foot crocodile was discovered to be present in the year 2006 in Bhitarkanika which was noted as the world’s largest estuarine crocodile in the Guinness Book of World Records.


The land of lush green mangroves, migrating birds and turtles, the menacing estuarine crocodiles, meandering water courses, tranquil surrounding intercepted by the chirping of birds and the ever embracing nature, entrails visitors from near and far off places to flock these unique places of tourist importance. Scientists, Scholars, Nature Lovers and Tourists have abundant food for thought and exploration. Bhitarkanika represents one of the finest creations ever. The wetland is represented by as many as 3 protected Areas, namely “The Bhitarkanika National Park”, “The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary” and “The Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary”.

Bhitarkanika is a unique habitat of Mangrove Forests criss-crossed with numerous creeks and mud flats located in Kendrapara district of Orissa. One of the largest Mangrove Eco systems in India, Bhitarkanika is home to diverse flora and fauna. Bhitarkanika located between 86’-45” To 87’17” East longitude and 20’-17” to 20’-47” North latitude in the estuary of Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra & Mahanadi river systems, has unique attraction and a boast of nature’s most picturesque sites. The unique bio-diversity attracts visitors to the nature’s lap.

Bhitarkanika National Park is a prime habitat of leopard cat, fishing cat, jungle cat, hyena, wild boar, spotted deer, sambar, porcupine, dolphin, salt water crocodile including partially white crocodile, python, king cobra, water monitor lizards, terrapin, marine turtle, kingfisher, wood pecker, hornbill, bar headed geese, brahminy duck, pintail, white bellied sea eagle, tern, sea gull, waders and a large variety of resident and migratory birds.

Entry Points

Khola and Gupti are the two main entry points to enter the most sought-after destination, Bhitarkanika National Park. Visitors should take entry permit from the Forest Check Gate at Khola and Gupti.

Both Forest Department’s and private boats are available at both the places.
Private boats are also available at JAYANAGAR & CHANDABALI.

How to Reach

By Road :

Bhubaneswar – Khola / Gupti (160 kms)
Cuttack – Khola / Gupti (140 kms)
Bhadrak -Chandabali (60 kms)
Bhadrak – Jayanagar (80 kms)

Nearest Railway Station :

Bhadrak – 60 kms to Chandabali
Bhadrak – 80 Kms to Jayanagar
Cuttack – 140 kms to Khola / Gupti
Bhubaneswar – 160 kms to Khola/Gupti

Nearest Airport :

Bhubaneswar – 160 kms to Khola / Gupti
Direction from Bhubaneswar to Bhitarkanika