Chilika – The Largest Brackish Water Lake

Orissa is a beautiful coastal state of eastern India. It has unique and valuable tourism resources. From the snow adventure peaks of the mountain to the sand and surf of the Bay of Bengal , a grand historical legacy, old culture to a modern civilization, wealth of world life, many sculptures and temple architecture vibrate the country’s life. The state has something for everyone. The monuments- the sun temple at Konark, the jagannath temple at puri, the Ling raj temple at Bhubaneswar are the holy places Of Orissa attract thousands of pilgrimage from the different parts of world in every day. The beautiful place Chilika Lake, attract to people for enjoy the beauty of nature. sparkling in the luxury of its blue expanse, relaxes the seductive Chilika, India largest brackish waterlake.

Encircled by hills and punctuated by emerald green islands, Chilika is a sanctuary and winter resort for winged visitors from all over the world.chilika spells magic through its migratory birds and its treasure house of aquatic fauna. The striking lake, replete with boats, reflects India at her colorful best. Truly Chalkier is the most delicious cuisine for hungry eyes and starved hearts.

CHILIKA: A two-hour journey from Bhubaneswar takes you to Chilika, a biodiversity hot spot and the largest brackish water lake in Asia. The largest lagoon along India’s east coast spreads over 1100 sqkm. It is also a unique assemblage of marine, briny and fresh water ecosystem with inimitable characters. A boat ride in this lagoon will bring you amidst the chirps of millions of migratory birds from Baikal, Siberia, South-east Asia, and Central Asia. Journey further to Visit some of the charming of nearest area Balugaon and Rambha, 25 km apart, are the two places, on the lake that serve as the base. Though you can visit the lake throughout the year, October-March is the best season because many migratory birds are available in this place. The lagoon’s ecosystem supports more than 225 fish species, a variety of phytoplankton, algae and aquatic plants, over 720 species of non-aquatic plants around the lagoon. This list includes a number of rare, threatened and endangered species, including the Barakudia limbless slope. This wealth of life earned Chilika the designation of a ‘Ramstad Site’, which is a wetland of International Importance. The Nalabana Island within the lagoon is notified as a bird sanctuary, to give escape to your adventurous traits, indulge in a scooter ride, canoeing, kayaking and boating in the water sports complex near the OTDC-run Panthniwas as comfortable accommodation. Breakfast in the floating restaurant and naval exercises by the Indian Navy egg you on to extent your stay at BarkuL.

But if you want privacy. Situated at the southern end of Chilika, Rambha cove is dotted with a number of islands, each com¬peting with the other to excel in natural beauty. Each of these inviting islands popping out of the vast stretch of blue has a story to tell. A breakfast island was once used by a British officer named snodgross, who was the collecter of Ganjam.He stayed in a bungalow on the island. Three kilometers away from Rambha way stands an architectural marvel in the shape of a conical pillar near the picturesque Ghantasala hill. Another three kilometers away stands the Honeymoon Island once used by Bruisers for picnicking and- partying. The crystal clear water of the inland and the luxurious bed of red and green worldwide decorations are simply captivating. The Birds Island, four kilometer from rambha, is a must-see for its wealth of herbs, shrubs and creepers.. The lake’s eastern snare is equally tempting because of the playful Irrawaddy Dolphins, a 30-km stretch of sandbar, the Rajhansa Islands and the mouth of Chilika which provides a stretch of an endless, unexplored beach to relax at. This adventure and fun-filled boat journey of nearly four hours is a destination itself.

KALIJAI TEMPLE: Temple kalijai is one of the important attractions for the visitors. It is located at a hillock surrounded by blue water bears .The many folklores and legends of Chilika refer to goddess as the reigning deity of the lagoon. According to legend a young girl who was drowned and then vener¬ated as a goddess after being sanctified .This small rocky island is having a group of people who worshiped Devi- kalijai in the temple. No boatman or fisher man ventures out without invoking the blessing of Devi-kalijai for a safe passage. Local folklores describes that the story of kalijai, a poor girl, who did not wish to marry in an island name parikuda because there is no link with other place. But at that time the tradition of the society was selected. she has to go her father in-law’s house. Father of kalijai arranged the whole thing for her in a traditional way. Selected a day, given order to a boatman on behalf of ‘a marriage ceremony of kalijai’ towards parikuda. Before arrive to Parikuda they should cross the lake. Both father and daughter started their ferry towards Parikuda Island to her wedding. Just on the way, a storm brew and the sky became dark & the boat was veiled in the gorgeous lake. Kalijai disappeared in to the dark water. But it was for a short time. Then the sky became clear. There was no storm. Just the father of kalijai alive….he cried….he shouted… kalijai…kalijai….that’s all. It is located at a hillock surrounded by blue water bears .The temple is dedicated to her memory. Each year at makar-sankranti, after the harvest people from different places coming worship Devi kalijai. Today the temple is the witness as a milestone or the burning example for the society.

AROUND CHILIKA: There are many places of interest that can be approached from Barkul. The famous Narayani temple with a perennial stream and the Bhagabati temple are the important destinations. For natural lovers, there is the Nirmaljhar waterfall.

References: Special ‘Magazine Discover of India’

: Travelers (out look)

: Orissa year book -2008

Source by Ramesh Chandra Padhy

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