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Bhitarkanika National Park complete detail – updated

Bhitarkanika National Park complete detail – updated. Geography of Bhitarkanika National Park. Dominant flora and fauna of Bhitarkanika National Park. How to Reach Bhitarkanika National Park.
It was declared as a Bhitarkanika National Park in the year of 1988. Total area of the park is about 145.00 Km2. Bhitarkanika is formed from two Odia words ‘Bhitar’ meaning interior and ‘Kanika’ meaning that which is extraordinarily beautiful. The sanctuary has 55 different varieties of mangroves which are used as nesting ground by the migratory birds coming from Central Asia and Europe. Teak, Salaia, Bamboo, Hair, Babul, Zizphus, Kauriculata, Palas are the other significant flora of the region…………..
The park is home to the endangered saltwater crocodile, White crocodile, Indian python King Cobra, Black ibis and many other species of flora and Fauna. The Park is also a prime habitat of leopard cat, fishing cat, jungle cat, hyena, wild boar, spotted deer, sambar, porcupine, dolphin, water monitor lizards etc.
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.

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Bhitarkanika National Park

Bhitarkanika National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Kendrapara district of the state of Odisha. It was established as a Wildlife Sanctuary in the year of 1975. Total area of the Sanctuary is about 525.00 Km2. The sanctuary is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.

Core area (145.00 Km2) of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as a Bhitarkanika National Park in the year of 1988.

Click here to view state wise list of Indian National Parks – updated

State wise list of Wildlife Sanctuaries of India – updated 

Bhitarkanika is formed from two Odia words ‘Bhitar’ meaning interior and ‘Kanika’ meaning that which is extraordinarily beautiful.

The national park is surrounded by the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. The park is home to the endangered saltwater crocodile, White crocodile, Indian python, King Cobra, Black ibis and many other species of flora and fauna.

The Park is also a prime habitat of leopard cat, fishing cat, jungle cat, hyena, wild boar, spotted deer, sambar, porcupine, dolphin, water monitor lizards etc.

There is a range of species of birds in the national park like Kingfisher, Woodpecker, White Bellied Sea Eagle, 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.

Bhitarkanika has one of the largest populations of endangered saltwater crocodile in India and is globally unique with 10 percent of the adults exceeding 6 m length. Nearly 700 saltwater crocodiles inhabit the rivers and creeks. Around 3,000 saltwater crocodiles were born during 2014 annual breeding and nesting season.

As per the 2014 survey, first of its kind to be undertaken in the forest and wetland sites of the park; 1,872 spotted deers, 1,213 numbers of wild boars have made the forest areas their home. The census breakup of other mammals are monkeys – 1,522, jackals – 305, common langur – 39, otter – 38, sambar deer – 17, jungle cat – 11, fox – 10, Mongoose – 7, wolf- 7, fishing cats – 3, hyena – 1.

Mangroves are spread all over the entire 525 km area of the Sanctuary including the wet and the marshy lands. The sanctuary has 55 different varieties of mangroves which are used as nesting ground by the migratory birds coming from Central Asia and Europe. Teak, Salaia, Bamboo, Hair, Babul, Zizphus, Kauriculata, Palas are the other significant flora of the region.

The park is of immense geomorphologic, ecological and biological significance 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 of Mangrove Forests, meandering rivers, innumerable crisscrossed tidal inundated creeks provide last refuge to the already endangered salt water crocodile which is the flagship species.

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

The spectacular wildlife, birds and vegetation makes Bhitarkanika one of the most amazing National park in India.

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History

Bhitarkanika has a very rich historical and cultural past. It used to be the hunting grounds of the erstwhile King of Kanika.

The Bhitarkanika Mangroves were Zamindari forests until 1952, when the government of Odisha abolished the Zamindari system and put the Zamindari forests in the control of the State Forest Department. But next 10-15 years saw heavy influx of outsiders and this took a heavy toll of the mangrove forests.

It was established as a Wildlife Sanctuary in the year of 1975. Total area of the Sanctuary is about 525.00 Km2. The sanctuary is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.

Core area (145.00 Km2) of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as a Bhitarkanika National Park in the year of 1988.

Dr. Bustard, Chief Technical Advisor to Government of India from UNDP / FAO initiated famous Crocodile Conservation Project and also reported mass nesting of olive Riddley sea-turtles on the Gahirmatha coast.

The Gahirmatha (Marine) Wildlife Sanctuary, which bounds the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary to the east, was created in September 1997 and encompasses Gahirmatha Beach and an adjacent portion of the Bay of Bengal.

During 2002 the Bhitarkanika mangroves having an area of 2672 Km2 been declared as a Ramsar site being a wetland of international importance.

Geography

Bhitarkanika National Park located in the Kendrapara district of the state of Odisha. The park is surrounded by the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. Gahirmatha Beach and Marine Sanctuary lies to the east, and separates swamp region cover with canopy of mangroves from the Bay of Bengal.

The park is of immense geomorphologic, ecological and biological significance because of the crisscrossing creeks, rivers, estuaries, backwaters, mud flats and accumulated lands.

The national park and wildlife sanctuary is inundated by a number of rivers – Brahmani, Baitarni, Dhamra, Pathsala and others.

The area is intersected by a network of creeks with Bay of Bengal on the East. The valley between the meandering creeks and rivers, houses the second largest viable mangrove eco-system of India.

Mangroves are spread all over the entire 525 km area of the Sanctuary including the wet and the marshy lands. The sanctuary has 55 different varieties of mangroves which are used as nesting ground by the migratory birds coming from Central Asia and Europe.

Bhitarkanika is one such location of rich, lush green vibrant eco-system lying in the estuarine region of Brahmani- Baitarani in the North-Eastern corner of Kendrapara district of Odisha.

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 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.

At the south end of the national park is the Gahirmatha Beach which is the lone mass nesting spot in Indian Ocean region and the only turtle sanctuary in Odisha. The beach is a UNESCO listed heritage site.

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Dominant flora

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

Dominant fauna

MammalsWild pigs, Rhesus monkeys, Chitals, Indian wild boars, Leopard cat, Common mongoose, Small Indian civet, Indian porcupine, Indian mole rat, House Shrew, Indian Field Mouse, Jackals, Common langur, Otter, Sambar deer, Jungle cat, fox, Mongoose, Wolf, Fishing cats, Hyena etc.

ReptilesSalt water Crocodile, Indian monitor lizard, Yellow monitor lizard, Water monitor lizard, Indian garden lizard, fan throated lizard, Indian chameleon, Spotted Indian house gecko, sand skink, Indian python, Common vine snake, Golden tree snake, Indian red snake, Common Kukhi snake, Common worm snake, Banded kraits, Common Indian Kraits, Estuarine sea snakes, Green viper, Russel’s etc.

Birds – Kingfisher, Woodpecker, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Ducks, Sea Gull, Hornbill, Waders, Bar Headed Geese etc.

Fishes – Illisha, Khainga, Bhekti, Kantia, Kokill, Rice fish, Panchx, Puffer fish, Acer fish, Climbing Perch, Dwart gourami, Glass fish, Pipe fishes, Mud skippers etc.

Other Attractions

Boat ride

The Hunting towers and Artificial watering holes

Medieval Hindu temples

Beaches, Islands, Brooks, Canals and Rivers

Camping and Trekking

Shiva Temple

Kanika King Palace

Silted Lotus Pond

Meadow Tower

Entry Points

Khola and Gupti are the two main entry points to enter Bhitarkanika National Park.

Best time to visit

The best time of the year to visit the Bhitarkanika National Park is between the months of November to May.

January to May: Open all days 09:00 am to 07:00 pm

September to December: 09:00 am to 07:00 pm

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Fee

Entry fee

Indians – Rs. 20/- per person

Indians (for a group of 10 members) – Rs. 10/- per person

Students – Rs. 10/- per person

Students (for a group of 10 members) – Rs. 5/- per person

Scientific Researcher (Indians) – Rs. 20/- per person

Foreigners – Rs. 1000/- per person

Foreigners (for a group of 10 members) – Rs. 200/- per person

Scientific Researcher (Foreigners) – Rs. 20/- per person

Boat / Vehicle Parking Charges

Rs. 100/- per Boat per day
Rs. 25/- per Motor Cycle per day
Rs. 100/- for four Wheeler per day

Camera fee

For Indians

Still – Rs.25/- per day

Video – Rs.500/- per day

For Foreigners

Still – Rs.50/- per day

Video – Rs.1000/- per day

Boating Charges

House Boat (Capacity 20 persons) – Rs.1000+Fuel-5 liters /hour

M.V. Kashyap (Capacity 40 persons) – Rs.1500+Fuel-11 liters /hour

Skimmer (Capacity 40 persons) – Rs.1000+Fuel-4.5 liters /hour

Closure Period of the Park

  1. 1st May to 31st July for breeding & nesting of estuarine crocodile.
  2. For Tourism related issues: eMail ID – dforajnagartourism@gmail.com

How to Reach

By AirNearest airport is Bhubaneswar airport, about 160 Km from the Bhitarkanika National Park. Bhubaneswar airport is well connected by road network to Bhitarkanika National Park.

By Rail Nearest railway station is Bhadrak railway station, about 70 Km from the Bhitarkanika National Park. Bhadrak railway station is well connected by road network to Bhitarkanika National Park.

By Road Bhitarkanika National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Bhitarkanika National Park at frequent intervals.

Accommodation

There are fully furnished tents for accommodation in the national park. The forest rest houses and jungle lodges at Ekakula, Dangmal and Gupti are available for accommodations.

Useful Contact

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Mangrove-cum-Wildlife Warden Bhitarkanika National Park, Rajnagar, Kendrapada, Odisha, India. 06729-242460, Fax- 06729-242464

For Tourism related issues – email ID – dforajnagartourism@gmail.com

Other National Park in Odisha. Name of National Park, Year of Notification and Total Area is as follows…….
S. No. Name of National Park Year of Notification Total Area(km²)
1 Simlipal National Park Odisha 1980 845.70

About Vijay Choudhary

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One comment

  1. THANKS ALOT FOR SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DESCRIPTION OF ALL 5 NATIONAL PARKS………WAITING FOR YOUR ANOTHER ARTICLES. 🙂

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