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An evening in the Chilika Lake

(This post has been published in TheViewspaper as The Paradise called Chilika)

This year seems to be much more happening than I expected. I realized it when I got an invitation from a senior colleague to attend his marriage at Bhubaneshwar. Hidden was another invitation to revisit the Puri-beach and also the Chilika Lake.

I hadn’t still come out of the hangover of my pan-India ride, when the date to fly to the City of Temples knocked at doors. Packing the very morning of departure with least pairs of casuals and 3sets of party wears, I joined Kaustav and Abhimanyu bhaiya on our tour de Chilika and Puri, also the Odiya Wedding.

Chilika Lake is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest in World. It is an essentially shallow brackish water lagoon on the east coast, spread over the districts of Puri, Khurda and Ganjam of Odisa state. The lake, popularly known as Chilka, was designated the first Indian Wetland of International importance under the Ramsar Convention, in 1981. (More)
A Board near the Chilika Anchorage
We have booked room online at OTDC (Orissa Tourism Development Corporation Ltd) managed Pantha Niwas, Satpada. This place is situated much closed to Irawadi Dolphin Eco Park and the boats’ anchor. Interestingly if we observe closely state of Odisha appears to be a roughly enlarged image of the lake itself.
Chilika Lake Map

We started for Satpada, from Puri, at around 11:30 AM. Finding way through moderate traffic on Satpada-Puri road, listening to song “Tere bina main” of the movie Crook had really a soothing effect. We were in quite a relaxed mood when I asked, ‘Ye kiski aawaz hai? (whose voice (or Sound) is this?)’, ‘Some car’s was the instantaneous answer from Abhimanyu. Shocked, we took few minutes to understand that he thought I asked about the honking and not the song? The incident was the clear notion of what fun we were heading towards.

We reached Pantha Niwas in about an hour. There the manager told us that in peak seasons, i.e. November-December, they take Rs 600/- per hour for boating; in other seasons it depends how well you negotiate.

In the Chilika, one can visit Kaljayee Temple (some 6 hours’ boating), Lake-Bay of Bengal confluence/Island, Irrawaddy Dolphin and migratory birds’ site. We customized the boating plan to view Irrawaddy Dolphins, birds and to visit the Chilika-Bay of Bengal confluence; an approximately 4hours plan and managed to get it for Rs 1200 only.

A fortunate sight of Irrawaddy Dolphin
We didn’t have to wait too long to see the famous Irrawaddy Dolphins of Chilika. Few minutes on boat, a few tens of meters from the anchorage, and there was the show of shy dolphins. These dolphins are classified as critically endangered species by the IUCN in Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Thailand and as vulnerable species in Bangladesh and India. The Irrawaddy Dolphin, locally know as Khem or Kher, was first described by Sir Richard Owen in 1866 in the harbour of Visakhapatnam on the east coast of India. Luckily enough, we’re able to click a few pictures. Unlike the popular dolphins we know, these had a blunt snout.

Next was to spot the migratory birds. Well, what we found were probably not the migratory ones; though were beautiful enough to attract city-dwellers’ attention. We saw a variety of birds, like Herons, Flamingos, some Ducks, Kingfishers, etc. Flamingos’ trying to get into a flying formation was a remarkable sight.
At far end of the Island, Chilika meets Bay of Bengal
Prawns or Chingdi
Dil Chahta hai - pose to banta hai
Our final destination of the day was the Island at the mouth of Chilika Lake, where it meets the Bay of Bengal. This place is famous for fresh prawns and crabs. I am not a pure non-vegetarian, but the masala-curry they serve in Odisha with prawns is just irresistible! Finger licking good! Also, the local guys try to sell pearls, taken right from the shell in front of the customer. Don’t be fooled, mostly those pearls are artificially grafted inside the shell. We too visited the beach on the other side of island, like always a Bay of Bengal beach is the best beach I have ever seen in my short life.
The Trio
After having some photographs, we sailed back to the anchorage; appreciating the beauty of one of the largest of its own kind lake in the World, watching sunset at the far west.
A scenic Sunset at Chilika Lake
If you ever plan to visit Bhubaneshwar or Puri, do visit Chilika Lake. Though visiting the lake in winters is a treat, the place is worth a visit throughout the year.

For more pics, click here...

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  1. Wonderful description and fabulous pics! The next time I am traveling to Puri, i am sure going to Chilika...Thanks!

  2. @Arti Its always wonderful seeing you stopping by my page :) Do visit Chilika Lake, and if you are a non-veg, do try the Masala-Prawns or Masala-chingdi....

  3. Just by watching this,I've such a great urge to go to this place! Nicely put up and amazing pics! My favorite - Dil Chahta hai - pose to banta hai..;)

    Great work..:)

  4. nice that kaustav in the boat??

  5. @Amar - Glad you liked the post :) Do visit Chilika, and also Puri. While, at Chilika you would be served with an especial sort of calmness, Puri will treat you with one of the best beaches of India, best waters I've ever seen....

    @SUB - Thanks! :) YEs, he's Kaustav. You too a Geologist?

  6. yea...he was my junior in Asutosh and IIT B...:-)

  7. @SUB Yeah, he told me that :) I visited your page too, and really liked it :)

  8. Hello Punit,

    This Vijay Dubey here from , your travelogue on Chilika lake is nice. I would like to invite you to join us and share some of your travel experience with fellow travelers.

  9. Much thanks for the appreciation and invitation! Will surely get back to you...


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