Duration: 8 a.m to 6:30 p.m
Chilika Lake is Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon with water spread ranging from 1165 sq km m the rainy season to 906 sq km in the dry season is nestled in the heart of the coastal Odisha. It extends from Bhusandpur in Puri district in the North to Rambha-Malud in Ganjan district in the South, separated from the Bay of Bengal by a 60 km long narrow strip of marshy islands and sand-flats.
Some of the prominent islands like Nalabana, Kalijal, Honeymoon, Break-fast, Birds and Rajahansa inhabited by small subsistence fishermen families, are popular destinations for daily boat trips. Because of its rich bio-diversity and socio-economic importance, Chilika was designated as a Ramsar site in 1981 to afford better protection.
Located on an island in the Chilika Lake, Kalijai Temple is one of the famous attractions. The temple worships Goddess Kalijai. The deity is highly revered among the locals as well as in their folklores and fables. The island is also a mesmerizing destination for pilgrims as well as tourists and can be reached via a boat from Chilika Lake. Makar Sankranti is celebrated with great pomp and cheer at the temple that attracts numerous travelers & devotees.
The large Nalabana Island covering about 16 sq km in the lagoon area was declared a bird sanctuary in 1987. The core area of about 9 sq km attracts around 400,000 waterfowls of different species. Often underwater, the island gradually emerges with the outset of summer. It is literally a paradise for bird-watchers.