Asia’s largest brackish water lake, Chilika, is located about 100 km from Bhubaneswar. A narrow isthmus separates Chilika from the waters of the Bay of Bengal. Spread over an area of 1,100 sq km it was declared a sanctuary in 1987. Winter is the loveliest time at Chilika, with thousands of migratory birds flying in from as far off as Siberia to make their winter sojourn in strange waters.
Chilika – Asia’s largest brackish water lake Photo Credit: pallab seth
The waters come alive with their raucous cries and colorful plumage as the birds battle to find space to make their new homes. While the lake’s Nalbana island has been declared a sanctuary for its varied flora and fauna, Kalijai island is home to Goddess Kalijai and venue for annual Makar mela. Chital and black buck roam freely on the scrubby shores while dolphins gambol playfully in the foam of the churning waters.