The Chilika Lake was declared a sanctuary in 1972 and later, it was declared a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1981. In December 1987, 15.53 sq km of Nalbana Island was also declared a sanctuary. Chilika was once a deep and open bay, where merchant ships dropped their anchor en route to Sri Lanka, Java, Sumatra and Khamboj . The new sandy ridges now give Chilika its unique and pear shape avoid it from being used as a deep drought harbour. In the 4th century pirate King Raktabahu (or Red Arm) was believed to travelled across the seas in an armada to pillage the rich and holy town of Puri.
Nalbana Bird Sanctuary
The Chilika Lake offers the largest gathering of migratory birds. The Nalabana Island that covers about 16 sq km was declared a bird sanctuary. Its core area is about 9 sq km which attracts around 400,000 waterfowls of different species.
Satapada located at a small distance of 50 kilometers from Puri, Satapada on Chilika is very famous for Irrawaddy Dolphins. 'Sata' means 'Seven' and 'Pada' Means 'Village', so the name Satapada means group of seven villages. It is located on the southern part of the Chilika Lake. Satapada is one of the most popular tourist place of Odisha. Here Dolphins and the scenic Sea Mouth attract large number of tourists every year.
How to Reach
Bhubaneswar is the nearest Airport. It is 105 kilometers from Barkul and 130 kilometers from Rambha and 110 kilometers from Satapada.
The Howrah-Chennai rail route of South Eastern Railway, which touches Chilika Lake at Balugaon, Chilika, Khalikote and Rambha. The nearest railway stations are at Rambha and Balugaon, both train connections to Kolkata, Puri, Hyderabad and Chennai. From both Balugaon and Rambha buses are also available to the lake. A part of Chilka lake is visible from the Howrah-Chennai railway track.
Chilika can be visited through many points but the most convenient places are Balugaon, Barkul, Rambha. National High Way No. 5 touches Chilika at Balugaon, Barkul and Rambha.
Best Time to Visit
Winter months from November to February is the best time to visit Chilka Lake , when the temperature varies between maximum of 22°C and minimum of 4°C.