Chilika Lake, popularly known as Chilka, the queen of Natural
scenery in Orissa, also known as the Swiss-lake in the continent. Nestling in the
heart of coastal Orissa, Chilika is India's biggest inland lake. Spread over
1165 square kilometres during the monsoon season and 906 square kilometres during dry season, it runs along the borders of three districts of
Puri, Khurda and Ganjam and finally joins the Bay of Bengal through a narrow
mouth, forming an enormous lagoon of brackish water. Chilika is the largest brackish water lagoon of Asia situated on east coast of India. It is situated between 19028' and 19054' North latitude and 85005' and 5038' East longitude. Due to its high productive ecosystem, rich biodiversity and socio-economic importance, Chilika was designated as a Ramsar site in October 1981, under the convention of wetlands of international importance.
In winter Chilika lagoon flutters with thousands of migratory birds and water-fowls from as far as the Siberia, Caspian sea, Lake Baikal, Aral sea, remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mangolia, central and south east Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas for feeding, resting and roosting. Every year the birds start coming to the lake around the second and third week of October and stay up to March. They start their homeward journey at commencement of summer.
The lake is famous for bareheaded geese and common geese,etc. chilika is home to a rich variety of
aquatic flora and fauna. Chilika is veritable wonder of nature. Containing a large variety of fish the lake privides livelihood to thousands of
fishermen. Hundreds of boats sail out daily on the lake's blue expanse in search
of mackerel, prawn and crabs, this sight providing an insight into the pageant of
rural India at its colourful best.
Enriched by picturesque hills all along its arched shape, its colour changing in
Kalidoscopic glory with passing clouds and the moving Sun, its body rolling in
languid abandon, excited by the gentle breeze wafted from the Bay of Bengal. It is said that any visit to Puri remains incomplete without a visit to Chilika Lake. Chilika provides an opportunity to visit nature and natural beauties through its vast coverage of bluish water, small green mountains and islands in it and the clean bluish sky with floating
clouds. That is why Chilika has attracted many poets, nature lovers, bird watchers and even the general public and tourists every year.
|Best Time to Visit Chilika|
Winter is the best time to go Chilika, from October to March, when the lake is crowded with
large number of migrating birds from different countries. Avoid rainy season from June to
September. In January visitors also congregate in huge numbers at kalijai temple, situated
on Kalijai island in Chilka Lake, during Makar Sankranti to pray Goddess Kalijai.
Tourists can get more informations and also find the visitor rules about Chilika at the information banners provided by CDA (Chilika Development Authority) near chilika lake. Please find some of those banners below.
|FACTS ABOUT CHILIKA LAKE|
||19028' 19054' North Latitude
85005' 85038' East Longitude
||East - Bay of Bengal
West - Rocky hills of Easternghats
North - Alluvial plain Mahanadi Delta
South - Rocky hills of Eastern Ghats
||Puri, Khurda and Ganjam
|Length and breadth
||Maximum length - 64.30 km
Maximum breadth - 18.00 km
Minimum breadth - 5.00 km
|Water Spread area
||Maximum - 1165 square km
Minimum - 740 square km
|No. of rivers and rivulets (running water flowing on or under the earth) draining into it
|Total area of island
||223 square km
||One (near Moto village, previously near Arakhakuda)
||0.38m - 4.2m
|Declared as Ramsar site
||01 October, 1981