Chilika Lake is the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia and the second largest coastal lagoon in the world, spread over the Puri, Khordha and Ganjam districts of Odisha state on the east coast of India. It covers an area of over 1,100 square kilometres and is connected to the Bay of Bengal by a narrow channel.

Chilika Lake is a unique ecosystem that supports a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including many threatened and endangered species. It is also a major source of livelihood for more than 150,000 fisherfolk who live in and around the lake.

Why Visit Chilika Lake?

Chilika Lake is a paradise for nature lovers, bird watchers, photographers and adventure seekers. Here are some of the reasons why you should visit this amazing destination:

  • Witness the largest congregation of migratory birds in India: Chilika Lake hosts over 160 species of birds during the peak migratory season, from November to February. Some of these birds come from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Central and Southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas. You can see flamingos, pelicans, storks, herons, egrets, spoonbills, ducks, geese, cranes, ibises, gulls, terns and many more. The best way to enjoy the bird life is to take a boat ride to the islands and sandbars where they roost and feed.
  • Spot the rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphins: Chilika Lake is one of the few places in the world where you can see the Irrawaddy dolphins, a species of oceanic dolphin that lives in brackish and freshwater habitats. These dolphins are shy and elusive, but you can catch a glimpse of them near the mouth of the lake at Satpada. They are known for their distinctive blunt forehead, small dorsal fin and flexible neck. They can grow up to 2.75 metres in length and weigh up to 150 kilograms.
  • Explore the scenic islands and temples: Chilika Lake has several islands that offer scenic views and cultural attractions. Some of the popular islands are:
  • Kalijai Island: This island is famous for its temple dedicated to Goddess Kalijai, who is worshipped by the local fishermen as their guardian deity. The temple is also a popular pilgrimage site during Makar Sankranti festival in January.
  • Nalabana Island: This island is a bird sanctuary that covers an area of about 15 square kilometres. It is a designated Ramsar site, which means it is a wetland of international importance. It is home to thousands of birds, especially during the winter season.
  • Honeymoon Island: This island is also known as Somolo Island or Breakfast Island. It is a small island with white sandy beaches and casuarina trees. It is a perfect spot for picnics and relaxation.
  • Beacon Island: This island has a lighthouse that was built by the British in 1868. It offers a panoramic view of the lake and its surroundings.
  • Birds’ Island: This island is a haven for bird lovers, as it has a variety of resident and migratory birds. You can see kingfishers, parakeets, hornbills, woodpeckers, barbets, orioles and many more.

How to Reach Chilika Lake?

Chilika Lake is easily accessible by road, rail and air from different parts of India. Here are some of the ways to reach Chilika Lake:

  • By Air: The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar Airport, which is about 120 kilometres away from Chilika Lake. You can take a taxi or a bus from the airport to reach Chilika Lake.
  • By Rail: The nearest railway station is Balugaon Railway Station, which is about 10 kilometres away from Chilika Lake. You can take an auto-rickshaw or a taxi from the station to reach Chilika Lake.
  • By Road: Chilika Lake is well connected by road with major cities like Bhubaneswar, Puri, Cuttack and Berhampur. You can take a bus or a taxi from these cities to reach Chilika Lake.

What to Do at Chilika Lake?

Chilika Lake offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Some of the things you can do at Chilika Lake are:

  • Take a boat ride: The best way to experience the beauty and diversity of Chilika Lake is to take a boat ride. You can hire a motorboat, a speedboat or a houseboat from various points around the lake, such as Balugaon, Satpada, Rambha and Barkul. You can also opt for a guided tour that will take you to the different islands, bird spots and dolphin sites. The boat ride will cost you between Rs. 500 to Rs. 3000 depending on the duration, type and route of the boat.
  • Visit the Mangalajodi Ecotourism Centre: Mangalajodi is a village on the northern edge of Chilika Lake that has been transformed into an ecotourism centre by the local community. The villagers, who were once poachers, have now become conservationists and guides. They offer boat rides, bird watching, nature walks and homestays to the visitors. You can see a variety of birds, such as jacanas, moorhens, coots, rails, grebes, cormorants, darters, herons, egrets and many more. You can also learn about the local culture, cuisine and crafts of the villagers.
  • Enjoy the local food: Chilika Lake is famous for its seafood, especially crabs, prawns and fish. You can savour the fresh and delicious seafood at various restaurants and stalls around the lake. You can also try the local delicacies, such as chuda (flattened rice), manda pitha (steamed rice cake), chhena poda (baked cheese cake) and rasagola (sweet cheese balls).

Featured Packages ✨

Bhubaneswar – Gopalpur – Chilika Lake – Konark