Welcome to an immersive journey through the breathtaking Bhitarkanika National Park, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Odisha. Bhitarkanika boasts a diverse array of rare species such as saltwater crocodiles, white-spotted deer, and Olive Ridley turtles.
In this article, we will take you through a thrilling adventure in Bhitarkanika Eco-Retreat, where you can bask in the lap of nature, enjoy various activities like Bhitarkanika nature camps, boating, and safari, and take home unforgettable memories of your wildlife escapade.
Bhitarkanika National Park Facts and Information
|672 sq km
|National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
|Mangroves, saltwater crocodiles, and a variety of bird species
|Saltwater crocodiles, Indian python, King cobra, and white crocodile
|Boat rides, trekking, and camping
|Best Time to Visit
|November to February
|Bhadrak (70 km)
|Bhubaneswar (160 km)
|Nearest Railway Station
|Bhadrak (70 km)
Spread across 672 square kilometres, Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha is a natural wonder and the second-largest mangrove ecosystem in India.
The park’s proximity to the Bay of Bengal enriches the soil with salts, creating a unique habitat for flora and fauna found in tropical and subtropical intertidal regions.
Bhitarkanika National Park is just 140 kilometres away from the state capital Bhubaneswar making it a popular tourist destination.
Bhitarkanika National Park is renowned for its endangered saltwater crocodiles, which breed here in large numbers.
The park is also home to the largest colony of Olive Ridley sea turtles, located at Gahirmatha Beach, which forms the park’s eastern boundary.
Once a hunting ground for the Raj Kanika royal family, Bhitarkanika National Park now showcases an impressive concentration of mangrove trees that dominate the forests and wetlands.
The park’s 145 square kilometres of core area are a biodiversity hotspot, with an abundance of unique flora and fauna.
The park is home to 215 bird species, including eight varieties of kingfishers and migratory birds from Europe and Central Asia. Reptiles, mammals, and vertebrates such as cobras, Indian pythons, water monitor lizards, chitals, jungle cats, wild pigs, otters, rhesus monkeys, sambar, spotted deer, wild boar, and fishing cats also call the park home.
Visitors can spot Asian open bills, cormorants, darters, black ibis, egrets, open-billed storks, sandpipers, sea eagles, whistling teals, kites, and seagulls, among other avian species.
The best way to experience Bhitarkanika National Park is through an organized tour. The park’s forest rest houses, located at Ekakula, Dangmal, and Gupti, offer comfortable accommodations for visitors.
The best time to visit the Bhitarkanika National Park is during the winter months of November to February.
Bhitarkanika National Park Photos
History of Bhitarkanika National Park
Bhitarkanika National Park has a fascinating history that dates back to the 16th century. Initially established as a hunting ground for the Kanika royal family, the area was eventually recognized for its natural beauty and unique ecosystem.
In 1975, the region was declared a sanctuary, and in 1998, it was officially designated as a national park.
At Bhitarkanika National Park, you’ll find one of India’s largest mangrove ecosystems. The park’s mangrove forests play a vital role in protecting the coastline from natural disasters such as cyclones and floods.
The park is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including saltwater crocodiles, spotted deer, king cobras, and many species of birds.
In recent years, Bhitarkanika National Park has become a popular destination for tourists who want to explore the park’s unique ecosystem.
Visitors can enjoy activities such as boat safaris, trekking, and bird watching. The park also has several accommodation options, including forest rest houses and eco-tourism cottages.
Today, Bhitarkanika National Park is a symbol of India’s commitment to preserving its rich biodiversity and natural heritage.
Through conservation efforts and ecotourism initiatives, the park is helping to promote sustainable development and preserve the region’s unique ecosystem for future generations to enjoy.
Interested in History? Consider reading: Odisha History
Bhitarkanika National Park Timings
Bhitarkanika National Park Entry Fee and Price
|Fee per Person
|Included in Accommodation Fees
Note: Guests do not need to pay an additional entry fee as it is already included in the accommodation fees. Visitors are advised to carry printouts of their booking details and ID proof.
|Fee (per day)
Rate chart for using Camera at Bhitarkanika Nature Camp:
|Fee (per day)
Bhitarkanika National Park Boating Price and Booking
|Number of Persons
|Fee per Person
|Up to 9
|10 to 18
Things to Do in Bhitarkanika National Park
Bhitarkanika National Park is a nature lover’s paradise, offering a range of exciting activities that cater to all interests. Here are some of the top things to do in Bhitarkanika National Park:
- Boat Safari: One of the most popular activities in the park is a boat safari. The park has a thriving population of saltwater crocodiles, and a boat safari is a perfect way to spot these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. You can also catch glimpses of other wildlife, including spotted deer, water monitor lizards, and many species of birds.
- Trekking and Bird Watching: Bhitarkanika National Park is a bird watcher’s paradise, with a vast array of bird species, including migratory birds from Europe and Central Asia. The park’s lush forests are also excellent for trekking, and you can spot animals such as wild boars, spotted deer, and fishing cats along the way.
- Gahirmatha Beach: Gahirmatha Beach, located at the park’s eastern boundary, is the largest nesting ground for Olive Ridley sea turtles. Visitors can witness these fascinating creatures laying eggs and hatching during the nesting season, which typically occurs between November and January.
- Dangmal Crocodile Research Centre: For those interested in learning more about saltwater crocodiles, the Dangmal Crocodile Research Centre is a must-visit attraction. The centre is home to a successful crocodile breeding program that has contributed to the increase in the crocodile population in the park.
- Visit Nearby Attractions: Bhitarkanika National Park is surrounded by several other attractions, such as the Bhitarakanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhitarkanika Mangrove Forest, and the Ratnagiri Buddhist Excavations. Exploring these nearby attractions can add another dimension to your visit to the park.
Bhitarkanika National Park offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and exciting activities, it’s no wonder that it’s becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination.
Bhitarkanika Nature Camp
visitors can choose from several luxurious accommodations, including Dangamal Nature Camp, Habalikhati, and Gupti Nature Camps.
Each camp offers a range of cuisine and delicacies to suit all tastes. The camp’s luxurious rooms are equipped with modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay.
One of the most popular attractions at Bhitarkanika is the world’s largest congregation of saltwater crocodiles.
Visitors can also spot other wildlife such as spotted deer, wild pigs, and thousands of colourful birds, including winter migrants from Central Asia and Europe.
Eco-tourists can witness the lakhs of water birds visiting Bagagahana-heronry near Suajore Creek from August to October every year. More than 10 species of herons can be seen nesting on thousands of trees.
Additionally, the park is home to several species of dolphins, including the bottle-nose, Irrawaddy, and finless porpoise dolphins, which can be spotted from different beaches such as Habalikhati Beach, Gahirmatha, and Pentha Beach.
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park are also renowned for its streams, creeks, rivers, and estuaries. Visitors can take a boat ride from Gupti/Khola to reach Dangamal Nature Camp or Habalikhati Nature Camp, a beach resort that offers comfortable rooms facing the sea with modern facilities.
Gupti Nature Camp, located inside the forests of Bhitarkanika and on the banks of the Patasala River, offers six luxurious accommodations for night stays.
Bhitarkanika Nature Camp Rate chart
|Rate per Night
|Heron House (Double Bedded, AC)
|Bani Bhawan (Four Bedded)
|Hental House (Three Bedded, Non-Attached Bathroom)
|Sundari Bhawan (Double Bedded, AC)
|Cottage (Double Bedded, AC)
|Rate per Person
Note: The above rates are provided by Bhitarakanika Ecotourism & Ecodevelopment Society (BEES). The rates may be subject to change without prior notice.
Bhitarkanika national park contact number: 99375 92976
Bhitarkanika national park boating contact number: 9337801991
How to Reach Bhitarkanika National Park
Bhitarkanika National Park can be reached via several modes of transportation.
Here are the possible ways to reach the Bhitarkanika National Park:
- By Air: The nearest airport to Bhitarkanika National Park is Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar, which is approximately 140 km away. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the park.
- By Train: The nearest railway station is Bhadrak, which is approximately 70 km away from the park. You can take a taxi or a bus from the station to reach the park.
- By Road: The park is well connected by road, and regular bus services are available from major cities in Odisha. You can also hire a taxi or self-drive to reach the park.
- By Water: The park can be reached via waterways as well. Regular boat services are available from Gupti, which is the nearest entry point to the park. The boat ride is approximately 3 hours long and offers a scenic view of the park’s mangrove forests and wildlife.
Best Time to Visit Bhitarkanika National Park
The best time to visit Bhitarkanika National Park is from November to February, during the winter season.
The weather during this time is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 12°C to 30°C. The park is home to a variety of migratory birds during this period, making it an ideal time for birdwatchers.
The summer season, from March to May, can be quite hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 36°C. However, this is also the breeding season for estuarine crocodiles, and visitors can witness the nesting and hatching of these reptiles.
The monsoon season, from June to October, can be challenging for visitors due to heavy rain and high humidity. During this period, the park remains closed to visitors as the water level in the rivers and creeks rises, making it difficult to navigate.
Therefore, the best time to visit Bhitarkanika National Park is from November to February, during the winter season, when the weather is pleasant, and visitors can witness a variety of migratory birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat.
Looking for places to visit in Odisha? Consider reading: 20 Best places to visit in Odisha
Suggested Itinerary to Visit Bhitarkanika National Park from Bhubaneswar
Here is a suggested itinerary to visit Bhitarkanika National Park from Bhubaneswar:
- Start your journey from Bhubaneswar to Rajnagar (approximately 140 km) by hiring a taxi or taking a bus.
- Reach Rajnagar and take a boat ride from Gupti to Dangmal, the entry point of Bhitarkanika National Park.
- Check in to your accommodation in the park and spend the rest of the day exploring the park’s mangrove forests and wildlife.
- Overnight stay in the park.
- Wake up early and take a boat ride to explore the park’s creeks and canals.
- Witness the sunrise and birdwatching during the boat ride.
- Return to your accommodation for breakfast.
- Visit Gahirmatha Beach, which is approximately 45 km away from the park and is the world’s largest nesting ground for Olive Ridley sea turtles.
- Return to your accommodation in the park and spend the rest of the day exploring the park on foot.
- Overnight stay in the park.
- Wake up early and take a boat ride to explore more of the park’s creeks and canals.
- Visit the crocodile breeding centre and witness the nesting and hatching of estuarine crocodiles.
- Return to your accommodation for breakfast.
- Check out of your accommodation and take a boat ride back to Gupti.
- Return to Bhubaneswar by hiring a taxi or taking a bus.
Note: The itinerary can be customized based on your preferences and the availability of time. Visitors are also advised to check the park’s opening timings and dates before planning their trip.
Looking for places to visit in Bhubaneswar? Consider reading: Best places to visit in Bhubaneswar
FAQs on Bhitarkanika National Park
What is Bhitarkanika National Park?
Bhitarkanika National Park is a protected area located in Odisha, India. It is known for its mangrove forests, estuarine crocodiles, migratory birds, and other wildlife.
What is the best time to visit Bhitarkanika National Park?
The best time to visit Bhitarkanika National Park is from November to February, during the winter season. The weather during this time is pleasant, and visitors can witness a variety of migratory birds and other wildlife.
How to reach Bhitarkanika National Park?
Bhitarkanika National Park can be reached via several modes of transportation. The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar, and the nearest railway station is Bhadrak. Regular bus services are also available from major cities in Odisha. The park can also be reached via waterways from Gupti, the nearest entry point to the park.
What are the entry fees for Bhitarkanika National Park?
The entry fee for Bhitarkanika National Park is Rs. 40 per person for day visitors. The fees are already included in the accommodation fees for guests.
What are the accommodation options in Bhitarkanika National Park?
Bhitarkanika National Park offers various accommodation options, including lodges, cottages, and tents. Visitors can choose from different types of accommodation based on their preferences and budget.
What are the popular activities to do in Bhitarkanika National Park?
Popular activities to do in Bhitarkanika National Park include boat rides to explore the park’s creeks and canals, birdwatching, wildlife spotting, visiting the crocodile breeding centre, and exploring the park’s mangrove forests and estuaries.
Is it safe to visit Bhitarkanika National Park?
Yes, Bhitarkanika National Park is safe to visit. However, visitors are advised to follow the park’s rules and regulations and take necessary precautions while exploring the park’s wilderness. It is also advisable to carry insect repellents and first aid kits while visiting the park.
Is it necessary to book accommodation in advance?
Yes, it is recommended to book accommodation in advance, especially during the peak season, to avoid last-minute hassles. Visitors can book accommodation through the park’s official website or through authorized travel agents.
What is Bhitarkanika famous for?
Bhitarkanika is famous for having one of the largest populations of endangered saltwater crocodiles in India. It is globally unique as 10% of the adults exceed 6 meters in length. The rivers and creeks of the area are home to approximately 1671 saltwater crocodiles, and around 3,000 were born during the 2014 breeding and nesting season.
Where is Bhitarkanika National Park situated?
Bhitarkanika National Park is situated in the Kendrapara district of Orissa, India. This Eastern Indian state offers a picturesque destination with a 35km beach where you can spot Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Visit Bhitarkanika for a unique wildlife experience
Which two rivers meet at Bhitarkanika?
The Brahmani and Baitarani rivers meet at Bhitarkanika Mangroves in India’s Orissa state. This 650 km² mangrove wetland is located in the river delta area.
What is the history of Bhitarkanika?
Bhitarkanika National Park has a rich history. Originally a hunting ground, it was established in 1975 under the Wildlife Protection Act. In 1998, it gained national park status, and in 2002, it was designated as a Ramsar Site in India. Its fascinating history makes it a must-visit destination.