” One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
Odisha is a state in east-India mostly famous for Shri Jagannath Temple and Puri beach in the tourism dictionary. Thousands of tourists fly each year to bask in the sunshine of Puri beach and to get the blessings of Lord Jagannath. There are a number of other tourists places e.g. Bhitarkanika, Similipal National Park, Satkosia, Chillika , Konark etc. But there are also a few other wonderful places hidden from the fame and publicity. Mangalajodi is one such place.
Mangalajodi is a part of Chillika lake situated in tangi, Khordha district. In winter, thousands of birds fly here and make the place lively. Mangalajodi Ecotourism is community owned and managed wildlife conservation venture. An early morning boat ride across the swamp area exploring hundred varieties of birds will give you a sense of peace and amazement. Due to close proximity and clear sight, this is also a paradise for photographers. A lot of foreign photographers and nature lovers visit here every year for some candid shots.
“Mangalajodi is far ahead of other wetlands in the country in terms of the richness of the habitat, the number of birds, and the proximity at which one gets to see the birds. In fact birder friends who visit Mangalajodi with their long prime lenses say that you don’t really need the zoomsters in this habitat as the birds are too close.” – Bikram Grewal, ornithologist-author-birdwatcher and conservationist
How to reach:
This is just 70km away from Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha. After around 55km on NH16, one will have to take a left turn and will have to pass through some village area. The last stretch of 7km is bit narrow, but easy to detect due to the sign-boards put at each turn. The road near Mangalajodi is not paved(asphalt/concrete), but made of dirt. This is due to the fact that concrete roads increase the temperature of the surrounding which the birds may not like.
Month- Dec-Jan (Winter Season)
Time- As early as possible in the morning (Before 9AM) Late visiters will have to bear the heat of the sun as the boat aren’t that well-protected. And there is also less chance of getting good glimpse of the birds if going late. They will take you on a boat ride for 1- 2 hours depending on the traffic and birds availability.
A boat will cost Rs 500 – 2000 depending on season and size. They normally allow 4 people per normal boat, but 5-6 person can be adjusted. In each boat, there will be a guide who will explain about the birds.
- Small Boat (4 Persons) – Rs 850 (Negotiable)
- Large Boat (10 Persons)- Rs 1700 (Negotiable)
Actually the owner of the boat receives around Rs 500 per boat and the rest goes to the contractor’s pocket.
There is also a cottage nearby which is best suited for tourists travelling from long distance, They can stay at the cottage overnight and visit the view point in the morning.
Room – Rs 2600 (Double Occupancy)
The rooms are with basis facilities and bit overcharged. There isn’t anything available around the area except banking on the cottage staffs. There is also a hall available with 8-13 persons occupancy. Click here to visit the booking page for cottage.
Contact (Godwit Eco Cottage) – +91- 8455075534/84, +91-8270610025
(The contact no is given only for visitor’s convenience)
Here are a few clicks from my last tour to Mangalajodi.
- Take a small boat. You can explore the small turns and corners where a large boat can’t go.
- Reach as early morning as possible.
- Some guides provide binoculars, but it is always safe to take one.
- Enjoy to the fullest without disturbing the birds.
- One can combine other nearby destinations with this for a full day trip. Some of the nearby destinations are Baliharchandi Beach, Ramchandi Beach, Konark Sun temple, Gopalpur Beach etc.
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