Spread in a vast are of 672 Kms Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary Orissa is the 2nd largest Mangrove ecosystems of India. Proximity to Bay of Bengal makes the soil of the area enriched with salts, the vegetation and the species of the sanctuary is comprised of those which are mainly found in the tropical and subtropical inter tidal regions. It is the breeding place for the endangered salt water crocodiles which are the prime attractions of the sanctuary. The Gahirmatha Beach which forms the boundary of the sanctuary in the east is the largest colony of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.
Once the hunting ground of the royal Raj Kanika family is now famous for its high concentration of the Mangrove trees. These trees are spread all over the forests and the wetlands and predominates the ecosystem of the region. The 145 sq km area of the National park carved out of the core area of the sanctuary is the land for impeccable biodiversities The sanctuary lies in the estuarial region of Brahmani-Baitrani with Bay of Bengal lying in the East; apart from this the sanctuary has many rivers, streams, creeks, accumulated land, backwater and mud flats making it a land of immense importance for its unique flora and fauna.
The sanctuary has 215 species of birds in which the most important are the eight varieties of kingfisher and the migratory birds from Europe and Central Asia. Apart from this the sanctuary is the home for many reptiles, mammals and vertebrates which includes the venomous Cobras and Indian Pythons, the endangered water monitor lizards, Chitals, Jungle cat, Wild Pigs, Otter, Rhesus Monkeys, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Wild Boar and the Fishing Cat. The Asian Open Bill, Cormorants, Darters, Black Ibis, Egrets, open billed storks, sand pipers, sea eagles, whistling teals, kites and sea gulls are the frequently noticed avian of the sanctuary.
Bhitarkanika wild life sanctuary tour is organized for the tourists to make them encounter all these incredible experiences. The forest rest houses at Ekakula, Dangmal and Gupti are the modes of Accommodation in Bhitarkanika. The best season to visit the sanctuary is winter between the months of November to February.
The sanctuary is well connected through air water and rail. The nearest airports being Bhubaneshwar and Kolkata, the waterways are paved through Chandabali, Ragnagar and Gupti while Bhadrak, Balsore, Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar connect it through the rails.