Odisha is blessed with natural water bodies, rich vegetation, dense forests, wild landscapes, and a 400 km coastline. Tourism in Odisha is often related to heritage and spirituality and that is changing now. The administration is keen on making Odisha a destination for eco-tourism by setting up nature camps at some of the unique locations across the state. And being a resident of the state, you have the pleasure of exploring the natural habitats with just a few hours of drive. Here is a list of five places to visit while taking a road trip from Bhubaneshwar.
Chilika Lake (70 km)
Chilika Lake is the largest brackish water body in the continent of Asia and the largest saltwater lake in India. The lake is also the largest wintering ground for migratory birds. Each year over a million migratory birds of more than 200 different species pay a visit. In the year 2020, over 12 lakh birds were spotted and in the year 2021, the number was more than 10.5 lakh. There are multiple spots for bird watching, but Mangalajodi Watch Tower is the most popular one.
Bhitarkanika National Park (170 km)
The Bhitarkanika National Park is said to be the second-largest mangrove area with the Sunderbans being the first. Situated on the coast of Odisha, the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is known for estuaries, backwaters, creeks, and rich vegetation. The prime attractions here are the white crocodiles and mangrove forests. Besides these, multiple species of birds can be spotted, and not forget the rare Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.
Similipal National Park, Satkosia (200 km)
The Similipal National Park boasts itself to be the second-largest biosphere reserve in Asia. The Similipal Tiger Reserve, abbreviated as STR, is part of the national park. Apart from the tiger reserve, visitors can explore the Joranda and Barehipani Waterfalls.
Daringbadi (250 km)
Often known as the Kashmir of Odisha, Daringbadi is one of the popular tourist destinations in the state. The region receives occasional snowfall in the winter season and is hence known as the Kashmir of Odisha. The hill station welcomes tourists with natural bounties viz. lush green valley, pine forests, and hidden waterfalls.
Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Hirakud Dam (300 km)
The Hirakud Dam itself is a popular destination among tourists and when you plan to be here, you cannot afford to miss the Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary surrounding the dam. With over 40 species of mammals, 230 species of birds, 45 species of fishes, and 80 species of butterflies, you are bound to have some adventurous time here.
These are our recommendations for places near Kochi. If you have any suggestions, do let us know. Also, find our other itineraries.