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Chilika Lake

November 7, 2017

A beautiful lake, situated approximately 65 kms from Puri. It is the largest sea water lake of India and 2nd largest sea water lake in the world. Here you find large varieties of birds, though are not visible while boating. Also Dolphin view is a very rare and ultimate view. Then you can view sea mouth, a place where lake connects with the sea. Red crab and various kind of gemstone found in the sea will be shown to you. We visited Satpada on the Lake's eastern flank and Mangalajodi in the western one.We had breakfast at Orissa Tourism Panthanivas at Satpada and hired their motorboat for dolphin viewing. We could sight many dolphins which was exciting.However, it was the Mangalajodi tour which was really enchanting. Ecotourism is a community venture of local villagers supported by a non-profit organisation and a bank. They offer night stay in huts made of local materials as well as day packages.We took the day package in which we were served homely breakfast and lunch in their quaint place under shady trees, given a hut to rest and freshen up and taken into wetlands in a locally made, motor free country boat for bird viewing. Even though the season of birds' migration had not yet come, we could see many birds of different types. The boat ride itself was was an experience. Chilka lake have seanic view of water and nature. On east cost Odisa India  brackish water lake founded and spreded over 1100 square km. , World's second largest coastal lagoon. Here hired motor boat available for roming in lake.This place is a UNESCO site and unique in its own way. It is a must visit if you are a nature lover. 
If you want to go to Chilika, go to Satapada and then there are OTDC boats available to take you around the lake. You can see some Irrawady dolphins. Then you can go to Pelican island and there eat some very fresh fish. You can also see some beautiful birds around. However, the weather wise it will be beautiful to visit in November to February. One of the most remarkable biodiversity region in orissa. One should surely visit Lake Chilika.My advice is if possible reserve the entire boat for boating...dont share with unknown visitors for safety and also if u book the boat solo fr ur family...the boat driver is under ur command. And will drive the boat according to ur will. There are numerous isolated islands which could only be visited if u reserve the whole boat. Those island is great place for photo sessions for selfie starve people.Enjoy the dolphins and indulge in gastronomical pleasures with large crabs. 

What Guests Say about it is as follows 

Chilka lake is around 50-60 km from Puri. You have to hire a boat (per family and the family can be 2 or 8) and the overall ride is around 4-5 hours . You can't share the boat between families. Its an expansive lake - don't forget to watch the Dolphins - we saw around 7-8 dolphins and at one time, 3 dolphins together as well in a synchronized fashion (a treat to watch). There are various islands - seamouth island is a must.. Walk in the sand beach which has the sea at one end and the lake at the other. On the way, the boat guy would park on islands where people would try to sell pearls / other stones, after breaking the shells in front of you - so that you believe.. Some locals told me that they are fake stones and NOT to buy anything from those islands. 

 

Lake is nice and a must visit if you are in puri. Beware of private operators and book the tour with otdc. Otdc counter is on the golden beach ,puri and they have good Ac buses for chilka. They provide shared boat in chilka with guide. Best part is their boat which are in good condition and less noisy. There are plenty of private operates in chilka which cost more and their boats also not good. They have noisy diesel engine and open roof.we went for the tour to classic beach, sea mouth and there are lots of dolphins and seagulls in chilka.definetly a recommended day trip. You won't be disappointed.

 

To say the lake is huge is an understatement! It's the largest coastal lagoon in India! We were 3 of us including my daughter and she had a great time! You need to buy tickets at the counter (pls keep exact change!). You can either pay a little extra and get a boat to yourself or pool a boat with others. We took the former option. It's very windy at the lake so a jacket is a must (even though it was sunny). The tour includes pearl and semi precious stone harvesting, dolphin watching , temple visit and a walk to where the lake meets the sea. We spent a good half an hour at the first stop - pearl and semi-precious stone harvesting. The guy showing us how it's done sold us a couple of pearls as well (he was very persistent!). From this place to the dolphin watching area was a 45min ride but it was worth it as we spotted a couple of dolphins. We skipped the temple and requested our boatman to take us to the spot where the lake meets the sea which was a 45min ride. This is accessible only on foot and it's a good half an hour walk. Given that we were getting hungry we have the walk a miss and headed back to mainland. There aren't any restaurants at the lake and only 1 at the mainland. It was decent but they can improve their service! Overall it was a morning well spent!!

 

This site can be accessed from several points. The most visited and popular points are Satapada in Puri District, Balugaon in Khurdha District. There are both govt sponsored boat agencies along with private agencies. Both are friendly and will take you to the different places and sites in the lake. Kalijai Hill is the main attraction within locals, it has the temple of Goddess Kalijai, believed to be the newly wed who lost her life while going to her in laws place by boat as the boat capsized due to misjudgment of the depth of the lake by the boatman. The second most visited place is Satapada, place is famous for Dolphin siting and the seamouth of this brackish lake. Which ever location you visit the fresh seafood can't be missed. The prawn and crabs are must try. Try the fresh fried prawns, it's just can't be missed.

 

A Great place to visit and needs boat travel as this lake huge and it a place where many Bird species come and visit. Especially Siberian Cranes they travel almost 16,000 kms. We arrived near the mouth of the lake where it meets the sea about 50 kms from Puri. the boat excursion was almost 3 hours. We could sea the birds of various kind (though very less during this time of the year we should visit in Nov and December), like sea gulls. cranes small but beautiful bird the boatman said it as "kingfisher ?" and of course the lovely Dolphins. Worth visiting it if your a bird watcher and want to enjoy.Later they took us to an island where the mollusks were brought by the men (all dead) and opened them and found out many natural pearls, read corals red stone for SUN, moon stone and some yellow stone like yellow sapphire. 

 

I travelled from Puri to visit the Chilika Lake in February 2017. While I researched a lot of options to reach the lake, the best way to reach Chilika from Puri is to rent a car. The car costed me around INR 1500 for the full trip with the driver waiting for you while you explore the lake. 
The drive to Chilika is decent and the as the distance is around 50 kms which takes about one hour. I was told the best time to leave for the lake from Puri is 0900 hrs. This way, when you reach, the Tide is settled and you have a nice ride in the boat. 
When I got to Chilika, i was told that that one cannot share a boat to go into the lake. Since there had been many issues in the past, the rules had been formulated. Solo travellers need to be prepared for this. The fixed charge for the boat ride is INR 1700. 
Before beginning the trip into the lake, I was advised to book my meal at a nearby restaurant. While this seemed as the best option at the time, one may choose to avoid this. There are only two or three restaurants around the lake and hence one has to pre order their meals. 
The boat ride itself was fantastic. The boats are relatively safe and the entire trip takes around 3 hours. 
Throughout the ride one can see flocks of magnificent birds that migrate to the lake. The lake itself is very scenic. I was fortunate two dolphins in the lake which is an exciting site! 
We were also taken to an island where locals extract pearls from oysters. While the authenticity of the pearls is questionable, the activity itself is interesting. Overall it was a great experience and it is a must do activity while in Orissa.

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