|Total area :||672 sq km|
|Protected area :||145 sq km|
|Best time to visit BhitarKanika :||Mid Oct-Mid April|
|Entry Point :||Chandbali, 50 km from Bhadrak and rajnagar, 30 km from Kendrapara|
An exclusive hot-spot of biodiversity lies in the form of Bhitarkanika National Park in the Kendrapara district of Odisha. Encompassing a sprawling area of 145 sq. kms this park came into being in September 1998 from the core area of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.
This former hunting preserve of the Raj Kanika family has come to acquire the status of a "Crocodile Sanctuary" for housing the largest population of giant salt water crocodile in India. It has also been established as a "Saltwater Crocodile Breeding Center."
Another most distinct feature of this park is a Mangrove swamp that lies at a fertile delta made by the Brahmani, Baitarni and Dhamara rivers. This mangrove forest spread over 672 sq kms is home to over 215 species of birds including winter migrants from central-Asia and Europe. This number of avifauna also includes eight amazing varieties of kingfishers.
Surrounded by the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, the park is bordered by the Gahirmatha Beach in the east. Known as the largest rookery of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles, this beach acts as a dividing line between the Mangroves and the Bay of Bengal.
Apart from its rich marine life, Bhitarkanika National Park is also home to Wild Pigs, Rhesus Monkeys, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Wild Boar, Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat, Otter, Chital, King Cobra, Indian Python, Water Monitor Lizard and a variety of resident and migratory birds.
Declared as a national park vide Notification No.19686/F & E dated 16.9.1998 of Forests & Environment Department, Govt. of Odisha, this park is around 60 kms from the Ratnagiri and Lalithagiri hills of the Assia range. Housing around 300 species of plants, the park is at its best from November to February.
The Best time to visit Bhitarkanika National Park is from October-March.