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Wildlife Odisha - a plethora of varied natural wonders that offers a thrilling experience to nature lovers.

NandanKanan National Park

Total area : 4.37 sq km
Protected area : 3.62 sq km
Nearest Town : Bhubaneswar, 18 km
Best time to visit Nandankanan : Throughout the year
Simlipal National Park

Established in 1960, Nandankanan National Park is located 20 kms from Bhubaneshwar. Sprawling across the tranquil Chandaka forests, Nandankanan literally means the "Garden of Pleasure." Being the very first captive gharial breeding centre of the country, this picturesque park offers a unique opportunity to its flora and fauna to flourish in their most natural habitat.

An interesting history is associated with the park. Once a white female tiger passed by the zoo, saw a tiger enclosure, and stayed there. This was a rare occurring as no wild animal wants to stay in captivity. Thus, the National Geographic magazine gave an idea of converting the zoo into a sophisticated tiger reserve. The park thus came into existence and houses over 34 white tigers at present. Another beautiful feather was added to the plume of the park in 1980 when three white tiger cubs were born from normal colored parents.

Offering an array of facilities like boating, white tiger and lion safaris, a nocturnal animal house, reptile park, aerial ropeway and cable car; the park is an ideal destination for people having a penchant for wildlife.

Roving amongst the versatile environs of the park or lying back under the shade of a tree to take the most soothing nap; all depends on your individual choice. The park is home to 67 varieties of mammals, 18 varieties of reptiles and 81 species of birds. Spread over a sprawling area of 4.4 Sq Kms, the park served as the first breeding place for black panthers.

Another attraction of the park is a salt water lake coined as 'Kangia' that is spread over an area of 50 hectares. The lake attracts a number of migratory birds like Whistling Teal, Cotton Teal, Darter, Purple Moorhen, Herons and Jacana every year. The botanical garden of the park is just across the lake.

Due to its rare offerings and serene setting, the park has emerged as a much sought after picnic destination for both locals as well as tourists. A joy ride in the toy train to observe the wildlife closely is an all time favorite of the kids visiting the park. The best time to visit this park is from October-March. Open on all days except Mondays, the park opens up at 7.30 am and closes down at 6.00 pm during summer whereas the winter timings are from 8 am to 5 pm.

 

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