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    Best national parks in odisha

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    Odisha is a state with pristine beaches, temples, and lakes that enchant everyone. It is one of the prime tourist hubs of India. Odisha never disappoints anyone traveling to this state and along with the above-mentioned attractions, it also has a bounty of national parks for nature lovers. These national parks in Odisha are nothing less than a piece of heaven for wildlife enthusiasts. There sight of diverse flora and endangered to nearly extinct fauna will surely leave you in awe.

    8 Best National Parks In Odisha

    Read on to know where to go and what to spot at these national parks in Odisha.

    1. Simlipal National Park

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    Located in the Mayurbhanj district, Simlipal National Park is one of the most popular national parks in Odisha. Due to the higher population of tigers, it was designated as a tiger reserve in 2007. Sprawling over 2750 sq km, this is the 7th largest national park in India. The parks boast of immense natural beauty with spectacular waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipani located within it. Simlipal National Park is home to Bengal tiger, gaur, elephant, sambal, leopard, jungle cat, wolf, and hyena. This national park also has birds like jungle fowl, partridge, grey hornbill, myna and crested serpent eagle.

    Location: Dist, Mayurbhanj, Baripada, Odisha 757002
    Best time to visit: December to February. Simlipal Tiger Reserve is open from November to June while the rest of the national parks is open throughout the year.
    Opening hours: The tiger reserve is open from 6 am to 9 am and the national park is open round the clock.
    Entrance fee: INR 30/person
    How to reach: The nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar, 270 km away and the closest railhead is at Balasore, 60 km away.

    Must Read: 10 Fascinating Odisha Museums For Your Love Of History And Art

    2. Bhitarkanika National Park

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    Spread over 145 sq km area, the wetland of Bhitarkanika is segmented into three protected areas namely Bhitarkanika National Park, Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary. This piece of land is frequently inundated by river Brahmani, Dhamra, Baitarani and Pathsala, converting it to a swampy wetland. Surrounded by mangrove vegetation, this national park is home to saltwater crocodiles and estuarine turtles along with other aquatic animals and birds. Other animals spotted here are king cobra, Indian python, black ibis, spotted deer, wild boar, and water monitor lizard. This marshy wetland of Bhitarkanika is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India after Sundarbans and certainly one of the top national parks in Odisha which one must explore.

    Location: Paramanandpur, Odisha 754248
    Best time to visit: October to March
    Opening hours: 7 am to 5 pm
    Entrance fee: INR 20/person
    How to reach: Cuttack is the nearest railhead, 140 km away. One can take a private cab from Cuttack and reach the national park.

    Suggested Read: Puri Jagannath Yatra 2019: A Confluence Of Faith And Culture

    3. Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary

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    Featuring the stunning landscape of Satkosia Reserve and River Mahanadi flowing in between, Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary showcases a spectacular scenery. Spread over 795.52 sq km area, Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich heritage of flora and fauna and is counted as one of the most popular Odisha National Parks. A heaven for photographers, this place is home to spotted deer, tiger, leopard, and four-horned antelopes and sloth bear. Moreover, there is an abundance of gharial in this national park hence it has been additionally named as Gharial Sanctuary.

    Location: Odisha 759132
    Best time to visit: October to March
    Opening hours: 9 am to 6 pm
    Entrance fee: Free
    How to reach: The nearest railhead is at Angul, 42 km from the sanctuary.

    Suggested Read: 8 Places Near Cuttack That You Must Surely Visit On A Long Vacation

    4. Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary

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    Chilika is the largest saltwater lagoon in Odisha and India. Surrounding the lagoon, the Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary is home to numerous native and migratory birds. Sprawling over 1100 sq km, this is one of the most visited wildlife sanctuaries in Odisha. The place is heaven for bird watchers and ornithologists and one can spot White Bellied Sea Eagle, Flamingo, Open Billed Stork, Brahminy Kite, KingFisher, Egret, Pintail, Bareheaded Goose and many more. Watching the sunset over the lake while the migratory birds flying there is a marvelous site that no one should miss.

    Location: Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha
    Best time to visit: November to February.
    Opening hours: 6 am to 7 pm
    Entrance fee: Free
    How to reach: Bulugaon is the nearest railway station, 19 km away while Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport 120 km away.

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    5. Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary

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    A spectacular canyon, 11 cascading waterfalls, a vast plateau, and opulent forests spread over 500 sq km and a rich variety of wildlife pretty much sums up Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary, which is another name in the list of must-visit national parks of Odisha. As a proposed tiger reserve, this place houses a large population of tigers and leopards. Other animals here are swamp deer, elephants, barking deer, chital and sambar, sloth bear, monkeys, and langurs. Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary is also famous for birds and partridges, hill mynah and peafowls to name a few.

    Location: Nuapada District, Odisha
    Best time to visit: October to March
    Opening hours: Round the clock.
    Entrance fee: Free
    How to reach: Nuapada Road, 30 km away is the nearest railhead to this sanctuary.

    Suggested Read: Visit These 7 Museums In Bhubaneswar For A Trip Down Memory Lane

    6. Kotagarh Wildlife Sanctuary

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    Kotagarh Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in Odisha comprising of five reserve forests, three proposed reserve forests and a couple of deemed forests. Surrounded with sal, pisal, and sissoo forests; Kotagarh Wildlife Sanctuary is the habitat of vivid wildlife species like tiger, leopard, antelope, barking deer, wild boar, jackal, civet cat, and nilgai. Spread over 400 sq km, Kotagarh Wildlife Sanctuary was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1981.

    Location: Baliguda Kandhamal, Odisha
    Best time to visit: October to February
    Opening hours: 9 am to 6 pm
    Entrance fee: INR 15/person
    How to reach: Berhampur is the nearest railway station.

    Suggested Read: 6 Cafes In Bhubhaneshwar That Are Local’s Favorite Places To Hang Out & Chill

    7. Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary

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    Presenting a stunning landscape of dense sal forests and grasslands, Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary is popular as the habitat for several species of avifauna. Other than this, tigers, leopards, deer, jungle cats, porcupine, wolves, and langurs are commonly spotted here. Established in 1978, this bio reserve spreads over an area of 191 sq km and the picturesque landscape created by Salandi River flowing in between makes it one of the most scenic Odisha national parks in the list.

    Location: Keonjhar, Odisha 758023
    Best time to visit: October to February
    Opening hours: Round the clock
    Entrance fee: Free
    How to reach: Bhadrak is the closest railhead at a distance of 20 km.

    Suggested Read: Top 10 Haunted Places In Odisha And Their Paranormal Activities

    8. Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary

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    Nestled at a distance of 15 km from Bhawanipatna, Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary is home to verdant deciduous forests and the spectacular Phurlijharan waterfall. People come here to see this gorgeous cascade and enjoy day picnics. One can also spot the barking deer, Nilgai, leopard, gaur, sambar, and soft clawed Ottawa along with a variety of reptiles and birds.

    Location: Kalahandi, Odisha
    Best time to visit: November to March
    Opening hours: Throughout the day
    Entrance fee: Free
    How to reach: The closest railhead is at Kesinga Railway Station

    Further Read: 52 Best Hill Stations In India In 2020 That You Must Explore At Least Once In Your Life

    The national parks in Odisha are immensely picturesque and offer a thrilling experience with ecstatic wilderness. From tigers, leopards, deer, sloth bear to endangered birds and reptiles; these national parks are amazing places for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and photographers. If you are one of these, book a trip to Odisha and have an amazing time exploring these places!

    Frequently Asked Questions About National Parks In Odisha


    Q. Which is the largest national park in Odisha?

    A. Simlipal is the largest national park in Odisha.


    Q. Which is the best time to spot animals and birds in Odisha?

    A. The ideal time for spotting wildlife and bird watching in Odisha is during winter, particularly from October to March.


    Q. What are the things to do in Simlipal National Park?

    A. Some of the things to do at Simlipal National Park are spotting wildlife, and be amazed by the scenic beauty of several waterfalls like Barehipani, Debkunda, Joranda, and Sitakund. One can also pack a picnic basket and enjoy the day here.

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    Category: National Parks, Odisha

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