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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.

10 Best National Parks In Odisha

Read on to know where to go and what to spot at these national parks in Odisha. It is best to visit these parks during the winter season. October to March is perhaps the most comfortable month. 

  • Simlipal National Park
  • Bhitarkanika National Park
  • Tikarpada Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kotagarh Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Ushakothi (Badrama) Wildlife Sanctuary

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
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.

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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
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.

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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
Opening Hours: 9 am to 6 pm
Entrance Fee: Free
How To Reach: The nearest railhead is at Angul, 42 km from the sanctuary.

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4. Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary


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
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
Opening Hours: Round the clock.
Entrance Fee: Free
How To Reach: Nuapada Road, 30 km away is the nearest railhead to this sanctuary.

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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
Opening Hours: 9 am to 6 pm
Entrance Fee: INR 15/person
How To Reach: Berhampur is the nearest railway station.

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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
Opening Hours: Round the clock
Entrance Fee: Free
How To Reach: Bhadrak is the closest railhead at a distance of 20 km.

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8. Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary


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
Opening Hours: Throughout the day
Entrance Fee: Free
How To Reach: The closest railhead is at Kesinga Railway Station

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9. Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary

Image Credits: Aashutosh Sharma for Pexels

Once a home to the renowned freedom fighter named Surender Sai during the British reign, Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary is now a home to some of the most exotic wildlife. You can observe plenty of creatures inhabiting this sanctuary including tigers, leopards, hyena, monitor lizard, and many more. This might be home to a dry forest, but the experience that it has to offer is no less. Make sure you have prior permission from the forest department if you wish to make use of the accommodation facilities of this sanctuary.

Location: Right Dyke Road, Odisha 768030
Opening Hours: 6 am to 5 pm
Entrance Fee: INR 1,260 for a 4-seater Gypsy
How To Reach: The nearest railhead is Sambalpur.

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10. Ushakothi (Badrama) Wildlife Sanctuary

Ushakothi (Badrama) Wildlife Sanctuary

Image Credits: Dominique20 for Pixabay

Nestled in the heart of Wardha River and the Penganga River, Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is a hidden treasure for the state of Odisha. Sitting approximately 40 kilometers from Sambalpur, this sanctuary is spread over a whopping 300 square kilometers and was established back in 1962. The forests that cover a majority of this area are home to some amazing species of trees including Neem, Acacia Sandalwood, Sal, and more. The Asian elephants inhabiting this area are its prized possessions apart from wild boars, snakes, and hyenas.

Location: NH 6, Odisha 768107
Opening Hours: 6 am to 5 pm
Entrance Fee: INR 10 for Indians, INR 100 for Foreigners
How To Reach: The nearest railway station is at Sambalpur.

Further Read: 27 Places To Visit In Bhubaneswar For A Fascinating Journey To Odisha

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!

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Frequently Asked Questions About National Parks In Odisha

Which is the largest national park in Odisha?

Simlipal is the largest national park in Odisha.

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

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

What are the things to do in Simlipal National Park?

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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