Discover Bhitarkanika, the Best Weekend Destination Near Kolkata

Discover Bhitarkanika, the Best Weekend Destination Near Kolkata

Discover Bhitarkanika, the Best Weekend Destination Near Kolkata

Discover Bhitarkanika, the Best Weekend Destination Near Kolkata

Spotted Deer in Bhitarkanika

If you’re seeking a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of Kolkata, look no further than Bhitarkanika National Park. Nestled in  Kendrapara in Odisha, Bhitarkanika is the best weekend destination near Kolkata. It is simply a hidden gem that needs to be explored. Bhitarkanika promises an enchanting experience with its rich biodiversity, pristine landscapes, and unique wildlife.

Perfect for nature enthusiasts, wildlife photographers, and anyone looking to unwind, Bhitarkanika offers a rejuvenating weekend retreat from Kolkata.

Getting To Bhitarkanika, the best weekend destination near Kolkata

(Bhitarkanika, The Best Weekend Getaway from Kolkata)

Bhitarkanika, the best weekend destination from Kolkata, is accessible by road, rail, and air from Kolkata, making it really a convenient weekend destination. The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar, about 160 kilometers away. The nearest railway station is Bhadrak, which you can reach in around two hours from the park. From either point, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Bhitarkanika. The road journey from Kolkata to Bhitarkanika, approximately 400 kilometers, takes around 8-9 hours, offering a scenic drive through the rural landscapes of Odisha.

Discover Bhitarkanika, the Best Weekend Destination Near Kolkata

A flock of birds in Bhitarkanika

Why Bhitarkanika, the best weekend destination near Kolkata?

(Bhitarkanika, The Best Weekend Getaway from Kolkata)

1. Unique Ecosystem

Bhitarkanika, the best weekend destination near Kolkata, is one of the largest mangrove ecosystems in India, second only to the Sundarbans. The park is a labyrinth of creeks, rivers, and estuaries. Together this creates a unique and diverse habitat for a wide array of flora and fauna. The mangroves, interspersed with lush green forests and wetland areas, make for a picturesque and tranquil environment.

2. Rich Wildlife

(Bhitarkanika, The Best Weekend Getaway from Kolkata)
Discover Bhitarkanika, the Best Weekend Destination Near Kolkata

Monitor Lizard as spotted in Bhitarkanika

The park is renowned for its thriving population of saltwater crocodiles, including the rare albino crocodiles. You can also spot other wildlife such as deer, wild boars, and a variety of reptiles and amphibians. Birdwatchers have the opportunity to see a wide variety of  migratory and resident birds, including kingfishers, egrets, and darters.

The monsoon months, in particular, attract a plethora of migratory birds, turning the park into a vibrant avian paradise. These migratory birds remain in Bhitarkanika till the end of October, and by around mid-November they migrate out of here. After this only native birds of Bhitarkanika can be seen in the Park.

3. Cultural Heritage

(Bhitarkanika, The Best Weekend Getaway from Kolkata)
Discover Bhitarkanika, the Best Weekend Destination Near Kolkata

Dhamarai Temple, one of the famous temples in Bhitarkanika Region

Bhitarkanika, the best weekend destination near Kolkata, is not just about natural beauty; it also has a rich cultural history. The region is dotted with ancient temples, ruins, and artifacts that provide a glimpse into its past. The Kanika Palace, once the residence of the erstwhile royal family, adds a touch of historical charm to your visit.

What to Do in Bhitarkanika, the best weekend destination near Kolkata?

(Bhitarkanika, The Best Weekend Getaway from Kolkata)

1. Boat Safaris

One of the best ways to explore Bhitarkanika is through a boat safari. Cruising along the waterways, you get an up-close view of the mangroves, spot crocodiles basking in the sun, and witness the vibrant birdlife. You can also see spotted seer, wild pigs, jungle fowls, fish cats, leopard cats and hyena on the boat safaris. The safaris ensure you get all fascinating sights the park has to offer.

2. Trekking and Nature Walks

(Bhitarkanika, The Best Weekend Getaway from Kolkata)

For the adventurous, Bhitarkanika offers several trekking trails and nature walks. These trails take you through dense forests, along riverbanks, and to various watchtowers, providing excellent opportunities for wildlife spotting and photography. On treks in the Park, there are chances you can spot wild pigs,  spotted deer, a lot of native birds, especially the different varieties of kingfishers.

3. Bird Watching

(Bhitarkanika, The Best Weekend Getaway from Kolkata)
Discover Bhitarkanika, the Best Weekend Destination Near Kolkata

Open Bill Stork in Bhitarkanika

The park is a haven for bird watchers. Spend a morning or evening with binoculars in hand, and you’re sure to be rewarded with sightings of numerous species, both common and rare. The Bagagahan heronry is a particularly popular spot for bird watching. However, in recent years, the migratory birds have switched their homes away from Bagagahan. They have made a new island outside the core area as their new home. Reason for this phenomenon is being studied for now.

4. Visit Nearby Attractions

Take some time to visit the nearby attractions such as the Gahirmatha Beach, known for its Olive Ridley turtle nesting sites, and the Bhitarkanika Crocodile Sanctuary, which offers educational insights into the conservation efforts for these majestic reptiles. Interpretation Center in Dangmal is quite small but it is quite informative. It gives information about the different kinds of fauna species found in Bhitarkanika.

Where to Stay in Bhitarkanika, the best weekend destination near Kolkata?

(Bhitarkanika, The Best Weekend Getaway from Kolkata)
Discover Bhitarkanika, the Best Weekend Destination Near Kolkata

Executive Cottage at Estuarine Village Resort

Bhitarkanika, the best weekend destination near Kolkata, offers a range of accommodation options, from eco-friendly resorts to government-run guesthouses. Estuarine Village Resort, situated at Nalitapatia Village, by the riverside, is the best among all accommodation option.

The number of hotels and resorts have increased in the last 3-4 years. Homestays have also started coming up. But while visiting Bhitarkanika, you should not look for really luxurious hotels and resorts. Most hotels and resorts, including Estuarine Village Resort, provide clean rooms with clean bathrooms. With the number of tourists to Bhitarakanika rising now, the resorts and hotels will add on to their facilities slowly.

Best Time to Visit Bhitarkanika, the best weekend destination near Kolkata

(Bhitarkanika, The Weekend Getaway from Kolkata)

The best time to visit Bhitarkanika is from October to March when the weather is pleasant, and wildlife sightings are at their peak. The monsoon season (August to September) can make the park’s terrain a little challenging to navigate, particularly trekking. But it also brings a lush, verdant beauty to the landscape. And, monsoon season is the best for bird lovers. The Park is full of birds during these months.

Tips for Travelers visiting Bhitarkanika, the best weekend destination near Kolkata

(Bhitarkanika, The Best Weekend Getaway from Kolkata)
  • Carry essentials: Bring along essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable clothing suitable for outdoor activities.
  • Respect wildlife: Maintain a safe distance from the animals, avoid feeding them, and follow the guidelines provided by your guides. Please avoid taking liquors on boats. This is strictly prohibited. Do not try to harm wild animals, or else, you can land in big problems
  • Stay eco-friendly: Help preserve the pristine environment by avoiding littering and using eco-friendly products.

Bhitarkanika offers an unparalleled blend of adventure, tranquility, and natural beauty, making it the perfect weekend escape from Kolkata. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Bhitarkanika promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you refreshed and inspired.

So, pack your bags and set out for an adventure that brings you closer to nature and far from the ordinary.

 

Ready to Explore Bhitarkanika with the best tour packages from Estuarine Village Resort Bhitarkanika?

Treat yourself to customized tour packages to different parts of Odisha, rest of India and countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Bali, Malaysia, Singapore, Bhutan, Nepal, and others with Excursion2India, our Tour & Travel Division!

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