Visit Gahirmatha also known as Gaharimatha if you want to see Olive Ridley Sea Turtles during your next weekend holiday. The Gahirmatha coast nestled in the Kendrapara district of Orissa will be your ideal destination because it is the world’s largest nesting beach of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Declared as a wildlife sanctuary of Orissa in 1979 and a world heritage site, Gahirmatha bears considerable significance on turtle conservation. BOOKING DETAILS OF GAHIRMATHA
Places to see in Gahirmatha: The breathtaking view of the Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary, located on the converging point of the River Dharma and Bay of Bengal attracts nature loving tourists to see millions of turtle nesting here. You will become amazed to see the extensive area covered by the sanctuary, which comes near 1435 square kilometer. Watch the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles thriving at the marine sanctuary of Gaharimatha, a rare sight that you will treasure for years. You can also visit two other turtle nesting beaches located at the river mouth of Devi and Rushikulya.
Nearby attractions around Gahirmatha: While making a trip to Gahirmatha Turtle Sanctuary, you can also visit some notable spots of tourist interests, located nearby. The Temple of Lord Shiva built in the early 9th century in Dangmol is truly worth visiting. The Temple of Nahak Babu built with sandstone is also a prime attraction of the tourist. Some other spots of tourist attractions are Lailtgiri, Ratnagiri and Udaygiri Buddhist complex. You can also visit the Chandipur Beach located nearby.
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is also located in near the Gaharimatha Turtle Sanctuary. It is recognized as the second largest Mangrove ecosystem across India, spanning an area of 672 sq. km. This mangrove forest offers shelter to more than 215 species of birds. The Bhitarkanika National Park has achieved the status of a “Crocodile Sanctuary,” as it houses the biggest population of salt-water crocodile in the country. This National Park is encircled by the Gahirmatha Beach in the eastward side.
Things to do in Gahirmatha: Organize a tour to the marine turtle sanctuary at Gaharimata and watch the nesting beach of the turtles, without disturbing the creatures. Also visit the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, which offers true pleasure to the avid bird watchers. You will also be thrilled by the very sight of the mass of gigantic crocodiles at the location.
How to reach Gahirmatha: The nearest airports of Gahirmatha are Bhubaneswar and Kolkata airports. The location is also accessible by waterways (Chandabali, Ragnagar and Gupti). You can also take trains from Howrah and reach Bhadrak, Balasore, Cuttack or Bhubaneswar, from where Gahirmatha is easily accessible. Gaharimatha is just 4 kms from Dangmol. The nearest railhead to Gahirmatha is Bhadrak, which is just 77 kms away. From Bhadrak, one can reserve a taxi or a jeep to Bhitarkanika Forest Reserve and hire a boat to reach Gahirmatha.
Best time to visit Gahirmatha: The ideal time of visiting the Gahirmatha Sanctuary is the period between the months of October to February, when the turtle come to nest.
Lodging and dining facilities in Gahirmatha: There are no such accommodation options at Gahirmatha but you have Govt. resthouses and private hotels in nearby towns.
Photographs by Debkinkar Baidya.