The Chilka lake is a brackish water lagoon, acknowledged as the largest coastal lagoon across India and the second largest lagoon around the globe. The lake extends over Puri, Ganjam and Khurda districts of Orissa covering an area of 1100 sq. kms. The little village of Barkul is one of the main entry points from the southern part of Chilka lake. The lake is home to countless migratory birds coming from Russia, Central Europe, Mongolia, Ladakh and many more far off places and offers shelter to an array of endangered species of fauna like the illusive Irrawaddy Dolphins. So you can well understand that a trip to such an exotic location will always surpass your expectation. BOOKING DETAILS OF BARKUL CHILKA
Places to see in Barkul, Chilka: You will undoubtedly treasure your visit to Chilka, admired with such exotic sightseeing locations. Chilka is dotted with a number of islands. You can hire Private as well as OTDC boats from Barkul to pay a visit to Nalbana, a big island located at the center of the Chilka Lake. The avid bird watchers will really have a visual treat in visiting the island, which is the haven for migratory birds during the winter. Make a trip to the Kalijai Island – a mere 40 mins. ride on a speed boat from Barkul Jetty where the shrine of Goddess Kalijai resides. Thousands of pilgrims visit the Kalijai Temple during Makar Mela.
The Dolphin point in the Chilka Lake is where you can savor a glance of Irrawady dolphins and bottle-nosed dolphins. The Breakfast Island, Honeymoon Island and Beacon Island are few other island destinations within Chilika lake.
Nearby attractions around Barkul, Chilka: Trips to the nearby spots of tourist interest around Chilka will make your experience at the location more exciting. One of the most sought after destinations of the tourists is the village of Monglajodi located at the edge of the Chilika wetlands. During winters, Monglajodi comes to life when millions of birds from Central Europe, Tibet, Ladakh and Russia make it their home. Nirmaljhara, which features a perennial stream flowing into a number of ponds. The area also houses some beautiful temples. Tourists with an adventurous mind can take a bath in any one of the ponds in the location. You can also make a trip to Banapur, renowned for the Bhagwati Temples and markets. A day trip to the Salia Dam built on River Salia is also quite rewarding. Tours are also organized to Narayani, famous for housing a temple amidst a scenic backdrop. You can also make tours to Puri and Gopalpur-on-sea from Chilka.
Things to do in Barkul, Chilika: You can hire a boat in the Chilika lake, to cruise around this azure brackish water of Orissa. Visit the different islands dotting the lake while cruising like the Kalijai Island. Water scooters and Pedal Boats are also available at Barkul. There are few local eateries, where you can enjoy lip smacking sea food like crabs and prawns.
How to reach Barkul, Chilka: The nearest rail head of Chilka Barkul is Balugaon, on Howrah-Chennai track. You can avail the buses from Balugaon to reach the Barkul village at the coast of Chilka. Chilka is also accessible by roadway. You will find a number of state operated buses (OSRTC) running from Bhubaneswar to Balugaon. Taxis and auto-rickshaw are available at Balugaon, transferring passengers to Barkul. However, you can also avail flight to reach the Bhubaneswar airport, located 120 km. away from Barkul. Taxis and buses are available at the airport carrying tourist to Barkul Chilka lake.
Best time to visit Barkul, Chilka: You can visit Chilika anytime of the year. The monsoons bring the rolling dark clouds over the horizon and gives a surreal apparance to the lake and the islands. The winters are special because of the slight chill and the arrival of the migratory birds from far off lands.
Lodging and dining facilities in Barkul, Chilka: Lodging facilities are quite limited in Barkul region of Chilika as many tourists keep Chilika Lake on their day trip itinerary from Puri or Gopalpur. However, staying a night at Barkul and enjoying the early mornings and evenings on the lakeside of Chilika is a great experience too. Here are few of our suggested accommodation options at Chilika – Barkul:
Deluxe Cottages and rooms: Located within a 05 acre landscaped garden in Barkul, this art repository offers its guests few artistic cottages and rooms within its premises. You can roam around the landsacped gardens and visit the art museum while staying here. These rooms come with all modern facilities like Air Conditioning, attached western bathrooms with hot water geysers, wardrobes and writing tables. A few minutes drive from this abode would take you to the Barkul Jetty from where you can avail the boats for exploring Chilika Lake. Food is available on request.
Standard Lodge: Located very near to the Chilika Jetty and Water sports Complex, this is a standard category lodge with basic facilities. There are AC as well as non AC rooms in this hotel in Double Bed and Four Bed categories. All rooms are equipped with modern facilities like beds, Televisions and attached western bathrooms. Transport for local sightseeing are also arranged from this resort. Food is available on request.
Photographs by Debkinkar Baidya, Dipanjan Mitra.