Just 15 kms from the tourist hub of Digha is the serene village of Kharibil in Balasore District of Odisha. Here, the majestic Subarnarekha River meets the sea and creates a mangrove forest covering 563 Ha along the coast of Bay of Bengal. This marine eco-system harbours a unique congregation of marine plants, fish, animals and birds which are rare to be found anywhere else. The daily rise and fall of the tide has created a mud flat rich in mangrove forests which gives way to a placid silvery sand beach that can only be reached in a boat during high tide. Amidst all this, are four fabulous cottages tucked within Casuarina groves with a view of the boundless expanse of mangroves, creeks and snaking Subarnarekha river. BOOKING DETAILS OF KHARIBIL
Places to see at Kharibil: This village is wrapped within a Casuarina Forest at the edge of the mangroves. You can take a walk along the mangroves during low tide and during the high tide you can take the boat to the deserted sea beach which is the natural habitat of Red Ghost Crabs and Horse Shoe Crabs. There’s a Nature Interpretation Centre here, which gives a cursory view of the wildlife of the surrounding mangroves.
Nearby attractions from Kharibil: Apart from the usual tourist circuit of seaside towns like Digha, Mandarmani, Talsharee and Shankarpur, you can visit the Temples of Lord Shiva at Chandaneshwar and Bhushandeshwar. It is said that the Bhushandeshwar Temple has the largest Shiva Linga in India. Also, the northernmost sea beach of Odisha – Udaypore is around 13 kms. from Karibil.
Things to do in Kharibil: Take a boatride through the creeks and mangroves to reach the deserted sea beach. You can hire six-seater or eight-seater boats during high tide and take the adventurous ride spotting mud skippers, numerous birds and few monitor lizards on the way. The boats would take you to the sea beach crossing the mud flats and mangroves and you can spend some time at the lonely beach. The boat would bring you back to Kharibil after and hour or so. Apart from the boat ride, you can do some bird watching in the surrounding forests of Karibil and if you are lucky enough, you can spot Olive Ridley Turtles nesting on the beach occasionally.
How to reach Kharibil: Karibil is around 15 kms. from Digha, which is well connected by buses and trains from Kolkata and Howrah. Cars and Auto Rickshaws would take you to Karibil from Digha.
Best time to visit Kharibil: You can visit Kharibil anytime of the year. Winters are nice for the chill and birds and monsoons for rolling dark clouds and roaring seas.
Lodging and dining facilities at Kharibil: Four Double Bed Air Conditioned cottages with all modern facilities like attached western bathrooms with hot water geyser, generator, televisions, comfy beds and a fabulous private balcony with views of the surrounding landscape welcomes guests to Karibil. The cottages are located just a walk from the Nature Interpretation Centre and the Boating Point. The food is essentially Indian cuisine served in a separate Dining hall, but some guests surely prefer their breakfast to be served on the garden.
Photo Courtesy: Abhijit Das