Orissa is often associated only with its magical beaches. But there is more to Orissa than just sandcastles. It has beautiful green patches all over the state. Here is a look at the lungs of Orissa.
Beautiful Sanctuaries and Parks In Orissa:
1. The Nandankanan Zoological Park:
A world famous wildlife sanctuary, it is situated around 17 kms off Cuttack. Sheltering a variety of wild animals, it is one of the most sought after zoological parks in India. This reputed sanctuary has been known to protect and care for totally 151 animals that include:
- 49 mammals
- 75 fishes and
- 27 reptiles.
Further the main attractions of the zoo are the animals like:
- hill mynas,
- panthers and
- brahminy kites.
The Tiger reserve is known to harbor and breed a good number of tigers which stood at 327 in the last census. Out of these 10 were white tigers.
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2. The Ushakothi Sanctuary:
Another popular sanctuary in Orissa, at the Yavatmal district, this sanctuary is located 48 kms from the actual UshaKothi. It has gained popularity to become a must visit tourist itenary with respect to Orissa tourism. It’s rich in flora as well as fauna. The vegetation is as diversified as neem, arjun and acacia. The animals also cover every taxonomical group in the animal kingdom. However it is best known as the home for:
- sambar deer
The nocturnal Panthers can also be spotted here occasionally. The wildlife safaris are a highly sought after attraction at this spot.
3. The Mahanadi Wildlife Division:
Located on the southern banks of the Mahanadi River this sanctuary is also famous for its wildlife. This sprawling division is actually 4 sanctuaries joined together. These are mainly covered by two adjacent districts comprising:
- Arakhpadarand Reserve
- Padmatolain Reserve
- Baisipalli Reserve and
- Mahanadi Reserve Forest
The flora and fauna is similar to that of most other sanctuaries in Orissa. But the sheer expanse of land gives the animals a tranquil territory to co-exist in.
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4. The Simlipal National Park:
Situated almost 320 kms off the city of Bhubaneshwar, this sanctuary is a popular vacation spot for the people in Orissa. A popular Tiger reserve due to its increased numbers in tiger population over the years. So what started with 17 tigers in the early 70’s scaled up to 98 in the late nineties. This land earlier belonged to the Maharaja of Mayurbhanj and was used as a royal hunting ground.
5. Indira Gandhi Park:
The beauty of this Eco-park complex lies in its intricate gardens full of rare varieties of flowers, stunning meadows, doll museum, mini zoo and aquarium. The perfectly manicured gardens comprise of a special Japanese garden, a rose garden and a fountain garden with a light and sound show on special days. The park has a watch tower atop which one could breathe in the beautiful panorama of the city skyline.
6. State Botanical Garden:
Bhubaneshwar is the proud owner of the State Botanical Garden which is very near to the Nandankanan Zoological Park. The plants are well arranged in various gardens.
- Rosarium, with 1000 varieties of roses;
- Medicinal Garden with 200 species of plants and herbs;
- Landscape Garden with perfectly manicured lawns;
- Japanese garden with water streams;
- Cacti house with various species on display;
- Bonsai house
Along with these there are rides and activities that comprise a fun children’s park. So it has something that appeals to everyone, no wonder it is a favorite picnic spot for many Odiya families.
Skip the beaches and explore this state for more stretches of greenery on your next visit.