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Adding to the wholesomeness of tourism bounty, ET TravelWorld News, ET TravelWorld


Lakes & Waterfalls of Odisha: Adding to the wholesomeness of tourism bounty
Being a coastal state with a 450 km long coastline, Odisha has a healthy aquatic ecosystem comprising lakes, ponds, rivers, oceans and streams, wetlands, swamps, etc.

While the Eastern part of the state is coastal plains and the second largest brackish water lake in the world, Chilika, part of it, the state is also blessed with a network of mighty rivers like Mahanadi originating from the mountainous eastern ghats. Rivers like Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga, Baitarani, Brahmini and Rushikulya, and their tributaries also enrich the ecosystem in a wholesome way.

The state is also blessed with majestic and mesmerising waterfalls to charm any nature lover’s fascination. Many of them are tourist attractions of the region in their own way. ETTravelWorld tries to capture the best of what Odisha has to offer in terms of Lakes and Waterfalls.

Lakes & Waterfalls of Odisha: Adding to the wholesomeness of tourism bounty
Chilika Lake: Chilika Lake is a brackish water lake and a shallow lagoon with estuarine character spread across the districts of Puri, Khurda and Ganjam in the state of Odisha in Eastern India. Fed by 52 rivers and rivulets, the water spread area of Chilika varies between 900 to 1165 sq. km. The pear-shaped lagoon is about 64.5 km. long and its width varies from 5 to 18 km. Chilika is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest saltwater lagoon in the world.

The lagoon can be broadly divided into four ecological sectors based on salinity and depth, namely the southern zone, the central zone, the northern zone and the outer channel. A number of islands are present in the lagoon, prominent among which are Krushnaprasad, Nalaban, Kalijai, Somolo and Birds Islands.

Chilika is a birder’s paradise. Famous as the largest brackish water lake in Asia, Chilika is a Ramsar site as well which attracts migratory birds from far and wide. The largest wintering ground for migratory birds in the Indian subcontinent, Chilika is also home to many resident avian species.

As per the water bird status survey-2022 conducted in the Chilika, a total of 10,74,173 birds of the 107 water bird species and 37,953 individuals of 76 wetland-dependent species were counted at the entire lagoon. Bird census members reported rare sightings of the uncommon Mongolian gull in Chilika.

Birds from as far away from the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea, parts of Russia, Mongolia, Central and Southeast Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas congregate in Chilika for its vast mud-field and abundant fish stock.

A biodiversity hotspot, Chilika is home to the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins. With watersports, houseboats, and cruise facilities, Chilika has become a sought-after destination in Odisha

There’s a variety of options for visitors to stay at from Star-rated Hotels, Eco Tour Nature Camps equipped with state-of-the-art swiss tents and facilities to OTDC Government Hotels, Bed Breakfasts and Homestays to choose from. Odisha Tourism website provides a list of accommodation facilities for visitors to choose from.

Lakes & Waterfalls of Odisha: Adding to the wholesomeness of tourism bounty
Barehipani Waterfalls: Barehipani is the second highest waterfall in the country located within the Similipal National Park in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. The majestic waterfall is recorded as over 1300 ft high, just short by 50 ft in height of the highest waterfall in the country, i.e, Kunchikal falls in Karnataka.

While most of the waterfalls in Odisha are single-drop waterfalls, the Barehipani waterfall is a twin-drop waterfall and is one of the most popular waterfalls in the state, especially among people visiting the Similipal National Park. The source of the Barehipani waterfall is the Budhabalanga river which originates from the Simlipal mountain ranges.

Being a perennial waterfall, Barehipani is the lifeline for the flora and fauna of the national park and an integral part of the Similipal ecosystem.

For accommodation, there are nature camps, bamboo huts and cottages available around Similipal. Visitors can book in advance on Odisha Tourism’s own dedicated booking site – www.ecotourodisha.com. OTDC-operated Panthanivas is also available at Baripada, besides many budget hotels.

Lakes & Waterfalls of Odisha: Adding to the wholesomeness of tourism bounty
Joranda Waterfalls: Joranda Falls is another beautiful waterfall located in the Simlipal National Park, close to the Barehipani Falls. In terms of height, Joranda is the 19th highest waterfall in the country at 150 m. Although only 1-hour apart from Barehipani, Joranda is tucked away from the main tourist route to Similipal and therefore not crowded. The fall is a beautiful single-drop waterfall located within the core area of the Tiger Reserve.

Lakes & Waterfalls of Odisha: Adding to the wholesomeness of tourism bounty
Pradhanpat Waterfall: Pradhanpat Waterfall is located in Deogarh district close to the Deogarh town and is part of the cultural and religious milieu of the city. The Pradhanpat waterfall is blessed with the pristine beauty of hills and thick forests and carries purity all the way. The waterfall and the spiritual places around it make a sublime ecosystem for visitors who look for peace of mind and creativity.

The waterfall is at the confluence of the Shakti Peetha of Maa Pradhani and the temple of Lord Champakaswar making it an integral part of the socio-cultural fabric of the place. Unlike other waterfalls which are leisure spots for visitors, the Pradhanpat waterfall and the places around it beckon people who want to soak in nature’s myriad colours as well as mental peace.

This scenic site with its natural elevation and quiet ambiance is the location of the annual Utsav Pradhanpat since 1996. Several cultural teams from all over India perform at Utsav Pradhanpat.

Lakes & Waterfalls of Odisha: Adding to the wholesomeness of tourism bounty
Duduma: Duduma is one of the tallest plunge-type waterfalls in India located on the border of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in Koraput. Duduma waterfall finds its origin in the River Machkund and its water is the backbone of the Machkund Hydro Electric Power Project. The waterfall which is over 550 ft high is considered one of the best tourist spots in Odisha where people can sit back and relax. The waterfall is on the confluence of a mighty mountain range and dense green forest which adds to its appeal to the visitors. The waterfall has two sub-falls, one falls in Odisha and the other one in Andhra Pradesh. The Duduma waterfall is also situated in the Tribal belt of Odisha and therefore visitors can also get a taste of the ‘Bondas’ life and culture while enjoying the pristine nature around.

Lakes & Waterfalls of Odisha: Adding to the wholesomeness of tourism bounty
Khandadhar Waterfall: Khandadhar is one of the highest waterfalls in the state at 244 meters in height. Considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state and the country, the spring water of Khandadhar falls vertically on the uneven stone surface below with deafening sound as well as creating a panoramic view. Located 50 km distance from Keonjhar town, Khandadhar is a waterfall created by a perennial rivulet called Korapani Nala within a few kilometers of its origin.

The place is also known for its rich tribal culture. The local tribes also worship their deity, Goddess Kanta, from where the place has got its name. The natural spring water of Khandadhar, the majestic waterfall, and the rich natural flora and fauna around it attract a large number of visitors around the year.

Lakes & Waterfalls of Odisha: Adding to the wholesomeness of tourism bounty
Bhimakunda Waterfall: Bhimakunda Waterfall is located on the border of Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts of Odisha and is formed on the Baitarani river. There are two majestic waterfalls one over the other on Baitarani called Sanakunda and Badakunda. Breathtaking views of these fall one over the other attract a lot of tourists to Bhimakunda Waterfall.

As per the mythology, Bhima, the second of the Pandavas had taken bath in this waterfall and hence it was named after him. Because of the mythological linkages, the locals consider the place quite sacred and throng the place during holy Makar Sankranti and other rituals.

Lakes & Waterfalls of Odisha: Adding to the wholesomeness of tourism bountyBadaghagra: Set amidst lush green Keonjhar forest, Badaghagra Falls is a virgin waterfall on the Keonjhar hill range of Odisha. Formed on the Ghaghara river, the waterfall is 200 ft high. A less explored destination, Badaghagra is an exciting destination for adventure seekers, nature lovers and picnickers.

The waterfall is accessible easily from the Keonjhar town and gives a lot of opportunities for soft adventure for visitors. These include trekking, hiking, etc. Visitors to Badaghagra also get to soak in nature’s bounty all through the journey to the waterfall through the Bonai forest range and Kanjpani ghat area.

There are over 30 large and small waterfalls spread across districts like Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Deogarh, Sundargarh, Koraput, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, etc., and many of them are still virgin territories as far as tourists are concerned. As Odisha Tourism is set to take its tourism from the largely coastal Golden Triangle of Bhubaneswar, Puri, and Konarak, to the rest of the state through an ecotourism push, these natural splendors are places to be watched out for in coming years.





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