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WildLife

Nandankanan

Literally meaning the 'Garden of Pleasure', Nandankanan is a combination of a beautiful botanical garden, a zoo and a sanctuary. Situated 20 km from Bhubaneshwar, Nandankanan provides perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The quiet environment of Nandankanan is set amidst a vast expanse of the Chandaka forest where the flora and fauna flourish in their most natural habitat and environment.

The zoo at Nandankanan is world famous for its white tigers. In 1980, for the first time, three white cubs were born to ordinary tiger parents. Leopards, Lions, Bears and other reptiles and smaller mammals keep the tigers company. Among other sanctuaries, Nandankanan also has the first Gharial breeding centre.

Recently a Lion safari was launched which has become extremely popular among tourists. Other attractions of the park includes white tiger safari, nocturnal animal house, reptile park and a cable car. The park has a cafeteria and a guest house for an overnight stay. The sanctuary can be approached by bus from Bhubaneshwar.

Similipal Tiger Reserve

 

Similipal is the land of the roar of the tiger and the trumpet of the elephant. Dense forest, ragged hilly terrain and wild animals combine to make it a unique wilderness. Certainly a place for nature sensitive visitors who can rough it out. Semi evergreen and moist nature of the tropical forest results  in luxuriant vegetation growth from ground to top, ideal for the animals to hide away.

A novice may feel, there are only few animals here. Ample evidence by way of calls, songs, sounds, tell-tale marks or footprints on dust tracks provide the true exciting picture.

Itís weaving oneís way through the orderly majestic Sal stands, miscellaneous forest festooned with climbers orchids, a tangled mass of vegetation, or the broad open valleys.

Similipal is the richest watershed in Orissa giving rise to many perennial rivers- the Budha Balanga, the Khadkei, the Khairi, Bhadan, the west Deo,  the east Deo etc an the Sanjo are the major ones. Gorgeous Barheipani (400mt) and Joranda (150 mt) waterfalls are great attractions.At night, when one is cozily settled in the rest house., it is exciting as well as chilling to hear alarm calls- shrill notes of cheetal, belling of sambar or barking of muntjac, generally indicating the presence of large predator- leopard or tiger in the vicinity. During the day, sight of conspicuous foot prints of big cats and elephants make the imagination run wild.

Come May-June, a large number of orchids bloom exotically coloured and strangely shaped. They nestle on the trunks and branches of the trees for support in moist region. Generally 4-5 varieties bloom at a time for few days, while others patiently wait for their turn, foot-long chains of Ď fox-tailí orchid consisting of several hundred tiny, translucent ,mauve coloured flowers are most conspicuous.

A visit to the Ramtirtha crocodile rearing centre near Joshipur is an exposure of different kind. It provides insight into the intricacy of nature and the manís effort to restore the balance in nature.

In totality, Similipal is among some of the best creations of the God.

 

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