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Balukhand-Konark Wildlife – Rich Nature Troves of Odisha.

Odisha is a state that is boundlessly blessed by Mother Nature, & is one of the most pristine states of India. With numerous beaches, jungles, and natural resources this state is known to be the most gorgeous in the country. In Odisha, one can travel to the Chilika Lake harbouring migratory birds, and other exotic wildlife, giving travellers a peek into nature’s paradise, while various other wildlife sanctuaries of Odisha make way for some beautiful views and interesting travel memoirs.

The south-eastern state of Odisha is abode to a variety of flora and fauna. The number of wildlife sanctuaries in Odisha is proof to it. It also has many emphatically unique features; it is the only Olive-ridley turtle sanctuary of the state as well as the only lagoon housing a bird sanctuary. The wildlife sanctuaries in Odisha are unique & every nature lover’s delight. 

Balukhand-Konark Sanctuary established in the year of 1984, is one of the eminent sanctuaries that dot the landscape of the state of Odisha, located in Bargarh district in Sambalpur. This place is at a distance of 40 kilometres from Bhubaneswar, about an hour’s drive from there. One can approach the sanctuary from Konark as well as Puri, as it is located on the coastal stretch or the Marine Drive, between Konark and Puri.The moderately sized sanctuary encompasses an area of 72 sq. km and is an oasis of idyllic green.This Wildlife Sanctuary extends from Banki Muhan near Puri to Keluni Muhan near Daluakani.

The entire area is marked as an eco-sensitive zone.

Balukhand Konark Map

The sanctuary  illustrates the diverse natural heritage that the picturesque state is blessed with. The beauty and splendor of the panoramic vistas are further accentuated by the variegated species of fauna and the lush flora.

The sanctuary is filled with lush green vegetation, cashew and casuarina plantations and mangrove forest  along with Anacardium, Karanja, Polanga, Neem trees. The verdant green and serene ambiance is a welcome refuge for the city slicker tourists from all over the country.  One can find undulating sand dunes, lonely beaches along the stretch of the sanctuary.

It is home to herds of herbivores, specially spotted deers,monkeys,jungle cats,hyena,monitor lizard, snakes etc.

One of the rarest of their species, Olive Ridley sea turtles are seen nesting on the beach of the sanctuary. Another rare species the Blackbucks are also found in the sanctuary and are a major reason for tourists to visit this place. 

Two rivers, namely the Nuanai and the Kushabhadra, which are subject to tidal influences, pass through the sanctuary and the river mouths are part of the sanctuary area. 

The sanctuary plays an important role in maintaining agricultural productivity of the hinterland by arresting the erosion of land. It also contributes in recharging the freshwater levels up-ground and prevention of seawater ingress.  The land is also the source of more than 30 springs, which are renowned for their myriad wildlife & are home to more than 300 species of rare plants and animals.

Balukhand trees
courtesy Sterling Holidays Blog

A wildlife sanctuary is a different kind of holiday. It is an investment in understanding more of the wildlife, their habitat. It is a commitment to protect, preserve and uphold the wildlife. It is a commitment, even if, silent, to lay the road for a better planet, where coexistence among all beings is valued, lived and practised.

Take a vow to make the best of your holiday in the Balukhand-Konark Sanctuary. And make it the best time for the wildlife and its protectors.

Facilities available

  • Good road network including marine drive road.
  • The tourists can find the tranquillity and solitude of this Sanctuary on the calm sandy beaches.
  • Enchanting boat rides in the river Nuanai close to its confluence with the sea, adds to the beauty.
  • Nature camp at Nuania with tent accommodation for night stay.

How to reach the Sanctuary : 

By Road : The Puri-Konark Marine Drive road passes through this Sanctuary. Puri is only 3 km from the Sanctuary entry point.

By Rail : The nearest railway station is at Puri situated at a distance of about 3 kilometers from the Sanctuary.

By Air : The nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar which is 60 Km away.

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