Satkosia gorge is one of the most picturesque gorges in India that is born from the laps of Mahanadi river. Legends believe the name of the gorge originates from the ancient word ‘saat kosh’ or 14 miles (22 km). Without burning a hole in the pocket Satkosia in Odisha can be your next holiday destination for a fun family time.
Rich in Flora and Fauna
Tikarpada is located at a distance of about 130km from the state capital Bhubaneswar. The deciduous forests along the gorge are abode to tigers, elephants, herbivores, birds and other animals. It was also declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1976. The river is home to crocodiles and gharial. A gharial research and conservation unit was opened in Tikarpada in 1975. In 2007, the Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary and its adjoining Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuary, covering a little over 900 square km in all, was earmarked Satkosia Tiger Reserve in 2007.
One can easily spot the exotic birds and gharials but it a matter of fortune to get sight of large animals. The gharials and turtles can be seen basking in the sun if you take on boating in the george. One may go trekking through select parts of the forest with prior permission and accompanied by a forest guard. Walking over the fallen leaves of Sal trees are other large trees can be a sight of beauty.
Other Places of Interest
Several places to stay in the Satkosia Gorge area are operated by the eco-tourism division of Odisha Forest Development Corporation (OFDC). Tikarpada Nature Camp, in the northern part of the tiger reserve, overlooking the gorge, is one of the best places to stay. On the southern side of the tiger reserve one may opt for the Satkosia Sands resort in Badamul, managed by the Mahanadi Wildlife Division of Satkosia Tiger Reserve. Catching a sight of gaur and sambar in the Badamul area can be a real pleasure. For camping, one can opt for Chhotkei, Tarava, Bhaghamunda forest and Baliput.
Depending on the time of departure, one can visit Puranakote hill top, about 15 minutes drive from Tikarpada. The other spot, Chhotkei is another half an hour’s drive. The drives through the forest offer a unique experience.
One needs proper permissions and follow strict rules while inside the reserve. Permission has to be obtained from the Pampasar forest check gate and will have to leave the forest by the stipulated time. Tikarpada is about half an hour’s drive through the forest from Pampasar.
If time permits, one can also have a quick visit to Kuanria dam and deer park, and the Kantilo Neelamadhav Temple while visiting Satkosia.
How to Reach
Angul, 112 km from Cuttack and 130km from Bhubaneswar (the nearest airport), is the most convenient gateway for Satkosia gorge. From Angul, Tikarpada is about 60km via Pampasar forest gate. Nayagarh, 90km from Bhubaneswar by road, is the gateway to Badamul, another key point for visiting the gorge. Local transport connects the various points but having your own transport is more comfortable. The best time to visit is between November and April.