Housed in the capital city of Odisha, Bhubaneswar lies the beautiful Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary. It is located in the north western fringe of Bhubaneswar. It is a wildlife reserve nestled in the Eastern Ghats biotic region. The sanctuary covers parts of the Chandaka forest. In the year 1982 it got designated as an elephant reserve. Odisha has an abundance of natural beauty and this elephant sanctuary is an example of this. As it is situated in the city itself, one can spot the rock solid boundary of the sanctuary from the roads outside. Many a time if lucky one can spot peahens or peacocks from outside.
Flora in Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary
The floral diversity is rich and abundant here. It can be divided into six main categories namely secondary moist miscellaneous semi-evergreen forests, moist Kangada forests, coastal Sal forests, thorny bamboo brakes, planted teak and Eupatorium scrub. There also exists medicinal plants here. Some of these include baidanka, duramari, guluchilata, salparni, kurchi etc. Sal trees are very common in this forest.
Fauna in Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary
The faunal diversity of this place includes Chital, barking deer, mouse deer, wild pig, common langur, small Indian mongoose, pangolin, sloth bear, ratel, Indian wolf and hyena. One can spot Chital in groups of three or four on the roads. Many animals come to drink water from water bodies situated near the guard camps.
Different varieties of birds are also found here. These include peafowl, red jungle fowl, crested serpent eagle, great horned owl, paradise flycatcher etc. several varieties of migratory birds also visit this sanctuary. One can find an abundance of butterflies during monsoons.
Reptiles including rick python, Bengal monitor lizard are very common here. Others include common krait, common vine snake, Indian bronze back etc. mugger crocodiles are also found here.
There exists a wide diversity of animals here. If lucky one can spot an animal or two during one’s visit here. The famous Indian elephant is spotted by tourists the most. Just at a distance of half a kilometer from the entrance of the sanctuary lies a huge artificial water body. Many a time elephants come here to play, bathe and drink water from here.
There exist watch towers for visitors to watch the wildlife present here. There exists two dams in the area under the sanctuary namely Deras Dam and Jhumka Dam. Both these dams are a popular tourist destination. There exists cottages in Deras Dam where one can stay overnight and if lucky spot wild animals in the open here. These cottages are made at a height so as to protect the visitors from the easy attack of animals.
Pitagadia watch tower, Kochilaberaa watch tower and Charichhak watch towers are ideal for observation of birds and animals. The ones at Kumarkhunti and Ambilo have rest houses where one can observe the wonder of nature by staying overnight. This place provides the visitors to get a shot at viewing the beauty of Mother Nature.
Deras Dam is a wonderful tourist spot. It is full of greenery. One has to go up a hilly path to reach the cottages. The area beside the water body provides a wonderful view. It is a wonderful place for taking pictures. There is no human interference here. It is a must go spot for people who seek solitude. It is also a wonderful place for doing photography. The dam covers a huge area. Entry inside the dam is ticketed. One can enter this place with a valid ID proof only.
A Tourist’s Guide to Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary
The Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary is open on all days of the week from 10 am to 5 pm. The nearest railway station from here is the Bhubaneswar Railway Station and the nearest airport is also in Bhubaneswar airport. The nearest highway from this sanctuary is NH-55 which is 20 km away from here. One can easily go and visit this place by hiring a vehicle. A wide range of hotels are present in the city of Bhubaneswar. Entry is ticketed in here. The sanctuary is beautifully made. It has various paintings and carvings where tourist love to take pictures. Visiting this place is an overall enriching experience.