Thursday, January 21, 2016

Barkul - the pefect gateway to Chilika Lake

Barkul - the pefect gateway to Chilika Lake
Did you read my motorcycle log of riding to Daringbadi? On the fourth day of that trip I had descended down from the hills of Daringbadi and keeping Chilika (we pronounce it as 'Chilka') in mind, had chosen Barkul as the destination for overnight halt. Exploring Chilika Lake in a winter afternoon was the sole idea behind opting for such an early stopover. Barkul lies more or less on NH-5 and roughly 150 kilometers from the Kashmir of Odisha. For you, more relevant would be to know its distance from various major places of Odisha. As per G-map, Barkul is 102, 105 and 71 kilometers away from Bhubaneswar, Puri and Berhampur respectively.
Barkul - the pefect gateway to Chilika Lake
The much famous Chilika Lake with its royal span of thousand plus square kilometers is the largest lagoon in India and probably, the second largest lagoon in the world. It is obvious for such a large water body to have more than one coast locations or gateways for its tourists. If you are keen on spotting Irrawady dolphins and visit the point where Chilika pours into the Bay of Bengal, then you should directly head to Satpada. Usually regular tour operators from Puri would take you to the Satpada side of Chilika Lake. If tranquility and added presence of hills near the lake shore excite you, Rambha should be your ideal portal to this brackish water lagoon. Are you an avid birdwatcher? Then choose Mangalajodi. Fourth option is for travelers who want to enjoy the view of the vast expanse of blue water dotted with countless wooden boats and hazy view of faraway hills. Of course, I'm describing Chilika as seen from Barkul!
Barkul - the pefect gateway to Chilika Lake
Owing to its vicinity to Puri, Satpada is more familiar to tourists visiting Odisha. But I tell you, if you want to experience the beauty of Chilika you got to decide between Barkul and Rambha. Good thing is these two points are hardly 25 kilometers apart and sincerely connected by NH-5. Both Barkul and Rambha have OTDC Panthanivas by the side of the lake and you can reserve your room there through online-booking option. Definitely Barkul has more lodging options apart from OTDC, making this place more suitable for backpackers. Despite so many negative reviews against the OTDC Panthanivas at Barkul, I think its location (lake view) is too good to avoid. I can ignore the poor in-room service, forgive its apathetic staffs and battle with mosquitoes with the repellent in my saddlebag, just to get spellbound by the mesmerizing sunrise or sunset over the lake right from my room balcony.
Barkul - the pefect gateway to Chilika Lake
There are OTDC operated as well as private boat services to explore Chilika from Barkul. I had taken a shared boat-ride to Kalijai Island to surrender myself to the afternoon lure of Chilika and my boating experience over Chilika deserves a separate blog post. Chilika is not any teeny-weeny park lake merely meant for boating. It is a hub of rich biodiversity, sheltering hundreds of migratory birds and many endangered species which are not found anywhere else. Chilika is nature's gift to the east coast and certainly the second most significant trump card for Odisha Tourism. Do visit Barkul and spend a couple of days by the lakeside to discover those seldom sung charms of Chilika.
Barkul - the pefect gateway to Chilika Lake

10 comments:

  1. Wow beautiful captures :)
    Enjoying ur work..
    Keep Clicking !

    Hot Pink n Florals

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  2. I liked the image of the boat painted blue inside - a very pacifying effect.

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    Replies
    1. Really appreciate your visit Antonina :-)

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  3. Blue boat with blue water great combo

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Love the first pic a lot. It has the quality of staying in our memory for a long time. Beautiful.

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