Tourists Skip These 4 Wildlife Sanctuaries In Odisha; Know About Them & The Facilities

Bhubaneswar: Four wildlife sanctuaries in Odisha are not witnessing any tourist footfall while there is a ban on entry of visitors to one, Forest & Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha told the Odisha Assembly on Tuesday.

These four sanctuaries are Khalasuni (Sambalpur), Sunabeda (Nuapada), Kotgarh (Kandhamal) and Lakhari Valley (Ganjam).

Khalasuni wildlife sanctuary is situated at a distance of 60 km in the north-west of Rairakhol and 50 km in the north-east of Sambalpur. It is also accessible from the Deogarh side, which is about 80 km away. Leopard, jungle cat, wolf, jackal, civet and small Indian mongoose can be found here. The sanctuary offers systematically planned trekking packages and one-day nature camp.

Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary is largely a grass-covered plateau adjoining Udanti and Sitanadi sanctuaries of Chhattisgarh. The sanctuary has waterfalls, caves, archaeological sites at Giribaman, Jumlagarh Fort and Muraguda, and the bird observation points at Jalki and Raital Bandh in Maraguda. Sunabeda is home to four tigers and 20 leopards along with other species like Hyena, Barking Deer, Chital, Gaur, Sambar, Sloth Bear, Hill Myna, Pea Fowl, Partridge etc and a number of reptilian species also inhabit the sanctuary. Forest rest houses, circuit houses and inspection bungalows are available for the tourists.

No facilities are available at Kotgarh Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to elephant, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, peafowl, red jungle fowl and a variety of reptiles.

Lakhari Valley Sanctuary has rich tropical forest, valleys, hills and water sources. It is a dwelling place of a large number of elephants. No facilities are available here too, according to the Official Website of PCCF (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden, Odisha.

Odisha has a total of 19 wildlife sanctuaries.

In reply to an unstarred question of BJD legislator Aswini Kumar Patra, the minister further said that there is a ban on entry of visitors to Nalabana, a bird sanctuary inside Chilika Lake.

Nalabana has been an attraction for visitors with migratory birds congregate here in large numbers.

Nandankanan Zoological Park, on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, has been witnessing the highest tourist arrivals with 6,29,747 visitors a year, followed by Bhitarkanika and Gahirmatha wildlife sanctuaries at 65,013, the minister added.

The Odisha government has taken up various development activities in the sanctuaries across the state and introduced facilities like boating, birding, nature camp, nature trail, trekking, canopy walk and adventure sports to attract tourists.

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