Two Hours Spent at Mangalajodi Wetlands
Mangalajodi Wetlands lies on the edge of Chilika lake, 65 kms from Bhubaneshwar. The shallow lake here makes Mangalajodi a haven for birds migrating in winter. More than 100,000 birds arrive in Mangalajodi between September and February, making this a spectacle for travellers and an experience for bird watchers and photographers.
Mangalajodi village was once a village of bird poachers. It has now been transformed into a village of bird watchers, bird protectors and those facilitating bird watchers.
Arriving at Mangalajodi
There are birds all around, both sides of the road when you arrive. You park the car around the jetty and set for a countryboat ride.
Villagers ferry travellers in their countryboat and know bird species well. The countryboat moves at a very slow speed allowing us to go nearer to the birds than any other destination in India.
What you see
Even the ordinary camera would give you superb close-range bird photos.
We saw 50+ species of birds including some exotic ones like Ruddy Shelduck and Black Tailed Godwit. The gulls just refused to move and kept giving poses.
After a two-hour boat ride (that costs only Rs. 1000 for 3 persons), you end up feeling that the boat men and villagers deserve much more for offering you the experience.
A good idea would be to proceed to Chilika Dhaba for some great local style cooked seafood (especially the prawns).