There is something about dolphins. And Satapada is probably the only place on the planet where you can get so close to the Irrawaddy dolphins. Surrounded by blue lagoons, this is a must-see destination for a traveller.
Satapada or Satapara may not be that famous as the other destinations in Odisha. While lakhs of people visit Puri and Chilka, Satapada is relatively lesser known although it lies in the district of Puri. About 50 km away from Puri it is on the southern part of Chilka. Satapada in Oriya means seven villages.
Satapada is the best spot to see the rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. The Irrawaddy dolphins look a bit different than the commonly seen bottlenose dolphin. It is darker in shade and the snout is more rounded which gives it a cuter look. These Chilka dolphins are actually very close to the Orca whales genetically and look more like the beluga whale.
Get up and venture out early in the morning. Dolphins are most well spotted at the dawn time. The Dolphin Motor Boat Association provides and manages motor boats at Satapada to view these wonderful mammals.
It is a wonderful sight to see these graceful creatures frolick in the water. If you are lucky, you can also see them jumping out of the water. One secret tip – take a sailboat instead of a motor boat. The sound of motors is not very pleasant so dolphins may not come very near. But with the soft beat of the oars on the water, it creates a serene atmosphere. Sit quietly and you may find a dolphin swimming just beside you.
If you like you can also take to canoeing and kayaking. Or you can simply laze your day away boating in the lagoon waters.
One can also take a boat ride to the Rajahans Island. It is a small stretch of land between the lagoon and the vast Bay of the Bengal. The ride is extremely picturesque.
From Satapada visit the Rambha Bay. This amazing place was also a picnic spot for the British. Nearby is the Barkuda Island or the Honeymoon Island, which is home to rare and exotic plants and flowers.
There is also the Beacon Island with the wondrous sight of Khalikote hill range. You can also pay a trip to the Kalijai Temple and the Nalabana bird sanctuary. Actually this landscape is dotted with numerous islands each with its own beauty. At one of the islands you can also plan a little picnic.
Do not forget to sip warm tea with freshly fried tiger prawn. It will truly be a luxury to your senses.
You can visit Satapada anytime during the year. But if you would like to see the dark and dangerous beauty of Mother Nature, monsoons are the time to come here.
How to go
- Biju Pattanaik Bhubaneswar Airport is the nearest one which is about 110 km away from Satapada.
- Balugaon is the closest railway station. You can take a bus from Balugaon from Satapada.
- Come to Puri. You will get regular bus and cars to Satpada. If you come by road, take the National Highway 203A to Satapada.
- Local transport is available in plenty from Puri and Bhubaneshwar.
Where to stay
Stay at the OTDC Yatri Niwas. From the verandah of your room you can get a great view of the lagoon and the landscape.
You can pre-book your Rooms at the tourist offices in Puri, Chilika or Bhubaneswar also. You can also book your stay online. Yatri Niwas provides excellent accommodation and food service. You can get AC, Non AC and suites room options as per your budget and requirements. Rooms start from 500 to Rs. 2000 per day. You can see rates here – otdc.in/satapada.htm
Other spots in Odisha:
- Don’t like water? Want a jungle instead? Kuldiha is your home
- Want to see the gorgeous and rare blackbucks very close?
- See Jurassic Park – in REAL
Image credits: 2.bp.blogspot.com, mybhubaneswar.com, visitodisha.org, odishatourism.net, go2india.in