If your are travelling by train from bangalore to orissa, You will be surely crossing Chilika station . Though its been long time i travelled in train.
Chilika, a wonder creation of Nature, is a vast and picturesque lagoon/lake in the heart of coastal Odisha.
In the works of the great Odia Poet, Radhanath Ray, it is a place of entertainment for ‘Utkal Laxmi’ and so goes the line…..
“Utkal Kamala Vilas Dirghika
Marala Malini Nilambu Chilika
Utkal Tuhi Charu Alankar
Utkala Bhubane Sobhara Bhandar”
Queen of natural beauty, Chilika, the
largest brackish water lake in Asia covering an
area over 1100 sq.km is a great attraction for the
tourists. Chilika lake is regarded as a magnificent gift of nature.
The popular Kalijai legend talks of the beautiful rustic bride, Kalijai who met watery-grave on the way to her in-laws house when the boat carrying her capsized on account of a storm. Since then, Kalijai
has turned into an angelic spirit who safeguards the people on the sea. I heard the story from my father in my child-hood days.And i visited this place many time before as a part of our school excursion.The temple of Kalijai is located in the island of Chilka lake of Puri District. In the month of Janury,Pilgrims flock here during Makar Mela (at the time of Makar Sankranti) to pay obeisance to the Goddess.This fair attracts a large number of visitors both from outside and inside the country.The grandeur and glory of the lake have a lusting impact on the viewers. Chilka lake is an important habitat and breeding ground for both resident and migratory and aquatic birds, It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds in India.
It was month of December ,few days before the last day of 2011.Luckily my leaves were approved at last moment and i travelled with my sister to meet my parents in bhubaneswar. It was christmas day ,we started around 9 AM from home to Chilika ,took almost two hour to cover 90 km distance. It was pretty sunny when we four arrived at the Chilika Lake,full of motorized boats and general boats.Crowd was more and no one of us even think in mind to enter the Queue area . Humidity was more and i was loosing my patience to tolerate the scorching sun.
The boatman gave us 45 min to complete Puja (Worship).We didn’t do so and back after one and half hour. The view of the lake from the boat was eye-catching.It held the audience spellbound.By the time we finished our boat journey,it was 4 PM.
Our one and only destination for lunch was the famous “Chilika Dhaba” that time.It was too over crowded ,but i didn’t loose my patience 😉 The most delicious sea food available here which i always crave for whenever i discuss about chilika. The famous dish is “Crab curry”. Full of flavor. Very Comforting. My plate was practically licked clean! Also i enjoyed few piece of tiger prawn from my sister’s plate 🙂
We were back by evening to our home..On our returned way we got some fresh fish and vegetables to buy.
For those who want to visit this place#chilika
Hotels, OTDC panthanivas for accommodations available at chilika and Satapada. For booking and other Chilika information of the place , you can contact Orissa tourist Office, Bhubaneswar Contact No. – 09937037322.