Spread over 1,100 sq km, the Chilika Lake is Asia's largest brackish water lake. It is one of the most important eco-tourism sites in the country and lies about 37 km from Puri. Chilika's unique location and water composition make it an ideal home for over 100 varieties of fish, crabs and other sea animals and the star attraction is the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin. Running parallel to the Bay of Bengal, the sea water flows inland into the lake. In winter, thousands of migratory birds flock here, among whom the pink flamingos are the most photographed. Watching flocks of birds take off into the air in a coordinated pattern is mesmeric. The lake's shallow waters enclose large tracts of marshes, lowlands and islands, among which the most prominent are Nalbana Island and Kalijai Island. The Nalbana Island, with its wide variety of flora and fauna, forms the core of the Chilika Sanctuary. Kalijai Island is home to Goddess Kalijai, revered by local fishermen. This island plays host to a large fair during the annual Makar Sankranti festival in January. You can hire boats for regular rides around the lake or opt for special ones that take you to places where the shy Irrawaddy dolphins can be spotted.

Other Attractions in Puri