#Bhitarkanika – the #Sundarbans of #Odisha. We went on an 500kms #adventure on #2wheels and the experience left us asking for more. Watch us go winding through remote forests onto mangrove mudflats and finally onto pristine beaches.
With a 5 motorcycles and a gang of 9 adventure enthusiast started our journey from Bhubaneswar. I have not done a lot of expeditions on 2 wheels so this was something new and driving in such a group felt very reassuring. Visibility being low we were treading carefully through this beautiful winter morning. After about 100 odd kms we reached Kendrapada, halted for breakfast and in no time were back on the road. This was our first spot for the date and as we submitted our permits and entered the park we were greeted by this mighty croc basking in the sun. This is our country’s second largest mangrove forest after the Sundarbans. It lies in the estuarine region of the North-Eastern corner of Kendrapara district in Odisha. The largest number of saltwater crocodiles in the world called this place home. There are over 300 species of indigenous and migratory birds here. We were also here to witness the rare mass nesting site of Olive Ridley Turtles. Come this summer Bhitarkanika is in the running for the coveted tag of a UNESCO world heritage site. We rode through various terrain and crossing rivers and canals criss crossing each other. Finally we arrived at our stay for the night which was book in a tent near the beach. It was pitch dark when arrived and after that enduring ride through such exciting terrain we were really hungry. We chatted for a while and then with food in our belly we went back to our tents to call it a day. Right just then a lil fella dropped by to say Hello. Next morning we went looking for the Olive Ridley Turtles but found the beach full of their carcass. The locals told us that the turtles died due asphyxiation from getting caught in the nets of fishmen’s trawlers. A sad reminder of how man is wreaking havoc on the environment. Heart broken, we left pondering that there was more money here to make through tourism than irresponsible fishing.
Pic Credits – Vasundhara Dash