Human beings and animals including wild life are parts of the ecosystem and depend upon each other for their existence and survival. A perfect balance is required to be maintained in the ecosystem, so as to keep it habitable for living beings for the present as well as for the posterity. For providing protection to wild life, National Parks and Wild Life Sanctuaries are developed by government. The Chandaka-Dampada Wildlife Sanctuary is a tourist destination near Bhubaneswar, the capital city of the state of Odisha.
Elephants, in general known as pachyderms infested the Chandaka forest, covering two districts namely Khurdha and Cuttack. For providing them proper protection, it was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1982. Besides, this sanctuary is home to more than 300 species of plants, 30 species of animals, 27 species of reptiles and 120 species of birds. The forest is thickened with salwoods, teakwood, bamboo shrubs, eupatorium scrubs and medicinal herbs.
At Chandaka,Tourists find it very easy to spot herds of elephants because they move about freely in the area. It would indeed be enjoyable to watch an elephant café suckling her mother or adult ones in playful postures at any water source. Besides elephants, chances are there to spot any wild animals such as small Indian mongoose, ruddy mongoose, pangolins, wild pigs, deer, leopard, chital, mouse deer, langur, rhesus monkeys, sloth bear, wolves and hyenas.
Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary is particularly attractive to tourists because of its reptile population that includes rock python, russel viper, chameleon and Bengal Monitor Lizard. Their crawling movement on rock and soil, attacking their prey and swallowing them are the sights that would enthrall the viewers.
The Kumarkhunti reservoir in Chandaka offers opportunities for sighting different species of birds such as peafowl, red jungle fowl, Bird watchers throng this transient roosting and feeding ground for species of several migratory ducks such as Garganey, common teal, Pintail, white-eyed pochard, Dabehick, Nakta, bronze-winged Jacana and white-breasted water hen.
Tourists to Chandaka can visit nearby spots for viewing varieties of animals. These places are Godibari, Ambilo, Saurabiula, Ambokhali, Mahuriabadi and Kumarkhunti. For spotting leopards, tourists can go to watchtowers at Kochilaberana, Pitagadia and Charichhak. It would be a memorable experience to stay overnight on the watch tower and watch wildlife in their natural postures.
For picnicking with friends and family, there are two water reservoirs near Chandaka forest. They are Deras Dam and Jhumka Dam. A sojourn in the cottages near Deras Dam provide absolute tranquility and solace to mind and rejuvenates body to work with more enthusiasm and vigour. Chandaka therefore is an ideal destination for wide range of tourists such as nature lovers, bird watcher, poet & philosopher, eco-specialist, ornithologist, researchers and above all an escapist ‘far from the maddening crowd’.
The growing awareness among people about the importance of wildlife preservation has made it more urging upon tourists to visit places where they could watch and see the flora and fauna in their natural habitat. Such tourists never miss to include Chandaka in their itinerary..