Purple Heron with a kill
Purple Heron taking off with a kill

Birdwatching at Mangalajodi

Birdwatching at Mangalajodi is an opportunity to witness the wintering Migratory Birds up close. Millions of Birds, every year, visit Chilika lake during Winter season from December to February. A substantial number of these birds choose to spend winter at beautiful wetlands of Mangalajodi.

Overview

Mangalajodi is basically a small village situated at the northern edge of Chilika Lake in Odisha. It has a unique and inspirational story of it’s own. Back in the days, villagers of Mangalajodi were known for their bird hunting skills to make a living. But owing to the importance of Mangalajodi, conservation group of Odisha carried out several awareness programs and turned these villagers from hunters to protectors. Now, they use their knowledge about birds in facilitating Bird Watching trips to Bird Watchers and nature enthusiasts. Every year, officials from Natgeo and other recognized organizations come here to record and study the birds during the migration period.

What is very unique about this place is that one gets to witness varied species of birds at a very close proximity. We happened to visit here towards the end of February. By this time, many migratory birds had already left, but still there were more than hundreds of species for us to witness and photograph.

Boating at Mangalajodi

Boating arrangements are done as per govt. norms. The charges are fixed and per trip cost is Rs. 1200/-. Mostly, these charges are covered in the stay package. One can even plan for a day visit and enjoy Bird Watching.

Evening Boating at Mangalajodi
Evening Boating at Mangalajodi

Boating is the best way to watch and explore the wetlands of Mangalajodi and capture some stunning Bird Photos up close.

Passing through the Wetlands of Mangalajodi
Passing through the Wetlands of Mangalajodi

 

Birds seen at Mangalajodi

During migration period lakhs and lakhs of migratory birds visit this part of lake. This wetland is a heaven for water birds. More than 200 species of Birds can be spotted here.

Sharing few images that I have processed so far. Ended up capturing thousands of pictures, will be processing them as time permits and share here. Look out for this space for more images of varied species that I managed to capture during my stay of two days here.

 

Asian Open Bill
Asian Open Bill Sunbathing

 

Glossy Ibis with a catch
Glossy Ibis with a catch

 

Leucistic Temminck's Stint
Rare sighting of Leucistic Temminck’s Stint

 

Sunset at the Wetlands of Mangalajodi
Sunset at the Wetlands of Mangalajodi

 

Black Tailed Godwit
Near threatened Black Tailed Godwit

 

Purple Heron with a kill
Purple Heron taking off with a kill

 

Purple Heron
Purple Heron

 

 

Whiskered Terns in Flight
Whiskered Terns in Flight
Ruddy Shelduck
Ruddy Shelduck
Indian Spot-billed Duck
Indian Spot-Billed Duck
Greater Painted Snipe
Greater Painted Snipe
Purple Heron
Purple Heron
Black Tailed Godwit
Black Tailed Godwit
Egret
Egret
Grey-Headed Swamphen
Grey-Headed Swamphen
Grey-Headed Swamphen
Grey-Headed Swamphen
Black Headed Ibis
Black Headed Ibis

 

Common Snipe
Common Snipe
Black-Winged Stilt
Black-Winged Stilt
Black Winged Stilt
Black Winged Stilt
Eurasian Moorhen
Eurasian Moorhen

 

Purple Heron
Purple Heron
At Sunset
At Sunset

 

Sunset View
Sunset View

 

How to reach Mangalajodi

Mangalajodi is just about an hr and half drive from Puri. 75 Kms from Bubaneshwar and about 65 Km from Puri. Roads are in excellent conditions. You can either drive or book a cab to reach here. Since, this trip was part of my Road trip from Bangalore to Patna, so while returning Bangalore, we drove to Odisha. Checkout my other blog on my travel “Bangalore to Patna by Road” if you need to travel that route.

Where to Stay

Very limited options are available here, however, they all specialize in Bird Watching activities.

1. Mangalajodi Bird View Resort

2. Manjalajodi Eco Tourism.

During our visit to Mangalajodi, we chose to stay at Mangalajodi Bird View Resort. They have all the basic amenities to make the stay comfortable, plus they will make all the necessary arrangements for boating in the serene wetlands of Mangalajodi. Each tour will be accompanied by a Bird guide who will help you spot birds and actions. The tour usually lasts for 2 hrs, however, they give special consideration to Bird Photographers and allow them for an additional hour or two without any additional charges.

The boating charges are part of the package which covers for one complimentary boating.

You can reach out to Mr. Manas, who owns this property. Very passionate about Birds and Wildlife. It was fun talking to him about Birds and Wildlife of the nearby places. He can be reached at the number: +91-98612 28560.

Just a note: Do not expect a 5 star hotel experience at Mangalajodi. All resorts here are focused to provide you a comfortable stay while enjoying nature at the Wetlands of Mangalajodi.

Food

Food is hygienic and tasty. You will get to taste authentic Odisha cuisine here. You can try local fish and prawn. Breakfast is part of the package. Lunch and dinner is available at a nominal charge of Rs. 500/- per head. Better to opt for food from the resort, as you don’t have to go out hunting for food losing your valuable time.

Delicious Lunch
Delicious Lunch

Best Time to Visit

Best time to visit Mangalajodi and Chilika lake would be between December to mid of Feb.

Note: If you are a bird watcher / photographer, avoid visiting between Mid of December to Mid of January, as the place gets quite crowded owing to new year tourism.

Other Birding Spots at Chilika Lake

There are other Birding spots at Chilika lake where you get to see Flamingos and other Wildlife. Stay tuned for another blog on it soon.

Magical land of Flamingos
Magical land of Flamingos

A small clip of Flamingos from the trip:

pankajsinghphotographie

Belong to the world of Aviation. A Birder by Heart! Passionate about Wildlife, Photography and Travel.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Punit

    Awesome info with some mind blowing images, thanks for sharing with us, we loved it ๐Ÿ˜Š

      1. Shailesh

        Too beautiful !! Great capture Pankaj !

  2. Indu Bala

    Beautifully documented, with natural habitat pic , all images are brilliant

  3. Arpita

    All birds are beautifully captured alongwith awesome wordings and information..

Leave a Reply