Known for its splendour and pristine surrounds, Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary located in the north western fringe of Bhubaneswar signifies a tale of success. The park is known for its successful conservation of the elephant which is the principal species here. It is also home to a number of threatened wild animals and birds. However, it was designated to be an elephant reserve in 1982.
Though elephant is the flagship species in the forest ecosystem at Chandaka, other animals often sighted here are the langur, macaque, spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, wild pig, porcupine, leopard, sloth bear, hyena, wolf, fox, jackal, mongoose and civets. Among reptiles you’ll find the Bengal monitor, mud turtle, chameleon, python, cobra, Russell’s viper, bamboo pit viper, rat snake, and Earth Boa.
It is a popular destination for solitude seekers and nature lovers. You can take a bicycle and go around the sanctuary, go on a nature trail walk or take a jungle safari – there’s no dearth of how you can explore the park. The bird life of the sanctuary is no less significant as large number of species can be sighted there such as peafowl, red junglefowl, crested serpent eagle, great horned owl, black headed oriole, paradise flycatcher, coucal and stone curlew. The relatively untouched Kumar Khunti Reservoir serves as a transient roosting and feeding ground for several migratory birds during winter for duck species notably garganey, common teal, pintail, spot billed and Brahminy duck and white eyed pochard.
Chandaka is a premier wildlife destination in Odisha, and can be reached by road. The nearest airport is in Bhubaneswar, about 20km away that connects it with major cities like Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Vizag and Hyderabad.