Wildlife sanctuaries in Odisha


Capturing and exploring the beauty of wildlife sanctuary is beautiful in its own way. Wildlife Sanctuaries in India are home to thousands of animals and birds.

Here is the list of wildlife sanctuaries in Orissa which you can explore and watch :


The Debrigarh Wildlife sanctuary is a place to thousands of animals. It is considered special place in the national map because of its historic association with the state's renowned freedom fighter, Surendra Sai. It is believed that he took shelter in this dense jungle while planning his rebellion against the British. The sanctuary is home to tigers, leopards, bison, hyena, spotted deer, Indian hare, monitor lizard and chameleons, among other animals. There are a large number of migratory birds that visit the sanctuary as well. Diving ducks are a common sight in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is also home to the endangered species of four-horned antelope. A third of the sanctuary's area is bound by the Hirakud Dam, thus forming a mini catchment for the reservoir. While most wildlife sanctuaries in Orissa comprise of wet deciduous forests, the Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary is a dry forest. Today, the sanctuary is a popular tourist destination attracting a lot of tourist round the year especially from neighbouring areas.


Sprawling over an area of 500 square kilometres, the Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary is a Proposed Tiger Reserve. With a vast plateau, canyons and 11 waterfalls—the sanctuary is home to a wide variety of wildlife. It also forms the catchment area of the Jonk River. A dam has been constructed on the river to be able to navigate irrigation. Among all major sanctuaries of Odisha, it can be said that the Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary has definitely seen better days in terms of wildlife. One can spot a host of wildlife here including Indian mammals such as tigers, swamp deer, leopards, gaurs, sloth beer, barking deer and more. You can also spot the common langur and rhesus monkeys. Among the birds, the sanctuary is home to vultures, hill mynah, patridge, and pea fowls. Interestingly, a rare species of wild buffaloes often enter from a neighbouring forest in Chhatishgarh. If you are the kind of traveller who is looking for an offbeat destination to explore, Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary is a great option.


Dense Sal forests with patches of vast grasslands in between, Hadahgarh Wildlife  Sanctuary offers a picture perfect setting with its breathtaking beauty. It is located barely 20 kilometres from Bhadrak, in the Kendujhar district and is home to several species of avifauna in addition to other animals that include tigers, leopards, fishing cats, jungle cats, pangolin, hyena, wolf, porcupine, and langur. Founded in 1978, the Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary spans across an area of 191.6 square kilometres. The Salandi River, passing through the forest is its lifeline. There is a dam on the river named Salandi Dam. The Salandi River is home to the Muggar Crocodiles. Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular tourist spot attracting substantial number of tourists round the year. While winters are the best time to visit the sanctuary, it is also advisable to avoid the summer months altogether.


Bordered between the Wardha River and the Penganga Rivers, lies the Ushakothi (Badrama) wildlife Sanctuary—another hidden treasure of Odisha. The small town of Ushakothi that lies in close proximity has given its name to this sanctuary. The Hirakud Dam lies on the western part of the sanctuary and is another place that should be made a beeline for. The sanctuary is located roughly 40 kilometres from Sambalpur, spread over an area of more than 300 square kilometers, this was earmarked as a sanctuary in 1962. The dense deciduous forest of the area comprises trees like Neem, Acacia Sandalwood, Arjun, Sal and Casuarinas. Apart from the Asian elephants which happens to be the prized inhabitant, the sanctuary is home to panthers, tigers, spotted deer, wild boar, snakes and hyenas. Other animals that are found in the sanctuary include racket-tailed drongos and flying squirrels. Capture the beauty of the wilderness in your camera lenses atop the two watchtowers or take a safari to explore the deep interiors. You could also stay at the forest bungalow that is located inside the premises, if you are able to book it well in advance.