Mangalajodi wetlands are a
freshwater swamp at the
north-eastern edge of Chilka Lake and is located between 19?
54.823'N 85? 26.184'E and
19? 53.755'N 85? 26.332'E.
Mangalajodi hamlet is about 60kms south
city off NH 5 and 4
kms south-east of Tangi town in
district of Orissa, India.
The area (about 10sq. kms)
is primarily a freshwater zone connected by
channels cut through the reed beds with the brackish waters of Chilka
lagoon. It is covered with emergent vegetation and reed beds
consisting mostly of Typha angustata and Phragmites karka.
The main channel runs north to south for about 3
kms and has a nature trail running parallel to it for about 2 kms
terminating in a watchtower.
Ghera' is a waterfowl haven, attracting thousands of winter migrants
and playing host to significant and diverse populations of breeding
residents. Recognized as an IBA, Mangalajodi supports over 200,000 -
300,000 waterfowl in winter with populations of 15 species exceeding
1% of their bio-geographical population.
Tufted Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Fulvous Whistling-duck, Purple
Swamphen, Asian Openbill, Cotton Pygmy-goose and Grey-headed Lapwing.
Other species regularly observed in significant numbers are Northern
Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Black-tailed Godwit, Garganey, Eurasian
Wigeon, Ruddy Shelduck, Clamorous Reed Warbler, and other resident
birds. Raptors include Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Brahminy Kite and
White-bellied Sea Eagle while the Whiskered Tern is abundant in
Large scale poaching
has historically been a major threat to the
avifauna of Mangalajodi wetland. Poaching
provided an alternate livelihood to the 3000 odd residents of the
village and threatened to destroy the area as a bird breeding and
wintering habitat of immense importance.
Efforts to curb poaching and
provide alternate means of livelihood to the families were started in
1996-1997 by Mr.
Nanda Kishor Bhujabal and the members of Wild
Orissa, an organization working on wildlife conservation
issues. These efforts bore fruit with the formation
Mahavir Pakhshi Surakshya Samiti, on 10th December 2000.
Poachers were converted to protectors and were made
members of this Samiti (committee). Six members from the committee
carry out daily surveillance and patrolling to check incidences of
poaching. The Orissa Wildlife Department
also chipped in by has provided
seasonal employment to some Samiti members.
Wild Orissa provided small wooden boats for
patrolling and monitoring
and the Chilka Development authority provided much needed funding for
this conservation initiative.
These efforts bore fruit with the
official census bird count at Mangalajodi rising from
5000 birds in
10,000 birds in 2000-2001 reaching a figure
of 3, 00,000 birds in the year 2003-2004.
The effort was recognized by
the Government of Orissa with the Pakhshi Bandhu (Friends of
birds) Award" for the year 2001being bestowed on the
Sri Mahavir Pakhshi
How to reach:
Mangalajodi lies at the
north-eastern tip of Chilka Lake. It is 30 kms from Khurdah Road Railway
station and lies off National Highway 5 connecting Kolkata to Chennai. The
nearest railhead is Kalupadaghat on S.E. Railway's Howrah-Chennai line and
Tangi on NH5 is the nearest town. Bhubaneshwar city is a 2 hour drive from
Where to stay:
'Wild Orissa' runs a
sparse eco-tourism camp at Mangalajodi. Contact them for bookings.
Alternative, and better equipped, accommodation is available at
Balugaon, Barkul (OTDC
Panthanivas), Kalupada.and Khurda Road -
all are within driving distance of the site.
Shri Nanda Kishore
Governor Wild Orissa, Tangi Regional Chapter
District Khurda; Orissa
If you don't have a vehicle with you, arrange one from the
place you are staying at. Boat rides at Mangalajodi cost around
INR 500 to INR 1500 per day, depending upon time and distance covered. You
can carry packed food or inform the guides beforehand to prepare lunch
Places of interest:
A visit to Mangalajodi should be combined with a visit to
Chilka Lake and Nalabana Bird Sanctuary. Chilka Lake is a 1165 sq km.
brackish water estuarine lagoon of international importance for waterfowl.
Every winter, Chilka and its surrounding areas host a staggering 7-800,000
birds comprising 121 species.
November to March
1. Potential and Exisiting Ramsar Sites in India; Islam M.Z. & Rahmani A.R.