|Tultul, Arun,Mohua,Sourabh,Asok,Subir (pic by Asit )|
Chennai Express : 1145 pm - Howrah Mail (Howrah- Chennai)(12840)
Reached Balugaon at 9 am (via Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Khurdah)
|pic courtesy : Asit Mukherjee|
Pickup by car from resort - Driver Pawan (0 9658 83 91 24) - Maximo Van - distance from resort - 45 Km. Tariff Rs 1,000/-
Godwit Eco Cottage : Our stay
Manager is Mr Rabindra Nayak (084550 75584 ) speaks perfect Bengali.
Tariff (with food) for 8 seater Dormitory Rs 1,000 per person and cottage for 2 person is Rs 2,600 (with food)
Ashok Lahiri has already reached via flight from Bhubaneswar, yesterday. We stayed in the dormitory, since cottages are full.
|pic courtesy : Subir|
|pic courtesy : Asit|
There is one more Resort nearby.
Office: Mangalajodi Ecotourism, Village-Mangalajodi
Contact person at Mangaljodi - Santosh at 09583 61 96 24 and Laxmi at 09438 42 39 33
After breakfast, short village tour.
|pic courtesy Arun|
|pic courtesy Arun|
A decade back, Mangalajodi was a village of bird catchers. Virtually all species were trapped or shot, to eat or sell. It was a lucrative business, yielding up to Rs. 30,000 a month for some people. There was little that wildlife authorities could do.
Till an NGO, Wild Orissa, stepped in. In 1996, along with some concerned villagers, it began to talk about possible protection efforts. With the use of cultural and ethical arguments, the attitude began to change. A Sri Sri Mahavir Pakshi Suraksha Samiti (Bird Protection Committee) was constituted by the village in 2000.
Its efforts have almost completely eliminated bird poaching here and some ex-hunters like Madhu have become die-hard conservationists. In 2007, the state government awarded the Biju Pattnaik Award for Wildlife Conservation to the Samiti.
After lunch left for Mangla-jodi bird sanctuary by auto (5 Km from our resort - to and fro by Auto rickshaw, arranged by our resort Rs 300 ) at 1.30 pm
Boating starts at 2 pm for 3 hours. Tariff - Rs 850 per boat with guide (with book and binocular)
Birds spotted (pic courtesy : Asit, Arun, Subir,Sourabh)
|Black winged Stilt|
|Open Bill Stork|
Back to resort for dinner
Left for morning safari at 7 am
|Pheasant tailed jackana|
After boat ride , had fish fry just beside the ferry ghat. Back to resort for breakfast for checked out at 12.30 pm
We met Mr N K Bhujbal at the resort, the person who was instrumental in converting Manglajodi into a bird sanctuary and trains the guide.
Left for Barakul Panthanivas, OTDC for lunch by Maximo Van (@ Rs 1200 )
After lunch went to Kalijai Temple for 50x2=100 minutes boat ride @ Rs 50 per head.
Since the number of passengers were less so, we paid Rs 100 per head (for 8 person) ie.e 16x5=800/-
From the boat we saw a wonderful sunset.
From Barakul , Balugaon is only 5 Km - we hired an auto (Vikram) for Rs 100 and reached Balugaon station within 15 minutes.
Our initial plan was to go to Rambha - but since it is quite far from Balugaon, we settled for crowded and uninspiring Barakul. Rambha is really nice.
Our train was suppose to come at 6.30. It was more than 2 hours late.
We reached Kolkata at around 6.15 am instead of 4 am by same train (12840)
To know more about birds of Manglajodi read - kolkatabirds.com