Context: Chilka lake in Odisha, Asia’s biggest brackish water lagoon, saw an increase in the number of migratory birds this winter compared to the previous year.
About Chilka lake:
- Chilka Lake is Asia’s biggest inland saltwater lagoon situated near Satapada in Odisha.
- Located at the mouth of the Daya River, Chilka Lake is the largest coastal lagoon in India and also the second largest saltwater lagoon in the world after the New Caledonian barrier reef in New Caledonia.
- The lake is studded with small islands including the most charming Honeymoon Island and the Breakfast Island.
- The lake is an ecosystem with large fishery resources. It sustains more than 150,000 fisher folk living in 132 villages on the shore and Islands.
- In 1981, Chilka Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
- The lake also acts as one of the most supportive ecosystems in the name of Chilka Lake Sanctuary.
- It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent.
- Birds from the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and Southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here.
- White bellied sea eagles, Graylag Geese, Purple Moorhen, Jacana, Herons and Flamingos are among the many species which make the lake a bird watcher’s delight.
- Chilika in fact, is home to one of the world’s largest breeding colonies of Flamingos.
- Being richly famous for the presence of aquatic wildlife, Chilika Lake sanctuary also houses Irrawaddy dolphins which are different from the other dolphins as their colour and dorsal fin being less prominent.
- Apart from the avifaunal species, the region also highlights varied wild animals such as Blackbuck, Golden Jackals, Spotted Deer and Hyenas.
- One of the most famous tourist attractions near Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary is Kalijai Temple, devoted to Goddess Kalijai. Makar Sankranti is celebrated with great pomp and cheer at the temple that attracts numerous travelers and devotees.
Top Attractions in Chilika
Nalabana bird sanctuary
- Situated in the heart of Chilika, Nalabana Island deserves a special mention since it is a prime refuge point for thousands of resident and migratory birds.
- It got the status of a sanctuary in 1987 and specially acts as a treat for the bird-watchers during winter season.
- Island of Goddess Kalijai is the most frequent spot for tourists. The island is famous as a centre of religious worship due to the temple of Kalijai. There is a story behind the place which is centred around an innocent girl called “Kalijai” who got married and was going by boat along with her in-laws through this lake.
- Satapada is the ultimate place to watch Irrawaddy dolphins.
- This island is an architectural marvel with a conical pillar and a small room constructed on the submerged mass of rock in the Rambha bay near Ghantasila hill.
- The pillar was constructed to put a light on the top.
- The water spread around the Beacon Island is very charming, surrounded by the Eastern Ghat.
Previous Year Questions
Q.1) Consider the following pairs:
- Hokera Wetland Punjab
- Renuka Wetland Himachal Pradesh
- Rudrasagar Lake Tripura
- Sasthamkotta Tamil Nadu
How many pairs given above are correctly matched? (2022)
- Only one pair
- Only two pairs
- Only three pairs
- All four pairs
Q.2) Which one of the following is a filter feeder? (2021)