Regular-article-logo Monday, 29 May 2023

Trip inside the heart of Chandaka forest

Chandaka nature trail, exploring the forest trails of the Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary, to start every Sunday

Anwesha Ambaly Bhubaneswar Published 09.12.18, 06:56 PM
Cyclists on a nature trail at Chandaka forest in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

Cyclists on a nature trail at Chandaka forest in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Nature trails on wheels have become the latest fascination for youngsters here.

The inaugural Chandaka nature trail, which is part of Bhubaneswar nature walk, witnessed the enthusiastic participation of 45 cyclist, who explored the forest trails of the Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary that is famous for its elephant, on Sunday.


The nature trail inside the serene forests of Chandaka, which is often called the “green lungs” of the twin cities, is an initiative of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) that is run in collaboration with state forest department. The trail will start every Sunday at 6.30am from the Godibari Gate.

Chandaka, which is a little over 20km from the city, boasts of an impressive collection of 730 species of plants, 39 species of mammals, 252 species of birds, nine species of amphibians, 39 species of reptiles, 19 species of fishes and seven species of invertebrates, said divisional forest officer Kedar Kumar Swain.

With the Mahanadi running along, the scene inside the forest with numerous water bodies around makes it a unique attraction. BDA secretary Manoj Kumar Mohanty said that the forest was a blissful diversion from the busy city life. Nature enthusiast and BDA official Bhabani Shankar Chayani urged the participants to make the initiative successful in the long run.

Pratham, the youngest participant in Sunday’s trail,had come with his parents Purnendu and Tandra. Covering the trail with the first group, Pratham was left excited.

“I will tell my friends to visit Chandaka,” he said and was visibly happy to learn about the forest.

“Chandaka, which is a natural carbon sink, has a rich history attached to it. The ruins of the Chudangagada and the remnants of the Gualigada forts inside the sanctuary are testament to it,” he added.

“Pratham’s participation without any sign of tiredness shows that the natural forest is a rich source of oxygen and one can just inhale quality air and feel it,’’ said Chayani.

Hitesh Seth, a businessman from Cuttack, came to experience the “exposure as a breath of fresh air”.

Abinash Patnaik, another regular at such walks, said: “Being a student of agriculture science I am always inclined towards nature trails. But being so close to the city, Chandaka and its ecosystem is different and I would love to come here more often.’’

All the participants were shown a documentary on Chandaka, its importance as a green corridor and how to behave while inside the sanctuary as a nature lover.

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