First published on: 07/10/2012 18:00
It all started from a mail & a call from a close acquaintance on Friday and few mail and call exchanges from Vinayak and Sanjib. After confirmation we (Abhishek, Khushbu & Myself) departed Bhubaneswar at 06:30AM and after a 75 KM drive on NH5, reached a beautiful village of Mangalajodi at 08:30AM.
We were greeted with lovely morning tea and breakfast at the mud/bamboo cottage. With some quick portrait shots on a small bamboo hut, we left for the boat trip on the wet lands.
The journey from the Cottage to the wetlands was awesome. The entire nature trail was a mud road and besides us there were over 400 buffaloes walking on the same path and were heading for a quick dip in the cold waters of the wetlands. Accompanying them were there masters who gave us some lovely portraits.
The most interesting part was watching these big buffaloes plunge into the water all in one go. It felt as if I was watching an episode of Serendipity on Discovery Channel, where hundreds of Wildebeests cross a river during migration. The whole sight was just amazing.
After a quick walk we arrived at the first light house and were greeted by a local guide and the boatman. Our boat was already ready with binoculars, water bottles and some quick snacks. We boarded the boat and were all set for the sail on the beautiful marshland of Mangalajodi.
The entire wetland is properly labeled by Channel numbers which are the road ways for the hand rowed boats. The feeling of rowing through these channels between the long bushy grasses was like watching an adventure movie in 3D. Soon we started sighting the local as well as the Migratory Birds. They were just all around the place.
We witnessed Black Cormant, Tern, Egret, Jacana, Pied Kingfisher, Kite, Little Grebe, Purple Herone, Yellow-Wattled Lapwing and many more. It is said that during the onset of winter one can witness over two lac birds in this area.
After a 3 hour long boat ride and loads of awesome experiences we returned to the cottage, only to be greeted with delicious local food which included a rare fish called Khainga (Mullet). We were also joined by some wildlife photographers and conservationists headed by Sanjib (Senior Manager, IGS), over the lunch.
After Lunch, we went for a brisk walk on the Nature Trail 2 where we tried our hands on bamboo works, boat making and also sighted a few species of butterflies. The whole trip ended with a quick nap and a drive back to home sweet home.
If you are a bird lover, or need a break from your hectic work schedule and city life, do visit Mangalajodi — Bishwamber
Other Images here.