Chilika Lake, Odisha

Chilika Lake in Odisha is the largest brackish water lake with an estuarine character. This salty water lake spreads across the Ganjam, Puri, and Khurda districts in Odisha.

Counted amongst the largest lagoons in the world, Chilika welcomes several migratory birds every year. According to a report by Odisha TV, the Government allocated 21 teams consisting of 105 forest department officials to record the number of migratory and domestic birds present in Chilika Lake on 4th January 2022.

Individuals preparing for UPSC prelims can read this article to learn more about Chilika Lake and other crucial data related to the same.

Essential Facts about Chilika Lake

The following points will be helpful for competitive exam aspirants:

  • Chilika Lake is situated on the east coast of India in Odisha and is separated from the Bay of Bengal by a small strip of land.
  • Chilika Lake spreads across the Khurda, Puri, and Ganjam districts of Odisha to the Daya river’s mouth. It covers an area of around 1,100 square kilometres.
  • This salt lake is home to millions of migratory birds and endangered plants and animals.
  • Tourists gather around the year to enjoy sighting Irrawaddy dolphins near Satpada Island.
  • This lagoon is divided into a central zone, southern zone, northern zone, and outer channel, depending on the depth and salinity.
  • Chilika Lake was declared Ramsar Convention Wetland of International Importance in India in 1981.
  • Nalaban, Birds Islands, Krushnaprasad, Somolo, and Kalijai are some of the prominent islands in the lagoon.
  • Nalaban Island and Chilika Lake bird sanctuary were protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. 
  • This lake has been prioritised for conservation and management under the Mangroves and Coral Reefs Committee of the Ministry of Environment & Forests and the Central Government of India.
  • Chilika Lake is an income source for more than 0.2 million fisherfolk and the livelihood of several nearby villages.
  • The best time to visit Chilika Lake is during winters, as nearly 225 bird species grace the lagoons.  
  • This lake is home to a rare species of fishing cats, also called Baghadi or Macharanka Bilei. The maiden census conducted in Sorana-Mangalajodi found over 100 fishing cats in the lake.
  • Migratory birds from Siberia, northern Eurasia, Kazakhstan, remote areas of Russia, Caspian region, neighbouring countries, and Lake Baikal visit this lake every year and return before summer. 

Apart from these facts, UPSC 2022 and IAS aspirants should be aware of the latest news on the said topic. This practice will help them answer the current affairs section confidently.

Also, refer to the following links:

Updates on Chilika Lake

  • According to The Hindu, the Odisha Forest Department found carcasses of 29 migratory birds near Chilika lake. This data indicates increased poaching activities like killing birds and supplying them to local restaurants.
  • Odisha police strengthened their patrolling on 31st December 2021 to catch bird poachers. The authorities set up 20 camps with 90 personnel in Tanghi and Rambha range areas.
  • According to The Hindu, in 2019, the Odisha Wetland Authority had approved an investment of Rs. 180 crore for management of Chilika Lake.
  • The five-year management of lakes strengthens the livelihood of fishers relying on Chilika and Ansupa Lake. This initiative also worked on the conservation of ecosystem and promotion of tourism.
  • According to a report by New Indian Express, the Chilika Adrabhumi Sangrakshan Committee of Sorana involves locals monitoring and patrolling fishing cats in Chilika. This practice helps prevent poaching and enhance the importance of these species.

Hopefully, these points will help aspirants answer Chilika Lake UPSC questions and their facts easily. Additionally, they can check news articles and educational portals to find detailed information on Chilika Lake.

Frequently Asked Questions

When did the formation of Chilika Lake start?

The Chilika Lake formation started 20,000 years ago towards the end of the Pleistocene epoch.

Which is the famous temple near Chilika Lake?

Numerous devotees visit the Kalijai Temple located near Chilika Lake.

Why is Chilka lake salty?

The salinity in Chilika lake comes from seawater that enters this lagoon from an inlet running parallel to the Bay of Bengal.

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