Demography of Gahiramatha, the Abhayaranya of Odisha
The eastern belt of Odisha, from the mouth of Dhamara to mouth of Mahanadi is about 75 km area, was declared as one of the Marine Wildlife Sanctuaries of India. In the year 1975, number of turtles migrated from Mexico and Australia to Gahiramatha for mating and nesting their eggs. In the year 1996, Gahiramatha was declared as Marine Wildlife Sanctuary of Odisha.
Importance of Gahiramatha, the Marine Wildlife Sanctuary of Odisha
In the year 1973 at Washington and in 1993 at Brazil, 67 countries were participated and committed to save the turtles with the help of state and central govt. The most precious being of world must not vanish. In 1994, fishing was strictly banned in 20 km inside the sea at Gahiramatha region. Later, forest department, fishery, and coast guard started caring as per the Supreme Court orders.
Why Gahiramatha is famous for?
Gahiramatha is famous for Olive Ridley sea turtles. There are eight types of sea turtle found in the earth; such as, Loggerhead, Leatherback, Green sea, Black sea, Flat back, Hawksbill, Kemp's Ridley and Olive Ridley. Out of eight varieties, five species are found in Indian Oceanic belts; whereas four types of turtle found in Odisha coastal belts.
The Olive Ridley turtles are heavily found in Odisha coastal belts. Apart from Gahiramatha, they come to Rushikulya and Devi River mouths for nesting. Olive Ridley turtles come from Mexico, Atlanta, Australia and Sri Lanka by making a journey of thousands of miles or nesting at Gahiramatha and Odisha coasts. Rather than Odisha coasts, Olives visit to Nicaragua, Costa-Rica and Mexico coasts for nesting.
Gahiramatha Tourist Information
The best time to visit Gahiramatha, to watch the turtles is November to January. The other places nearby Gahiramatha to visit are, Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Ratnagiri, Lailtgiri and Udaygiri Buddhist complexes, The 9th century Lord Shiva Temple in Dangmal etc. Gahiramatha is easily reachable by Bus, Train, Air and Water. By bus and train from Bhadrak, Balsore, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar; by air from Bhubaneswar and Kolkata and by water source from Chandabali and Paradeep.