In a recent discussion with my father I came to know about this place. Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the major Odisha forest, is a very good place for a weekend getaway. The jungle lovers will surely love this place as it has dense forest along with Elephants and Leopards. As not much footprints have been here so it’s kind of undisturbed place as compared to other famous forests.
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Kuldiha falls in Odisha, It actually comes at the beginning of Odisha when you are traveling in any south eastern train towards Cuttack. So it’s not a very long journey for people from Odisha , West Bengal or Jharkhand.
How to reach Kuldiha Forest
There are two ways to reach Kuldiha forest , One, you can drive your personal car via National Highway and then while entering odissa you can opt for the road to the forest near Balasore. Another way is via Train. So you can get tickets up to Balasore station and from there you can book a car or auto to the forest. The later one is both time and cost savvy , maximum in 5 hours spending at max 500 rs you will reach there.
How to reach Kuldiha forest from Kolkata
If you are planning on to visit this forest , then first you have to come to Howrah station which you can do by traveling by bus, auto or taxi as per your flexibility. Then from there you have to take train to Balasore, Odissa. The distance is around 231 km. There are actually plenty of trains such as Dhauli Express, Puri Shatabdi Exp, Yeshwantpur Exp, Simlipal Intercity Express and more ( List of trains that goes to Balasore from Howrah ) . From there you have to book a car and head towards the jungle. Cars are always available and you can also book it from kolkata in advance , you just have to contact the local travel agencies.
Things to do at Kuldiha forest
As someone said that
” A jungle is best with it’s own sound , without any man made sound. “
The area of the sanctuary is 272.75 Sq. Km and it was established in the year 1984. Here in Kuldiha forest you will enjoy absolute silence and solitude in the midst of Nature. After reaching there , you can go for a walk through the jungle with a guide ( from our own experience, it is advisable that you should be with any guide or local person who is well aware about the forest especially in this kind of jungle that are not having so heavy tourists ) . Various kind of birds one can see here are Cuppersmitha Barbet, Indian Pitta, Asian Paradise Fly Catcher, Malbar Trogan, Orange Brested Thrush, Common Hoppe, Indian Niguljan and many more.
“…Even in the moonlight, one can catch sharp shadows of the pachyderms from a distance of 20 meters. It is a truly enjoyable sight to see the elephants shoveling the earth with their feet and trunks to get at the salt balls below. Yet it boasts of a healthy population of elephants along with deer, bison, bear and leopard. And if the forest guard is to be believed, the herbivores are regular visitors at the salt-lick…”
Winter months are the best time to visit any jungle because wildness of any jungle sees its height during winters, so we will suggest you to visit in the starting of winter as the weather will be very good for camping and hiking. October to May is the suitable time to travel here. Rainy seasons should be avoided as the jungle is also home to some dangerous reptiles. There are elephants, bison, sambar, giant squirrel, leopard, varieties of birds like hill myna, peacock, horn bills and many more animals in Kuldiha sanctuary.
Accommodation at Kuldiha
If you plan to stay for more than a day, you can stay at the accommodation provided by the forest authority. Those are actually big tents with the facility of food provided by them. A great rule here about the eatery is that all kinds of meat is banned here for the safety of jungle animals and you will get only egg as a non veg item.
At night you can enjoy the thrilling jungle from the watchtower , this experience is bone chilling as I was told by people whoever has visited the place and even if you don’t see any animals, the feel of gripping wildness will be memorable. The sanctuary is connected with the famous Simlipal forest through Sukhupada hills and Nato hill range. Interested people can go for trekking, which is a great adventure. Also there are some places which you can visit if time permits like trek route in Nilgiri, Bhitarkanika and Panchalingeswar. In our upcoming Odisha special we will cover those places as well.