Mangalajodi - Showcasing Community, Conservation and Culture through Eco Tourism
-Dr. Pankaj Sharma
Mangalajodi –a village on the banks of Northern Chilika, is known for its tireless efforts in conserving birds which come to visit
Chilika every year. Mangalajodi was famous as ‘Poachers Village’ because of the involvement of villagers in Bird Poaching and selling it in the local market.
It was going on massive scale till Wild Orissa- a Bhubaneswar based NGO started working in the area and constituted the community into Bird Protection Groups. Transition was not easy; but continuous efforts through awareness and support from different
agencies proved effective. Community members made a formal organization called Sri Sri Mahavir Pakshi Surakshya Samiti (Bird Protection Committee) on 10 Dec 2000 and took a pledge not to kill the birds as well as not allowing anyone
to do so. Committee members started conservation activities by regular patrolling in Mangalajodi Wetland. Annual Census started registering more number of birds each year.
Transformation from poachers to conservationist was not easy but more difficult was the rehabilitation and restoration of livelihood
for those who have no skills other means of living than killing birds. Mangalajodi Ecotourism is a community led Eco-Tourism initiatives started with a goal to provide livelihood support to local community involved in conservation of Mangalajodi Wetland. Project
is implemented by CPSW- an Orissa based NGO which is handholding the community to manage the facilities and improve the services for visitors. Earlier different methods were employed by the villagers in killing birds which also made them aware of feeding habits,
distribution and migration pattern of birds. Their knowledge is now employed in making them Ecoguides, who give visitors an authentic experience of learning about Birds.
Mangalajodi hosts over 400000 birds of 200 different species during the peak season of which at least 80 are migratory birds.
What Mangalajodi offers to (Eco) Tourists?
Birding from the Watch Towers: Mangalajodi is nearest place from Bhubaneswar to see birds in Chilika. It is also the place offering Birding from closest distance possible;
Guided Boat ride on special routes to spot birds: Knowledge of Birds, their migratory patterns and breeding cycles from poachers-turned-ecoguides.
Taste local cuisines which are prepared and offered on boat;
Hear the story “Poachers to Protectors” from the locals;
How to reach Mangalajodi
Mangalajodi is approx. 75 Kms from Bhubaneswar
en route to Chennai on NH-5. Bhubaneswar is well connected by air and train. Nearest Bus stand is Chandpur Tangi. Nearest Railway stations are
Kalupada Ghat and Mukateswar.
Interested in visiting Mangalajodi (Chilika), please write to us at:
email@example.com or Call: + 91- 9238398849
Group of Godwits at Mangalajodi by Aditya Panda
Hand driven boat at Mangalajodi by Ghani Zaman