Chilika Lake is a salty water tidal pond, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam areas of Odisha state on the east shoreline of India, at the mouth of the Daya River, streaming into the Bay of Bengal, covering a space of more than 1,100 km2. It is the biggest seaside tidal pond in India and the biggest saline water tidal pond on the planet after The New Caledonian obstruction reef. It has been recorded as a conditional UNESCO World Heritage site.
It is the biggest wintering ground for transient birds on the Indian sub-landmass. The lake is home to different bargained kinds of plants and animals.
The lake is an organic framework with gigantic fishery resources. It upholds more than 150,000 fisher–individuals living in 132 towns on the shore and islands.
The lagoon has in excess of 160 kinds of birds in the apex transient season. Birds from to the extent the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other distant pieces of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Kazakhstan, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. These birds travel significant stretches; some of them potentially travel upto 12,000 km, to arrive at Chilika Lake.
In 1981, Chilika Lake was assigned the principal Indian wetland of worldwide significance under the Ramsar Convention.
As per an overview, 45 percent of the birds are earthly in nature, 32% are waterfowl, and 23 percent are waders. The tidal pond is likewise home to 14 kinds of raptors. Around 152 uncommon and imperiled Irrawaddy dolphins have likewise been accounted for. Furthermore, the tidal pond upholds around 37 types of reptiles and amphibians.
The exceptionally beneficial Chilika Lagoon eco-framework with its rich fishery assets supports the occupation for some anglers who live in and close to the tidal pond. The water spread space of the tidal pond ranges somewhere in the range of 1165 and 906 km2 during the rainstorm and summer separately. A 32 km long, thin, external channel interfaces the tidal pond to the Bay of Bengal, close to the town Motto. All the more as of late another mouth has been opened by CDA which has carried another rent of life to the tidal pond.
Microalgae, marine ocean growth, ocean grasses, fish and crab additionally thrive in the salty water of the Chilika Lagoon. Particularly the recuperation of seagrass beds lately is an inviting pattern which may in the long run bring about re-colonization of imperiled dugongs.
Land proof demonstrates that Chilika Lake was important for the Bay of Bengal during the later phases of the Pleistocene time frame (1.8 million to 10,000 years BP).
Unearthings were led by the Archeological Survey of India at Golabai Sasan (20°1′7″N 85°32′54″E) only north of Chilika lake in Khurdha area. Golabai gives proof of a succession of Chilika region culture in three stages: Neolithic (c. 1600 BCE), Chalcolithic (c. 1400 BCE to c. 900 BCE) and Iron Age (c. 900 BCE to c. 800 BCE). Radiocarbon dating followed the soonest level of Golbai to 2300 BCE. The site is situated on the left bank of the Malaguni River, a feeder of the Daya River, which streams into Chilika Lake. This area, which offered admittance to the ocean through Chilika Lake, gives solid proof of the sea exercises of this locale. The recuperation of numerous carpentry adzes and different relics shows that Golabai was a boat-building focus. Essentially, Golabai is the lone uncovered site in Odisha where boat building has been uncovered. This likewise shows that Chilika lake was near Golabai and it worked with the oceanic exchange of individuals nearby during the antiquated period.
Some antiquated writings say the southern area of Chilika was a significant harbor for oceanic trade, when Kharavela (c. 209 BCE–after 170 BCE), the King of Kalinga, was known as the “Ruler of the Sea”.
Ptolemy (150 CE), the Greek geographer, alluded to Palur as the port Paloura, found near the take-off point arranged outside of the southern tip of the lake at Kantiagarh, from where boats destined for various pieces of Southeast Asia cruised. After 639, the Chinese pioneers Fa-Hien and Hiuen-Tsang notice a renowned port “Che-li-ta-loChing” close to the shore of the sea which was a lane and resting place for seagoing brokers and outsiders from far off lands. This port was situated at ‘Chhatragarh’ on the banks of Chilika Lake.
A fourth-century legend, regularly advised to clarify the introduction of Chilika, states that the privateer ruler, Raktabahhu, intended to assault Puri with an immense armada of boats. To keep away from location, he subtly moored far away, off the mouth to the ocean. The trickery was uncovered by boats’ deny skimming to the shore, subsequently cautioning the town’s kin, who got away with every one of their assets. Raktabahu felt sold out when he tracked down a neglected town and coordinated his rage towards the ocean that had double-crossed him. The ocean separated to allow the military to walk in, at that point flooded back, suffocated the military and framed the current lake. Archeological unearthings found seventh-century transport anchors and stone journals committed to fight saints at a town named Kanas, around 25 km (16 mi) north of Chilika on the banks of Nuna stream, which streams into the lake. This gives proof of a notable maritime commitment off the coast.