Air Deccan plans flight to Orissa’s Bhitarkanika

March 24th, 2008 - 7:37 pm ICT by admin  

Kendrapada, March 24 (IANS) India’s leading budget carrier Deccan Monday announced plans to start special flights to Orissa’s Bhitarkanika, widely known as the world’s largest rookery of Olive Ridley sea turtles. Bhitarkanika, also known for having India’s second largest mangrove forest and many species of migratory birds, is located in the coastal district of Kendrapada, some 170 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

“We will arrange a special package for tourists to visit Bhitarkanika,” Deccan founder and executive chairman Captain Gopinath told reporters during his visit to the park.

Gopinath landed Saturday in a helicopter at a royal palace at Rajkanika near the park.

Accompanied by Shivendu Narayan Bhanjadeo, the scion of an erstwhile royal family, he visited the water bodies and dense mangrove forests of the park by a boat.

“A flight service will help tourists to see Gahiramatha marine sanctuary, the world’s largest rookery of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles, door-less village of Sialia, the royal palace of Rajkanika, Hukitola island and nearby beaches”, Gopinath said.

“I urged Deccan officials last month to connect the Bhitarkanika with private airlines. At present, the ground of our palace at Rajkanika will be used as a temporary airfield or helipad for the landing of helicopters and small planes,” Bhanjadeo said.

Bhanjadeo is a member of the Bhitarkanika Eco-Tourism Society (BETS), formed by the Orissa government recently to attract more tourists to the place.

Forest officials recently constructed a tower in the park for the tourists to watch the birds, spotted deer, wild boars, crocodiles, snakes and other animals, providing a major attraction for tourists.

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