Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary
Established in the year 1987 at Yavatmal near Sambalpur, the Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is believed to be one amongst the most famous tourist spots of the state of Odisha. This wildlife sanctuary is a must-visit for the natural lovers. The wild life sanctuary is situated at around 48 km from Ushakothi and hence it is named as Ushakothi Sanctuary. Located at the National Highway #6 Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is about 45km from Sambalpur and 200 km from the city of Rourkela.
Spread on an area of around 285 square kilometers the Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is believed to be a shelter to a wide range of plant and animal life. There are various types of animals found at the Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary in Orissa. Some of the animals that live here are sambals, nilgai, wolves, leopards and Panthers also can be spotted here. These animals are primarily nocturnal animals. To have a much closer view of these animals, one should hire a Jeep Safari. There are as many as 35 elephants and 15 tigers in the Ushakothi Sanctuary. One can view a sloth bear particularly during sunset when it comes to the river close by to have water.
The Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is an absolute paradise for the several integral fortes of nature. These attractive creatures residing in the depths of the jungle form the majority of population, the list is unending but Tigers and Panthers are amongst them. The Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is believed to be one of the smaller sanctuaries of Odisha’s, yet a very popular tourist destination that promotes eco-tourism activities.
Flora and Fauna in Ushakothi Wildlife SanctuaryThe dense forests of the Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary commonly comprises of trees like the Arjun, Sandalwood, Neem, Sal, Casuarinas and Acacia. The region is rich in both flora and fauna. The principal trees that are found in the area belong to the category of dry deciduous forests. The trees include sandalwood, sal, neem, casuarinas, and acacia. The fauna of the place is very rich and varied in nature. Some of the most admired features of the Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is the Wild Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, the Black spotted Panthers etc.
Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary is also said to be a home to more than15 tigers and 35 elephants. Some of the other attractions of the Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary are the Sambar and Bison. Of the other species which are found in the sanctuary are the Nilgai, Gaur, Leopards, Cheetal, Spotted, Wolves, Deer, Racket tail dragons and Flying squirrels etc. Sloth bears the extint species is also found at the Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary but they can be seen only during sunsets when they turn out to drink the water stored at the reservoirs.
Inside Ushakothi Wildlife SanctuaryTo observe the Sanctuary from a better angle two of the tall watch towers are installed inside the Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary. These water towers give the best sight of animals that come to the close by watering spot and these towers also offers a classic above ground sight of the sanctuary. Located at around 30 ft these water towers are the best spot to have the glimpse of the sanctuary. Guide and Spot lights can also be arranged by the Forest officer for the tourists visiting the place in lieu of a nominal charge. Photography is banned in the Sanctuary and also to enter into the Sanctuary prior permission are needed from the authorities.
Important about Ushakothi Wildlife SanctuaryBest Time to Visit Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary
The most suitable time to visit the reserve is said to be between the months of October till May.
How to Reach there
By Air: Biju Patnaik International airport at Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport to the sanctuary located at around 300 kilometres, also the Raipur Airport is around 270 km from the Sanctuary.
By Train: Sambalpur is the nearest major town and the Sambalpur railway station which is also one of the most important junction of Western Odisha which is connected to several cities of the Countries.
By Road: Located at about 45 km from Sambalpur, Badrama is said to be the nearest rest house which is situated at a distance of around 3-km away from Ushakothi Sanctuary.
Entrance Fees Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary has several species which need special care and hence to maintain that there are some nominal charges being taken from the visitors as entry fees. Fees for Indians are INR 10 per day and for Foreigners INR 100 per day. For Physically handicapped and also for Students there is a concession on entry. The heavy vehicles are charged Rs- 20/-, Light vehicles Rs- 10/-per day.
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