Orissa has been on your travel bucket list, the recent launch of the Hirakud Cruise that has been announced to begin from the first week of August, gives you furthermore reasons to do so. The site promises the most scenic and adventurous experience for tourists and is a major eco- tourism hub in formation that involves possible interaction with the local community. An additional bonus is that the reservoir is seemingly near to the Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Orissa which adds on to the gorgeous thrilling experience.
It is rumored according to reports that wildlife sightseeing and bird watching will be an essential part of the package of the cruise. Extremely popular for its rich diversity in flora and fauna, the Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary also offers ravishing scenic beauty. The tourists can spot animals in their natural wild habitat right from the cruise as the reservoir is an open spot where the animals regularly visit to drink water. In addition, the Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary consists of three islands- the sunset island, the island of bats and the cattle island, they are collectively called the ‘Island of Odyssey’, each of whose unique natural attractions severely allures nature enthusiasts to explore.
- THE SUNSET ISLAND : Just 743 sq. km away from the reservoirs, this island experiences some of the most stunning sunsets and if the tourists get lucky, they might have a chance to experience the gorgeous view of the moonrise on the east, during the sunset.
- THE CATTLE ISLAND : This island is located near to the nature camp that once housed a herd of cattle but during the resettlement period, when the villagers left due to the dam construction, they left behind their cattle and now their progeny found safe haven living in the forests of the island.
- THE ISLAND OF BATS : Just a km away from the Debrigarh Wildlife sanctuary of Orissa, within the Hirakud reservoir, this island is inhabited by over a thousand bats. The tourists can view them living in their natural habitat but only from a certain distance.
The forest department of the Hirakud Wildlife Division has employed local members of the tribal community inhabiting the area, mostly fishermen to maintain and conserve the forests and wildlife surrounding the reservoir which also provides an additional income to their livelihood and strengthen their support.
The Hirakud Cruise in Orissa can board a total of not more than 8 tourists at a time who cannot spend more than an hour crossing the reservoir. There are a number of eco tourism spots around the reservoir usually managed by the local communities which provide a very intricate experience and provides a deeper knowledge of their lifestyle and cultural heritage and is thus a great attraction for tourists in Orissa boarding the cruise.