Located in the estuarine region of
, in the north-eastern corner of Kendrapada District
, the Bhitarkanika Sanctuary has protected the estuarine crocodile since 1975. Its 672 sq km of mangrove forest and wetland provides home to well over 215 species of birds including winter migrants from central-Asia and Europe.
In order to ensure the annual migration of the Giant Olive Ridley Sea Turtles from South America, an area of 145 sq km was notified as Bhitarkanika National Park in 1998. It forms the core area of the Bhitarkanika Sanctuary. Major species found in the region are snake varieties including the king cobra, Indian python, and water monitor lizard along with many avifauna and mammalian species. The sanctuary is situated 160 km from Cuttack and 100 km via Kendrapara and Rajnagar.