By DN Singh
Nature has given everything we require and it’s up to us what we make out of it. A hell or heaven.
The ‘Island Odyssey ‘ is an example of a piece of splendor that can be etched out of the nature that serenades to mother earth.
Lapping at the feet Hirakud Reservoir, world’s largest mud-fortified dam, is nearly ready for a green carpet welcome into the wonderful rendezvous for ones who love nature and want respite far from the concrete monstrosity.
A collage of enthralling beauty and bliss, both the spots, ‘Island Odyssey’ & ‘Hirakud Cruise’ are also going to be managed by local fishermen and (Eco Tourism Committees) EDCs. Besides being a source to garner local support, they shall be benefited enormously towards self-reliance.
The Eco-tourism site in discussion is a rare showcasing of three tropical islands of Hirakud lake and Hirakud Cruise.
Another significant feature of the endeavor is aimed at restoring the ‘Bat habitat’. To be specific, the three islands covered under the ‘Island of Odyssey’ programme are ‘Island of Bats’, Sunset Island and ‘Cattle Island’ .
Island Of Bats
Barely a kilometer away from Debrigarh Reservoir is another attraction. The ‘Bat Island’, which is a home to over one thousand bats .
Hunting of Bats for medicinal purposes is common in many places, regardless of the redoubtable veracity of the truth behind the notion. So, such a huge stock of Bats badly needs protection.
For which, the officials of Hirakud Wildlife Division have enrolled 12 local Fishermen families for conservation of the Island and tourists will get a scope to view the Bats on Island from a distance.
Bats being night- hunters which use sound waves to capture their prey during night time, they are nocturnal. They take rest during day time on trees in upside-down condition causing loud screeching noise.
Cares being taken that the visitors to this spot can sight the species accompanied by Eco-guides so that the bats are not disturbed.
Debrigarh sanctuary has its own identity and spreads over 353 Sq kms in Bargarh district, a range of sprawling mountains play as the contours stretch as far as Chhattisgarh.
The manifestation of nature’s gravity can also be witnessed from a glance at the majestic Sun-set when it, as if, flirts with the crimson bosom of the Hirakud Reservoir’s sparkling water, the largest manmade reservoir spreading over 743 Sq kms.
Simultaneous Sun-set & Rising Moon Moon!
Ecotourists can view the Sunset in the west from “Sunset Island” & if lucky can view the moon rising on the East at the same time .
And for a lucky few the wonder can happen. When viewing the Sun-set from the ‘Sun-Set Island’ they can see the rising moon on the east simultaneously.
A cruise through this during such magic hours can instill an ethereal feel which and no wonder that such interweaving of nature and surrealism is beyond the description in words.
Not to be ignored is the presence of an island called ‘Cattle Island’ where the sighting of a group of cattle have been there for their whole of their lives.
With time passing, these cattle, who were left by their owners during the resettlement after the Dam construction, the progeny of the cattle have become feral and wild, lording over the Island undisturbed.
These are the treasures that we must preserve and conserve and for which the efforts by the Debrigarh Sanctuary authorities cannot be gruged and more specifically the Divisional Forest Officer, Anshu Pragyan Das. .
About the Author:
DN Singh is a Bhubaneswar-based senior journalist.
This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com