Bhubaneswar, Mar 16: Over 9 lakh tourists visit different sanctuaries in Odisha every year, informed Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha in the Assembly today.
As many as 65013 people visit the Bhitarkanika and Gahirmatha sanctuary every year while 3000 people visit Balukhand-Konark sanctuary and around 6000 people visit the Baisipali sanctuary on an average each year.
Similarly, Chandaka sanctuary sees around 29,911 visitors whereas Debrigarh and Hadgarh witness 7,460 and 22,000 tourists respectively and Kuldiha registers 6,125 footfalls.
The Similipal and Satakosia sanctuaries witness 42,000 and 30,000 visitors while those at Karlapat and Kapilash receive 32,658 and 40,928 tourists respectively.
Nandankanan stands top among all the sanctuaries as it witnesses 6, 29,747 footfalls on an average every year, said the Minister addressing the House.
Further, Arukha informed the House that there are 19 sanctuaries present in the state among which Bhitarkanika in Kendrapara is famous for salt water crocodiles, Balukhanda Konark in Puri is famous for deer, Chilika (Nalabana) in Puri is known for migratory birds from across the globe and Chandaka in Khordha is famous for elephants.
Likewise, Similipal in Mayurbhanjh is well known for leopards and a tigers, Satakosia in Angul is popular for Ghadial crocodiles and tigers whereas Kapilash is famous for elephants.
The government has introduced facilities like boating, birding, nature camp, nature trail, trekking, canopy walk, Children Park, Eco theatre, souvenir shop and adventure sports to attract more tourists, informed the Minister to the House.