Satapada is famous for Dolphin sanctuary and located on the southern part of the Chilika Lake. It is a popular picnic spot of Odisha, located at a distance of 50 kilometers from Puri.
Other attractions of Satapada are boating, migratory birds, Rajahansa island, red crabs and sea mouth where Chilika lake meets the Bay of Bengal.
The driving distance between Bhubaneswar and Satapada is 111 km. The convenient and fastest way to reach from Bhubaneswar to Satapada is to take Indica from Bhubaneshwar to Satapada.
In 2015, boating rates at Satapada is Rs 2500/- per boat. Each group have to take one boat on rent. It takes around 3 hours by boat from Satapada to reach Nalaban.
From Satapada, a simple sailboat takes you to the heart of the lake, where dolphins can be spotted. In winter, migratory birds from Manchuria and Siberia take shelter at Nalban the centre of the lagoon.
Rajhans is a small strip of land which has the lagoon on one side and the Bay of Bengal on the other. Fishermen fry tiger prawn, crabs and other fresh fishes on the beach and sell them to tourists at costly rates.
We have visited Satapada on 7th January 2015 (Wednesday). We booked a boat from Boat association office by paying Rs 2500 for three persons. We took round caps on rent from nearby shop. Then we showed the ticket at Boat parking area and started our journey.
After 30 minutes our boat reached a small island and some men showed us poisonous red crabs there in buckets caught by the locals.
If you are a fan of sea jewellery then stop by to see cultured pearls from oyster shells shown by some locals, but they try to con you into believing they got them through deep sea diving.
Then our boat approached towards the dolphin view point. It was thrilling to see the dolphins in the distance. However, we were disappointed that we merely got glimpses of them, though we had been told that there are quite a number in the lake.
Sighting complete dolphin is nearly impossible as they rarely take a quantum leap. So don’t expect much.
The birds were plentiful, but mostly ducks. We enjoyed seeing the traditional fishing boats on the lake.
Migratory birds don’t visit Satapada very often, but few varieties of migratory birds move to Nalabana bird sanctuary.
After 3 hours on boat, we arrived at Rajhans island and watched sea mouth from there. We took our lunch there. The small cottage hotel there charged Rs 70 per veg meal. We ordered prawn masala which is Rs 250 per plate having 10 pieces of tiger prawns. It is too tasty!
Lastly, it took 15 minutes to return where we started our journey. Overall, it is mixed experiences at Satapada, Chilika Lake.
It is advisable to start the boat trip as early as possible since later in the day, the tourist motor boats frighten away the dolphins. If you want to experience Satapada tour like ours, then visit in this January.