Dhruba Jyoti Chakraborty
In the last week of November 2017 we planned a visit to Satkosia. The best way to reach Satkosia is to take the Dhauli Express in the early morning and reach Bhubaneswar by lunch time. After a quick lunch you could drive down to Satkosia or take an A/c Volvo bus, a distance of 220 kms which could take you about 4 hours to cover. The roads are tolerable and fairly good and the drive is quite pleasant.
We were a group of 20 adventurous senior citizens who planned to do something new to get the blood flowing in our veins. We decided to stay at Satkosia Sands Resort in Badmul and opted for the Swiss Cottage tents on the sandbars of the Mahanadi River. The tents are at best rudimentary but the experience exhilarating.
Spread over 796 square Km Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1976 in Odisha. Spread over four districts,namely Angul, Budh, Cuttack and Nayagarh, Satkosia Gorge has an exclusive geomorphology feature as Mahanadi cuts it through the Eastern Ghats. Satkosia derives its name from the words sat (seven) and kosh (two miles), meaning 14 miles or 22 km, which is the length of the gorge on the Mahanadi river.
The meandering gorge, with a chain of low lying hills and thick forests on both sides, has the appearance of a place where time stands still. But do not be fooled by the calm waters, because there is danger lurking in the form of ferocious crocodiles and strong undercurrents, which can be fatal at times.
The gorge is home to the endangered long-nosed gharial, muggers, fresh water turtles and many kinds of fish. Reptile fauna include the king cobra, banded krait, python and gecko. The bird species found here are equally splendid, including both resident and migratory birds.
Away from the bustle of city life, Satkosia mesmerises us by the charmingly rustic environs. Here, in these soulful surroundings, you find nature at her gorgeous best. The beauty and panaromic view of the High Hills around with Deep Forest and Wide Sand beach of River Mahanadi will attract you.The green water of the Mahanadi, flanked by huge mountains with dense tropical forest long snout Gharials resting on the banks of the river, a view that is guaranteed to bring out the poet and give a serotonin blast to the explorer in you. Go for boat rides on the Mahanadi, jungle treks, walk along the banks of the Mahanadi at the crack of dawn, spend your time star gazing , where their diamond twinkle is not subdued by the glittering electric lights, Satkosia is a hidden gem.