Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, Odisha, India

This 525-sq-km forested sanctuary is straddled by a breathtaking gorge, cut by the mighty Mahanadi River, and is one of the most beautiful natural spots in Odisha. The sanctuary as a whole is home to significant populations of gharial and mugger crocodiles, plus 38 species of mammals, including elephants, leopards, sambar deer, wild dogs, jackals, giant squirrels and around a dozen tigers. However, this is not a place to come for a wildlife safari; tourists are not allowed inside the park’s core zone, where most of the wildlife is found, and 4WD safaris are not on offer. The main appeal of coming here is the opportunity to spend some time deep inside the protected forests of a stunning national park.

The setting is gloriously peaceful and you can spot crocs in the crocodile sanctuary or on the riverbank if you take a boat trip from Tikarpada.

Visit India Epic India Route © Monika Newbound

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