Tourism in Odisha is one of the main contributors to the economy of Odisha, India, with a 500 km (310 mi) long coastline, mountains, lakes, natural biodiversity and rivers. Odisha is a major tourist destination in India, with various tourist attractions, including wildlife reserves, beaches, temples, monuments, the arts and festivals. Other than wildlife reserves, beaches, temples, monuments, the arts and festivals, the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation, a public sector undertaking of the Government of Odisha, is also developing the tourism sector of Odisha and India.
Chilka Lake, at the mouth of the Daya River, is Asia's largest brackish water lake and the second largest brackish water lake in the world. It is a bird sanctuary for millions of migratory birds, and it is also noted for its population of Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris), the only known population of Irrawaddy dolphins in India. It is one of only two lagoons in the world that are home to these species.
Tampara Lake: Tampara Lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes in the state near Berhampur. The beautiful lake and the nearby Chilika Lagoon highlight the ecological diversity Odisha is blessed with. While Tampara is a fresh water lake, Chilika is a brackish water lagoon.
Anshupa Lake is a horseshoe-shaped freshwater lake on the left bank of the Mahanadi River, opposite Banki in the Cuttack district of Odisha, India. Anshupa Lake in Banki is 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the city of Cuttack, which also acts as a shelter for the migratory birds in winter.
Eco-tourism provides a degree of alternate employment to the local community and generates environmental awareness among local residents as well as visitors about the conservation and sensible use of the lake's natural resources. Notable locations within the lake are:
Ramba Bay at the southern end of the lake with the group of islands including:
The Becon Island, with an architectural conical pillar (to put a light on the top) built by Mr. Snodgrass, the then collector of Ganjam of the East India Company, on a mass of rock in the Rambha Bay near Ghantasila hill. It is surrounded by the Eastern Ghat.
The Breakfast Island, pear shaped, known as "Sankuda island", with remnants of a dilapidated bungalow constructed by the King of Kalikote, has rare plants and is full of greenery with appealing flora.
Honeymoon Island, 5 km (3.1 mi) from Rambha Jetty, known as Barkuda Island, with clear waters has abundant red and green macro algae in the bed is also known for the limbless lizard, an endemic species found here.
Somolo and Dumkudi islands, located in the Central and Southern sectors of the lake, in the backdrop of scenic Khalikote hill range, are inundated remnants of the Eastern Ghats with rich flora and fauna and also known for sighting of Irrawaddy dolphins.
Birds' island, located in the southern sector of the lake has huge exposed hanging rocks, are painted white due to folic acid of the droppings of the birds and is known for rich algal communities and few mangrove species and also migratory birds in winter.
Parikud is a group of composite islands in the Garh Krishnaprasad Block for nature lovers and provides an avian spectacle during winter season.
Kalijai Temple located on an island is considered to be the abode of the Goddess Kalijai.
Satpada, at the new mouth of the lake, provides a beautiful view of the lake and also views of the dolphins. Hundreds of boats here provide tours of the lake for tourists.
Barunkuda, a small island situated near Magarmukh, mouth of the lake, has a temple of Lord Varuna.
Nabagraha is an ancient deity located along the outer channel.
Chourbar Shiva Temple is located near Alupatna village, along the outer channel.
Manikpatna, located on the outer channel has historical evidence of a port which was used for trade with Far East and also has the Bhabakundeswar temple of Lord Shiva, an old Mosque whose entrance door is made of the jaws of the whale.
Sand-Bar and Mouth of the Lake is a striking and un-explored stretch of 30 km (18.6 mi) of empty beach across the sand bar which separates the lake from the sea.
The Odisha Tourism Development Corporation promotes tourism in the state and operates some of the existing tourist bungalows and transportation fleets. OTDC's tourist bungalows are called panthanivas. The Odisha Forest Development Corporation manages the eco-tourism destinations in the state.