Located in the district of Kendrapada, Bhitarkanika harbours rich and unique bio-diversity which has been declared as a wildlife sanctuary and also a National Park.
The area is surrounded by rivers such as Brahmani, Baitarani and Dhamara and is criss-crossed by several creeks and creeklets.
The area supports rich bio-diversity including dense mangroves (63 species), largest population of estuarine crocodiles (1098 as per 2000 census), the rare white crocodile (sankhua), largest Indian lizards (water monitor), poisonous and non-poisonous snakes like king cobra and python, varieties of risident and migratory birds (217 species) and a number of mammalian species (spotted deer, sambar, wildboar, fishing cat, jungle cat, otter etc).
The sea beach, borderding the sanctuary attracts thousands of olive ridley sea turtles for mass nesting/ egg laying during the winter months (January to April). Bhitarkanika mangrove ecosystem is unique of its kind and it is a best reptile refuge in the entire country.