Orissa is the store house of natural resources. Among these, water, wild life, forest and mineral resources are found in abundant and which are very essential for growth and development of the state. Government of Orissa is taking essential steps towards preserving and managing natural resources so that it can be available in the acceptable quantity, quality and at the required time for the all round development of the state.
There are four groups of rivers which flow through Orissa into the Bay of Bengal. They are:
Rivers that have a source outside the state (the Subarnarekha, the Brahmani and the Mahanadi)
Rivers having a source inside the state (the Budhabalanga, the Baitarani, the Salandi, and the Rusikulya)
Rivers having a source inside Orissa and flow through other states (the Bahudu, the Vansadhara, and the Nagavali)
Rivers having a source inside Orissa, but tributary to rivers which flow through other states (the Machkund, the Sileru, the Kolab and the Indravati)
It is the major river of Orissa and sixth largest river in India. It originates from the Amarkantak Hills of the Bastar Plateau in Raipur district of Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh.It is about 857kms long (494 kms..in Orissa) and its catchment area spreads over 141,600 sq.km. (65,580 sq.kms in Orissa). The river carries average about 92,600 million of water.
It is the second largest river in Orissa. It originates from two major rivers like the Sankh and the Koel from the Chhotanagpur Plateau of Bihar and both join at Veda Vyasa near Rourkela of Sundergarh district of Orissa forming the major River Brahmani. It flows through the Eastern Ghats in Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack and Jajpur districts into the coastal plains and enters into the Bay of Bengal along with a combined mouth with the Mahanadi and known as the Dhamra. The Brahmani is 799 kms. long (541 kms.in Orissa) and its catchment’s area spreads over 39,033sq. kms in Orissa.
It originates from the Gonasika Hills of the Keonjhar district. It is 365 kms. long and its catchment area spreads over 12,790 sq. kms. It enters into the Bay of Bengal after joining River Brahmani at Dhamra mouth near Chandabali.
It originates from Chhotnagpur Plateau of Bihar. It is 433 kms. (70 kms. in Orissa) and has a catchment area of 19,500 kms. (3,200 kms. in Orissa) with a mean annual flow of 7,900 million.
It originates from the eastern slope of the Similipala massif. It is about 175 kms. long having a total catchment area of 4840 sq. kms with an annual flow of 2177 million. Its major tributaries are the Sone, the Gangadhar, and the Catra etc.
It originates from Rushikulya Hills of the Eastern Ghats in Phulbani district. It is 165 kms. long with 8900sq.kms of catchments areas. Its tributaries are the Baghua, the Dhanei Badanadi etc. It has no delta at its mouth.
It originates from the Ramgiri Hills of the Eastern Ghats in Gajapati district and joins the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh. Its length 73 kms. having a catchment area of 1250 kms.
It originates from the flanks of the Durgakangar Hills (Lingaraj Hills) of the Eastern Ghats in Kalahandi districts. It is 230 kms. out of which only 150 kms. in Orissa. It enters into Bay of Bengal at Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It has a catchments area of 1150sq. kms.
It originates from the Bijipur Hills of the Eastern Ghats near Lanjigarh. It is 210 kms. long out of which 100 kms. is in Orissa. It has a total catchment area of about 9410 sq.kms.
It originates from the Meghasan Hills of the Similipala massif in Keonjhar district. It is 144 kms. long with catchments areas of 1793 sq. kms.
It originates from the Eastern Ghats in Kalahandi district. It is 530 kms. long with a catchment area of 4170 sq.kms. As a tributary it flows into the Godavari River.
It originates from the Sinkarn Hills of the Eastern Ghats in Koraput district. It has catchment areas of 20400 sq. kms.
Most of the rivers, either at the point of origin or over the mountainous bed, have waterfalls. The Barehipani and Joranda (Similipal) in Mayurbhanj district, Sanaghagara and Badaghagara in Keonjhar district.
Padhanpuri in Deogarh district, Khandadhar (Banei) in Sundargarh district, Phurliharan, Khandabaladhar, and Rabandhar in Kalahandi district, Kentamari and Putudi in Boudh and Phulbani district, Duduma in Malkangiri district and Bogra in Koraput district are some of the major waterfalls of Orissa.
It is brackish water lagoon located in the southern part of the Orissa coastal plane. Its salinity declines to a minimum during the monsoon. But in winter due to the overflow of the tidal water through the narrow opening from the Bay of Bengal, it has maximum salinity.
It is a sweet water lake located in Banki of Cuttack district. It is 3 kms. in length and 1.5 kms. in breadth. Sara is another sweet water lake located near Puri. It is 5 kms. in length and 3 kms. in breadth. Kanjia is another sweet water lake with about 134 acres of area located in Nandankanan of Cuttack district near Bhubaneswar.
Name of the Springs 1 Rivers /Tributary etc. 2 Location /District
1. Badaghagara Ghagaras, a tributary to the Baitarani Kendujhar district
2. Sanaghagara San Ghagara a tributary to Baitarani Kendujhar district
3. Kapilas A tributary to the Brahmani Dhenkanal district
4. Chandikhol A tributary to Mahanadi Cuttack district
5. Mahavinayak – –
6. Barunei Tributary to the Daya Near Khurda of Khurda district
7. Narayani Draining to lake Chillika Puri district
8. Nirmal Jhar Draining to lake Chillika Near Khalikot in Ganjam district
9. Pradhanpat A tributary to the Brahmani Near Deogarh of Deogarh district
10. Phurliharan A tributary to the Indravati Near Bhawanipatna of Kalahandi district
11. Khandadhar A tributary to the Brahmani Near Bonei of Sundargarh district
12. Nurshingh Nath A tributary to the Tel Bolangir district
13. Harishankar Jira river, a tributary to Tel Bolangir district
14. Gosinga Jhar Kuaria Nala, a tributary to the Mahanadi Near Kantilo of Puri district
15. Koiliharan A tributary to the Mahanadi Near Jharsuguda of Jharsuguda district.
16. Jharbada Mankada river, a tributary to the Brahmani Near Malayagiri in Dhenkanal district.
There are only three hot springs which drain out mineral water, containing a very high percentage of sulphur. One of them is at Deulijhara near Athamallik on the flood plains of the Mahanadi. The second one is at Atri near Khurda. The third is located on the eastern slopes of the Eastern Ghats at Taptapani of Ganjam district.
The tidal sections of the rivers and their distributaries are confined to the lower reaches of the rivers in the Orissa Coastal Plain. They vary as per the shape of the mouth, depth of the channel, and extension of the sand bars in the river mouths. The tidal channels vary from a maximum of 90km in Brahmani to a minimum of 5km in case of Baghuni from their respective mouths. The Mahanadi is tidal for about 35km whereas the Devi, distributaries of the Mahanadi, is tidal 45km.
Scenic Wild Life
One of the greatest benefits of Orissa’s vast expanses of un-spoilt natural landscape has been its ability to offer a protected yet natural habitat to the state’s incredible wildlife.
A short distance from the capital city, Bhubaneswar, the Nandankanan Zoo lies in the splendid environs of the Chandaka forest, along the rippling waters of the Kanjia Lake. It also contains a botanical garden and part of it has been declared as sanctuary.
Famous for its white tiger population, Nandankanan or the Garden of Gods has become a hot favourite, with visitors getting an excellent opportunity to enjoy seeing these regal animals in their natural glory-in an environment conducive to their growth. Over 67 kinds of mammals, 18 varieties of reptiles and 81 species of birds coexist in these deeply forested boundaries.
The zoo enjoys an excellent reputation internationally, for successfully breeding back panthers, Gharial crocodiles and white tigers in captivity.
White Tiger Breeding
One of the rarest creatures in the world the regal white tiger received a new lease of life with the important research and concentrated efforts initiated to try and breed them in the natural environs of Nandankanan. In 1980 on a day full of excitement and jubilation the first litter of white tigers were born to Deepak and Ganga, two normal tawny tigers.Subsequent litters of white tigers have been distributed to zoos both at home and aboard. Currently Nandankanan is home to over 34 white tigers.
Endangered species such as the Asiatic lion, 3 Indian crocodiles, Shanghai lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri Langur, India Pangolin, mouse, deer and countless birds, reptiles and fish have been breeding successfully at Nandankanan.
Some of the other attractions of Nandankanan are the 34 aquaria which are home to large variety of fresh water fishes. The reptile parks cave-like entrance is guarded by a life size dinosaur, inside, numerous species of crocodiles, lizard’s turtles and snakes share the park with natural ease.
The rope way connecting the zoo with the botanical garden over the lake, the boating facilities and the toy train for children have added new features.
Apart from Nandankanan, Similipal is a National Park of national reputation, which belongs to Mayurbhanj district of Orissa. In this sanctuary the visitors have liberty to glance the movements of wild animals from a safety distance, arranged by the authority. During winter a number of visitors visit this park. This park is well connected with road ways. The guest houses of OTDC make smooth arrangements for staying of visitors.
For the first time ever, a captive breeding centre was created for Gharial crocodiles. This important task was also facilitated by the gift of an adult male from the Frankfurt Zoo.
The White Tiger Safari established in 1991 offers visitors the heady excitement of viewing the rare white tigers from specially designed protected buses. The lion safari offers an adventurous zing to the trip to Nandankanan.
The Chandaka Elephant Reserve
Only one of its kinds, it is perfect for eco-tourism activities. Apart from the fabulous Elephants, Cheetah, Bear, Peafowl, Sambar and numerous other animals roam around doing their business unhampered.
Bhitarakanika wild life sanctuary is in north eastern coastal plain of newly found Kendrapada district. It covers the area of about 650sq.kms (anonymous, 1986) of which approximately 380 sq.kms is under forest cover (map No.2). However, the core area of Bhitarakanika is 141.44 sq. kms., which includes 115.5 sq. kms. of mangrove forest. It is bounded by the river Dhamra (Confluence of Brahmani and Baitarani), Brahmani and about 35 kms. long stretch of sea shore. It is indeed a treat to visit Bhitarakanika either through Chandbali or through Rajnagar/ Gupti, from where one has to take a motor launch ride to visit this many splendoured estuary.
The music of streams flowing from mud flats after the tide, as one navigates through the creeks, particularly in summer months is indeed breathtaking. Unlike many protected areas, one can visit this park round the year, except for short periods, when it is closed to visitors for census operation or for nesting etc. The fauna includes estuarine crocodile, fishing cat, cheetah, sambar, water monitor lizard, python, king cobra, dolphin and many species of resident and migratory birds, like white bellied sea eagle, Brahmani Pariah, kites, vulture, cormorant, darter, king fishers, open billed stork, white ibis,painted stork, whistling teals, Brahmani duck, bar headed geese, herons, and egrets.
It is close to Bhitarakanika. The list shall remain incomplete if mention is not made of Gahiramatha rockery of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles which have made this the largest nesting ground of the species in the world, where up to 6,00,000 female turtle nest. It is fascinating experience to cruise through the estuarine rivers flanked by dense mangrove vegetation and stay in a forest Rest Houses at Dangmal, Ekaula, Habelikhati or Gupti.
Satakosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary
Satakosia Gorge Wildlife in heart of Orissa has the potential of becoming one of the finest protected areas in the country but so far not much support has been given to this. This sanctuary along with Baisipalli spread on either side of Mahanadi boasts of Tiger, Leopard, Elephant Gaur, Sambar, Cheetal, Barking deer, Malabar giant squirrel, Gharial, Mugger, Python, King Cobra, Pea Fowl, Red Jungle Fowl, Hornbills, Hill Myna migratory birds in the rivers etc. A gharial research center and interpretation centre is located close to the forest Rest House at Tikarapada. A cruise through the Satakosia Gorge is an unforgettable experience.
Large Forest Coverage
The total forest in the state in 1981 was 59,963sq.km constituting about 38% of the total geographical area. In 1989, it stood at about 30%; but according to 2001 census, the coverage of forest area is 37% of the total land area. Based on the relief, rainfall and vegetation types, the forest of Orissa are divided in to the following types:
Northern Tropical Semi-Evergreen Forest
These occur in the lower hills and valleys above 600 m elevation in the forest divisions of Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal, Athagarh, Puri, Nayagarh Parlakhemundi, Koraput and Kalahandi. While the top storey trees are deciduous and remain leafless for a short time, the second storey is evergreen. The important tree species are: Arjun, Mango, Makar Kendu (Diospyros embryopteris), Champak, Rai, Manda and Nageswa.
Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests also Known as Monsoon Forests
These occur in the lower elevations in Mayurabhanj and Keonjhar districts and the districts bordering of Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The top canopy is formed by sal (Shorea Robusta) and its allies Asan, Piasal, Kurum, Kangra and Dhawra and Daba Bamboo (Bamboosa arundinaceous)
Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests
They occur in the drier central and western areas in parts of Bolangir, Kalahandi, Sambalpur, Khariar, Deogarh and Gobindpur divisions. Teak instead of Sal, Salia bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus) instead of Daba bamboo, predominates in these forests.
Tidal Mangrove Forest
These are limited in extent scattered and confined to the seacoast, especially in Bhitarakanika (Balasore) and the Mahanadi Delta. The characteristic tree species are Karika (Bruquiera), Sundari (Heritiera) , Bani (Avicennia), Rai (Rhizophora), Guan (Expcaria), etc. As Hental (Phoenix Paludosa) grows here abundantly in clusters, the mangrove forests are locally called Hental Van or Hental Forests.
Forest are a major constituent of the natural resources in the form of timber, firewood and a large number of profitable forest products like sabai grass, lac,resin, catechu, tassar silk, honey, natural dyes, etc. The valuable timber species are Teak Seasum or Rose Wood, Piasal, Kassi, Kurum, Arjun, Gambhari,Giringa, and such other varieties of polishable wood that are used for furniture, and Sal, Asan, Dhau, Bandhan ,Kangra, etc. which are hard and utilized in various construction works. Kendu (Diospyros Xylocarpus) leaves which are used for wrapping bidi constitute a profitable source of revenue as they are largely in demand all over the country.
Bamboo is of extensive utility not only in the life of the common man but also essential raw material for paper industry. It is used in the paper mills of the state and supplied outside, especially to West Bengal. Sabai Grass is also used for making paper pulp, but mostly for rope making. Sericulture, undertaken in the forest areas, provides a good source of income to the people. Certain parts of the forest, for example the Gandhamardan Hill in Bolangir, abound in medicinal plants and herbs. Nux vomica which grows widely in most forests and Rauwolfia Serpentira, which grows in the jungles of the south, are common examples.
Abundant Mineral Resources
The state is endowed with vast mineral deposits like Coal, Iron-ore, Manganese-ore, Bauxite, Chromite, Dolomite, Limestone, Graphite, etc. Besides that, other important mineral resources are also available abundantly in Orissa.The main exported minerals of the state are Chromite, Coal, Dolomite, Iron-ore, Manganese and Bauxite. The value of mineral production of Orissa in 2000-2001 (provisional) was 2, 776.15 crore rupees and 5.23% share to all India value. The total production of mineral ores in the state during 2000 -2001 registered an increase of 8.79% in quantity and 4.84% in value.
India has a long coastline of 6200 kms. The state of Orissa apart from other states of India is endowed with a long coast line of 480 kms. along the Bay of Bengal, interspersed with numerous ports like Paradeep, Gopalpur, Dhamra, (Chandbali), Bahabalapur, etc. The coast line of Orissa covers the distance of Chandaneshwar to Gopalpur.
All the sea beaches of Orissa are rated best in the country among all other beaches. All the beaches are spotlessly clean, absolutely quiet, with hardly any crowd. The beaches give a lot of opportunity to the visitors for swimming, bathing, strolling etc. All the sea beaches of Orissa are attractive round the year. The beautiful beaches of Orissa include Puri, Chandrabhaga near Konark, Balighai and Ramachandi (8 kms. from Puri), Gopalpur near (Berhampur of Ganjam District) Chandipur (Bhadrak District) Chandaneshwar (88 kms. from Balasore) etc.
Minerals in Orissa
The mineral resources of Orissa form a very important constituent of India’s mineral wealth. Her possession includes a wide variety of ores and minerals such as Iron-ore, Chromite, Manganese-ore, Bauxite, Non-coking Coal, Limestone, Dolomite, Nickel- ore, Vanadium-ore, Copper ore, Lead ore, Fireclay, China clay, Graphite, Quartz and Quartzite, mineral sands like Limonite, Sillimanite, Zircon and Tin ore.
Our Stand in the Ratio of Mineral Resources Reserves
Production of Minerals (in lakh tones)
Gemstone: Gift to Orissa’s Mineral Resources
Details of Gemstone Belts of Orissa
Export Value of Minerals at a Glance
Our Stand in the Ratio of Mineral Resources Reserves
Mineral/Ore Reserves in Orissa Grade Reserve in India State Share to Country’s Reserves(%)
1. Bauxite 1733 Metallurgical+40% A12 O 3 2911 59.5
2. Base Metal (Lead & Copper) 9 1.5% CU (Avg.)6.73% Pb(Avg.) 485 2.9
3. Chromite 183 Metallurgical Chemical Refractory 186 98.4
4. China Clay 311 Paper, Rubber, Textile, Ceramics 986 31.5
5. Coal 49406 High Ash-Non-coking 199282 24.8
6. Dolomite 889 Flux Grade 4967 17.9
7. Fireclay 178 Plastic & Non-Plastic 696 25.6
8. Graphite 2.2 Foundry, Refractory Pencil, Battery 3.1 71.0
9. Iron Ore 4200 B.F.S.M.S & Sponge Iron +58%Fe. 12745 32.9
10. Kyanite & Sillimanite 1.4 —– 53.41 2.6
11. Limestone 1609 BF & Cement 76446 2.1
12. Manganese Ore 119 BF., Ferro Alloys, Battery & Chemical 176 67.6
13. Mineral Sands 82 —– 266 30.8
14. Pyrophyllite 8.6 —– 13.2 65.1
15. Nickel Ore 270 +0.5%Nickel 294 91.8
16. Quartz and Quartzite & Silica Sand 93 Metallurgical, Silicon Carbide, Ferro Silicon, Ceramics 1350 6.9
17. Tale/ Steatite 0.8 —– 84 0.95
18. Tin Ore 0.01 +50gms/mt 28.91 —–
19. Vanadiferrous Magnetite 4 0.6to1.5%v305 Not available —–
Orissa’s resources of Bauxite, Chromite, Coal, Iron ore, Manganese and Nickel ore are formidable constituting approx.50%, 98%, 25%, 35%, 27% and 91% respectively of the total resources of the country.
Production of Minerals (in lakh tones)
Minerals 2000-01 2003-04
Bauxite 29 49
Beach sand Minerals 1.96 2.30
China clay 0.03 0.05
Chromite 19.05 33
Coal 450 600
Dolomite 10 12.7
Fireclay 0.36 0.50
Graphite 0.79 0.34
Iron ore 144 320
Limestone 21 22.4
Manganese ore 5.46 6.98
Pyrophyllite 0.31 0.84
Pyroxenite —– 2.00
Quartz and quartzite —– 1.25
It may be seen that 4 minerals –Bauxite, Chromate, Coal and Iron ore have recorded remarkable step-up in production with iron ore showing phenomenal increase of as much as 122% over 2000-01 level.
Gemstone: Gift to Orissa’s Mineral Resources
The gemstones occur in diverse geological milieu in the Eastern Ghats Granulites Belt. Exploration efforts of the Orissa Mining Corporation Ltd. and the Directorate of Mining and Geology, has resulted in identification of 52 gem belts with 16 mining blocks in the western districts of Orissa .Gemstones like ruby, sapphire, aquamarine, heliodor, garnets chrysoberyl cat’s–eye, Sillimanite cat’s–eye, az, zircon, iolite, tourmaline, etc occurring in these belts are superior in quality by virtue of their color, transparency, size, internal reflection and flawlessness. Most of the gem deposits are small and sporadic except for a few potential deposits which can be developed on large scale. The present mining activities are taken up by GEMCO, an assisted sector company of OMC in different areas.
Orissa state has emerged as a major source of colored gemstones in India for the last two decades. There has been large-scale deforestation leading to massive soil erosion, which has unraveled hidden deposits of several types of gemstones, in the late seventies in the western districts of Orissa by clandestine diggers and different exploratory agencies. The gem deposits occur in diverse geological milieu in the Eastern Ghats Granulites Belt. The Orissa Mining Corporation Ltd has been entrusted with the work of exploration, exploitation and marketing of gemstones in the state since October, 1981. From 1982 OMC has been carrying out detailed exploration of the gem deposits and has made considerable headway in identifying potential gemstone resources of the state.Exploration was carried out under the UNDP project on “Development of Gemstone Resources of Orissa State” along with the Directorate of Mining and Geology, Orissa from March, 1997.
Details of Gemstone Belts of Orissa
Name of the Gem Belts in Nawapara District Gemstones
1. Kotamal –Amhera -Babebir Blue Sapphire
2. Durkapara-Sargimura Garnet
3. Rohinpadar-Jubamal Zircon & Blue Apatite
4. Damijhar-Budhapara Garnet
5. Thalkodebri-Thagpali Garnet
6. Khariar-Gurramura Colored Cherts
7. Lanji-Mantritarai Garnet
8. Junapani-Dhonrapara Zircon
Name of the Gem Belts in Kalahandi District
9. Nandgaon Patialpara Garnet
10. Antarla-Khaliakhani Garnet
11. Ghutia area Blue Corundum
12. Banjipadur-Dumerguda Garnet
13. Dharamgarh- Kebari Enstatite Cat’s Eye
14. Hinjilibhal-Manickpadar The Ruby /Corundum
15. Tilajhori-Karatikili Aquamarine
16. Odbahali-Urharanga Lolite & Ruby
17. Jillingdhar-Sinakuti Ruby
18. Sirjapalli Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye
Name of the Gem Belts in Subarnapur District
19. Biranaharajpur-Badmal Aquamarine, Heliodor & az
20. Siali-Naktammunda Rhodolite Garnet
Name of the Gem Belts in Bolangir District
21. Guchhepara –Antarala Aquamarine, Heliodor & az
22. Jurabandh-Dukarchachra Aquamarine, Heliodor & az
23. Sangamara –Barkani Aquamarine & Zircon
24. Saraibahal–Suklimuri Aquamarine
25. Mathkai–Deogaon Zircon
26. Dongapara– Jamutjhula Zircon
27. Tetelkhunti-Lakhan Zircon
28. Tetelpara–Chhatarang Zircon
29. Ghumsar Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye
30. Muribhal-Ghantabahali Chrysoberyl
Name of the Gem Belts in Sambalpur District
31. Badamal-Badkhol Aquamarine, Heliodor & az
32. Jujumura–Tabloi Aquamarine, Heliodor & az
33. Charbati–Sardhapur Aquamarine, Heliodor & az
34. Kulabira–Bhatlaida Aquamarine
35. Meghpal Area Red & Blue Corundum
36. Ranchipada Area Alexandrite
Name of the Gem Belts in Jharsuguda District
37. Bagidihi Area Tourmaline
Name of the Gem Belts in Dhenkanal District
38. Mangarmohan-Jhilli Kyanite Cat’s Eye and Garnet
39. Nuagaon Area Garnet and Red Corundum
Name of the Gem Belts in Angul District
40. Kulad-Nanguliabera Aquamarine & az
Name of the Gem Belts in Boudh District
41. Manmunda–Sagada Aquamarine
42. Boudh–Kelakata Gem Gravels with Garnet, Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye, az, Zircon & Diamond etc.
Name of the Gem Belts in Rayagada District
43. Dahikhal–Karadanga Hessonite Garnet
44. Murtili Chrysoberyl
45. Sikampadar Chrysoberyl
46. Bitarapara–Majhi Hessonite Garnet
47. Guchhepara Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye
48. Paika-Dhakulaguda Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye
49. Gunusar Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye
50. Laxmipur Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye
51. San-Irukubadi Sillimanite Cat’s Eye
Name of the Gem Belts in Koraput District
52. Umpavalli-Gondivalsa Zircon, Apatite & Tourmaline
Export Value of Minerals at a Glance
Minerals Quantity Value
Mineral Exports (2002-03) 58.67 642.20crore
Chromite 11.82 267.40 crore
Iron ore 46.55 374.28 crore
Limonite 0.30 0.52 crore
Data source: http://india.gov.in