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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 10 April, 2021

  • 4 Min Read

Chilika Lake was a part of the Bay of Bengal- Study shows

Chilika Lake was a part of the Bay of Bengal: Study

According to a study by the National Institute of Oceanography(NIO), Chilika lake was once a part of the Bay of Bengal.

Evidences-

  • Archeological Studies: The marine archaeological studies clearly show that the Chilika once was a safe harbour for cargo ships going to Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.
  • Palur Port: Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemy(150 CE) described Palur as an important port of Kalinga and referred to it as ‘Paloura’. This port was situated close to Chilika lake from where ships used to sail directly to Southeast Asia.
  • Stone anchors and hero stones (memorial stones commemorating ancient heroes) from Manikapatna, Palur and the adjoining onshore regions of the Chilika lake also suggest the same.
  • Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang (7th century CE) recorded ‘Che-li-ta-lo-Ching’ as a flourishing port. This port was located at Chhatargarh on the banks of the Chilika.
  • The Brahmanda Purana (10th century CE approximately) says the Chilika was an important centre of trade and commerce with ships sailing to Java, Malaya and Ceylon.

Separation from the Bay of Bengal

  • The process of the formation of the Chilika began around 20,000 years ago.
  • India’s peninsular river Mahanadi carried a heavy load of silt and dumped part of it at its delta. As the sediment-laden river met the Bay of Bengal, sandbars were formed near its mouth.
  • It created a backflow of the seawater into the sluggish fresh water at the estuary. It resulted in the huge brackish water Chilika Lake.

About Chilika Lake

  • Chilika Lake is a brackish water lagoon, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha state on the east coast of India, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal.
  • It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest coastal lagoon in the world.
  • It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent. The lake is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals. Chilika Lake is an important habitat and breeding ground for both resident and migratory and aquatic birds, most notably flamingos.
  • The Nalaban Island within the lagoon is classified as a Bird Sanctuary under the wildlife protection act.
  • In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • The lagoon is also home to 14 types of raptors. Around 152 rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphins have also been reported. Plus, the lagoon supports about 37 species of reptiles and amphibians.
  • Microalgae, marine seaweeds, sea grasses, fish and crab also flourish in the brackish water of the Chilika Lagoon.

Source: TH


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