The prime attraction of Chilika is the Nalaban Island. It takes 3 to 4 hours of boat ride to reach Nalaban from the shores of Barakul. Being the country's biggest waterfowl habitat, this island spread over 15.53 square kilometers, within the chilika lagoon is notified as a "bird sanctuary" under Wild Life (protection) Act in 17th December 1987. The place derives its name from the tall grass (nala grass is a kind of weed) found in the island. In winter it supports the largest congregation of migratory birds in the country. The unique feature of this island is that it is in submerged condition throughout the year except from November to April.
Another important place in Chilika is the the island of Goddess Kalijai which is the most frequent visited spot for tourists. The island is famous as a centre of religious worship due to the temple of Goddess Kalijai. Goddess Kalijai is the presiding deity of chilika lagoon. In the January month of every year there is a big fair held here on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. There is a story behind the place which is centered around an innocent girl called "Kalijai" who got married and was going by a boat along with her in-laws through this lake to the in-laws place. In between, heavy storms came and the boat sank. Everybody including Kalijai died in that storm. The place where the temple stands now is near to the place where the boat sank. Local tourists, sailors and fishermen pray Goddess Kalijai everyday for their safe journey in the lake.
From Nalaban, four hours boat ride would take the tourists to Satapada. It is located on the southern part of the Chilika Lake. Satapada is an ultimate place to watch irrawaddy dolphins. If you are lucky then you will be able to see entire dolphin, generally some portion of the tail or head of the dolphin is visible while they are swimming. If they jumps then only the complete dolphin can be seen. Since last fivesix years this spot is a major tourist attraction because of the development of a Dolphin Sanctuary. More on Satapada
It is situated in the Rambha Bay near the Sankuda Island. It is 5 kilometers away from Rambha Jetty. It is otherwise known as "Barkuda Island”. Britishers used this island for picnicking. The waters around the island are very clear a luxuriant bed of red and green macro algae grow on the bed. Dr. Anandale & Kemp recorded the limbless lizard an endemic species from this island which is named after this Island.
Located at 3 kilometers away from Rambha OTDC Bungalow. It is an architectural marvel with a conical pillar and a small room constructed on a submerged mass of rock in the Rambha bay near Ghantasila hill. Mr. Snodgrass built this who, the then Collector of Ganjam under the east India Company. As per the old document Mr. Snodgrass used to relax and do his office work on this island. The ornamental pillar was constructed to put a light on the top. The water spread around the Beacon Island is very charming, surrounded by the Eastern Ghat.
It is situated in the southern sector of Chilika. This is a hillock with huge exposed hanging rocks. It is 4 kilometers away from Rambha Tourist Bungalow, and 1 kilometer away on the Eastern side of the Ghantasila hill. The island is covered with herbs, shurbs, trees and creepers. The granite rocks are the remnants of Eastern Ghats. Some of the huge rocks are painted white because of the folic acid from the droppings of the Birds. Some residential birds use the island as perching ground. During winter season, the migratory birds are sighted here. It is known for its rich algal communities and few mangrove species.
This island is located in the Rambha Bay between Badakuda and Somolo island. It is a pear shaped island. It is otherwise known as "Sankuda island". The remnants of a dilapidated bungalow constructed by the king of Kalikote still exist on this island. Mr. Snodgrass the then Collector of Ganjam used to occupy this Bungalow quite frequently. The island was full of greenery and he used to do his office work on this island. The flora of the island is quite interesting. A number of interesting rare plants are still found on this Island.