Olive Ridley turtles are most commonly seen turtles all over the world. These turtles mainly live in the oceans and can found on shores when there nesting time comes near. These turtles love warm waters, so they can easily be seen on southern Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. These turtles travel thousands of km in ocean to lay their eggs. There are many favorable places all over the world where Olive Ridley Turtles lay their eggs. Among those places the most famous place for these turtles which they prefer to lay eggs are located along the Odisha coast namely Gahirmatha rookery and on the mouth of river Rushikulya and Devi.
The olive Ridley turtles get there name from there outer coverings. The outer shells of turtles are heart shape and gray in color, but the gray color changes to olive green as they become adults. Olive Ridley turtles travel thousands of km to lay their eggs. The wind and tide of oceans help them to navigate to the beaches where they lay their eggs. They are carnivore’s animals which mean they eat small fish, jelly fish, crabs to stay alive. During their breeding period female can breed with many number of male turtles. Once the female reach their nesting grounds she starts to lay eggs by digging holes in ground. One female olive Ridley turtle can lay up to 180 eggs. The sight of these activities makes every scientist and tourist enthusiast. These sights are very rare in whole world as this olive Ridley turtles go to selected places to lay their eggs. Gahirmatha rookery is one of these selected places by these turtles. Due to huge mass nesting by these olive Ridley turtles the Gahirmatha rookery is declared as marine sanctuary of Odisha.
It is the only marine wildlife sanctuary of Odisha which is situated on river Dharma and Bay of Bengal. You will love this place not only for Olive Ridleys but also for its nearby attractive place like lord Shiva temple, Sandstone temple of Nahakbabu , famous Latitgiri , Udaegiri , Ratnagiri , Chandipur beach and Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary.
Best time to visit this place is during October to February.
By air: Nearest airport are Bhubaneswar and Kolkata
By rail: Nearest railway station is Bhubaneswar
By road: From Bhadrak one can go to Bhitarkanika sanctuary from where you can go to Gahirmata rookery.