Satkosia

#1 Jan 31st, 2012, 18:56
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  • sumangc is offline
#1
On the first weekend of January,three of us friends made a trip to Satkosia. We had heard about the breathtaking beauty of Satkosia a couple of years back, and had been planning to visit ever since. We were really excited and anticipated an adventurous outing on the riverside camp where we would be staying in tents. After going through http://www.satkosia.org/ required bookings were made over phone. We also planned to visit Bhimakhand near Talcher on our way to Satkosia. We were aptly advised and helped by Mr. Debkinkar Baidya, a fellow travel enthusiast and nature lover. He is based in Talcher and you can get in touch with him through email [debkinkarbaidya@gmail.com] for any travel related queries in Orissa.

We reached Bhubaneshwar on Thursday morning and boarded the intercity express for Talcher. The car we had hired was waiting for us at Talcher station and we started for Bhimakhand which is only 30km from there. At Bhimakhand there is a naturally formed statue of sleeping Bishnu on the banks of river Brahmani which is the second largest image of Bishnu in India. It was beautiful and we enjoyed the beauty of the place . After spending nearly an hour there, we started for Angul where we had to collect the requisite gate passes from the DFO office. From Angul we went to Pampasar check post, which is the entry point of Satkosia Reserve Forest. Tikarpara camp is 40-45 minutes drive from there, the road was in excellent condition, the weather was clear and we simply loved the drive through the forest.

We reached Tikarpara camp around 2pm and that is when the disappointments started.
1. Tikarpara camp has been shifted this year on the opposite bank of Mahanadi, which strangely nobody bothered to inform us while we made the booking. The pictures that are uploaded in http://www.satkosia.org/ are from previous years. This year the tents have been pitched on higher ground beside the river which makes it further away from the river than the previous year. You'll need to walk down a slope to reach the water.
2. While entering Satkosia, we had to sign a declaration form which clearly stated that Alcohol was strictly prohibited inside the camp. Upon entering the camp, we found a group of 14-16 people, a group of medical representatives from Cuttack, openly drinking inside the camp in the presence of camp in-charge Mr Naseem. He simply side stepped our protest and was reluctant to ask them to stop.
3. We had booked one luxury tent and one normal tent for the first day and two normal tents on the second day, but was informed by Naseem that there has been a mix up and our luxury tent was occupied by a relative of DFO for the day. He suggested that we use two normal tents for the day and he would arrange for a luxury tent the next day. We later found out that the luxury tent was occupied by the same people who were openly drinking inside the camp.
4. Each day's booking at Satkosia includes a package of staying at the tents, breakfast-lunch-dinner, nature trek and one hour boat ride. We were informed that we'll be taken on the boat ride the next day. When we enquired about the nature trek Naseem told us no guide was available and he would try to arrange a car next day to take us inside the forest, but we would have to pay additional fees for that.
5. On a separate note, you should also carry enough drinking water with you as you will be provided only 2 liters of drinking water per tent per day. With Angul(60 km away) being the nearest market place, it would be an impossible task to acquire drinking water if you do not have a car with you. Luckily, we knew about this beforehand and carried our own water.


We were really pissed off, but were helpless. There were no mobile phone towers, and without a car you would be simply cut off from the rest of the world and at the mercy of the people running the camp. We had our lunch and had to retreat to our tents for the rest of the day. With a group of 16 loud, unruly and very much drunk people around we had no other choice but to keep ourselves confined to our tents for the rest of the evening.
Satkosia is a beautiful place, there's no doubt about that. The rest of the camp staff who are locals of the Tikarpara village were really helpful but they had no say over Naseem. But incidents like these will not help promote tourism. Neither will it help the locales earn a living by conducting the camp. We enjoyed the next day as the group of MR's left, and a couple of families arrived. But the damage was done by then. We really feel that DFO should check how the camp is run and some strict rules and decorum needs to be maintained to preserve the peace and tranquility of the place, and hopefully instead of feeling cheated nature lovers can truly appreciate the true beauty of the place.
Charaiveti
Last edited by sumangc; Feb 1st, 2012 at 12:15..
#2 Jan 31st, 2012, 19:05
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  • sdsudarsan is offline
#2
Hi Sumangc,

thanks for bringing out the "nature" of the mismanagement in a naturally beautiful setting.
Hopefully, more public outcry like this would help in bringing things to order.

Sorry for what happened to your plans.
#3 Feb 2nd, 2012, 11:10
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  • rahul4640 is offline
#3
I went to Satkosia, possibly in the last week of December 2011. But I did not stay there, as a very close friend of mine stays at Talcher, who offered us an almost free luxurious accommodation in his company's guest house. Reached Satkosia at around 10 O'clock but found the place surprisingly empty, devoid of tourists, even that day being a Saturday. Only three or four cars were parked on the ground on the left hand side of the project tiger office, where I too had to park my car, as a barrier blocked the road further ahead. There was nobody there, except in one car, which had darkened windows but clearly had signs of occupants inside. I tapped that car, the driver side window rolled down and I asked for directions. I was told that the tents were not used anymore as there was something wrong with the contractor appointed by the government and they were closed. As I could see the occupants inside were drinking alcohol, I did not ask any more question and left.
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Went to see the crocodile breeding center, sat for an hour in the elevated seating platform just in front of forest rest house, went up to the riverbank, took few pictures and returned. Now it is really very sad to know that this place has degraded a lot.
Last edited by rahul4640; Feb 2nd, 2012 at 11:11.. Reason: Adding text
#4 Sep 27th, 2013, 23:26
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Sep 2013
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  • Souvik C is offline
#4

Chhotkei Eco Camp-Satkosia

Part-1:

I heard a lot about the beauty and serenity of the tiger reserve forest at Satkosia . I finalised a trip this month and now I can say..I loved satkosia.Below is my experience of this tour.

For booking at theChhotkei Nature Camp - Satkosia, we send a DD to Divisional Forest Officer, Satkosia WL Division, Angul nearly a month in advance.For more details please log on to www.satkosia.org.

I boarded Puri Express at Howrah Station on 19th Sept and reached Bhubaneshwar next morning at 5:30 AM. From Bhubaneshwar we hired a Bolero for an one-way trip the Chhotkei Nature Camp at Satkosia. The cabbie charged us Rs 3500 . We collected the related documents from the Satkosia Forest office at Angul.The journey took nearly 4 Hrs and we reached Satkosia.
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#5 Sep 29th, 2013, 10:34
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  • sdsudarsan is offline
#5
Hi Souvik,

Pl continue. Let us know if things have improved.
#6 Sep 29th, 2013, 10:44
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  • sanuroxz is offline
#6
Dude traveling to satkosia is absolutely hassle free.
Odisha is a very safe state
I am basically from odisha
#7 Sep 29th, 2013, 11:10
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Land that shakes and bakes.
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  • edwardseco is offline
#7
These nature areas seem great for drinking. Wasn't there a Ray film about that.?
#8 Nov 23rd, 2013, 01:25
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  • Souvik C is offline
#8
I do agree travelling to Odisha is totally hassle-free.The staffs at Chotkei Nature were awesome.Since they get paid as per the number of tourists visiting the place , they dont behave the government staffs. I would recommend travellers to make Chotkei as the base and travel to tikarpada , Labangi etc from here.
#9 Dec 11th, 2013, 20:56
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  • razzaqfccf is offline
#9
Hello Souvik thats good info you have provided here.
Would like to read the rest of your report.Iam palling a trip there soon.
Can you provide info about the Forest Rest Houses there and which one is the best to stay?
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