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Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary Weather And Best Time To Visit Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary
Nestled in the central region of the coastal state Orissa, the Kendrapara district is most well known for the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary; a world famous marine life reserve that witnesses the migration of millions of Olive Ridley sea turtles every year that use the beach shores as mass nesting grounds. Local and international tourists alike visit Gahirmatha Beach in the winter months each year to experience the breeding phenomenon, also known as ‘arribada’ in Spanish.
The Orissa government declared the beach a marine life sanctuary in 1997 to protect and preserve the turtle population, and created restricted zones to minimize human interference from disrupting the breeding process of the smallest species of sea turtles. While most of the nesting is completed within a few days of the winter months, Gahirmatha beach is still one of the best spots in Orissa to enjoy some local attractions. Here is an account on the best time to visit Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary and some weather updates on each season.
Winter (October – February)
This is the season when tourism in general flourishes in Orissa. The weather begins to cool down in the month of October and rainfall becomes almost negligible during the winter months. The average temperature ranges around 10ᴼ-25ᴼC. The breeding and nesting season of the Olive Ridley turtles also occurs during the winter season; usually sometime in the month of January or February.
While the actual nesting area remains fenced off for protection of the hatchlings, this season is still the perfect time to visit Gahirmatha and catch a glimpse of the turtles.
Summer (March – September)
Summers in Orissa get very hot, with temperatures that can reach a maximum of 45ᴼC, and humid afternoons that are not a good time to be outdoors. Moreover, the location of Gahirmatha along the coast of Bay of Bengal means the beach receives heavy rainfall during the monsoons as well, which arrive in July and can last till September.
Nonetheless, the evenings of early summer months can be a pleasant time to take walks along the beach and enjoy wonderful sunset views. April is also usually the month when the turtle eggs hatch; if one is lucky to be present at the beach at the right time, you might just catch a glimpse of the hatchlings making a move towards the sea.