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Inappropriate / Inaccurate? Kishore Behera


Had you been here a decade earlier, you would have most probably seen Kishore Behera busy shooting birds and collecting their eggs.

Kishore in his life, as per his own admission, has poached more than a lakh of birds and was once infamous as the “Veerapan” of Mangalajodi, Veerapan being the notorious Indian dacoit who had murdered about 200 persons in his lifetime.

But today, the ex-poacher has turned protector and is determined to save the birds at all cost.

Mangalajodi a small picturesque village in eastern India is perched on the banks of Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest estuarine eco-systems known for its marshes and water fowl congregations. A visit to the village unearths an incredibly inspirational story of how a change in human behavior can positively impact the environment. Once known as Bird Poacher’s village, Manglajodi today takes pride in protecting and nurturing its avian inhabitants (200 species of birds during the peak season, of which around 115 are migratory) who from a mere 5,000 in 2000 today number about 3 lakhs.

Having born and lived here always, Kishore knows these wetlands like the back of his hand. You name a particular bird and he will take you to it, rowing his rough country made boat across the marshes.

Your trip can augment the income of the reformed locals like Kishore and ensure that they are not compelled to take up the bow and arrow once more to meet their financial needs.

Contact Details:

Kishore is a part of the conservation team of Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust ( ) and can be contacted at +91-88952-88955.

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Uploaded by Sriparna on Sept. 21, 2012.

Customer Reviews

9 / 10
1 review

Sriparna (recommender) (9 / 10)

reviewed Sept. 21, 2012, 8:34 a.m.

Sriparna spent a whole day with Kishore Behera .

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Even before reaching Manglajodi, we sighted many Bronze-winged Jacanas, Golden oriole, Open-bill Stork, Purple Moorhen and Kingfishers. We became so excited that we forced the car driver to stop to see the birds and take their pictures. He smilingly assured us that it was just the beginning.

At Manglajodi, Kishore was waiting for us near the jetty. After a brief informal introduction, we embarked on the boat ride in a rough country made boat with oars. The boat was purposefully not a motorized one as the sound of engine scares the birds.

As soon as we left the shore a flock of Black-tailed Godwits....hundreds of them flew over our heads . Kishore pointed out that are visitors from Siberia. During our 3 hour boat ride in whichever direction, we were looking....there were birds, birds and only birds. Kishore helped with the identification. It was really an unbelievable sight.....

Best bits: I have never seen such a huge number of birds in a single place. Visit to Manglajodi was an unforgettable experience. The local guides are like a walking talking encyclopedia of not just birds but about the entire environment around them. A trip to the place is highly recommended as we got to see many things which we had only read before – like how to rescue a snake and release it into the jungle, what to do if you come across an injured bird, etc.
Worst bits: Food is available only on order and the variety too is quite limited. It is advisable to carry dry snacks. The accommodation is limited to just 2 cottages which need to be booked well in advance especially during the peak bird sighting season of October to March. The place also faces frequent load shedding (there is no diesel generator so as not to disturb the birds) and charging of mobile phones/ laptops might be problematic.


Overall experience: 9 / 10
Value for money: 10 / 10
Eco impact: 7 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Yes