Chilika Bank$

Stories from India’s Largest Coastal Lake



Tracing forty years of ecological changes in Asia’s largest brackish water lake. From 1970s when Prawn Exports began. Through 1980s when the lake was overfished. Through 1990s when Aqua Culture picked up, as did the violence. And finally to the first decade of 21st century when the environmental intervention that was made to save the Lake is ending up becoming its greatest threat.

Situated in the state of Orissa, Chilika is a vast lake spread over three districts in the state. In the lake almost 50 rivers & rivulets merge with the water from the Bay of Bengal, making it a rare mixture of saline & fresh water. Chilika has a unique bio-diversity with many endangered species of flora & marine fauna.

In a canvas spread over four decades, a banyan tree on the banks of the lake Chilika, silently whispers tales of the lake and her fisher folk. From the times when there was no export bazaar to the time when there may be no lake.