The two-hour bus ride from Bhubaneswar to Badmul, a small town in Nayagarh district, is filled with excitement and anticipation. With Eastern Ghats meeting the Deccan Plateau at Satkosia, the landscape is one of the most vital ecosystems in India. Satkosia Tiger Reserve covering an area of 963.87 sqkm comprises of two adjoining sanctuaries of central Odisha named as Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary and Baisipalli Sanctuary. Not so long ago it was called "Abhaya Aranya" - the never ending forest which stretched right upto Madhya Pradesh, today Satkosia is literally one of the last resort for maintaining the ecological balance in the state.
The reserve is spread over 4 districts namely -Dhenkanal, Angul, Cuttack and Nayagarh. Satkosia is a beauty to be reckoned with. The magnanimous Mahanadi River almost bisects the tiger reserve into two halves and passes through one of the deepest gorges of Asia over a length of 22.5km. Hence it derives it name from 'Sat' (Seven) and 'Kosh' (Two Miles) meaning 14 Miles or 22.5 kms.
The area has a healthy population of Indian gaur, sambhar, crocodiles and elephants to name a few, which indicates a healthy ecosystem. The area abounds in natural salt licks and water holes. Satkosia also has a vivid profile of avian species. Around 332 species of birds have been identified in Satkosia which includes birds of forests, wetlands and grasslands etc.