On the northern shore of Chilika Lake, Barkul is just a scattering of houses, small guesthouses and food stalls on a lane that runs from the main highway down to the government-run hotel property Panthanivas Barkul. From here boats make trips to Nalabana Island (full of nesting birds in December and January) and Kalijai Island (which has a temple on it), though you could charter you own boat to anywhere; deal directly with the boat hands.
Panthanivas Barkul hotel runs two-hour round trips to Kalijai Island Temple for ₹1500 per speedboat (up to seven passengers), including some time on the island. The four-hour trip to Kalijai and Nalabana costs ₹4000 per boat, but tends only to be done in December and January when the birds are on Nalabana. Barkul is also trying to reinvent itself as a water-sports centre; unfortunately, this involves seriously eco-unfriendly jet-ski rental.