The long coastal belt of Orissa offers some of the finest white sand beaches in the world. The Puri beach is the main venue for countless pilgrims, who come over here to take the traditional purification bath. The seaside resort has made the beach of Chandipur a favourite among beach lovers. Gopalpur-On-Sea, an ancient seaport, is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches one can visit. Other must visit sand and surf treasures in the state include Konark Beach, Balighai Beach, Talasari Beach and Pati-Sonapur Beach.
Location : 8-km East of Puri on Marine Drive, Orissa
Famous As : Picnic Spot
Main Attraction : Baliharina Deer & The Sea Turtle Research Centre
About 8-km to the east of Puri on the Marine Drive, one could enjoy the glamour of Balighai beach amidst casuarina plantations. This casuarina-fringed beach is a famous picnic spot too.
The juxtaposition of gentle casuarina-lined river with crashing, desolate ocean coast is a strange and extremely beautiful one. One may also catch a glimpse of the shy Baliharina a kind of deer who inhabit the area. The Sea Turtle Research Centre is another attraction of this beach.
Location : 32-km from Puri on Marine Drive, Orissa
Main Attractions : The Sun Temple & Museum
Excursions : Ramchandi Temple
Only 32-km from Puri on Marine Drive, one could find a sprawling beach at Konark rated as one of the finest in the world. With a long stretch of cleans sands - cool blue sea making rapids in rolling waves - the beach claims to be one of the best in the eastern coast for having a lovely serenity of its own.
At a strolling distance one finds the famous architectural splendour of the Sun Temple - Konark, a world heritage monument. The Sun Temple Museum of the Archeological Survey of India has a good collection of sculptures from the temple ruins.
About 8-km along the beach is the famous Ramchandi Temple on the confluence of the river Khushabhadra and the sea.
WHERE TO STAY
OTDC's Panthaniwas and Travellers Lodge, Konark
Location : Chandipur, 16-km from Balasore, Orissa
Famous As : Seaside Resort
Excursions : Remuna, Panchaligeswar, Aradi & Chandaneswar
The swaying casuarina trees and the shimmering waters of this seaside resort have made Chandipur a favourite haunt for a small coterie of beach lovers. The uniqueness of Chandipur is that twice a day its waters recede from the shore a good 5-km away, giving water revellers the ultimate pleasure of walking into its shallow depths with fearless abandon.
The beach offers gorgeous views of dynamic seascapes and timeless dawns. Other places of tourist interest around Balasore are Remuna, Panchaligeswar, Aradi and Chandaneswar.
WHERE TO STAY
A number of quality hotels are available in Balasore, the district headquarters town of the region. Various Panthasalas are also available at Aradi, Panchalingeswar and Chandaneswar.
OTDC's Chandipur Panthanivas
Larika Yatri Nivas
Location : 94-km from Cuttack, Orissa
Places Of Interest : Kendrapara & Jhankad
Main Attraction : Temple of Lord Baladeva & Car Festival
Excursions : Bhitarkanika National Park
Paradeep, a major seaport of India for trade activities with a fine sea beach, is an enjoyable tourist resort 94-km from Cuttack. Important pilgrim centre Kendrapara is 65-km from Cuttack. Known as 'Tulasi Kshetra' it is famous for the temple of Lord Baladeva.
A grand car festival is held here annually which draws a mammoth crowd. Also situated 60-km from Cuttack, Jhankad houses the shrine of Goddess Sarala and the place is associated with poet Sarala Das, the first epic poet of Orissa.
Enjoying The Wilds
Exciting moment can also be had at the Bhitarkanika National Park. Sprawled over 367 square kilometres, it has a variety of animals in its mangrove forests criss-crossed by rivers and creeks.
Known for crocodiles, sea turtles on the Gahirmatha beach and water monitor lizards, it has rare white crocodiles. It is also a Park for deer and migratory birds. One can also see 10th-11th century temples, sculptures, mud-forts and pottery.
WHERE TO STAY
Paradeep Port Trust's Nehru Bungalow
Madhuban Guest House
Hotel Aristocrat, Paradeep
Hotel Golden Anchor, Paradeep
Hotel Paradeep International, Paradeep
Hotel Golden Palace, Kendrapa
Shrikrishna Lodge, Kendrapa
Rajshree Lodge, Kendrapa
Aram Lodge, Kendrapa
Tulsi Lodge, Kendrapa
Santosh Lodge, Kendrapa
|Gopalpur On Sea
Location : 16-km from Berhampur, Orissa
Main Attractions : The Blue Beach & The Blue Bay
Best Time to Visit : October To April
Excursions : Chilika Lake & Taptapani sulphur-spring
One of the most pristine beaches of Orissa, this small beach is a splendid retreat for sea worshippers, located about 16-km from Berhampur. Once a humming seaport, Gopalpur offers its visitors a slice of serenity in environs that are conducive to introspection and conviviality.
One can still see the crumbling walls and pillars of the jetty, witness to its past glory of commercial activity. The pleasures of the Blue Beach and the Blue Bay of her backwaters continue to lure the water babies. Gopalpur-on-Sea is a surfer's delight and excellent for sailing.
Discovery of a Holiday Hideout
Originally, a small fishing village on the coast of Orissa, it was so named when a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna was constructed some time in the 18th century. Apart from its temple, Gopalpur was distinguished for its magnificent beach and was discovered as a perfect winter resort.
The East India Company built huge warehouses and godowns because the trade with Burma had picked up and Gopalpur had become a trading point for rice from Rangoon. In those days, there were dances and parties that continued until the early hours and wealthy Bengalis from Calcutta made it their holiday home.
Gopalpur's importance dwindled when trade with Burma abruptly ceased during the war and never revived again. When the British left India, even members of rich Bengali homes preferred to holiday in other places of the country, Gopalpur reverted to what it was originally, a fishing village.
With an increase in tourist trade in the late seventies, and the opening of luxury hotels, a slow revival began and today Gopalpur-On-Sea is one of the foremost beach resorts in India.
This is the one beach that is as yet, not exposed much to tourism and hence still unspoiled. If you are looking for a quiet holiday in the lap of nature, the beach at Gopalpur awaits you. A golden beach fringed by sand dunes and ruins of an old jetty from where, in medieval times, sailors set out to Indonesia, make this an ideal place for a relaxing holiday. A perfect beach, fairly isolated and undisturbed by the day-trippers.
WHERE TO STAY
Good accommodation options such as seaside resorts, luxurious hotels, and old bungalows are available at Gopalpur, with good servicing facilities and excellent view of the sea.
HOTELS & RESORTS
The Oberoi Palm Beach, Ganjam
Song of the Sea Resort
Location : Puri, Orissa
Famous As : A Pilgrimage Site
Main Attractions : Sri Jagannath Temple
Main Festivity : Puri Beach Festival
For centuries now, the Puri beach has been the venue of countless pilgrims taking the traditional purification dip. Yet, for decades now, both Indian and foreign beach-lovers have made it their special haunt.
The crashing surf on one of India's finest beaches is a glorious sight, as is the visual of hatted fisherfolk guiding tourists through the magnificent breakers rolling in from the Bay of Bengal. It would be best not to be too adventurous since the undertow can be a bit treacherous. The spectacle of dazzling sunsets and the catamarans dipping on the pearly waters are terrific memories to take back home.
An additional bonus is its proximity to the spectacular Jagannath temple, one of the holiest temples in the country. The beach is also the venue for the famous dance and music festival held every year at the beach.
WHERE TO STAY
Excellent accommodation and eating facilities are major plus points for extending your trip.
OTHER CITY HOTELS
Victoria Club Hotel
Hotel Holiday Resort