Dolphins, Olive Ridley turtles, a bike ride on the beach, inhabited islands, solitary beach stays, beach bonfire, quality marijuana and no doubt the massive mangroves ... this is how my 31st night was.
New year was around, and I had to finalize a destination to end the year with an amazing note. Have not even unpacked yet my bags after my last trip to the mountains, Nepal. So this time thought of giving a beach side treat to myself. No doubt, Goa comes in as the ultimate party destination during the new year Eve. But I wanted something serene, something peaceful and something worth the bliss this time. This New Year I wanted my solitude. I just wanted to give myself an ample time. I wanted a trip with myself.
So I ditched Goa and went here. Odisha, the soul of Incredible India. The land with meticulous mysteries. A place, which is definitely going to surprise you every other day, with it's totally unexpected offerings. Be it the culture, food or nature, it's a sure thing, it's impressive.
I heard, there is one such beach inside the restricted area of Bhitarkanika National Park. The land ends, the kingdom of mangroves and crocodiles starts, which takes you to an untouched beach after crossing it; Habalikhati.
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is known as the "Mini- Amazon" of India. Lying on the coast of Bay of Bengal, it is the second largest Mangroves ecosystem of India after Sundarbans.
Habalikhati is a beautiful place in Bhitarkanika National Forest. A beach with zero public. Untold and Untouched.
To reach there, one has to drive through the wet sand of beach else hire a private boat.
I wanted to experience both the ways. So this is how I went ahead:-
There are two getaways for the destination
If you choose Bhadrak, the pathway layout as follows:-
*Bhadrak- Chandbali- Gokarneswar- Jayanagar Jetty (by road)
The land ends at Jayanagar Jetty, after which you need to proceed inside by crossing creeks via public boats.
Now to reach Habalikhati, you need to cross 3 such creeks through public boats. After which you reach Satabhaya Beach. You drive through the beach around 7kms to reach Habalikhati Beach.
NOTE: Only possible with two wheeler. As it's impossible to cross your car through creeks in small boats.
You cross the creek here and reach Dangmala island. Now drive through the island till Gupti.
* Gupti Jetty
Once you cross through Gupti Jetty. You need to take the enter permit from the DFO office at Gupti. You can also take the permit online if you booked the cottage at Habalikhati.
Now proceed towards, Okilapala.
This is the final and most narrow creek. Crossing this, you will head towards the Satabhaya Beach through a barren salt deposited land. Around 20kms
Once you reach here, you need to check out with the tides. Mostly the tides are low during the early morning, when you can drive through the beach. You need to drive almost 6-7kms through the beach to reach the destination.
I reached Jayanagar Jetty by late evening, which is why I did not opt for proceeding ahead, as I knew I needed to be at Satabhaya beach during early hours to be able to cross it. So I opted to stay at one of the forest guesthouse at Jayanagar Jetty itself for the night. This is a river side cottage, giving rooms with a view. It's cheap and scenic.