Odisha| In its beaches - Sassily Solo

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Odisha is home to spectacular beaches and shoreline, five hundred kilometers long running through the Bay of Bengal.

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The beaches of Odisha are peculiar and different from one another in the most bizarre way. I had the chance to visit three of its easily accessible beaches.

Golden Beach

Puri is home to one of the most revered temples of Odisha and India, the Jagannath Puri temple. It is not, however, known for just that. The Golden beach attracts tourists from all over the world especially during the winter months from December to February. It hosts the annual Puri Beach Festival usually in the month of November. The festival is a government-sponsored event that showcases the talent of Odisha's craftsmen, sand artists, and sports lovers.

How to reach

Golden Beach is located in Puri which is about 70 kms away from the state capital of Bhubaneswar. There are both state-run buses and passenger trains that run on the route.

Where to stay

The coastal town of Puri is also home to one of the biggest and oldest shrines of India, hosting tourists from all over the country. There are plenty of options to choose from and in a budget too.

Chandrabhaga Beach

The first beach of India to get the Blue Flag certification, Chandrabhaga beach is located at a distance of about three kms from yet another marvel of Odisha, the Sun Temple. It has a rich marine life and a beautiful shoreline attracting tourists from all over the world.

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Chandrabhaga Beach

The second reason that attracts travellers, and a triumphant one at that, is the International Sand Art Festival of Odisha when beach rises into huge mounds of sands sculpted by crafty hands of both national and international sand artists.

Chandrabhaga beach can be summed up in its pristine shoreline, clear skies, clean sands, crashing waves, and protected environment making it a perfect stop for your itinerary.

How to reach

Chandrabhaga is located about 3 kms away from the famous Sun Temple of Odisha in Konark. Konark is about 40 kms away from Puri. There are buses that run regularly on the route; the last one leaves at six in the evening from Puri.

Where to stay

I could not find many options to stay near Chandrabhaga beach itself. It is advisable to stay in Konark where there are many options to choose from. I stayed at the Surya inn in Konark and found it to be yet another good option.

Chandipur On Sea

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Fishermen returning to the shore

One of the most unusual beaches in India is the Chandipur sea beach, about 20 kms away from Balasore in Odisha. There are waves that crash ashore and recede to the ocean but the waves that crash here recede as much as five kms into the ocean, a phenomenon closely related to the concept of negative surges caused by low tides.

The curious travellers walk the distance to satiate their curiosity and enjoy the ocean, now much harder to reach.

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Where the ocean once laid

The ocean comes back twice a day; early morning and mid-afternoon. It is one of the less-visited beaches of Odisha, the serenity of which, thus, remains intact in an idyllic and spectacular setting. It is famous for its rich biodiversity that includes a variety of fishes and tiny red-coloured crabs.

How to reach

The nearest railhead to Chandipur is Balasore. From there, auto-rickshaws and taxis are available to reach Chandipur.

To reach the ocean i.e. if it is pushed back, one can walk towards it, ride a bike, or even drive a car over the now vacant patch.

Where to stay

There is one accommodation right at the sea beach owned by the Odisha Tourism along with several other options around.

• The best time to visit the beaches of Odisha is during its winter months from December to February.

• Odisha is chiefly a meat-eating state but as a vegan traveller, I could gorge on some authentic Odissi delicacies common in every household.

• I travelled alone throughout Odisha and found it to be absolutely safe for solo female travellers; the locals had been very helpful.