Turns Out India Still Has A Secluded Beach Untouched By Tourists

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Gopalpur-on-sea

Photo of Turns Out India Still Has A Secluded Beach Untouched By Tourists by Amrita

If you enjoy visiting sea resorts that still have an old world aura to it and where solitude rules, then Gopalpur could just be your place. Also known as Gopalpur-on-sea, it is said to be one of the best beaches along the Bay of Bengal where the golden sand meets the clear blue sea. The salubrious sea welcomes its visitors with a slice of serenity and peace. The remnants of the old British made port can be seen in the crumbling walls and pillars of the jetty.

Where is Gopalpur?

Situated around 150 km from Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, Gopalpur is a heaven for the sea and sand lovers. Because in very few places will you find the sea so pristine and the backwaters in the form of cracks and lagoons so beautiful! The beach is almost never crowded, even in this era of overtourism and mass tourism. In the afternoon, you will hardly find any soil there, only may be a fisherman hauling his net. This would be a perfect place for those who are seeking some ‘me’ time or ‘together’ time.

Gopalpur was originally known as Paloura. It was a small fishing village on the coastal Odisha from the time of the Kalinga dynasty. The place got its present name from an eighteenth century temple of Lord Krishna or Gopal that is located nearby. Gopalpur was an important trading centre in the time of the British rule. The port was a busy one from where ships were sent to Rangoon (present day Yangon). The ruins of the ancient port stand as a testimony to the golden days of Southern Odisha.

Photo of Gopalpur, Odisha, India by Amrita

Things To Do In Gopalpur

1. Walk along the beach

Obviously, the sea beach is the main attraction of Gopalpur. The beach is clean surrounded by expanse of casuarina groves. When the sea recedes, the sand becomes the playground of numerous crabs, snails and other small creatures. You can simply walk along the sea shore or sit down lazily at the beach and watch the waves break near your feet.

You can keep walking towards the estuary. You will sea fishermen boats moored to the shoreline. The water is clear there. You can see the fishermen with their catch of fishes, prawns and crabs. By afternoon, you will find many rows of beach shacks sprung up selling food, sea shells, bangles, corals and many other things. Evenings are going to see more people on the beach.

And if you happen to visit Gopalpur during PAGo (Public Arts in Gopalpur)—a two-day art festival—you will see the lesser known artistic side of this beach resort. During this fest, the town is abuzz with visitors experiencing live music performances, art installations and sculptures depicting Gopalpur's silk weaving traditions and maritime history.

Photo of Turns Out India Still Has A Secluded Beach Untouched By Tourists by Amrita
Photo of Turns Out India Still Has A Secluded Beach Untouched By Tourists by Amrita
Photo of Turns Out India Still Has A Secluded Beach Untouched By Tourists by Amrita
Photo of Turns Out India Still Has A Secluded Beach Untouched By Tourists by Amrita

2. Get to top of the Lighthouse

The lighthouse at Gopalpur was a part of the old port. The lighthouse stands tall at the beach and once you climb it, you will get a panoramic view of entire Gopalpur, the sea and also parts of Chilika. The Lighthouse remains open for visitors between 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM. You can also visit the ruins of the ancient port and relive the historical past of the place.

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of Turns Out India Still Has A Secluded Beach Untouched By Tourists by Amrita

3. Take a trip to the backwaters of Chilika

The Chilika Lake is located arounf 70 km from Gopalpur. You can make a day trip to the Chilika. It is the largest brackish water lagoon in India and is the home to a variety of birds. Take a boat ride at Chilika, go for seeing the birds and the also get a glimpse of the Irrawaddy dolphins.

You can also visit Dhabaleswar, 15 km away that is known for its temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Breakfast Island at Chilika Lake

Photo of Chilika Lake, Odisha by Amrita

4. Visit the nearby villages

The sea beach is surrounded by little fisherman villages. You can see them while you arrive at Gopalpur. The villages having colourful houses with thatched roofs looks quite beautiful. At these villages, you will invariably get the smell of dried fish. Those who cannot stand the smell would have to scurry away. Walk around the village roads and see the life of the fishermen.

Photo of Turns Out India Still Has A Secluded Beach Untouched By Tourists by Amrita

5. Satiate your taste buds with seafood

One of the best parts of travelling is definitely having variety of food. At Gopalpur, you will get a number of tempting and delicious seafood. Prawns, pomphrets, crabs and various other fishes can be tasted here. The fish lovers will definitely have a great time here. Most of the hotels and restaurants serve fresh fishes.

There are a few shacks that have marinated crabs and fish ready for frying and eating. You can also buy fishes straight from the fishermen who have just hauled up a catch and persuade the shopkeepers to cook it for you. They do it for a charge.

Rasogollas and sweets of Odisha

Photo of Turns Out India Still Has A Secluded Beach Untouched By Tourists by Amrita
Photo of Turns Out India Still Has A Secluded Beach Untouched By Tourists by Amrita
Photo of Turns Out India Still Has A Secluded Beach Untouched By Tourists by Amrita

6. Getting there

The nearest railhead to Gopalpur is the Berhampur on the Howrah-Chennai line. Gopalpur is around 20 km from Berhampur and can be reached by state run buses.

The nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar, almost 150 km away. It takes about 3 hours to reach from Bhubaneswar.

Chilling at Gopalpur

Photo of Berhampur, Odisha, India by Amrita
Photo of Berhampur, Odisha, India by Amrita

Best time to visit:

The best time to visit is during the winters when the climate remains pleasant. You can also visit during the monsoon between mid-June to late August. The sea gets an enchanting look during this time.

Best accommodation options:

The beach town of Gopalpur is already famous amongst tourists. There are a number of accommodation options that cater to travellers of all kinds, including homestays and hotels. Mayfair Palm Beach Resort and Seaview Resort Gopalpur are some of the most preferable hotels in Gopalpur that are known to offer picturesque views and great hospitality.

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