While planning for four days long vacation gateway, Gopalpur emerged in my mind owing to its pristine sand stretches; besides travel enthusiasts are always loud in admiration of its beauty. As my family members also accepted the proposal with equanimity I hopped to organize the trip to Gopalpur without wasting time.
Along the coast of Orissa lays the little sleepy town Gopalpur, where past whispers its chronicle to the present. This town of Ganjam District has procured its mystic charm from the remnants of British and Portuguese settlement; sadly dearth of maintenance is expunging their charm, still, they are mesmerizing enough to entice you. Gopalpur was an important seaport connecting India with Southeast Asia; the evidence of that old glory is still conspicuous in the form of deserted old buildings. Far away from the hustle bustle of city life, the beach in Gopalpur is the paradise for peace seekers and nature lovers. If popular fables are to be believed the name Gopalpur was stemmed from a Lord Krishna temple established in the 18th century.
We started for Gopalpur from Howrah station via Howrah-Chennai Mail and reached Berhampur in the morning, it’s the nearest railway station to Gopalpur on sea, and from there, an auto rickshaw took us to the beach. Berhampur can be also accessed via the below-mentioned trains East Coast Express, HWH Mas Mail, Coromandal Express, Falaknuma Express and Hwh Ypr Express; it’s well-connected with Kolkata via highways as well.
Gopalpur Sea Beach
Sea faced accommodations are available in Gopalpur with options to satiate every taste and budget; however, we opted for pre-booking a hotel using MakeMyTrip discount coupons. Soon after signing into the hotel rooms we left for the beach. Just as I expected this beach enshrines quieter ambience in comparison to Digha beach and perfect resort when for those who want to spend the vacation in a completely calm, secluded environment dodging the crowded tourist destinations. The beachside market is flooded with handcrafted items. The city still bears the essence of Portuguese colony and the British architect scattered around the town.
Owing to an opportune stroke of serendipity we managed to include Taptapani, Nature Park, Chilka, Birds Island, Breakfast Island, Dhaveleswar and Tartarini Mandir in our sightseeing list.
Nearby Places to Visit
– Nestled in Ganjam district, Taptapani is famous for its natural hot spring, as this one is believed to have medicinal properties we didn’t fritter away the chance of taking a bath at the pond excavated beside the hot spring. The village is a hidden-gem enshrined in the eastern incline of the Eastern Ghat; the lush green woodland featuring extensive flora and fauna imbued a sense of serenity and calm; the cloud-filled sky painted the nearby hills in varied colours presenting a delightful sight.
– Though beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder we found no escape but to be amazed beholding the magnetism of Chilka Lake, Orissa boasts this spectacular lake of India, an extensive number of islands are scattered here and there in this lake making it the ideal haven for shutterbugs.
– We visited there to pay homage to worship Lord Shiva, it’s a sacred site located in the midst of Choudwar and Cuttack city. The design and ambience idyllically condense the tenets of Hinduism, the incense smell and fleeting sounds of bells inculcated us with an auspicious feeling. This relatively secluded place becomes crowded during Makar Sankranti and Pongal
• Tartarini Temple – This temple is nestled on a nearby hill of Purushottampur located on the bank of Rishikulya River, it’s one amongst the 51 Shakti Peeth and exhibits the rich cultural heritage of the bygone era. We reached the temple via a ropeway, people were travelling there using four wheelers as well. This religious place of Orissa is renowned for its immaculate beauty and a stunning panorama from the hilltop, specifically during sunset the transition of light instilled a distinctive pleasure in us.
• Bird’s Island – A 3 hours long journey from Rambha to Bird’s Island went in vain as we barely saw any bird, however, if you are travelling to Gopalpur during winter season you may choose to visit Birds Island, this place is easily accessed via boat that you will get from OTDC. According to the local guides Peregrine falcon, White-bellied sea eagle and Brahminy kites come here during winter.
• Breakfast Island – We reached Breakfast Island using the boat from OTDC; however, as the name suggests don’t expect to find a restaurant to savour breakfast; a small structure in the midst of Chilka Lake and the impressive scenic beauty define the special aspects of this place. You may find a jetty or small boats there but it’s advisable to avoid them as they don’t follow any safety norms.
I’m afraid the increasing crowds along with that gaudy tourist atmosphere may take the charm away from this coastline, still, it’s relatively unpolluted and clean, and bearing a reflection of the love and respect the locals have always had for the area. Along with awe-inspiring beaches, the barely inhabited and ravishing beach shelters dazzlingly clear water; satiating our appetite and strolling in the beaches and locales we spend a wonderful vacation. Take my words the diversity of seafood, mouth-watering flavour and spice will tantalize you to an unimaginable extent. If you are running out of time you may travel via CCU-BBI bound flights and then hire a car to travel Gopalpur, one of my friends told me she has found a valid Yatra coupon discount code that helped her to save a lot on airfare. By dint of its rustic charm Gopalpur has etched a mark in my mind and while reminiscing this virgin beach I will always wish it can eternally remain its unspoiled beauty.