Beaches and Lakes in Odisha
With a vast coastline spread over a lush area of 250 miles, Odisha still houses some relatively virgin or quite unexplored beaches. It is dotted with exquisite beaches like Chandipur, Puri and Gopalpur on Sea with each having a unique feature of its own.
Chandipur is one of the few beaches of the world where the sea recedes up to 5 km daily at low tide and chasing the waves in a jeep, when the sea retreats is unforgettable. When the tide is in, locals trawl for small fish along the coast. The serene and peaceful landscape of Chandipur captivates the visitor.
Watching the sea vanish right in front of your eyes and then observing its return is a very rare site. And to add more to this hide and seek of water, the Casuarina trees and creeper sand dunes seem to be swaying on a melodious musical note.
Easily accessible via train, Chandipur beach is merely 16 kms from the Balasore Railway Station on Howrah-Chennai line of Indian Railways. You can also plan for a trip from Bhubaneswar or Kolkatta through Taxi.
Avid beach combers have time and again declared Gopalpur beach as one of the finest ones at the Eastern Coast of India. The beach with its golden sand of the blue sea has its own sleepy charm.
The beach is a very quite and comparatively clean place to swim and sun bathe. Watching Gopalpur's endless empty shoreline getting swarmed with fishermen with their hand-nets full of catch is interesting and enjoyable to while away time in the stunning stillness. Whether it is the rising Sun over the azure waters or the rhythmic lapping of waves shimmering in the bright moonlight, it is an enduring experience. The old lighthouse open to visitors each afternoon, but for a very short duration, offers good views.
Gopalpur Beach is located merely 16 kms away from Bramhapur Town. There are plenty of options in terms of transportation to the beach.
Fine white sands, roar of the breakers rolling in from the Bay of Bengal and countless devotees flocking the place for a purification dip are the synonyms to the Puri Beach. The beach has continued to be a sacred venue for an endless number of pilgrims coming to pay homage to Lord Jagannath.
The beach at Puri offers a unique opportunity to witness the striking sunrise and the sunset on the same beach. Often crowded with holiday makers bathing in the afternoon, and enjoying the brightly lit kiosks in the night, the stretches, parallel to the main Marine Drive Road, form the domain of the domestic tourists, with a row of hotels, food stalls and kiosks selling souvenirs.
A comparatively clean and quite place for sunbathing and a relaxed swim can be found at the eastern end. Local fishermen easily distinguishable by their triangular straw hats and dhotis serve as lifeguards on the beach, and take visitors out to sea in their boats to watch the sunsets. On the Chakratirtha side, the long stretch of golden sand is more tranquil and pleasant place to stroll.
Chilika lake is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest lagoon in the World. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent. The lake is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals.
The lagoon hosts over 160 species of birds in the peak migratory season (October to March). Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. These birds travel up to 12,000 km, to reach Chilika River.
The water spread area of the Lagoon ranges between 1165 to 906 km2 during the monsoon and summer respectively. A 32 km long, narrow, outer channel connects the lagoon to the Bay of Bengal, near the village Motto, recently a new mouth was opened by Chilika Development Authority which has brought a new lease of life to the lagoon.