Gopalpur On Sea
Serene, scenic and sublime-that is how one can describe Gopalpur, a beach resort in Ganjam, Orissa.it is barely 16 kms from Berhampur, a bustling town of south Orissa. The resort derives its name from a 18th century temple dedicated to Krishna( Gopal). During the British rule, Gopalpur was a busy port. After independence, Gopalpur reverted to its quietude. From seventies onwards, it has become a favourite beach of tourists worldwide for its laidback charm. The blue-green waters of the Bay of Bengal complement the swaying casuarinas and cashew trees making Gopalpur the perfect holiday destination. Since the beach faces eastwards, the visitors can enjoy breathtakingly beautiful sunsets here. An old lighthouse on the beach which offers a view of Gopalpur town, the sea and part of Chilka lake adds to the quaint beauty of the beach. One can take long walks on the lovely, sandy beach as it is relatively deserted and quite clean. THE Gopalpur Beach festival is held annually on the beach to promote tourism and culture.
In and Around Gopalpur:
TARA TARINI TEMPLE - About 36 kms from Gopalpur is the ancient Tara Tarini shrine dedicated to the goddesses, Tara and Tarini who are manifestations of Mother Goddess. The shrine which is located on top of a hill and is on the banks of river Rushikulya is a Shakti Peeth of the Tantra cult. A must visit for those visitors in quest of tranquility and spiritual vitality.
CHILKA LAKE - This is a large pear shaped brackish water lagoon which has the distinction of being Asia’s largest salt water lagoon. Separated from the Bay of Bengal by a sandy ridge, the beauty of Chilka lake has inspired many poems, songs and local ballads. Home to a large number of migratory birds, it is also the sanctuary for the rare Olive Ridley turtles. There are ample facilities for water sports here.
TAPTAPANI - Taptapani is around 67 kms from Gopalpur and is the site of a hot sulphur spring which is said to have curative properties. An added attraction here is the state run hotel Panthanivas, which has cosy treehouse cottages available at reasonable rates. A deer park is also maintained nearby.
CHANDRAGIRI - A 35 km ride from Taptapani brings the visitor to Chandragiri, a Tibetan refuge village untouched by modern times. Lovely Tibetan handicrafts are available here.
WHAT TO DO - Lie back on your deck chair and enjoy the view of the sun playing with the azure waters of Gopalpur in the day or drink in the beauty of the moon lighting up the sea with a silvery hue. Go to Chilka for some serious bird watching and great adventure sports. Head to Taptapani for a bath in the sulphur spring. The shopper in you can take a delight in the beautiful berhampuri silks available at berhampur and in the Tibetan handicrafts in Chandragiri.
Best Season: October to February.