It was around 8 PM that we reached Gopalpur, a small beach town on the Bay of Bengal. The vehicles had stopped plying, the tourists had gone to their respective hotels, and the beach side vendors had closed shop. The quite and seclusion, looked inviting and we parked our car and strolled down the sand dunes separating the sea and the debilitated road.
Never had I imagined, that a walk along a beach could be so serene, with nothing but the sound of the waves crashing on the shore for company. The half moon in the sky was casting a gentle glow on the froth that was being caused by the crashing water. The pitch black sea, with lines of white appearing and disappearing rhythmically was nothing short of poetry in motion. Beaches are mesmerizing, but beaches at night are magical.
Table of Contents:
Gopalpur at a glance
1. How to reach
2. Where to stay
3. Best time to Visit
Gopalpur Sightseeing Places
Things to do in Gopalpur
1. Walk on the beach
2. The lighthouse
3. The boardwalk
4. The beackfront
Gopalpur at a glance:
Gopalpur is a town on the Bay of Bengal coast in Ganjam district in the southern part of Odisha, India. Once a commercial port, it is now a famous sea beach and tourist destination.
The Gopalpur beach got its name from the temple of Lord Krishna (Gopal), which was constructed sometime in the 18th century.
During the British rule, a trade route was developed from Gopalpur to Burma to trade rice. There are still remnants of those colonial times, in form of old warehouses.
How to reach Gopalpur, by train, flight and road:
Gopalpur’s distance from Bhubaneswar is 150 km. Berhampur is the nearest commercial hub, which is around 20 km from Gopalpur.
By Air – The nearest Air Port is in Bhubaneswar (BBI).
By Rail – The nearest railway station is Berhampur on the Howrah-Chennai line of Southeastern Railway.
By Road – Gopalpur is connected by motorable road to the National Highway 16. One can hire a cab to Gopalpur either from Berhampur or Bhubaneswar. Direct buses to Gopalpur are available from Berhampur.
Where to stay in Gopalpur:
Gopalpur Beach Resorts:
These are on the expensive side, but if you are looking for a rural and luxurious stay, nothing beats these properties:
Mayfair Palm Beach Resort: It is arguably the most luxurious property in the area, Gopalpur Mayfair price ranges from Rs 6,000 to Rs. 35000 per night, depending upon the season and type of room.
Swosti palm resort: a worthy competitor to Mayfair, this resorts also boasts of premium accommodation, at Rs. 6000 to 15,000 per night.
Gopalpur Budget Stay options:
OTDC Panthanivas : Budget friendly Option on the beach operated by the tourism department of Odisha, Panthanivas costs around Rs. 2500 per night.
Song of the sea : Another budget friendly option on the beach costs 2000 per night.
Best time to visit Gopalpur:
Being a beach town Gopalpur weather is pleasant in the winters but sweltering in the summers. Its advisable to visit Gopalpur from November to April. If you are a rain lover, then July end to October would be your season. While planning however, do keep in mind that there is always a cyclone scare during the month of October in the Bay of Bengal, that more often than not affects Gopalpur.
Gopalpur Sightseeing Places:
Besides the beach, there are multiple places near Gopalpur which can be explored during a visit to the beach town. Some of the prominent ones are:
My explorations of Gopalpur:
The walk along the beach.
It was 5AM when my friend pulled me out of my sleep. “It’s time to watch the sun rise..”, he exclaimed all excited like a little child. I got up and strolled out of my bed my eyes still shut. It took a few minutes and couple of strides out of the hotel, for me to fully wake up and appreciate the beauty unfolding in the sea.
It was not dark outside, but not fully lit either. I could sense the sun on the horizon but it was still under the cloak of the sea. The blue sky was hinting a bright tinge of orange glow in the eastern side, indicating the imminent arrival of the sun. The sound of the ocean, unadulterated by hawkers and chirping tourists, was pure bliss. And just like that the sun came up, and suddenly the soft light of the dawn was replaced by the bright hue of the sun.
With the light now I could see multiple small and large boats teeming in the sea. Some trying to come back to shore while some fighting the current, making their way into the deep sea. Fishermen who had left in the night were returning with their catch, wrapped under the garb of the huge nylon nets. Some were hauling nets from the shore itself. The raw beauty of the beach was on full display.
Gopalpur beach front:
Once the sun was up it was time for us to go explore the streets and also look for a hot cup of chai. A walk along the beach took us to a pavement that was all decked up beautifully, with benches, umbrellas and small statues. It was the beachfront where most of the tourists land up once they reach Gopalpur.
Their is a small flea market along the sandbar adjacent to the pavement, while rows of small shops and restaurants lined up the other side of the street. It was so early in the morning that not many people were on the place, but one can imagine the kind of crowd it would attract as the day progressed.
The Gopalpur Light House:
As we kept walking towards the west we came across a beautiful lighthouse and also saw the ruins of old dutch housing quarters which now is in a very dilapidated and abandoned state. The light house is one of the most popular landmarks of the Gopalpur sea beach. Hence, climbing it was definitely a must do while I was there.
I must however confess that the climb wasn’t easy, as the endless spiral stairs were not only treacherous but also nauseating. The view from the top however paid off for all the hardships.
It offered a wonderful view of the entire Gopalpur town and also the azure waters of the Bay Of Bengal. They say that on a clear day, one can even see the mighty Chilika Lake from the top of the lighthouse, today however was not a clear day, it was foggy and overcast, hence no Chilika Darshan me.
It is however a great vantage point for people who are photography enthusiasts, as one can capture some amazing photographs of the Gopalpur sea beach and the town.
The board walk:
The most recent addition to the many tourist attractions of Gopalpur is the mile long wooden board walk. Its a beautifully made ‘raised wooden walkway’ from the road to the ocean. As beautiful as it is, I however couldn’t fathom the necessity for it other than attracting the instagram enthusiasts. I could immediately imaging reels makers flocking this place for that picture prefect twirl.
All in all Gopalpur is enamored with all the traits a beach town should have. The food is quite delicious and amazing, the locals are friendly, the main beach is clean and well maintained. To all this Gopalpur is surprisingly less crowded in comparison to the other beach towns of the State. Its perfect for a quite weekend getaway.