Chandipur beach: Where the sea disappears
When asked if it was dangerous for people to ride a bike into the sea bed with the impending high tide, Dasarath Dash, a coconut seller by the beachside, said no. "The tide has its timings. Depending on the moon, the timings keep changing. It's mostly the locals, familiar with the tide's time, who take their bikes into the sea bed. The others are thrilled just to even walk that distance," Dash said. "In any case, the sea is not rough here. The waves are gentle," he said. Food is another plus point here. For those who love sea food, here's a place which can offer you plenty, especially fresh prawns.
The Chandipur beach is also well known for its proximity to the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) Integrated Test Range. A number of missiles have been launched from here, including Akash, Agni, Shaurya and Prithvi ballistic missiles. There is a handful of small hotels - with a tariff range of Rs.500 to Rs.2,500 per day - and a government guesthouse in Chandipur. There are no 5-Star hotels in the area. One can also opt to stay in Balasore. "The best time to visit Chandipur is winter, between November and March, and most tourists come during this time," Dash said.
The tourism department has also been trying to promote Chandipur and other spots nearby as potential tourist destinations. An elaborate beach festival, showcasing the dance forms, art and culture of the state, has become an annual affair here and takes place every February. "I really hope proper infrastructure can be put in place so that the Chandipur beach attracts more tourists and the locals around can benefit. Right now we mostly have local tourists and those from the neighbouring states. The number of foreign tourists is still very low compared to Puri," said Ubachan Mohanty, a local
Source: Azera Rahman, IANS