They say Chandipur is one of the few places you must travel to if you are looking for a different experience. One of the few lesser known beaches in Odissa is also known for India’s missile testing grounds. I was planning a trip to Odissa that included Puri, Konark and Bhubaneshwar when I realized that my train is going to stop at Balasore and decided to get down without any idea about how one is supposed to reach Bhubaneshwar from here.
At 10 PM midnight I found hotel and a small town hotels are supposed to be, I realized only in middle of the night that the bed is ridden with bugs. I was brutally bitten by these tiny bastards everywhere.
Next morning with bite marks on my neck, face and every part of my body I set myself to find this unknown beach. After wandering for an hour I finally found a jeep passing through Chandipur. The driver was a greedy bastard, first he forced people to adjust and make room for a number of people that I don’t even think the jeep could adjust. Even after that when he was left unsatisfied he added a cart behind the jeep and made room for more passengers. So much kindness can only be seen in a small town.
Chandipur is not a typical beach destination. You won’t find shacks and restaurants selling exotic sea food. Although there were a couple of bhajiya shops open in the morning. I walked towards the beach, at 8 AM it looked like any other beach. After an hour the magic began.
The sea slowly started to move behind and in matter of 15 minutes the sea vanished. The coastline vanished back to 5 kms and baby crabs came out on ground running around baffled on what happened. Fishermen don’t have to work much here, when sea vanishes in the evening they fix fishing nets in middle of the ocean and when the water comes back fishes are caught in those nets. Later in the morning with shore vanishing they collect those nets and take the fresh catch.
The place is mesmerizing. One can just sit and wait for the sea to come back (and get tanned in the process) or check a local temple nearby. There is nothing much to do here and that is the beauty of this place. The sea vanishes for 2 to 3 times in a day and there is no logical explanation behind this. Some say this is because of the tides while others will tell you that the sand is inclined on the wrong angle.
Yet, it was fun. There were not many tourists here, some lost couples looking for a little privacy and other adventure seekers who were running deep in the waterless Arabian Sea. A couple of locals simply sat in a boat in middle of nowhere waiting for the water to float them.
In the evening the sand glows like its painted with gold, by the time when water comes back for one last time before I left for my hotel and leave for another destination.