Before talking about the vanishing sea of Chandipur, let me ask you- has 2017 been fair with you so far? Or, are you such kind of folk who bothers least with dates, occasions and trending topics? By chance if you are, then know it for sure that you're not the only one. I was so freaking trapped in my insanely useless chores that I completely abandoned my darling blog for a complete month, and lost the golden hour of wishing you a happy (and prosperous of course) new year! January is almost waiting for her turn near the exit door. Please forgive my unintentional insincerity and accept my belated yet fresh regards. My salute to those readers who have launched their 2017 with a new year trip, and best wishes for the rest of you who're yet to pen down anything in their 2017 travel diary. Let us put on our optimistic cloak for a moment and pledge not to miss any travel opportunity this year.
Those of you who are not familiar with the Chandipur Beach would definitely find the title of this post very fascinating. There's no shame in admitting that the title was crafted intentionally to arouse your curiosity, but for a genuine reason. The Bay of Bengal doesn't actually vanish though. It flees some good five kilometers away from the Chandipur Beach twice a day during low tide. When the sea has receded, one can walk miles off the shore on the firm sand-bed to get a glimpse of the distant waves. What goes up must come down. So does our vanishing sea. During each high tide the mighty sea returns in all its glory to kiss the coastline and amaze all tourists gathered to witness the whimsical sea!
Chandipur is a small, less visited (not exactly 'pristine') beach destination in Balasore district of Odisha. If you are within its 500 kilometers of radius, Chandipur can be your perfect weekend destination to laze, muse or booze. Balasore (also pronounced as 'Baleswar') is well connected with the rest of India through rails and praiseworthy highways. Once you get down at Balasore, hiring an auto-rickshaw or a cab would be the best idea to munch those remaining 17 kilometers till Chandipur Beach.
If you're a solo traveler like me, but lucky unlike me, you might avail one of those minibuses and shared-taxis leaving from the railway station area. Although summer would offer clear weather to observe mesmerizing sunrises/sunsets from the beach, take it from me- Odisha coastal towns are not at all pleasant to explore in that heat. As the winter is fast retreating this is probably the best time of the year to visit Chandipur. I had made my trip post monsoon and was mentally rehearsed to accept an overcast sky. It turned out to be more overwhelming than I had anticipated. A non-intimidating storm followed by the moderate rain welcomed me to Chandipur!
Fortunately my second day was dry, but the magical sun was nowhere to be spotted especially during sunrise/sunset hours. It was only on the third day of my trip, I could capture a vague sunrise from the heart of Chandipur Beach, perhaps as a parting (better call it 'pity') gift from nature. As a matter of fact, human brains are too complicated to satisfy. A coastal sojourn has many more facets to savor than just waiting for a colorful sun-up-down phenomenon. I was there almost in the off-season. There were only a hand few of beach shacks. Locals seemed least concerned with the beach. Probably their fishing points were different. Tourists were pretty much countable, and that too during morning and late afternoon. Leaving these two slots, the entire beachscape apparently belonged to me. I guess I could even walk naked there without being pointed as a pervert! During sunrise hours, the sea shall be too far away from you to see. You can hear distant roars and hisses of waves. If you idle around and prolong your breakfast time you can catch the dynamic sea (first photo of this post). By lunch time sea recedes again, only to return post dusk. You do not have to remember this schedule. Your hotel guy or the shack owner who triggers your seafood gastronomy will readily guide you with the roster of Chandipur's vanishing sea.
In Chandipur there are plenty of lodging options. The pricing might be little aggressive for a solo backpacker. But, considering the prevailing tariff in other beach resorts/hotels by the Bay of Bengal (I'm stressing more on those located in West Bengal) Chandipur is not at all a pricey place to travel. Other than few basic shops there you won't find much amenities, making you totally dependable on your hotel valet for anything else you might need. Make it a point to take your daytime meals from beach-side shacks. Not only they can provide you fresh mouthwatering pomfrets, prawns and desi-chicken, but you'll top-up your social Karma by contributing to the local economy. Oops, I forgot to tell you one more thing. The location of OTDC Panthanivas at Chandipur is awesome (the white building you can see in the fourth picture of this post). Although I'm not very sure how satisfactorily OTDC staffs are maintaining it but if you're okay with indifference in hospitality, Panthanivas is the most strategic stay to chase the vanishing sea at Chandipur. For my motorcyclist friends out there- why don't you welcome this February with a butterscotch ride over NH5? See you soon with a new blog post... till then, take care and keep Clicking Photos on the Go... Ciao!