Gopalpur is a town and a Notified Area Council 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 around 15 km from Berhampur. The reconstruction of an all-weather port including new berths is under development. Barely 16 km away from Brahmapur, the commercial hub of southern Odisha and close to the border of Andhra Pradesh, is the tiny town of Gopalpur on the Bay of Bengal. This languorous beach with coconut groves, casuarinas and gentle sand dunes is deserted for miles. It is a natural, deep sea port on the east coast of India. Gopalpur lies on a 4 km stretch of barren coastline, with no mangrove or tropical forests. The coastline falls in the rain-shadow of the region.
History: Gopalpur also has an ancient, commercial port, now lying in ruins. Under the ownership of the Soraine family the village grew in wealth, from an obscure little fishing village, Gopalpur became a prominent trading port. The family built the port, the lighthouse and the Albert Hotel and established both a local fishing industry and a trade route with Burma. They also established the bylaw allowing any villagers who could build a house, with a perimeter and light a fire in the fireplace overnight, could then keep the land and house (on the backwaters) as their own.
During the British rule family, squabbles and disputes resulted in much being transferred to British missionaries. The Albert Hotel now locked in ownership battles and lying derelict is the last remnant of those squabbles. The East India Company built large warehouses and godowns because the trade with Burma had picked up and it had become a trading point for rice from Rangoon.
Victor Soraine returned to India from England and built BetVic house where he retired, surrounded by memories of childhood and his family legacy. His final wish was granted when he was buried in his ancestral lands just a few years ago. Gopalpur has reverted to being a quiet, relaxed place but with one major difference — it is one of India’s most sought after beaches, with a distinct charm of its own.
*(All the above information are from Wikipedia)
Airport: The nearest Airport is Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneswar which is roughly 180 Kms from Gopalpur. The airport has regular domestic and international flights to many major cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Rail: The nearest railway station is Berhampur on the Howrah-Chennai line of Southeastern Railway.
Road: Gopalpur is well connected to Berhampur, Bhubaneswar by National Highway and State Highway. State transport buses operate regular services from Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and other major cities.
Local: Auto rickshaws and buses are available for transportation within the town. Tour operators provide vehicles for hire.
Read my story on Gopalpur.