GOPALPUR ON SEA
The morning was pleasant after a short drizzle at late night. Santosh and Bidyut started at around 4 am from Panskura for Howrah by local train. Soumya and Sugata joined them at Bagnan and Ramrajatala respectively. It was too early to catch Falaknuma Express from Howrah railway station. None of the eateries at the station was prepared to serve them. The day started with vegetable sandwitch and hot coffee from Comesum Plaza. Falaknuma Express started at 7:15 am. Partha and Sudip joined the team at Kharagpur with bagful of breakfast. Plateful of momo, bowls of hot soup, boiled egg, bananas and sweets heightened the enthusiasm. Rain and sun made the journey beautiful. The lunch was sweet curd and lassi at Bhubaneswar railway station. Train speeded through Chilka to Brahmapur. It was around 5:30 pm. They hurried towards Gopalpur from Brahmapur railway station with an old ambassador taxi. Unfortunately that old cab could not move much. The next lap was an auto rickshaw journey. The rickshaw was so small that Santosh – their team manager, could get a seat and took the hassle of remaining standing for the next 14 kms inside the small rickshaw. Nothing stopped them, they moved as the time was much more precious to reach Gopalpur before it was dark. Ultimately they reached Hotel Song of the Sea – their home for next two nights, a little before the dark.
It was not a large hotel. The owner Mr. Sanjeev Bedi (Ph: 0680 2343647, 0680 2225056, 0680 2223781, M: 9861535627) was a perfect business man with full of manners. He provided three beautiful sea facing rooms to them. The sea was just a few feet away from these rooms. The waves and roars almost touched them throughout the remaining moments. The time passed away unnoticed with the gusting from the waves. The hotel was located at one end of the beach, at the foot of light house. The isolation from the chaos and crowd of tourists gave the hotel another feather. The big glass windows and hanging balconies were perfectly fitted for enjoyment. The rooms including the toilets were clean. The beds and linens were perfectly spread to give proper rest. But maintenance was lacking with scanty and untrained manpower. No calling bell or intercom facilities were available to call the attendants. Electrical appliances were not working properly. Generators were not using timely. Room service was not adequate. The exciting garden and lawn was not tuned for a long time. Dining room was large and impressive, but serving was poor and inefficient. Food charges were high and orders were required to put hours before. Remarkable absence was the availability of water purifier. Even purified bottled water was not on hand at the hotel.
The main beach front was beautiful but not free from filth. The beach road or the marine drive was even better with old world charm. Few hotels and some very old houses with ruins of an ancient settlement through the wide beach road up to the back water added substance to this tourist place. Evening walk with the marine drive was really momentous. The silence from the crowd and absence of chaos was the beauty of the ambience.
Dawn appeared with a collage of moving colours on the sea. The mesmerizing rise of sun from the lap of the sea was unforgettable. The reflection of colours from a ball of liquid gold was presenting a stroke of lively virtues. The meaning of life was converging to a new height with heavenly ethos.
With a light breakfast Sudip, Soumya and Bidyut moved for a short day tour for Gopalpur port, back water and a local temple. They returned by the noon. Gopal da (A local tour operator, M: 9437127548, Ph: 0680 2242963) did everything for there hassle free roaming. Sugata and Santosh took a beach walk and captured spectacular moments. Partha was slightly indisposed and preferred to enjoy the ambience from the room and balcony. The light house door opened at 3:30 pm and remained so till 5:30 pm. All except Santosh ventured the top of the light house. From the top it was another awesome experience. A 360® view of Gopalpur with the sea was amazing. Evening came with the blow of light beams from the tower. They took dinner at Swosti Palm Resort. Though the hotel was far away from the beach its restaurant was impressive. The dinner that was served at Swosti was unforgettable. We tried our best to stay with the beauties of Bay of Bengal as late as possible. Returned to the beds with heavy hearts for the daily monotony.
Next morning was not as gorgeous as the last one. Sky was not jolly; mostly covered with cloud – may be due to unhappiness of their departure. By 6 am they started for Brahmapur, again with a auto rickshaw arranged by Gopal da. Quickly Gopalpur moved away from their vision. Swiftly roars and gusts exceed away from their sight. Brahmapur was rapidly approaching; but their mind and soul stayed behind at the beaches of Gopalpur, at the top of the light house and at the loneliness of the marine drive.
Again the Falaknuma Express started for Howrah at 7:55 am. With the memoirs of Gopalpur suddenly came Kharagpur at around 3:30 pm. Everybody except Sugata got down there. Partha went to Medinipur, Santosh to Kalaikunda, Sudip to Debra, Bidyut to Panskura and Soumya to Bagnan. Sugata returned to Ramrajatala through Santragachi.