Gopalpur (Berhampur) odia:ଗୋପାଳପୁର) 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.
History: Gopalpur also has an ancient, commercial port, now lying in ruins. From an obscure little fishing village, Gopalpur became a prominent trading port during the days of British East India Company. 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. The British and the wealthy Bengalis, who once made Gopalpur a vibrant, happening place, have left. 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.
Beach: 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.
Development: Renovated in the 1970s at the initiative of the Odisha government, the jetties were supposed to revive the trading activities of Gopalpur port. The old jetty in Gopalpur is tourist attraction point, which was a major point for trade and commerce in medieval times. The sailors of those time started their journey from this jetty to Indonesia and Rangoon across the Indian Sea. Once the renovation of new jetty completed it will become an important port of south Odisha. It’s a wonderful drive-in for the people and from the beach, vast expanse of deep blue sea and the horizon can be seen. Another thrilling sight is the long stretch of cashew nut trees. Cashew nuts are processed here and exported. A major landmark of Gopalpur-on-Sea is its lighthouse. The view from the top is splendid and one can see at a glance the entire town of Gopalpur. Gopalour-on-sea is also famous for its ‘beach festival’ organized annually. A nearby beach is Dhabaleshwar, which also houses temple of the same name.
Gopalpur on sea has got a lovely beach that is absolutely deserted. The only sign of life that one gets to see is in the afternoon when the fishermen come back to shores with their fishes caught during the morning hour and the women loading them in large “tokris” (baskets) and carry them away for selling off in local markets. Apart from that you can see a lot many red crabs walking on the beach.
Beach festival and other attractions near Gopalpur:
Gopalpur Beach Fesival: The first Gopalpur beach festival was started in the year 1996 by Ganjam District Hotel Association to promote tourism and culture. The concept of Gopalpur Beach Festival was conceived by Mr V.Santosh Kumar and Mr Sayed Rahim Members of Ganjam district Hotel Association,Brahmapur. the Ganjam District Hotel Association and Governmant of Odisha have been jointly organizing the festival since 1996 in the month of December.
Aqua Sports: Renowned Scuba Diver Shabbir Bux has been instrumental in establishing a Training cum fun ride facility on the back waters of Gopalpur sea. Wind Surfing, Rowing, Scuba Diving, Swimming, Paddle Boat, Water Scooter are some of the major sports and fun rides being provided for tourists as well as professionals.