Save for some bumps we had a hassle-free drive; but just before entering Chandipur beach the driver mistook the straight road and headed to the military area. The Jawans, however, guided us politely and we went straight to Panthonivas.
To our disbelief we were told at the reception that no room was available. So we turned to other hotels, but met with the same answer. We inquired deeper and it was revealed that the hotels are overcrowded because of the sudden rush of visitors mainly from Calcutta. Not only this, people were going to Balasore for lodging. So we had to do the same and took refuge from the overheated sun at Hotel Swarnachuda. The hotel turned out to be a nice one with a great restaurant.
In the afternoon we drove to the beach and found a huge crowd of Bengali people, enjoying or not enjoying themselves in their Bengali ways. We heard some young guys speaking in such a language which may put a rickshaw-puller in shame. They came to drink only wine, not the beauty of the sea. Of course, the sea, which shrinks back a few kilometres, presents a complete black and white view without any variety or complexity. What is left out is black sandy mud.
The sea looks beautiful only when the tide comes to the beach. Otherwise, I repeat it is all black and white. A few years ago the shore was decorated with trees which you will not find anymore. Only if you want to spend a few days in solitude, this might be a place.
But do not go on holidays and have your room booked beforehand. Anyway, we sat there for two hours or so and it was very pleasant at dark. In fact, we wanted this kind of marine ambience and the solitude. While we were returning, my teacher looked on a fortune-teller Baba (or you may say Slate Baba), who holds a slate before you and tell you to place the pencil on one of the boxes. After you do so for a number of times, he will tell your problems and remedies. I do not know (nor do I believe in this kind of thing) whether he is right or not. But my teacher did this and he later told me that the Baba was absolutely right. We gave him only 10 rupees and he was satisfied.
However, if you can manage your schedule, you will not be disappointed if you visit Remuna, Nilgiri, Jagannath Mandir, Tipisagadia, Maninageswar, and above all, Panchalingeswar. Remuna is famous for Khirchora Gopinath Temple. It is said that Srichaitanya and his teacher Madhabendra Puri visited Remuna.
In fact, if you visit Panchalingeswar, your frustration with the Chandipur beach will be lessened and the day will be successful. For a small amount you can offer worship there. The place is also very safe and confortable.
So the bottom line is: if you want to visit Chandipur, get your room booked and go to the other places as well. Otherwise, you come back with empty looks.
[Information about Chandipur >>How to reach: You can go there by trains of South Eastern Railway or by private vehicle. If you go by train, come down at Balasore station and hire a jeep or auto-rickshaw to reach Chandipur. If you go by private vehicle, you will be charged Rs. 500 for entering Orissa.]