From time immemorial living on sea coast has been a major attraction for humans across cultures. It is true that sea with its pristine beauty can often turn ugly (tsunami and cyclone) and take lives of both people and animals that have deep attachment to it in no time. But when it is calm it is a source of plenty, from fish to crab, which often form as a buffer food base during the time of drought and other calamities. For coastal people sea is the Mother Nature.
Odisha is one of India’s best kept secrets for any nature and culture sensitive traveller to explore her timeless charm, especially her unexplored sea coast (500 km of Odisha is her coastline), being a major attraction.
For Another Story on Coastal Odisha Read Here:
My journey to one of such hidden secrets of Mother Nature begins at 4.30 AM through a branch of Devi estuary at Sahana Village. Everywhere is eerie silence. I get into a fiber boat with Babu Behra, Odisha’s most skilled life guard as the boatman to delve into the ghostly darkness of the estuary water. Slowly the sky opens up in the eastern horizon and you see clouds forming various patterns with the dimming crescent shaped moon in the backdrop.
The sail through the estuary turns noisy with chirping of birds nesting atop branches of mangrove trees on both sides. Your camera shutter goes ‘click-click’.
Now the morning drama reaches to its climax as the narrow estuary opens up to a wide expanse of blue water – you are at close proximity to Devi mouth. The country boats are in their best of actions, each forming a picture postcard setting.
Sahana Beach is located in Astarang Block of Puri District at a distance of 10 km from Astarang. On your way to Sahana Beach you can also visit Pir Jahania Beach and the revered Sufi shrine and trek through the dense Casurina Forest. Remember, there is no public transport facility here. You have to arrange your own vehicle to reach here. Sahana Beach is located at a distance of 70 km from Bhubaneswar and 55 km from Puri. The world heritage site of Konark is only 30 km away.
There is no stay option here. But with prior information and local contact accommodation for a night stay can be arranged at Forest Rest House. There are also plan for tented accommodation in near future by Ecotourism Wing of Odisha Tourism. With prior information food can be arranged at the sight with the specialty of seafood. Your local contact is Soumya Ranjan Biswal (+91 7327963897).
Now your boat is anchored in the beach. You stroll down to witness a spectacular sunrise with no human souls around. The only sound is sea’s gusting waves. For a moment you are lost and the child in you demands for time to pause. The sea, sky and the sands turn into a golden carpet with patterns that appears as lila of Almighty.
You are in a dreamscape and the only friends of yours are the innocent white crabs that play hide and seek around you.
For another Wildlife Story of Coastal Odisha Read Here:
A little walk along the beach takes you to the mouth proper, the meeting place of two world, river and sea. Here ends the journey of the River Devi that starts 80 km offshore near Cuttack. And this is the place of plenty, a fisherman’s paradise. Here you see them in actions, all breaching the gusty sea waves.
Then you get into a no man’s island to witness red crabs. Also known as ghost crabs they prefer silence and live in colonies.
Now it is the time to return to village Sahana – the time is 8 AM. On your sail back under well lit sky the eeriness is gone and you are navigating through mangrove creeks with bird nesting on both sides. The scene is a miniature version of the land of Amazonia. Your soul is lifted.
So what makes you wait! Come and lose yourself in the lap of Mother Nature at Odisha’s best kept secret!!
Author – Jitu Mishra. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org