TAJPUR

* From Kolkata by train, you get off at Ramnagar. From their Tajpur is reached by Car. Make sure you call up your hotel and book a car. Otherwise all you have is local public transport not promising a very pleasant ride.
* There is an old forest through which you can walk straight ahead until you reach the sea beach. Make sure not to change directions or you may get lost in the forest. There are foxes in the forest and soft sand covered holes with water underneath.
* The entire area plan is quite simple. Four factors lie side by side. Hotels, road, forest, sea beach. 
* Cooking in hotel can be too spicy for your health. 
* The forest is a great spot for picnic but don’t be there after sunset.

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PURI /


* Present Puri proper is a box jam packed with shops, people, more shops and a sea beach.


* Strong lights of shops covering quite a large portion of beach area makes an awful lot of light pollution for you to appreciate the sea at night.
* The beach is dirty with waves bringing in at times, empty beer bottles, leftover food or chocolate wrappers etc.

* While sitting on beach, hawkers bother you every now and then with their wares.

* Camel riding, horse riding, shops on the beach have completely ruined the aesthetics of Puri beach.

* Food quality in Puri is poor. Rice is of cheap quality. In the many of most standard restaurants, there is an option called Fine Rice which costs more than normal rice. Well that Fine rice is also just passable. All snacks near beach area is over priced.

* Orissa / Odisha is not good for tourists, most being dishonest.

* The famous Jagannath Temple also has it’s own features which seemed unfair to commoners. Chart with rate for pujas are given, for Jagannath, Balaram and so on. You have to choose a package as per the chart. The minimum being 500 in the year 2009 ( if my memory serves me right ). For bhog you have to pay extra. Leather products are not allowed inside temple, so its better to carry things in fabric bags while visiting temple. And only HINDUS are allowed inside temple as per notification.

DIGHA- OLD AND NEW /


* Going to Digha by luxury bus from Kolkata can be a problem if you have bought tickets in advance because bus trips get cancelled now and then, and though you get a refund but that’s not the issue.

*  Old Digha as well as new is chok-a-block with hotels, cheaper as you move away from the beach.

*  Too crowded and conjested with restaurants, tourists, hawkers, shops and hotels.

*  Sitting by the beach, you will continuously be disturbed by hawkers of various items, from toys to snacks, blocking your view of the sea. This disturbance occurs every few minutes which is irritating to say the least.

*  Staying in a standard hotel, and calculation of total fooding and lodging cost reveals, that people in Bengal can comfortably go to bit far off place outside the state in that same budget.

*  Digha sea is rough with hidden undercurrent. Many have drowned before. Keep that in mind while swimming or bathing.

*  Plan to go to Digha by train. Its much better and convenient.

*  If you are disgusted with the crowdy Digha, head for a trip to Digha Mohona – a few hours journey from Old Digha. You will like it. Its the place where fishes are brought from sea and sold, so better to plan a trip when market is closed. That way you get a tranquil environment.

*  Udaypur beach, few hrs from Digha was a fascinating place couple of years ago but not anymore. Shops have cropped up on the beach, ruining the aesthetics. Same applicable for Talshari. 

*  Lingering too long at any desolate spot on any part of the beach, after sunset, with family or lady companion is not advisable.

GOPALPUR ON SEA /

* You have to take a car or auto from Berhampur station to reach Gopalpur On Sea. Don’t be fooled by touts at station area. Leave the area with luggage, walk a few yards to get your own auto.


* Beach is very dirty at places, locals relieve themselves at secluded spots.


* The landmark site , ruin of East India Company trading area beside beach, during British colonisation in India, has become a open for all latrine.


* Make sure the Light House is open for tourists. It may remain closed for security reasons.


* Hotels right on beach, offer you sea view but in-room facilities are not much.


*  Go for separate ordering of dishes for lunch or dinner in your hotel rather than going for Day Meal Packages. 


* From G.O.S , you can go for sightseeing by car, but packages are overpriced. Do some hard bargaining. 


* Insist on being served with total bill for all foods taken throughout the day in hotel, at the end of every day. This way, you can be clear of expenses incurred daily and one thing off your head.


* There are shops beside the road parallel to the beach, selling local crafts, but too pricey.


* Cooking standard is not at all up to the mark.


* Here electric supply is terrible.


* Hotels have a tendency not to switch on generator during power cut, if number of boarders are few. Demand refund if this is the case with you.


* My experience in Orissa belt is that most are dishonest and try to take advantage of tourist’s ignorance.

CHANDIPUR-ON-SEA /

* Rice is of very substandard quality here, served in hotels and eating joints.

* Foods are excessively priced at proper Chandipur.

* Tourists have to get off from train at Balasore and take an auto to Chandipur. They are advised to ask the same auto to pick them up for station when leaving Chandipur On Sea.

* Lodging is available in OTDC Panthasala but there are few other hotels near by offering rooms at cheaper prices. Do check.