Odisha is blessed with a vast coastline and several rivers get into the Bay of Bengal across it. There are many fantastic beaches which are delight for the tourists. After the Chandipur beach, my favourite is the Bali Harachandi beach. The main attraction of the latter is the vast secluded stretch of sea beach on one side with lush green cover on the other .
Bali Harachandi is situated at about 25km from the holy city of Puri, which is the nearest railhead. The nearest airport Bhubaneswar is at 60kms far but one can reach the easily by road. Located off the national highway no. 203, the place gets its name from the local deity Harachandi who is a form of Goddess Durga and “Bali” in the local language means Sand. As Goddess Harachandi is worshipped in a temple built on sand, the place is named as Bali Harachandi. Painted in pure white, the temple attracts devotees from nearby places who believe in Goddess Harachandi.
Facing towards the eastern direction, the temple houses the presiding deity is Asta-Bhuja (Eight-Armed) Mahisamardini Durga worshipped as Bali Harachandi. The latter is also regarded as goddess of water and navigation and believed to protect the boatmen and fishermen from potential danger in the sea. The temple is a protected monument of Odisha State Archaeology and under the Endowment Department, Government of Odisha.
After paying obeisance at Goddess Baliharachandi temple, one can proceed to the confluence of river Bhargavi with the Bay of Bengal. The scenic beauty of this place is ideal for group picnic.
A brief boat-ride enroute to the beach is enjoyable. After that one has to walk a few hundred meters to the beach where stretches of sand and greenery on one side, the mighty blue sea on the other side are truly mesmerizing experience. The sunrise and sunset scene on beach is amazing. Best part of this beach is that it’s secluded, hence one can have quiet sun bath here.
How to reach Bali Harachandi?
- From Puri , drive on NH-203 towards Bramhagiri & Satapada, take left diversion at Kathuari Chowk and drive further about 5km to reach village Palanka. Bali Harachandi is just 1km from this village.