Udaipur Beach: Gorging on Seafood amidst Golden Sands and Waters
It was already 9:45 am when I reached the sandy end of the road that gradually plunges into the beach that is gracefully washed with the waters of the Bay of Bengal. The winds and the roar of the sea welcome its visitors from at least 20 metres. Humble stalls of sea shell crafts, jute crafts and accessories stand in rows on one side of the road while a few tea stalls that serve hot, sweet tea with milk, butter toasts and ‘desi’ omelettes stand on the other side. I was quite hungry and thought to stuff my stomach initially before stepping into the golden sand.
Udaipur beach lies on the Bengal-Orissa border and it’s quite a long stretch of sand, giving the visitors ample scope of exploration and enjoying the beach walk. The sea water on this part is comparatively cleaner than Digha and New Digha and I could see many visitors enjoying their tryst with the sea waters. Water sports have not yet developed here like Mandarmani, which could have been the greatest attraction of this place. However, bike rides and parasailing (if you can call it where it is run by cars on the smooth beach and not speed boats on the water) draw interests of the visitors. As I walked through the beach, I could see so many bikers who run the business, practising the ‘Dhoom’ act on the beach to attract the tourists to hire their bikes.
I enjoyed the adrenaline rush watching their stunts and some happy faces – of people who hired and whose bikes were hired! After a while, I chose to walk ahead pressing my feet on the dry sand. It was already getting hotter and more tourists were flooding in. A little farther were a number of garaged fishing boats, providing a charming sight blended with beauty and tales of struggle that can’t be ignored. Fishermen detangling their fishing nets and collecting fishes are a common sight.
Red crabs are seen in abundance over here. All over the sand, especially on the less traversed spots, numerous crab holes can be spotted through which red crabs play peek-a-boo all day. It’s a great place to study their behaviour.
After taking some pictures, I moved towards the waters to dip my feet. No matter what age you are, that blissful feeling never wears out when the water washes your feet and you begin to crave for more. I moved in a bit more to enjoy the splashing waves. Across the beach there are innumerable shells littered throughout which is capable of bringing forth the kid in you any time.
My nose suddenly got hypnotized with the occasional fragrance of sea food. The cunning winds tease their visitors’ senses with such delicious odours now and often. I was kind of pulled to the other side of the beach. As I arrived on this side, I started to get my senses back. Fish stalls loaded with varieties of sea fish, lobsters, mussels and giant crabs tickled my taste buds and I started salivating abnormally. You just need to choose which one you would like to eat and then it will be deep fried with various spices and served on a plate. You can also opt for preparations with spicy gravy and this goes exceptionally well with the crabs. Add more to the zing with chilled cold drinks freely available. I sat down with my platter of pomfret and crab at the table and enjoyed every bite overlooking the choppy waters.
My palate grew greedier and I could not help but order for another platter of jumbo prawns and crabs. It’s hard to satiate one’s taste buds while sitting here and inhaling the appetizing aroma and I rather chose to scold my taste buds and seal them up.
Having no plans to stay back for the day, I was ready to leave by late afternoon. Since I had my car, I thought to drop in by the New Digha and old Digha market for some time. Varieties of shell crafts including jewellery accessories are the main items that draw tourists’ attention. Besides, other items like handicrafts in jute, wood and thermocol, varieties of hats, soft toys, gift items, local food items like mango papad, sweets and especially cashew nuts available in cheap prices are also the major draws. These areas are quite crowded all through the year. If one gets tired while moving about, it would be a great option to relax at the Amaravati Park near New Digha. However, I didn’t visit the park this time. Within an hour, I was back in my car and started off to get back to my city.
Udaipur is a great weekend getaway. Every time I come here, I am filled with a refreshing energy. And did I tell you that before leaving Udaipur beach, I had some of those delicious savories packed for myself? They are addictive and what’s better than gorging on them while I leave the waves for the smoke and concrete of the city? As the car headed forward, I waved to the sea and said in my heart, “I will come back soon”.