Paradip Port is one of the largest ports on India’s east coast operated by the Paradip Port Trust, which is owned by the government of India. The port was established by Raghavendra and is considered as the primary port in Orissa. Major merchandise transiting from this port includes thermal coal and iron. This port has the potential of handling over 55 million tonnes of cargo every year.
The Paradip Port is a deepwater port situated just where the Bay of Bengal and the Mahanadi river meet, and ships gain access via man-made lagoons. An interesting point to be noted is that the port is built on an artificial harbour. The 14-berth port with a minimum draft of 43 feet has an amazing capacity of holding vessels up to 70,000 DWT. The Paradip Port area is also growing to be a major industrial hub with steel plants, aluminium refineries, thermal power plants and more, targeting the region.
Jagannath Temple of Paradip is one of the classic examples of a secular India, showcasing unity in diversity. At the entry gate is a 60-feet-high pillar known as the Aruna Stambha with a concrete arch at the top of the pillar, giving it elegance. Here, holy symbols of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism are engraved, and the place is said to have never witnessed communal differences of any kind.
Unlike elsewhere, non-Hindus, too, lend a hand in drawing the chariot during the annual Ratha Yatra or Chariot festival. Visitors to the port area from other countries ensure they visit this Jagannath Temple, which is probably the only Jagannath Temple in the entire state, open to all without any kind of restricted entry. When you visit this temple, do make it a point to taste the prasad or abhada made in the temple’s kitchen.
Sea Beach is an awe-inspiring beach situated just where the Mahanadi river unites with the Bay of Bengal. This beach in Paradip is only 94 km away from Cuttack and is at a distance of 125 km from Bhubaneswar, the temple city. Buses from Cuttack, the nearest railway station, or Bhubaneswar, the closest airport, are easily available for transportation to the beach. One can see the Sea Beach in its full glory during the cold season from November to March.
The breathtaking view of the clear blue waters, the stones along the sides of the beach, the greenery around it and an amazing marine drive are sure a sight to behold. Tourists who come to the beach to spend quality family time together can also pay their respect to the temple of Lord Baladeva, which is in the vicinity of the beach in a place known as Tulasi Kshetra or Kendrapara.
Smruti Udyan is a place in Paradip which has been dedicated to the thousands of people who lost their lives in the super cyclone that hit Paradip in 1999. The cyclone had left death and devastation, and there could not be another monument as beautiful as this garden devoted to those innocent lives. The garden is colourful with flowers of every kind, warmly welcoming visitors.
The neatly carved sculptures add to the Smruti Udyan’s beauty. The garden is worth a one-time visit. The musical fountains at the garden remind one of the cyclones of the late 1990s and can melt any soul. The best time to visit the place would be from November to March when the flowers are in full bloom and invite visitors with their enchanting colours.
Lighthouse is a magnificent 40 m RCC circular tower that can be visited in the evening. With one of the major ports being set-up in Paradip in the 1960s, the need for a lighthouse arose, and that is how the Paradip Lighthouse was established in 1987. A year after the set-up, M/s Asia Navigation Aids, New Delhi, supplied for this lighthouse a three-panel PRB-21 equipment.
In 1992, a technologically advanced equipment for Radio Beacon supplied by M/s Marine And Communication Electronics (MACE) commenced transmission. In fact, this was a replacement for a nearby Radio Beacon at the False Point Lighthouse, which had to be discontinued owing to logistic issues. Today, the Paradip Lighthouse offers logistic assistance to the False Point Lighthouse. If you ever visit this lighthouse, do not forget to visit the Paradip Sea Beach and Paradip Port, which are at a stone’s throw from this place.
Marine Aquarium in Paradip houses a jaw-dropping collection of fish. It is so vibrant with its amazing collection that you will find it hard to believe your eyes. Fish is a specialty here - not just as food. The port area has more to offer than the expansive beach, like the famous Jagannath Temple and the Smurti Udyan.
The place flaunts this maritime museum and an aquarium. The Marine Aquarium has been equipped with 28 tanks. These tanks hold a wide variety of fish. The collection of marine and freshwater species is awe-inspiring. The vibrant and realistic marine life in the aquarium is a real treat to the eye and is a must visit when you visit Paradip.