Trading through sea ports has been one of the most important means of achieving economic advancement. During the British regime, the nondescript port areas like Kolkata, Mumbai, Madras and Kochi became the most prosperous cities of India. In the post independence era, Government of India took major steps in developing the unexplored port areas that would add immensely to the national economy in the shape of export and import. Paradip, a port town in Jagatshinghpur district in the state of Odisha came up as a dream child of Lt Pandit Jawarlal Nehru.
Paradip can be reached by travelling 125 km from the capital city Bhubaneswar or 94 km from Cuttack. Although Paradip can be reached by rail, visitors prefer to travel by bus or cabs that provide a panoramic view of nature. Located on the shore of Bay of Bengal, Paradip is linked with National Highway number 5A and provides easy reach to other places of tourist importance such as Udayagiri, Lalitgiri and Tanagiri, forming the Golden Triangle.
Odisha is rich in natural resources such as iron ores, bauxites and coal. Paradip serves as the major port in the eastern coast of India for exporting iron ores to other countries. Visitors’ attractions are drawn to the oceanic activities including the loading and unloading of heavy goods and merchandises. The port is specifically mechanized for handling iron ores large containers and for handling coals. Just adjacent to the Paradip port lays a beach where visitors can enjoy a marine ambience.
The longest and widest river of Odisha, the Mahanadi, converges here in the Bay of Bengal. Besides handling iron ores, Paradip owes its global recognition as one of the six large PCPIRs in the country. This Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Region draw attraction of visitors having interest in economic factors. The technology applied in handling this specialized activity is the rarest of its kind that a visitor could witness.
A visit to Paradip facilitates visit to other sight-seeing places of historical and religious importance. These include the Bhitarkanika National Par, Jhankad Temple, Baldev Temple, Sarala Temple. Besides, visitors can enjoy a number of festive events such as the Ratha Yatra, Makara Sankrinti, Ganesh Chaturthi,Diwali and Duserrah that are celebrated with much pomp and grandeur in the locality.
Bhitarkanika National Park, sprawled over an area of 625 sq km is home to a number of usual and endangered species of animals and avifauna reptiles like salt water crocodiles and white crocodiles that could be viewed very rarely. Gahirmatha Beach, adjacent to the Bhitarkanika National Park is portion of the Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary. It is the nesting place for the rare sea turtle known as ‘Olive Turtle’. Monitor lizards found on this beach draws attraction of visitors.
Tourists in large number, both domestic and international, keep Paradip at the top of their preferred travel destinations because it provides them the opportunity of experiencing various aspects such as economical, historical, religious, technology, wildlife, marine life and an oceanic ambience. The Jagannath culture of Odisha could be better realized by paying visit to Paradip.