Gopalpur is a famous and One of the most pristine beaches of Odisha and a popular tourist destination for sea-worshippers also has an ancient, commercial port, now lying in ruins. From an unknown little fishing village, Gopalpur became a prominent trading port during the days of British East India Company. The East India Company built large warehouses and godowns because the trade with Burma had picked up and it had become a trading point for rice from Rangoon.
Gopalpur Lighthouse came into existence in 1871 for assisting this coastal shipping between Rangoon and Coromandal coast ports. The lighthouse, which functions under the Union Department of Lighthouses and Lightships, is a crucial navigational guide for numerous ships frequenting the ocean and has dopplers and radar of both the Navy and Coast Guard.
This dopplers and radar is a new addition to this lighthouse because when I visited there for the first time in 1992 there was only the light guiding the ships. In 1996 I went again and both these times we were allowed to go to the top of the lighthouse through 154 stairs at a nominal rate of 1 or 2 Rs. I can remember the amazing view from there.
It was winter when we visited for the first time and the lights were on at 5pm as it was dark, and we had an opportunity to watch how the beam of the light cuts the thick darkness of the sea. But this time I found out that it is a restricted area for general people as because the risk of radiation from the radar since 2000. The lighthouse premises is cemented now and guarded with high walls.