A minor port that flourished till the first quarter of the 20th century, Vodarevu wound
A minor port that flourished till the first quarter of the 20th century, Vodarevu woundup by the time India became independent. Today, it is primarily a fishing town. Fish is everywhere in Vodarevu – you will smell it in the air, see it drying on the beach or in the palm-leaf shaded courtyards. Even the lighthouse here is especially for fishermen, built to ensure their safe return home.
Vodarevu is a beach with a difference, where you can hear the song of the sea and the song of those whose lives revolve around it.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Experience the life of a fisherman for a day. For a small tip and a sweet word, they will let you accompany them in their rickety catamarans when they set sail in the predawn. The sight of sunrise in the middle of the sea is something which you will not forget in a hurry.
Just walk along the sea shore and even before you cross the one kilometre mark, you have arrived. This beach, your typical Bollywood beauty – clean golden sands, blue sky and a bluer sea – is a favourite hangout of the nearby Chirala Engineering College students.
After experincing the sea, head inland towards Chirala – a 400-year-old textile town, nicknamed Mini Mumbai by the locals. Chirala’s cotton saris (chira means sari) are called ‘a poor man’s Gadwal’ for they have silk borders, pure zari designs and a rich pallu like their Gadwal cousin, but cost far less. Neta Bazaar in front of the railway station is a good place to bargain and buy. Pamper yourself with all the permutations and combinations – plain border, zari border with zari buta, Kuppadam saris and even tie-and-dye Sheerapuri saris.
However, if you have time for a trip to the roots of this craft, visit the village of Epurupalem, just 6 km away.
WHERE TO STAY AND EAT
Vodarevu does not offer stay options for a hoiday. Chirala has two resorts that you can choose from.
On the shore in the middle of a casuarina forest, is the Sea Breeze Beach Resort (Cell: 09849960727, 09247070660; Tariff: ₹2,500-4,500). The resort has a private beach with sea view from all cottages. They have a restaurant, coffee shop and a swimming pool. Palm Coast Beach Resort (Cell: 09247260640, 088010- 15999; Tariff:₹2,000-4,000) is also in Chirala, with ten rooms and a cottage, all sea-facing.
Fish is the king of the plate. And what variety, from tiny velluri to vanjaram to snapper and surmai. Buy these straight from the net and get them fried in one of the shacks in the village.
In Vodarevu, the restaurant at Sip ‘n Dip serves standard north and south Indian and Chinese food. However, for a proper sit-down meal, head for the nearby Sea Breeze Beach Resort in Chirala. Open to non-residents, its Coffee Shop offers cappuccino, coffee, teas in many flavours, chocolate drinks and snacks such as samosas, vegetarian rolls, French fries, pakoras and bhajjis. The restaurant kitchen cooks up south Indian, tandoori and Chinese dishes on the menu and more against advance orders. Rambabu Mess, also in Chirala, near MG Cloth Market serves authentic Andhra food.
When to go October to March Location On the Bay of Bengal on the coast of Prakasam District, just south of Guntur’s Suryalanka Beach, Chirala is 6 km from Vodarevu Air Nearest airport: Vijayawada Rail Nearest rail: Chirala