Gopalpur-on-Sea is situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, in the state of Orissa. Two thousand or more years ago, when Gopalpur was known as Paloura, it was very famous as it sat right on the pearl and silk trade route with southeast Asia.
From an obscure little fishing village, Gopalpur became a prominent trading port during the days of the British East India Company. Chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, the BEIC (1600-1873) was given a monopoly of trade between England and the Far East. In the 18th century, the company became, in effect, the ruler of a large part of India, and a form of dual control by the company. Pitt’s India Act 1784 introduced a committee responsible to Parliament in London. After the Indian Mutiny (1857–58) the crown took complete control of the government of British India. The India Act 1858 transferred all the company's powers to the British government.
Today, Gopalpur has reverted to being a quiet, relaxed place with a charm of its own. Just down the road from Berhampur, the commercial hub of southern Orissa and close to the border of Andhra Pradesh, Gopalpur is a popular Bengali holiday destination. Hotels line the seafront, which is dotted with casuarinas trees and palms and industrious fishermen dressed in pointed straw bonnets haul in hand nets on Gopalpur’s extensive shoreline.
SEE ALSO: Nearby site of interest - Chilka Lake
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