The name Asta Ranga means Colourful Sunset- true to its name, the scenic beauty of the beach just goes up several notches during the sunset. Many photographers queue in to capture the ethereal beauty of nature in the evenings.
Astaranga is located 34KM from Konark, take the route to Kakatpur and head straight for Astaranga.
The beach is famous for the Jahania Pir shrine- which is revered by both the Hindu’s and Muslim’s and is also famous as a picnic spot amongst the locals.
The hamlet of Astaranga is essentially a fishing village and the sight of a fishing boat returning to the beach early in the morning just makes the camera lenses automatically zoom in.
Currently Astaranga is seeing a flurry of activities as a Port is coming up along the coast line.
Astaranga & Civil Disobedience Movement
Besides fishing, salt production is one of the main occupation of the villagers in Astaranga and during the Civil Disobedience Movement started by Gandhiji, the Salt Satyagraha reached the shores of Astaranga. On 22nd May 1930 Under the leadership of Nilakantha Das, Jagannath Rath and Govind Das of Utkal Pradesh Congress Committee. The villagers wholeheartedly took part in the Salt Satyagraha, defying the British Orders of banning production of Salt in India and courted arrest.
Astaranga and Jahania Pir is synonymous with each other. The sufi shrine at the edge of the beach is famous draw for both the Hindu’s and Muslim’s as stated earlier. There are many legends associated with the mazaar of Saint Makhdum Jahanganst. Some say that the Saint came to India via Baghdad and after a stop over in Bengal finally settled in Astaranga with his disciple’s in the 15th Century AD.
The most popular legend in the area is that a poor man with his son used to visit the Saint to offer his prayer’s. The Saint asked the young boy not to look back on his way back. But one day out of curiosity the little boy did turn back and the Saint vanished the very moment. Devotees built the shrine in his memory. Saint Makhdum Jahanganst’s wooden shoes and umbrella are kept as relics inside the shrine.
The kheer ( milk mixed with sugar and boiled rice and boiled till it becomes thick and then allowed to cool) is a special offering and one should try it.
The Astaranga beach is very inviting for tourists to take a dip in the blue waters of Bay of Bengal. However RESIST your temptations as the beach is filled with quick sand pits and are muddy.
Astaranga is an ideal picnic spot, most of the shop keepers along the beach can arrange everything that one needs to cook a meal, right from fish to mutton to spices everything is available there.
There are no places to stay in Astaranga- one has to book an accommodation either at Konark, Puri or Bhubaneswar.
Nearest rail head is Puri and the nearest airport is Bhubaneswar. Health care cente, ATM’s and Petrol Pumps are there at Konark. We advise you to fill up your wallet and vehicle at Konark before proceeding to Astaranga.