What if we told you that there was a beach you can visit within the northern part of India? You read that right, we are talking about the one and only beach situated in the lucky state of Uttar Pradesh – Chuka Beach. Now, this is not your regular beach where you can chill in your beachwear and sip on some drinks. This is a unique kind of beach situated amidst the wildlife and forests! Chuka Beach, close to the Himalayan forests in Uttar Pradesh (UP), has plenty to offer for a beach getaway.
Not popular in the tourist circuit in North India, Chuka Beach has a strong potential to grow as a tourist spot. It is actually a water reservoir of Sharda river barrage. Chuka Beach is situated on the Indi-Nepalese border, about an hour’s drive from the popular town of Bareilly.
It falls under the Mahof forest range, between Sharda Sagar Dam and Sharda Canal, in Pilibhit district. The area surrounding Chuka Beach is protected by the state government, and has been converted into a picnic spot so as to promote tourism.
The region enclosing Chuka Beach is marked for the religious shrines and pervading peace and serenity. A 2 km ride through the dense forest leads to the Chuka Beach. Apparently, this place is famous for its big cats, fox, jackals and so on. A canteen, run by the government is where you can get tea and snacks for the visitors.
Interesting history behind this offbeat beach
Development of tourism for this beach was the brainchild of just one person, an IFS officer Ramesh Pandey who did not take any assistance from the government, especially financial. Pandey reached out to his peers to donate a part of their salaries for the development of this beach into a tourist spot. Simultaneously, he also played a big role in spreading awareness among the villagers about conservation of tigers, wildlife and the forest overall. He initiated that the income generated by the tourism of Chuka Beach will be utilised for development of the beach and forest. After being transferred from this area in 2004, the forest department continued to work for the benefit of development of this beach on his behalf. Finally, the beach, complete with 6 kinds of accommodation, was opened for tourism in 2014.
Things you can enjoy at Chuka beach
The beach has been provided with a bamboo hut, a tree house and 4 Tharu huts (ranging from INR 1000 – INR 4000) by the tourism department, where you can relax and enjoy the view. You may choose to indulge in boating on the paddle boats, again, provided by the tourism department. Apart from that, a canteen provides necessary refreshments for your day’s adventure. You could also book a safari to take a tour around the forest to explore the wildlife and if lucky, spot a tiger or two!
Best time to visit Chuka beach
Since the beach is located around the Indo-Nepalese border, it is blessed with a great climate. However, the beach is open for tourists only during the period of November 15th till June 15th. We recommend visiting anytime between the months November and March as the climate around these months is more pleasant and moderate than post March. Also, an overnight stay is not advised for the Chuka Beach, therefore, its best to reach early in the morning and leave by the evening.
How to reach
The area is well connected with most parts via well-maintained roads, hence, you could reach Pilibhit or nearby areas and take a cab/taxi to the Chuka Beach from there. If flying down, you could reach Lucknow, which is the nearest airport and then drive down to Chuka Beach. If driving down from Delhi, you could follow the route crossing Muradabad and Bareily to reach Pilibhit and finally Chuka.
Accommodation at Chuka beach
Your choice of accommodation while here can be booked online through the UP Eco Tourism website. However, any kind of visit to the Chuka Beach has to be pre-booked by visiting the Chuka Eco Tourism Centre which is located in Mustafabad, Pilibhit.