Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dumas Beach, Surat

Think of beaches and images of white sun-kissed sand, azure sky, refreshing blue water and lush green cover with palm trees come flooding to mind. They also offer an opportunity to play in the waves, take a swim (or at least wet your legs for the not so daring folks) or spend endless hours just sitting on the beach sand and staring at the horizon. But come to the Dumas Beach and you will find none of that. The beach sand is surprisingly pitch black in color the water rather muddy and black - matching the color of the sand. Thorny wild shrubs accounts for the green cover. And if you look into the horizon you set your eyes upon steel plants, oil rigs, heavy machinery plants and shipping ports. This is probably one of the few beaches where you don’t even get an opportunity to let the waves wet your legs. That’s right. In Dumas beach (at least the time when I visited it), the water is a good one kilometer away from the actual beach. What lies between the beach and the sea is patch of marshy slushy gooey land. If you try walking on this patch, you will find yourself knee-deep in wet slush.

Though Surat is supposedly one of the Top 3 cleanest cities in the country the same cannot be attributed to the Dumas Beach. This tiny beach in the heart of Surat city is more littered than probably the Marina Beach on a weekend –even with her 50,000 odd visitors. From the looks of it, the Gujrat Tourism promotion with Big B is a big sham, if you are to look at the sorry state of affairs of one of the major beaches in the state. The Prohibition in the state is not helping matters either. Notwithstanding all these factors, Dumas is still a favourite weekend destination for most Surtis. What makes the idea of hitting Dumas Beach interesting is the many shacks near it which serve piping hot bhajjis. There’s an assortment of bhajjis here, from potato to kela to mirchi and some that I’ve never even heard before. To go with the bhajjis you also get served a chutney which, in true Gujrati fashion, is sweet.

The Dumas beach is also infamous for being a haunted beach – probably the only beach of its kind. Apparently, you hear strange noises here in the late evenings after the sun sets…obviously. To corroborate the story apparently even the dogs behave strange in here, with all their ability to catch infrared sounds and stuff. The way I see it, it’s the ghosts that should be scared of the humans seeing all the litter and utter disregard for mother nature.

Despite all her inherent (man-made) flaws, Dumas Beach is a must-visit for those who appreciate a good sunset. And come to think of it, this was something I almost missed. Disappointed at looking at the filthy beach, I had decided to not wait for the sunset and head back to my hotel. But just as I had devoured about 200 gms of bhajjis (yes, they are sold by weight) and headed to wash my hands I chanced upon this big ball of crimson red setting in the horizon. Without wasting another second, I grabbed my camera and headed to a vantage point where I could get a good glimpse of the glorious sun about to be devoured by the sea. Though the formality was complete in a matter of minutes, it is an image that will take an eternity to be erased from my mind.

Getting-there: Athwa Gate->Magdalla->Surat Airport->Dumas Beach.

Must-Do: Catch a glimpse of the setting Sun.
Must-Don’t: Littering. Wasting time on the unkempt beach.

My Rating: 3/10


  1. Nice to know about this beach. Thanks for sharing this.


    1. Thanks Niranjan. Loved your posts on Kumbh Mela.

  2. Whereever you go..you make it a point to visit places and write about it. The narration will make sure to give a thumbs up, and the snaps as well. Would want to visit the beach for Bajji's !

    1. Thanks buddy. More blogs on Surat and its sorroundings coming up after every weekend :)

  3. Bajjis at the beach sounds like a good idea. And if the beach is said to be haunted, even better.
    Sad to hear it's full of junk. Now, if only the ghosts would scare every person who littered the beach!

    There's a beach near here (just south of SF) that has dark brown sand. I saw some pitch black sand on a beach in Big Island, HI. There it's because of volcanic activity. Any idea why this one's dark coloured?

    1. Let me see if I can invoke the spirits there.... in a spirit-less land :D

      No idea why the beach sand is black in color, but from the looks of it, it's a common feature with all beaches in Gujarat.