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Host to ghosts?

Despite rumours of being haunted, Surat’s Dumas Beach is a favoured destination for those who love the sea.

May 21, 2019 02:13 pm | Updated 02:15 pm IST

Dumas Beach: It is an urban beach along the Arabian Sea, located 21 km southwest of the city of Surat in Gujarat.

Undeniably one of the country’s most beautiful beaches its claim to fame is rather dubious. From October to March is a good time to visit this beach. The weather during these months is pleasant, and this beach becomes the perfect place to enjoy the cool breeze and clear skies. Make it a point to sit back on the sand and enjoy the breathtaking sunset.

Dumas Beach is one of Surat’s most popular tourist attractions. What sets it apart is the sand, which is not golden yellow, but black. High iron concentration in the sand gives it the eerie black colour, which is a factor that has fuelled the popular rumours about paranormal activity on the beach.

Apart from the beach, places of interest close by include the Dariya Ganesh Temple adjacent to the main beach. The promenade has several shops selling Indian snacks like bhajiya (including the famous Lashkari Tomato Bhajiya ), pav bhaji, sweet corn roasted on charcoal, and Chinese food too.

The beach is notorious for its reports of alleged paranormal and supernatural activities. There have been alleged instances of people visiting the beach after dusk, disappearing, and visitors hearing howling at night.

Natives believe that spirits and other paranormal entities inhabit the beach at night. Claims of witnessing apparitions, moving orbs, and other inexplicable activities have often been made. However, most reports of supernatural occurrences on the beach remain unproven and unverified.

Mysterious past

Why does one go to the beach? To cool off, of course. But, according to local lore, the Dumas Beach in Surat is not really ideal for that. This scenic beach has given rise to many a tall tale. Centuries ago, a portion of the beach was a burial ground. This has fuelled people’s imagination, and stories are rife about unhappy spirits roaming the beach after sunset.

During the day, the beach attracts many people, but as dusk creeps in, it becomes practically empty, thanks to the publicity given to paranormal presences. There are stories of voices, laughter, whispering, and even missing people playing on the fears of people. Some visitors have gone to the extent of saying that they have heard howling sounds at night, while others say that the dogs on the beach try to stop you from walking on the sands, after dark. Kind of a look-out service!

A haveli that is said to have been the home of the king, who once ruled Surat, stands near the beach. It is a beautiful old building, with intricate carving and brickwork. Today, it is a heritage site and stands mute testimony to all the goings-on in the area. The local people believe that the haveli too is haunted and that is why it stands abandoned. Although, the real reason may be that it is an old building which may not be structurally safe.

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