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West Bengal - Digha
Digha: Digha and Darjeeling are the two most popular and favorite tourist destinations of Bengal. Digha sees massive influx of people in every weekend, no matter what is the season. If you are planning a visit in the weekends, do book your hotels in advance.
Digha beach is quite old. It was first mentioned in a Bengal gazette way back in 1780. An English traveler had also stumbled upon it in 1823. But the credit of discovering Digha goes to Warren Hastings. After independence, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy built Digha to its glory, planning plants in its sands. With time, to keep up with the increasing number of tourists, the new Digha, beside old Digha, was developed. The new Digha is far better in respect to beaches and facilities, and now the old Digha has lost its former glory to new Digha. The beaches and plantations of old Digha are also lost, due to the advancing sea. Most of the shores are filled with boulders and concrete to check the advancing waves of the sea and to minimize damage.
The new Digha beach is bigger and better, with ample sand. A new casurina plantation has been created to give its identity. The evenings are very very pleasant, and most tourists spend the evenings in the beach. The local shanties selling coconut water add to the charm. Sunset has a special appeal, with half of the sea appearing silverish and the other half, bluish.
One should also take a visit to Amaravati, where there is an artificial lake and where one can choose to boat. There is also a snake park.
Marine aquarium in Digha is the biggest marine aquarium in Asia, which houses 23 huge tanks for marine life.
Digha science center: A fun place to visit, it will loved by kids. Other than fun things to do, there is also a planetarium. There is also the Jurassic park.
More activities are on the pipe line, and the state government has plan to promote Digha beach to an international level.
How to reach: Rly. Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee has started direct trains to Digha, which were long demanded by the state. There are two trains to Digha from Howrah, one in the morning (6.40am) and the other in the afternoon (2.15pm). They are the most comfortable means to reach the place.
Buses for Digha abound from Howrah as well as from Kolkata, Shahid Minar. Approximately, five hours is the throughput time.
The other popular way to is to make it to the beach town by car. The drive is quite pleasant. Digha is also well connected by bus with places like Asansol, Purulia, Durgapur, Bankura, Bolpur, Bardhaman, Balasore, Baripada, Cuttack, Puri, Haldia, Jhargram, Medinipur and Kharagpur.
Shankarpur: Only 13 kms from Digha, Shankarpur does not see many tourists and is actually a fishing center. One can walk and see the fishing harbor project here. Here also you will find miles and miles of casurina plants. Spot an abandoned ship, and find the new meaning of horizon. It houses India’s biggest fishing harbor, where there is always a commotion on trading and delivery of fishes. The beaches have thousands of hermit crabs. The Taj group of hotels has started building a tourist village here. There is also a Public Private joint effort to build a tourism village here. Plastic Polly bags are not allowed here.
How to reach: The CSTC 10.30 am Kolkata Digha Bus goes via Shankarpur. A bus to Shankarpur is also available from Golpark, Kolkata. One can hire a taxi from Digha to tour Shankarpur. Quite a few buses leaving Digha goes via Shankarpur . A Digha Shankarpur ropeway is on the cards, which will alleviate the problem to a great extent.
The best way is to go in your own car. Just before Digha, note the points of Choddo Mile and Ramnagar while going in your car, to reach Shankarpur.
Chandaneshwar: Digha tourists can easily reach Orissa border and visit Chandaneshwar Shiv mandir, 3 kms away from Digha. It is a famous temple, where people come from far off places. It turns into a huge fairground at the end of Chaitra month, when Gajan is celebrated. It is also possible to visit Chandaneshwar and then go to Chandipur, as Orissa buses abound from the place.
Talsari: It is about 4 kms away from Chandaneshwar, and is a great place to visit. It is one of the unspoilt beaches of India where casurina, priestline sand and the clear waters of the sea make a deadly combination. Add to it the lack of maddening crowd and the lack of commercialization, and you have Talsari. About 12 kms away, river Subarnarekha meet the sea, and one of its tributary has built a delta at Talsari. You can take a boat to the delta, and experience the wonderful sunset. In low tide, the water receeds by as much as one and a half km, and the hermit crabs are quick to take control over it. Walking in that beach is something you will remember for ever. The best place to stay here is Orissa Govt. rest house. You can call 06781-232528 in Orissa or 033-22654556 in Kolkata for bookings. There is also a private hotel in the vicinity.
MandarMani: !6 Km before reaching Digha, you will hit Chaulkhola crossing. Take the southern road from that crossing. You will have 10 km of village pathway, covered with casurina and other trees. An enjoyable ride to say the least. At the end of 10km, you will hit the beach. Welcome to one of the best and cleanest beaches of India, Mandermani.
Once you reach the beach, there is no road, and the beach serves as your road. You would need to drive for 4 kms on the beach to reach the hotels of mondermani. And ofcourse, it has to be in low tide. If it is high tide at the time you reach, then you will need to wait for the waters to recede when there is low tide.
Mondermani is a place which you are bound to love. The sea is very calm, almost like a lake. The beaches are clean. Not so much of crowd as in Digha. The crabs gives the impression that the beaches are red in casurina forests. They vanishes as soon as you proceed to them. There is no dearth of hotels in mandermani.
You can tour mandermani by hiring a car from Digha and be back in the same day. Else you can take a car from Kolkata and stay in one of the hotels. Be sure to take a drive and check out some of the hotels before you check into one.
Tajpur: While going to Ramnagar from Kontai, you will reach Balisai, or Alampur crossing. From the crossing take right. In three and a half kilometers distance, lies Tajpur, Bengal’s latest beach destination. It is very new, so everything is on the making, including the facilities. You will find some hotels to stay though. The beaches are virgin here.
Junput: The beaches of Junput have no sand, only thick mud, so getting on the beach or bathing is out of question. It provides a good view though. Dept. of fisheries have developed research center here, there is also a museum. If you want to bathe or hit the beach, you will have to travel for two kms either to the left or to the right. You can check out the Kapal Kundala temple, the Dariapur light house, or Hijli on the other side of the river. HIjli has a good clean beach. Junput, Shankarpur & Dariapur can also be toured from Digha, hiring a vehicle.
Tamluk: Tamluk was known as Tamralipta in historical times. It is at this place that Matangini Hazra became a Martyr. The chief attraction here is the Barga Bhima Mandir, which houses an ancient Tara Maa, a form of Kali. The temple is is built of stone and carries Buddhist influence. At Paush sankranti, there is a fair called Barunir Mela, which attracts thousands of people. There are other temples too, and the Rajbari here has been listed in the heritage list. The museum heare is a must visit, as it contains artifacts from the middle ages.There are some good hotels too, to stay. It can be reached by bus or car from Digha, Nurpur, Geonkhali or Mahishadal. From Tamluk, one can visit Mainagarh, a small island, 16 kms away from Tamluk. The Rasmela is famous here and is there for 7 days, at the time of Rash or Krishna’s birthday.
Cloudy Sky at Tajpur Red Crab at Tajpur Beach Lonely Beach at Tajpur
Rain is About to Begin at Tajpur