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Beaches of Bengal

The state of West Bengal is gifted with a unique status. It stretches from the Beaches of Bay of Bengal to the Himalayan heights of Sandakphu & Darjeeling. It is something unique and no other Indian State has so much of Diversity. Southern part of West Bengal touches the Bay of Bengal including the Sundarbans. Tourism department of West Bengal is focusing on developing coastal and river tourism circuit by introducing houseboats in Kolkata, Sundarbans and creeks near Digha. Earlier adventure tourism started in some of the beaches. All these places are comparatively les crowded hence visiting here during peak season one has to book in advance as the accommodations are limited.

The southern part of West Bengal has several beaches, scattered over the district of Midnapore, Haldia and the South 24 Parganas. Most of them are scenic destinations with and serene beauty. 
The entire southern sea front of Bengal is dotted with several beach destinations. Although the cost line is quite long, major part of it on the eastern side is part of the Sundarban National Park. West of Sundarbans, there are beach islands such as Bakkhali and Sagar Island.

The major sea beaches of Bengal are in a stretch between Subanrarekha and Hoogly river. On the western front the Subarnarekha river is the boarder between Bengal and Odisha and on the eastern part river Hoogly creates a natural boundary between the beaches and the Gangetic delta.The total stretch of the beach area is just about 40 kms which includes the major beaches. The westernmost beach is Digha, followed closely to its east by Shankarpur, Tajpur, Mandarmani and Junput.

Digha

Digha is perhaps the first beach town of West Bengal, it is nearly 200 kilometers by road from Kolkata and also well-connected by railways. Digha has one of the best tourism infrastructure with large number of hotels and tourist activities available here. The Digha beach is divided into two parts, the old Digha and the new Digha, further west a new beach destination with the name of Udaypur has come up which is a continuation of the New Digha beach. There is a small forested land that separates new digha from Udaypur. There is a Marine Aquarium and Regional Centre which showcases marine flora and fauna. The summer is quite hot here but the winter months are quite pleasant and ideal for tourists.

Shankarpur

Digha sea beach ends at the estuary of Champa river, across the river on the east is Shankarpur. Although the two beaches are quite nearby, the road travel between the beaches is about 14 kms. Shankarpur used to be primarily a fishing harbor before tourism to the place became popular. Like any other beach mornings are scenic and cool. The place offers excellent photographic opportunities. There are few temples worth visiting here.

Tajpur and Chandpur

Tajpur and Chandpur are part of the same continuous beach east of Shankarpur. It is a hidden beach in East Medinipur district Southern part of West Bengal. It is situated in the Kolkata - Digha route nearly 16 kilometers before Digha. It is one of secluded beach destination that is close to Mandarmoni and Shankarpur. One of the attractions is its sea beach which is covered with saltcedar / tamarisk trees. One can watch crabs like carpet roaming in the beach. There are a number of ponds in the area and is best for leisure holiday.

Mandarmani

This is a seaside resort village in the district of Midnapore in West Bengal. It lies at the northern end of the Bay of Bengal. The Mandarmani beach is divided from the Tajpur beach by the estuary of the Mandarmani river. Mandarmani is a fast developing seaside resort of West Bengal. It is almost 200 kilometers from Kolkata Airport on Digha route. A spectacular feature like the Red crabs crawling around the 13 kilometers long beach is an added attraction of Mandarmani. The beach has relatively low waves. The Mandarmani beach ends at the estuary of Pichaboni river. 

Junput and Bankiput

Junput and Bankiput is the next beach on the other side of Pichaboni river. It is primarily a fishing Village and tourism here is still at its nascent stage, with less tourist this place is more peaceful. It is situated nearly 09 kilometers from Contai town and nearly 40 kilometers from Digha. The Bay of Bengal has receded by nearly a Kilometers near Gopalpur also known as Haripur. One can see beautiful beach with fir trees and red crabs along the beach near Haripur & in Junput, Bankiput. Dariapur Lighthouse, Kapal Kundala Temple and Marine Biology Museum are places to visit around here. It is advisable to visit this place during the high tide. Beach is deserted and is very tranquil. Coconot & Fresh fish from the local fishermen or bone-dried fish can be bought here to be cooked latter at hotel or resort. Food is typical bengali.

Bakkhali

Bakkhali is a Small Island and is one of the many deltaic islands spread across south Bengal. One can come here from Kolkata by driving. The nearest rail station is at Namkhana. Tourists can walk along the beach from Bakkhali to Frasergunj. It is a 8 kilometers long beach stretching from Bakkhali to Frasergunj. It is rolling beach and is broken in midway and one cannot go to Frasergung by walking through sea beach. 

Raichak

This is a small establishment in South Bengal. A 18th century fort is testimony to the history of the place. It is ideally located along the bank of river Hooghly. Raichak is nearly 50 kilometers from Kolkata and an ideal destination for nature lovers. Tourists can use the Raichak jetty or the nearby Nurpur jetty and take a ferry to go to Kukrahati or Gadiara and return the same day. Places to visit here include the fort, Diamond Harbour, Lighthouse at Diamond Harbour, Chingrihkali Fort, Aashram of Ramakrishna Mission and Joynagar. 

Talsari

Talsharee or Talsari is only 07 kilometers further from Digha and is situated in the border of Orissa and West Bengal. River Subarnarekha meets the Bay of Bengal and is known for as a secluded spot and visitors can hire a boat and visit an Island nearby. The place is shrouded in the envelope of tranquility. Places to visit from here are Chandaneshwar Temple and Udaipur Beach. You can walk along the Confluence of the river.

When to visit

Summer here is quite hot and May is the hottest moth. Visiting the beaches in hot summer months may not be the best idea. Rest of the year is suitable for travel. The best time to visit the beaches of Bengal are winter months. Monsoon also attracts tourists due to the scenic beauty and the greenery around.

Food

The food is typically Bengali in most regions, with a few north Indian and Indian Chinese dishes available. Guests who have fascination or love for fish and seafood is recommended a visit to the beach destinations of West Bengal. Fishes in variety forms and several choices are available in most of the beach resort. 

Communication

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) is the nearest major airport at Dum Dum nearly 220 kilometers from Digha. Kolkata Railway Station (KOAA), Sealdah Railway Station (SDH), Howrah Railway Station (HWH) and Shalimar Railway Station (SHM) are the four railway terminal nearer to Digha but Kharagpur Railway Station (KGP) is the nearest and major railway station is only 125 kilometers via NH16 and Jaleswar-Chandaneswar. Digha Railway Station (DGHA) and Contai Road Railway Station (CNT) is nearest but the frequency of train is less, hence most tourist prefer to drive from Kolkata by road. By road the drive from Kolkata is quite a rewarding experience. It takes roughly 04 to 4.5 hours drive and the road condition is good. Bus service is good and the frequency is also decent running every half-hour from 07 AM till 06 PM from Dharmtalla bus depot in Kolkata

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