Old Digha

Chandaneshwar Temple

From Kolkata one can reach Digha by train, bus or by car. There are multiple trains running between Kolkata and Digha, among those, to me “Duronto Express” is a better option. It starts from the Howrah Station (Kolkata) at 11:15 * am and reach New Digha Station at 14:15 * pm and runs daily.  There are daily local buses as well as Volvo luxury buses running between Kolkata and Digha from esplanade. Also one can book bus tickets using redBus. Digha is not only connected with Kolkata, but is also well connected with all the southern districts of West Bengal and also to Orissa.

Due to its proximity from Kolkata, Digha is a very common destination among the people residing in Kolkata and nearby areas for weekend trips and even for one day outing. Though people visit Digha throughout the year but due to its hot and humid weather my preference is always the winter. I have been there during August and December, so I have experienced two different Digha, turbulent during August and soothing during December.

Even few years back by Digha people used to think only about Old Digha. I remember around 8 years back when I visited Digha with my family there was nothing much to do in the New Digha. It was a secluded place so people preferred to stay in the Old Digha. But last year when we visited New Digha it was completely a different experience. Now Old Digha has become a highly congested place. So it’s better to stay in New Digha and from there take an hour trip to Old Digha to see the waves rumbling against the boulders.

There multiple hotels, ranging from budget to good 3 start hotels, available for tourists. But unfortunately till now very limited options are available on different websites for online booking. We had our booking in Hotel Sagarpriya. It was a nice stay there.

In Digha tourists have the option to relax, to shop, to eat, to roam as well as to play. If you are a fish eater, in Digha you will find plenty of options for your test buds. There are plenty of stalls near the sea beach where in the evening the local fishermen sell fresh fish. You can chose your fish there and ask them to cook for you.

To many it may seem it is not that hygienic, but common, we are on an outing, far away from the comforts of our home…Street foods will never be yummy if you try to maintain the hygiene of your home there.

 If you are not a fisheaterian, no issues, you can click some good pictures of the colorful crabs and lob stars.

Chandaneshwar Temple

Amarabati Park

We were in Digha for 2 days, so on the 1st day we did nothing much except reaching New Digha, enjoying sunset while sipping coconut water on the New Digha beach, relishing fresh Lobs stars, barramundi or Asian seabass (locally Bhetki) and pomfret fry as evening snacks and dinner.

Digha is small place where one can take a walk to see the nearby market and other attractions. Next day morning we went to the “Amarabati Park“and “Kajaldighi Park”. Both these spots are the initiatives of West Bengal government to promote tourism.

If you are a nature lover, you will like the Amarabati Park. Here you can enjoy paddle boating, wander around with your loved ones or can just simply relax under the trees. Inside the park premises there are some small cafés as well.

From there we went to the Kajaldighi Park. Though it’s not that well maintained compared to Amarabati Park, here, may be for few minutes, I went back to my childhood days! There is a Toy Train!! All the passengers of the train were kids accompanied by their parents. So what, I was accompanied by my husband. If you have taken a Toy Train ride in Shimla or Darjeeling, you may feel this one very stupid, as it is a much smaller, unorganized version. But I liked it. It’s always good not to lose any opportunity where you can giggle again like a kid.

After all these masti we became too hungry to go to other spots. There are some spots like Science Centre, Marine Aquarium and Research Centre etc. To add some spice to our trip we opted to have lunch in a road side small hotel. Though the hotel was very small they offered us really good crabs!  They offered us to choose our crab and then in front of us cooked that J.

It was a big crab at a nominal rate of Rs 100*! It was an amazing experience for urbanites like us who spends a lot to taste something good.

Digha; Sea beach near Kolkata

New Digha

Next day our train was at 3:35 pm but we were yet to go to Old Digha.

The Old Digha is only 2 Kms away From New Digha. At present this part of Digha has become over crowded with hotels and shops. So I felt it has lost its charm which people used to experience few years back.

Unlike New Digha which has a vast stretch of sand beach, in Old Digha the sea shore is covered with boulders. Here the sea is a bit turbulent and in some places there is quicksand. So here tourists are not allowed to go inside the water. We were in Old Digha only for an hour, you can say mainly to take some pictures. If you are interested to buy cashew nuts, you will get some good shops here.

Finally our trip came to an end as we had our train back to Kolkata that day at 3:35 pm.
We didn’t realize when, a not so glamorous place like Digha, became so memorable to us. Though there are not much highly rated tourist spots, we enjoyed every bit of it. It may never come in comparison with the famous beaches, but it has its own beauty and is highly pocket friendly.

Digha is a popular beach resort located in the East Midnapore District in the state of West Bengal towards the northern tip of the Bay of Bengal. It is situated at a distance of around 187 km from Kolkata, at an average altitude of less than 10 meters above sea level. Digha was discovered by the British during the latter part of 18th century. Earlier known as Beerkul, the place was described as the ‘Brighton of the East’ by the first Governor-General of India, Warren Hastings, in one of the letters that he wrote to his wife.

Digha is famous for the panoramic view of Bay of Bengal that it offers for the tourists. The beach is surrounded by Casurina plantations that lie in a beautiful formation along the seashore. The serene and shallow waters of the Digha beach extends up to a mile from the beach. Thus, Digha offers good opportunity for marine activities like swimming, Jet-Ski ride, the Banana Boats as well as the Speed Boat . It’s a place where one can chill with friends and family, enjoy some water sports and relish delicious sea foods. 

The estuary of Subarnarekha river

The Red Crab

After taking some pictures he took us to the estuary of the river Subarnarekha. We went there around 3-3 o’clock so the water of the river was not at all deep. We were able to stand in mid of the mouth. Initially though the water was at ankle level, within 10-15 minutes the water level reached closed to our knees.
I was very excited to stay there at least for some more time but our biker suggested us to return as the water level was increasing and also were was about complete our 1 hour booking.

From the Talsari beach our rickshaw-wala took us to the Udaipur beach. It’s just an extended part of the Talsari beach which is a hub of the local fishermen. You can smell fish in the air. Like the Talsari beach this beach is also secluded, so people like us, who are keen to spend some time with self or want to walk hand-in-hand with met and enjoy the beauty of sun setting behind the casurina trees, will like this place.

We realized that time is passing by only when our chauffeur (rickshaw puller) called us. After a bumpy 45 mins ride, he dropped us near the New Digha sea beach.

On the beach there are many small stalls selling show-pieces, jewelleries, accessories made of seashells, corals, cane etc. Where ever I go I try to buy something as a souvenir. Though the price of goods might seem reasonable there is no harm in bargaining. Otherwise in some cases you may land up paying more. 

On the way to the sea beach you will find local people selling some sweets like coconut barfi, cashew ladoo etc. You can try those. Though you may not find it very delicious, but it’s good to try something local.

From there we came back to our hotel where we got to know about few more points like Talsari Beach, Subarnarekha River, Chandaneshwar Temple etc. which are a bit far but well manageable as a half day tour. Tourists prefer to avail cabs to reach there but we thought of taking a local van cycle rickshaw! Trust me it was fun but really risky when you are on the main road competing with bigger vehicles.

Chandaneshwar Mahadev Temple is located in the Baleswar district of Orissa. It is an old shiva temple very famous among the local people. There are number of puja stalls for the devotees.

From there we went to Talasari Beach which is in the Baleswar district and is around 10 km from Digha. It is a serene beach where you can enjoy a calm sea. The strange thing about this beach is during early morning if you want go to this beach you have to take a boat ride, but during late afternoon and evening to explore the beach here you will get two wheelers on rent. In case you are not comfortable in riding a bike yourself, the bike owner will assist you in your ride.
Initially I was not comfortable in paying 100 bucks for the ride and decided to walk and explore the beach. But after walking a bit I realized that it’s not possible to cover such a long stretch.

Our biker first took us to the red crab zone of the beach. It’s a part of the beach where you will find thousands of red crabs crawling. But unfortunately you have to watch these small creatures from a distance. They are highly sensitive to vibrations, so a light tapping of feet makes them hide in their safe den. 
But I was lucky enough to get a friendly biker who safely took out a crab from its den so that I can capture it in my camera. One thing I learnt there that if you want to keep the crab stable for you picture, tap your feet in around it. Then safely he kept my model crab in it’s hole.

Udaipur Beach

* subject to change

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