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West Bengal :- Seaside Destinations
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Seaside Destinations
 
Bakkhali
 
Bakkhali is seaside resort in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. It is located on one of the many deltaic islands spread across southern Bengal. Most of the islands are part of the Sunderbans, barring a few at the fringes. Some of these are joined together with bridges over narrow creeks. This small island juts out into the vast expanse of the Bay of Bengal.
 
It has a 7 km long beach stretching from Bakkhali to Frasergunj with gently rolling waves. These are twin towns now forming one continuous locality. Casuarina trees line the beach. Except on an occasional holiday the beach is not crowded. Even if one part is crowded on a particular day, there will be plenty of barren pockets. A small stretch near Bakkhali has been lit up. It is a hard beach suitable for cycling or even driving. One can enjoy long walks.
 
The walk over the beach from Bakkhali to Frasergunj is a pleasant experience. The rickshaw van is the only transport available locally. On these rickshaw van you can take a trip to Henry's Island and Watch Tower. A rickshaw trip will travel through the local villages and their surrounds. From the watch tower you can view the entire Sunderban area. It is a splendid view. On one side you can see the Bakkhali Beach in the far distance and on all the other side the green expanses of Sundarban. It is cheap and since one has plenty of time, the ride can be enjoyable but do not expect much.
 
A temple called Bishhalakshmi is at the end of the Bakkhali main beach and is worth seeing.
 
How to Reach
 
It is 125 km by road from Joka tram terminus at the south-western edge of Kolkata. The road runs through Diamond Harbour and Kakdwip to Namkhana, where the car or bus has to be transported across the Hatania-Doania creek in a special ferry. The ferry service is available from 7AM-11PM except from 12 noon till 1:45PM (lunch hour). The road journey from the fringe of Kolkata to Bakkhali takes about 3.5 hours and as much as 5 hours. However, crowded market places and occasional stretches of bad road can delay movement. Some sections are very crowded especially early morning because of bazar and later at the evening time, there are no by pass for these smaller towns.
 
WBSTC has regular bus service from Dharmatala to Bakkhali.
 
The nearest rail station is at Namkhana. There are regular trains from Sealdah via Lakshmikantapur and Kakdwip to Namkhana.
 
The nearest airport is at Netaji Subhash Chandra (NSC) Bose International Airport or Dum Dum (IATA: CCU) in northern Kolkata.
 

Digha

 
Digha is West Bengal's most popular sea resort. It is located 187 km south west of Kolkata. Digha has a low gradient with a shallow sand beach extending upto 7 km in length and has gentle rolling waves. The scenic beauty of this place is charming and alluring. The beach is girdled with Casuarina plantations along the coast enhancing its beauty. These trees apart from beautifying also aid in reducing erosion of the dunes.
One can view both sunrise and sunset at the Digha sea beach. The sunset and sunrise reflecting the salty waters of the Bay of Bengal is something straight off an artist's canvas. The sea at Digha is calm and shallow for about a mile from the beach making it quite safe for swimming.
 
Digha, originally known as Beerkul during Warren Hasting's time was discovered in the late 18th century by the British. It is mentioned as the ‘Brighton of the East' in one of Hastings' letters (1780 AD) to his wife. In 1923, an English tourist named John Frank Smith was charmed by the beauty of Digha and started living here. His writings about Digha slowly gave exposure to this place. After independence, he convinced Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, who was at that time the chief minister of West Bengal to develop Digha as a beach resort.
 
Gangasagar
 
Gangasagar, also known as Sagardwip, is a charming tourist destination, which attracts both pilgrims and adventure lovers. Located on an island in the Sunderban, Sagardwip offers the charms of an un-spoilt beach on the estuary of the river Ganges. Gangasagar offers acres of silver sand and clear blue sky, and the calm sea for visitors who would like to spend their weekend in tranquillity.
 
Gangasagar is still unexplored and therefore unexploited. The island of Sagardwip is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrimage centres in India. Every year on Makar Sankranti (mid-January), pilgrims from all over India, gather at Sagardwip for a holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal. After the holy dip, the pilgrims offer ‘Puja' at the Kapil Muni Temple or Ashram. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Gangasagar Mela is organized in this island, which is one of the biggest fairs in West Bengal. Sagardwip finds mention in many tales of Hindu mythology and in ancient Indian literature like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, a novel of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, a poem of Rabindranath Tagore.
 
The lighthouse at Sagardwip offers a panoramic view of this spectacular beach, from where you can enjoy sunrise and sunset. . During sunset, the sky turns golden with a patch of red on the horizon and the silver sand reflects the last rays of the sun. Photography is not restricted on this island.
 
Mandarmani
 
Thousands of small crabs crawl around the 13 km. long virgin beach making it look like a simmering field of the red flower Mandar. Years ago the resemblance ignited the imagination of the locals. They named it Mandarboni. In course of time it has become Mandarmani. Mandarmani is a large and fast developing seaside resort village in the state of West Bengal, India. It lies in East Midnapore district and at the northern end of the Bay of Bengal. Mandarmani is connected to Kolkata/Howrah by a highway. It is argued to be the longest driveable beach In India.
 
Geomorphologically, this area has relatively low waves than nearer tourist beach of Digha. However still this beach is deposition with formation of neo dunes in several areas specially around Dadanpatrabar. From Contai this can be travelled through a place called Chaulkhola.
 
Mandarmani boasts of a 13 km long motorable beach, probably the longest motorable beach road in India. This is a drive-in beach. It is an ideal place to relax, far away from the hustle and bustle of Kolkata. The sunrise and sunset are a treat to the eyes. The peaceful atmosphere brings a sense of relief to one's soul. If that is not enough to please your senses, then try to loll on the sand and listen to the waves crashing upon the shore, which will surely drive away your bustling pressure. Relax, swim and enjoy the beach. You are not likely to have many visitors around and that's the beauty of this beach. Activities include table tennis, carrom, beach cricket, beach volleyball, and boat cruises.
 
Mandarmani is best reached by road. The nearest train station is at Contai and the nearest airport is at Kolkata. The road route from Kolkata is: Esplanade - 63km - Kolaghat - 3km - Mecheda - 80km - Contai - 12.3km - Chawalkhola - 4km - Kalindi - 4km - Dadan
 
From Kolkata, catch a bus at Esplanade or at Howrah headed for Chaulkhola. One can avail any bus service headed towards Digha. One needs to get down at Chaulkhola and take the public conveyance from there to Mandarmani.State Transport Buses are available, fare is as cheap as 76 INR per head. A number of Deluxe coaches run daily having fares between 100 to 400 INR. Whiteliners in Kolkata - Digha route (Rs. 160/- per head) from Esplanade starts at 7.30 am. There is a newly constructed road parallel to the beach which allows tourists to travel inside Mandarmani. Beach driving is something the locals encourage but it has a seriously adverse affect on the local ecology, not to mention the atmosphere of the beaches. While driving on the beaches keep to the established track or you may risk getting caught in mud or sand.
 
Travelling Tips
 
Pack your bag with light cotton clothes to avoid the summer heat; Don’t miss out to carry sunscreen lotion, as it will help you to minimise the risks of excessive tanning; Before you set out for a drive on the motorable beach, gather information on high tides, because during high tides the water might reach up to the beach level, which can be dangerous.
 
Shankarpur
 
Shankarpur is a beach village in East Medinipur district of West Bengal. Shankarpur is about 185 km from Kolkata Beach and is touted to have the best beach In Eastern India. Shankarpur, a virgin beach as yet, is a recent discovery. It is a twin beach of Digha, around 14 km from Digha, along the Digha-Contai Road. Shankarpur has to its credit all the advantages of Digha, minus the crowd. Casuarina groves by the side of a gentle sea and good climate round the year make it a popular beach destination. Apart from the long, tree-lined beach, the main attraction is the Shankarpur Fishing Harbour Project. This beach is mostly empty except on weekends. The mornings are cool, when fishermen can be seen hauling their huge nets out of the sea. The morning sun reflecting on the sea waves in the east, and the local fish-boats on the coast offer excellent photographic opportunities.
 
Shankarpur itself is something of a surprise package, known to locals but largely hidden from the world. A secluded beach, it’s fringed by casuarinas and eucalyptus trees.The beach here does not draw the madding crowds like nearby Digha. You can walk on the beach chasing the sunset, up to a point where the delta of two small rivers stops you from going ahead. Friendly villagers sell you beautiful shells of varied shapes and hues, each coming at a princely sum of two rupees.
 
Tajpur
 
Tajpur is the latest addition in tourist map of Bengal. The prime attraction of Tajpur is its pristine sea beach fringed with a dense forest of tamarisk trees. The beach is infested with infinite number of red crabs which play hide and seek in the sand. Their presense makes the beach look crimson. There are fishermen's villages in the vicinity, where one can observe the mundane life of fisherman. Just 1 km away is a lagoon with a pleasant surrounding. Tajpur is 170 km from Kolkata. It takes three hours to reach Tajpur by car. Winter is good time to visit Tajpur.
 
Tajpur offers various adventure sports options like para-gliding, rafting, rock-climbing and other activities.
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Most Popular Places to
see in West Bengal

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  • »Bishnupur
    -------------------------------
  • »Cooch Behar
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  • »Darjeeling
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  • »Digha
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  • »Hooghly
    -------------------------------
  • »Howrah
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  • »Kolkata
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  • »Murshidabad
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  • »Purulia
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  • »Shantiniketan
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