Digha Coast

 
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Wetland area symbol © Sumit Sen                                   East coast of India
            Digha / Shankarpur / Mandarmani / Junput
 

 


 

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© Sumit Sen
Mandarmani beach


This area is a part of the coastal plains estuary with the rivers Damodar, Rupnarayan, Haldi and Rasulpur rivers flowing through it. It mainly consists of sandy beaches, tidal bars, mudflats, sand-flats, coastal dunes and inlets.

© Sumit SenDigha: Digha, in East Midnapore, is West Bengal's most popular beach resort and is close to the Subarnarekha River on the border with Orissa. Originally known as Beerkul,  Digha is a hard beach where one can drive during low tide.
Birds: Birds reported from Digha include Pallas's Gull, Little and Common Tern, Terek Sandpiper, Greater Sand, Kentish and Pacific Golden Plovers. Black-capped Kingfisher.
How to reach: There are daily trains from Shalimar railway station. The driving distance from Kolkata is about 190 kms and takes 4-5 hours by car. Buses are also available.
Where to stay: Digha has a plethora of hotels amongst which are Hotel Sea Hawk, The Palm Resort and Digha Tourist Lodge.
Best season: October to March
Latitude / Longitude: 21° 37.012'N / 87° 29.881'E


Shankarpur: The isolated Shankarpur Fishing Harbour is a short distance to the east of Digha is very similar to Digha without the crowds. The tree-lined beach is 14 km. driving distance from Digha, along the Digha – Contai road.
Birds: Shankarpur has birds similar to those found in Digha.
How to reach: If you are driving to Digha turn off at a place called "Choddo-mile" which is just before Ramnagar on the Contai-Digha road. The coast is a 15 minute drive from Choddo-mile. Kolkata - Shankarpur is about 185 kms by road.
Where to stay: Hotel Nest, Hotel Sandy Bay and Tourist lodges run by Benfish
Best season: October to March
Latitude / Longitude: 21° 38.116'N / 87° 33.338'E


© Sumit Sen
Little Terns, Mandarmani

Mandarmani: Mandarmani is a relatively new resort destination and much of the facilities are unplanned and unauthorized. The beach is one of the longest that you can find, and in good weather you can drive along the entire 14kms of the hard sea front. The long beach demarcated by seasonal channels offers some areas with varied and undisturbed habitat for birds.
Birds: Birds observed in Mandarmani include Pallas's and Brown-headed Gulls, Common, White-winged and Little Terns, Greater Sand and Kentish Plovers and a mix of other waders.
How to reach: Best reached by road. From Contai drive another 12kms to 'Chawalkhola'. Take a left at Chawalkhola and follow the village road till it ends at 'Dadanpatrabar' (8kms) village. The hotels are a 6km drive along the beach from Dadanpatrabar. Be warned that the approach road from Chawalkhola is unpaved and in terrible condition. Distance from Kolkata is around 166kms and takes 3.5 - 4 hours to complete.
Where to stay: Rose Valley, The Sana Beach, Masara Beach Resort & Debraj Resort.
Best season: October to March
Latitude / Longitude: 21° 38.964'N / 87° 38.845' - 87° 45.254'E


© Sumit Sen
Junput coast

Junput: Juput is close to the mouth of the Hugli River and is used by the State Government Fisheries Department for fish cultivation and research. The sea has shifted away from the old coast leaving behind large stretches of treacherous mud flats. The area has little tourist potential and is good for waders and other waterbirds. Good birdwatching is possible from the fishing village of Gopalpur with powerful scopes.
Birds: The mudflats hold Little and Temmink's Stints, the grassy areas are good for large flocks of Pacific Golden Plovers and the undisturbed coast holds many gulls and terns. Really, anything can turn up here and it just needs a little enterprise to find out what does.
How to reach: Junput is about 10kms from Contai and 156kms by road from Kolkata. A visit here can be combined with any destination further west like Digha (40kms).
Where to stay: Junput Resort
Best season: October to March
Latitude / Longitude: 21° 43.232'N / 87° 48.884'E


Digha / Shankarpur / Mandarmoni / Junput road route:
Kolkata
- Bombay Rd (NH6) - Kolaghat - Haldia Rd (NH41) - Digha Road - Contai: 146km
Contai  - Junput: 10km
           - Chawalkhola - Dadanpatrabar - Mandarmani: 26km
           - Choddomile - Shankarpur: 39km
           - Digha: 44km

References:
1. West Bengal Government

2. Wikitravel - Digha

Sumit K Sen
Kolkata, India

   
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