Digha

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Image Courtesy - Debraj Chakraborty/www.trekearth.com

Digha is one of the most popular sea beach destinations in West Bengal is about 180 km far from Kolkata and  located at the northern end of the Bay of Bengal. Due to its close proximity to Kolkata, Digha is the perfect place for a wonderful weekend hideout. Today Digha is distinguished by two separate zones known as the Old Digha & the New Digha. Old Digha is basically the former one where the main market, bust stand, popular hotels & restaurants are situated. After being saturated & highly crowded, a new zone has been developed by the name of New Digha, which is actually an extended part of Old Digha. The distance between Old & New Digha is just 3 km. The sea beach is more beautiful in New Digha in compare to the older one.

Weather around the year:

Digha has moderate temperature throughout the year. Though the temperature rises above 35 degree Celsius in summer but one never feels too warm as the cool sea breeze keeps the weather pleasant. Digha generally experiences an average rainfall with high humidity in the monsoon season.

Best time to visit:

October to March is considered to be the best time to visit Digha as the weather stays most pleasant during these months.

How to reach

You can reach Digha by car, bus or train. It takes around 5 hours by car or bus if you take the national highway. There are several bus services that run frequently to Digha from Kolkata. Buses leave daily, every half an hour, from the Shahid Minar and Howrah Bus Terminus in Central Kolkata. But the most comfortable way to travel is by train. There are direct trains for Digha, which leaves from howrah everyday.

* Howrah – Digha Superfast ‘Tamralipta Express’

* Howrah – Digha ‘Kandari Express’

* Howrah – Digha ‘Duronto Express’

* New Jalpaiguri – Howrah – Digha­­ ‘Paharia Express’

Image Courtesy - Debapriyo Samanta/debapriyosamanta.blogspot.in
Image Courtesy – Debapriyo Samanta/debapriyosamanta.blogspot.in

 Must see places:

Sea Beaches: The beautiful sea beach of Digha is the most important visiting spot. Apart from the Digha sea beach, there are also few virgin beaches near Digha like Udaypur Sea Beach (about 2km away from Digha), Talsari (about 6 km from Digha), Tajpur (about 20 km from Digha) and Mandarmani (about 30 km away from Digha) which have not been explored so far. Sankarpur which is only 15 km away from Digha is a regular fishing harbor where in the morning fishermen can be seen hauling their huge nets out of the sea. Along with this beautiful experience, innumerable number of red crabs, casuarinas and eucalyptus forest offers excellent photographic opportunities.

Only 12 km away from Digha near the Bengal- Orissa border, there is a spot called “Mohona” where “Subarnarekha” river meets with “Bay of Bengal” and it has become a new destination for the tourists.

Local Interesting Spots: If people are interested in local sightseeing then they can visit Amaravati Lake & Park, Science Museum, Aquamarine Center, Dipak Mitra’s Snake Park, Dadanpura Salt Extraction Centre and Mohona Fish Market. Tourist can visit the largest Aquarium of Asia which should be on the top list of must visit places in Digha for all those who are interested in marine life.

Lord Shiva Temple: Only 8 km away from Digha there is a century old Temple of Lord Shiva at Chandaneswar which is visited by millions of pilgrims every year .

Chirulia : It is a small village is about 40 km away from Digha, where you can visit the ancient Temple of Lord Ram, Laxman, Sita and Hanuman. There are also some other temples like – The Gouriya Math & Mission, Temple of Sri Krishna and The temple of lord Shiva known as Jora Mandir.

What to do:

Tourists can enjoy various water sports, adventure sports and sea activities at Digha beach. Digha has developed as the major adventure tourism spot and offers various water sports activities like water-skiing, parasailing, water-zorbing, snorkeling etc.

Always keep a camera handy as Digha is also known as birdwatchers paradise.

Where to shop:

There are some good markets beside the beaches in Old Digha as well as in New digha, which opens early in the morning and shopping enthusiasts can pick up things like hand woven mats, decorative items and jewelry made of sea shells are considered as good souvenirs to take back home.

How to get around:

Taxi, cycle rickshaw, auto rickshaw and cycle vans are available for easy transport in and around Old Digha & New Digha.

 Must try dishes:

Digha is a great source for sea food. Besides the cheap restaurants which serve excellent Bengali food one should also try the local cuisine, which comprises delicious seafood. Crab and fishes are the main delicacies. On the beach at Old Digha, the ‘ready to eat’ fried fishes like Pomfret, Rohu, Parshe, Bhetki, Tiger Prawns and Crabs are available. But it is highly recommended to check the quality of the fish & the oil, before placing the order.

Where to stay:

There are plenty of accommodation options in Digha, Wide ranges of rooms are available here starting from Rs. 500 up to Rs. 5000 per night, depending upon the position & quality of the room for you stay. ‘Sea Facing’ rooms are more costly than the ‘Non Sea Facing’ rooms. The hotel rates are always fluctuating according to the tourist season. Rates become bit higher during the week-ends & holidays.

Travel tips:

You can cover the entire Old and New Digha in two days. So this is an excellent option for your perfect week-end trip.

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