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Friday, November 9, 2012

Digha: West Bangal

Digha is one of the most popular vacation destinations in West Bengal, particularly for people from Kolkata.

Get There: -

By bus

Digha is a 4-5 hour journey by bus from Kolkata.
There are regular and frequent services to Digha from the Bus Terminus (Route 6) in the Garia suburb of Kolkata. Buses run from 4AM to 8.30AM and there is a afternoon bus service from the same state transport depot. Service is regular and residents from Jadavpur, Tollygunj, Rajpur, Sonarpur can easily use the good service.
There are also frequent bus services to Digha from Dharamtala bus stand of Kolkata and many other parts of West Bengal.
There is bus service from Kudghat Bus Stand with two buses daily at 6AM and 8.30AM. There is also service from Dumdum station. The bus leaves Dumdum at 7AM. 2 buses by CSTC from the bus stand near Ruby General Hospital start at 4:30AM and 4:45AM daily. There is bus service from Barrackpore at 6AM and 7.30AM. There is also frequent bus service from Howrah (Suburb of Kolkata) with buses leaving almost the whole day every 30 minutes or so.

By train

It is advisable to make reservations in advance for weekends and national holidays.
  • Three trains run daily from Howrah Railway Station at 6.40am (Tamralipta Express), 11.15am (Duranto Express) and 2.40pm (Kandari Express) daily. Sometimes special trains are announced on special occasions and holidays. Notice for such trains come on widely circulated newspapers. Journey by Duront Exp (12847) leaving Howrah at 11.15 can be of great experience. The returning times are 10.25am, 1.35 pm and 6.20pm respectively.
  • On saturday, There is paharia express which comes from new jalpaiguri and halts at Howrah. This train remains quit empty and very comfortable to travel.
  • There is a Local train from Shalimar (Near Howrah) to Digha though the timing is not good. Also there may be some special train.
  • From 01-07-2011 , Indian Railways launched 4 (four) special trains from Puri (Wednesday 23:35 & Saturday 23:35),Malda Town ( Saturday 08:10),Vishakapatnam (Thursday 17:50).These all trains are weekly.

By road

Travelling to Digha by road has become easier, thanks to the chief minister's efforts in promoting tourism at Digha and surrounding beaches (Mandarmoni, Tajpur, Sankarpur). The roads are excellent, and one can easily reach Digha from Kolkata in 4 hours of sedate driving.
Route: NH-6 till Kolaghat -> take a left turn on NH-41 excellent roads till Nandkumar -> right turn on state highway all the way to Digha, via towns of Contai and Ramnagar.

Get Around
  • Talsari Beach.
  • Temple at Chandaneswar.
  • Marine Station/Aquarium of Zoological Survey of IndiaM-Sa 9:30AM-6PMThis is possibly the most well equipped marine aquarium in India, but the collection of specimens are poor. Some local common fishes are kept in this huge aquarium.

Do
  • SwimmingThe best place for a dip safely is at New Digha. The beach here is flat. Nowadays old Digha is not safe and conducive for bathing. Beer is generally served at the beach by the enterprising locals who would accept payment later by coming with you to your hotel. Warning: They may ask a high price for beer.
  • Sunbathing.
  • VolleyballYou can play Cricket/football in sea beach
  • Horse riding.

See

Buy
  • Ornaments and curios, Made of sea shells
  • Hand woven mats, Made of weeds. These mats are called "Madur" in Bengali and colorful Madurs of Midnapur District are famous.
  • Cashew nuts. There is a cashew nut farm in Digha and cashew nuts are cheaper here than other places of West Bengal.

Eat
There are many cheap "rice hotels" all over Digha, serving cheap, but good quality Bengali dishes. There are some more expensive restaurants where continental food is available. In an average restaurant, vegeterian meal is available for Rs 35-45, Bengali fish curry-rice is available for Rs 25-35. Meal with egg curry-rice is available around Rs 45.
Another great idea would be to just buy the staple vegetarian fare at the hotel you are staying and have it delivered to your room. You can buy fresh fishes like ilish, pomfret, parshe and prawns from Mohona, Digha fish market in the morning and have it cooked at the numerous "Dada-Boudi'r" joints around Sea Hawk. Have this fish with your standard vegetarian lunch or dinner.
In the evening look for fried fish on the sea front in Digha.
Those who are fussy about the quality of cooking, have transport at their command and are looking for tasty fish preparations should go and have lunch atShankarpur, some 14 km away - they prepare the fish much better than at Digha. The quality at Shankarpur is comparable to the Kolkata 5 star but is comparatively cheaper and the fish as fresh as you can demand. The trouble of travelling would be well compensated.

Drink
  • Green Coconut water, Green coconuts are very cheap here. A single green coconut costs around Rs10-20. The green coconut vendors move with their cycles all along the Sea Beach.
  • Alcohol, There are many bars and wine shops in Digha serving all sorts of hard drinks.