Once upon a time, Digha was called ‘Brighton of the East’. Some websites still flaunts that tag. There was a time when the hard & flat beach at Digha stretched for miles & the salt wind soughed among the casuarinas. About 200 kms from Kolkata, on the shores of Bay of Bengal. Miles & miles of secluded Sea & rolling Beach’s, it’s fringed by casuarinas & eucalyptus trees. Lovers & Honeymooner’s playground. Far away from the madding crowd. Virgin & uncluttered.
On the long walk to the mohona, one would come across beached boats, fishing nets & occasional giant turtles. Over 200 yards of the water-front are now encased in concrete & tone, to prevent further erosion by the sea. Lining the stone embankments are rows of food stalls & sovereign shops.
Once upon a time, it was derigueur to shoot almost all romantic Bengali films in this grove. There are now two beaches at Digha, Old & New. The waters at these beaches can be very choppy at times, specially during the rainy season. Every second house in Digha is a hotel or a lodge, catering to the budget as well as the fussy travellers.
Mandarmani is one of Bengal’s recently developed tourist destination that lies close to ever-popular Digha and Shankarpur. With sun and surf, pristine sea beach and untrammelled silt coloured sand, this beach is slowly becoming popular among the tourists.