Digha: A simple haven for families

A perfect balance of relaxation and sightseeing


June 12, 2021

/ By / Gurugram

Digha: A simple haven for families

A fishing boat at Digha Beach (Photo: Ayan Banerjee)

The small seaside resort town of Digha in West Bengal is a perfect place to escape for a relaxing seaside trip.

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Once called the ‘Brighton of the East’ Digha is of the most popular weekend destinations in West Bengal. Originally known by the name “Beerkul,” it was first popularised during the British Raj by the then governor of Bengal, Warren Hastings, and was developed into a tourist destination through the efforts of the first chief minister of Bengal after the independence in 1947.

Popular sea beaches of Digha

Horse riding at New Digha beach (Photo: Biswarup Ganguly)

New Digha beach is characterised by its low gradient and shallow sand beach. There are some basic fun activities for tourists to enjoy such as inflatable motorboat rafting and horse riding along the gently lapping waves. For those seeking an adrenalin rush, Digha offers a vast array of thrilling adventure and water sports including speed boating, jet skiing and riding on ATVs. For those looking for a more peaceful option, Shankarpur is just a short drive away and boasts of beautiful views and a serene atmosphere at dusk to watch the fishermen or just laze around the beach and enjoy coconut water and beers served by the surrounding beach bars.

The true hidden jewel, however, is Talasari beach, directly translated as “palm row” to represent the towering palm trees that line the beach. Although it is not located in town, it is only 8 km from Digha railway station and scarcely frequented by tourists. Talasari has a gorgeous and practically isolated coastline surrounded by paddy fields, blue hills and tall coconut trees. The sand has a golden hue, flecked with the distinctive red crabs found there. The calm, receding waves and cool tropical weather make for a picturesque backdrop for viewing early sunrises or sunsets while relaxing with loved ones. It is recognised for its fishing village and thus a favourite for any seafood-lover, who can experience local cuisine at restaurants on the quay which offer freshly-caught crab and lobster dishes.

Amarabati park is also a serene spot for families to enjoy and admire its lush greenery and beautiful seasonal flowers. The park also offers boating on the pristine lake, a toy train for children, and a cable-car/ropeway ride from which one can view the surrounding New Digha area. The Biswa Bangla Park in Old Digha is great for relaxing and enjoying the sea wind and is surrounded by towering monuments of sea creatures such as whales and a giant open-mouthed shark.

“It was especially stunning at night, because all the sculptures and fountains were lit up. It’s really well-maintained and a good place to buy locally designed trinkets and souvenirs,” Debajit Ray, a Kolkata resident who went to Digha with his family last year, tells Media India Group.

Another noteworthy site to explore is the Lord Shiva temple at Chandaneswar, located close to the Odisha-Bengal border. It is a two century-old temple regularly visited by devotees, and the construction consists of a typical Bengali Baro-chala design with arched passageways and stacked roofs with 12 sloping eaves. The architecture is reminiscent of pinnacled or Ratna style, which first started in India in the 16th century, when local kings lost their financial power and sovereignty to the British leaders. The temple attracts the most visitors in March-April during the Bengali month of Chaitra, for the annual fair called Charak Mela, where several rituals are held for the puja attended by lakhs of devotees.

Chandaneswar Temple in Digha (Photo: Manjur Alam)

Marine Aquarium and Regional Centre (MARC)

One of the best sightseeing spots of Digha is the state-of-the-art marine aquarium located near the Digha Railway Station, which features a variety of regional marine and freshwater life. Entrance is free, which is an added plus for tourists.

“The entire range marine biodiversity of the region can be seen here. It’s an especially fun sightseeing spot for families, and my kids loved seeing the rare species displayed, like certain crabs, small sharks, and stingrays,” says Ray, adding, “it was quite an educational experience.”

One of the most exceptional attractions at MARC is the real Bryde’s whale skeleton that is exhibited outside the attached museum. Considered one of the “great whales” and part of the baleen whale family, it is also a protected mammal and one of the least researched whale species. The 42-feet long white skeleton that immediately catches the visitor’s eye was first discovered stranded on the coast of Digha Mohana in 2012.

For families looking for a vacation that will keep kids stimulated as well as having fun, the Digha Science Centre & National Science Camp features a planetarium and interactive exhibits including 3D theatre, a Jurassic Park light and sound show and a biotechnology boot camp.

Especially for those living in or near West Bengal and itching to travel without having to worry about the restrictions and dangers from having to take flights or plan trips to far-away destinations, Digha offers a quick, tranquil and risk-free getaway.




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