Weekend drive to the Udaipur of Bengal
Someone mentioned to me about this place, I thought she was mentioning about the famous city of lakes “Udaipur” of Rajasthan.
As soon as long weekend rang the bell in my calendar list of holidays. Ideas started to doing rounds, as to how to make use of the extended weekend. Since, going to a far off location was impractical within such a short notice. I decided to look for a peaceful yet unknown place around West Bengal. That’s when I stumbled upon this place.
Just 202 kms away from the hustle bustle of Kolkata and another 3 kms ahead of Digha, is where you find this untouched virgin beach bordering Orissa. This place is relatively isolated and is yet to be explored.
We started off our journey at around 7 am through New town (Kolkata) ->Beliaghata expressway – >Kona expressway ->Kolaghat via NH 16 -> Nandakumar -> Contai via NH 116 B ->Kanthi -> Digha -> Udaipur beach ( 3kms ahead Digha railway station) and reached Digha by 12 pm. Since, the weather was really awesome for me to drive at leisure and not to rush to the destination.
I stopped at Kolaghat for a breakfast at one of the many joints there at around 8.30 am. We were spoilt for choices with the number of eateries, which were lined up right on both side of the highway. Although, the popular ones, were on the other side of the road which is Shere-Punjab (for its lipsmacking parathas and lassi). Hence, because of the rush, we got settled with one of the joints on the same side of the road. I drove straight after that for another 3 hours and reached the Digha Gate. As usual the entrance was bit chaotic with traffic snarls all around the place. I somehow drove through the main town of Digha and New Digha , another 3 kms from there, I suddenly saw a sign board leading towards our resort. It was much greener here than before. As soon as I took the left turn from the main road . I could see lush green tall Casuarina trees and further more, for another 500 meters ahead, we saw the gates of Oceana Tourist Complex (the one and only resort there, which is run by the Fisheries Dept of Bengal).
After checking in (which was literally nothing but dumping my bag in my room and rushing :D), I headed straight to the beach, which was a walk of merely 500 steps from the resort. And was finally glad to see the first view of the sea which was roaring with high tides that time. The beach was empty with merely 10-15 passerby , since it was drizzling a bit and was almost half past afternoon. Usually the time, when most Bengali tourist like to savour a hearty lunch and an afternoon nap. I was happy to see such a virgin and unexplored beach, and yet so near to Digha (the most popular and crowded beach of Bengal). Infact, after the popularity of other nearby beaches like Mandarmoni, Shankarpur and Tajpur, Digha seemed to have faded from the visit-list of many tourists who preferred more serenity and peaceful atmosphere than Digha. But over the years, with the number of growing weekend tourist flocking into those beaches. I think they are also loosing their peaceful charm now.
Stepping into Udaipur beach, I could sense the un-spoilt beauty tucked away from the jolt of commercialization.
The romantic sea beach of Udaipur can be flawlessly a destination of ideal peaceful weekend. After gazing the sea and walking around a bit, we came back for our lunch at the resort. Since, there are limited option, so we had to pre-order our meal, prior to our arrival. In-case, someone who wants to eat outside, will have to then arrange their food from nearby New Digha. In the evening, we decided to take a stroll again for some cool sea breeze. We could hardly find any shacks or hawkers around the beach near to our resort. And the beach is quite flat and driveable.
As the dusk was setting in, clouds also got denser and myriads of colours splashed the sky making it a perfect sight to gaze.
Next morning we decided to visit the very famous Talsari beach, which was another 7 kms drive from Udaipur. Talsari falls under Orrisa state. So, while driving there, I realised, suddenly the language on the hoarding and shop name changed into Oriya, which made me realized that we were now in Orrisa. Talsari, another unexplored sea beach located in Baleshwar district of Orrisa. The scenic beauty of approaching Talsari is overwhelming. Lush green paddy field, palm trees, coconut trees, dense Casuarina trees on the backdrop of blue hills and calm sea will make a treat to the eyes. Numerous small rivers and creeks flowing into the sea is a visual pleasure. Another feature of Talsari that fascinates tourists is its backwaters, which one needs to cross to reach the sea. So, after reaching the place, we decided to take the boat which crosses the backwater to the main sea beach. Locals say that during low tides or dry season, one can easily walk past the dried up river bed and reach the beach. However, considering the dirt and filth ,none of the tourist would even think of that.
The makeshift stall run by nearby villagers in the beach is a nice place to sit and enjoy the breeze of the sea. If you like bathing in the sea, Talsari is definitely a place. The small stalls outside the bay area, serves all kind of sea fishes like Hilsa, prawns, bhetki, crabs and plenty of other sea and as well as fresh water fishes too.A foodie in us wouldn’t miss an opportunity to give it a try. The food served by these makeshift stalls are fresh and hygienic and prepared in front of us in the beach. Oh yes, sipping the coconuts, an absolute must.
The happy fishermen seems to be working along the shore all throughout the afternoon.
The food served by stalls are fresh and hygienic and prepared in front of you in the beach. Sip coconuts, it’s very cheap there!
2-3 hours of time was well spent in Talsari . We came back to our resort for afternoon siesta and headed towards Digha for paying a customary visit to Old Digha Beach in the evening. Long weekend holiday was much evident with tourist flocking at Digha beach every nook and corner. I visited Digha after almost a decade and could witness that state government has done a lot of work to facilitate the Digha beach upto a national standard. There are plenty of eatery options ranging from branded fast food joints to local vendor selling cheap street food. Also, one can find a number of state handicraft shops for tourists selling shells and jute products and plenty of other inexpensive items. I wouldn’t say, it’s a shopper paradise but definitely one can lay hands on few give away souvenirs.
Next morning, I got up early, as I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to witness the morning sun at the virgin beach of Udaipur, before my return.
If you are fish lover, it will be a nice idea to buy fishes from the fisherman on the sea shore from their early morning catch.
But suddenly, while I was happily taking pictures of the morning sky ,weather-god seems to act a little funny and while I marched towards the beach, it started to pour incessantly with the sun still shining bright. I was then quickly hoping for a rainbow to occur, but the sky turned darker.
Later, what I could also witness was the mind boggling shades of the sky perfectly complimenting the waters.
It was amazing just to stand rain-soaked and gaze at the beauty and the vastness of Bay of Bengal.
After a hearty breakfast and promise to ourselves to come back again, we departed for Kolkata with a trippy mind and happy memories.
Here are few fact file, should u know if you wish to explore this place:
How to reach:
The nearest Airport is Kolkata.
200 Kms from Kolkata. Drive till Digha on Grand Trunk road/ Kona Expressway till Haldia Expressway to reach Nandkumar. Take the third exit from Nandkumar Circle and drive upto Digha through Contai bye pass. Udaipur is just 3 KM from Digha Bus stand.
You can take the trains from Howrah and reach Digha station. You have to hire trekker or private taxi to reach Udaipur.
This is the most convenient way. Reach Digha Stand, regular Volvo, deluxe and state transport buses are available from Kolkata (Esplanade) to Digha. Take a trekker (motorized cycle van) to reach your destination.
Where to Stay:
There is only one resort which is run by state fisheries department in Udaipur called Oceania Tourist Complex. Must book online well in advance. Also the tent facility is also available.
What to Eat:
Not many eateries nearby except the resort kitchen and few small shacks serving bengali food here and there. One shouldn’t miss gorging on sea fish like Jumbo prawns, bhetki, hilsa, pomfret, crabs etc which are available readily in the beach shacks.
When to Visit:
This all-weather tourist spot can be visited anytime during the year.
So, in-case you are planning to give Mandarmani and Tajpur a miss and going a bit ahead to witness this solitary beach away from the chaos. Please do so before it comes under the jolt of commercialization.
Do leave a comment, as your suggestions and views are valuable for me!!