The southern part of West Bengal shares a coastal border with the Bay of Bengal and this region has gradually become a hotspot for people’s weekend breaks and also for chilling out on the beaches there. Beaches in Digha and Mandarmani always have an inflow of people from different parts of West Bengal who love to enjoy a few days by the waters with family or friends. Since there are so many beaches out there, we decided to narrow them down for you so that you could visit the best of beaches and have an amazing time there. Here are the top 10 beaches near Kolkata
1. Henry’s Island, Bakkhali
Turned into a tourist spot by the West Bengal Fisheries Department, Henry’s Island lies just next to the western side of the Sundarbans. Slowly this offbeat place is becoming a sought after budget destination for travellers, not only because of the place being budget friendly but also because of the fact that a lot in this island still remains unexplored. You can decide to stay at the State Fisheries Lodge, the staff is very helpful. You can also visit the Frazerganj fish market if you are really fond of seafood. Mostly you’ll have the island all to yourself and lastly, do not miss the epic view of the Henry’s Island from the watchtower at the Sundari Tourist Complex.
Best Time to Visit: October to March.
How to Reach: You can take buses till Bakkhali from Kolkata and then take a boat to reach the other side or you can also drive to Henry’s Island via the Diamond Harbour Road, the distance from Kolkata is about 130 km.
Pro Tip: Book the cottages at the State Fisheries Lodge, they are more peaceful.
2. Chandpur Beach
The beach is famous to people for its cleanliness and quietness. If you want to enjoy some time near the beach and do not want other people to disturb you then this is the best place for you. To experience the beauty of the beach, you should take a walk along the beach on a full moon night. Lastly, do not forget to visit the 96 feet Dariapur lighthouse from where you get an ecstatic view of the entire Chandpur beach.
Best Time to Visit: Anytime throughout the year
How to Reach: Located at about 170 km from Kolkata you can take buses from Dharmatala or Karunamoyee to reach Chandpur or else you can always drive in your own private vehicle.
3. Frazerganj Beach
This beach also comes in as one of those secluded beaches where you might just be the only person on the entire beach. The beach is famous for its whitish silver sand and the red crabs which you’ll see throughout the stretch of the beach. Quite a few number of windmills border the beach, adding to the beauty of the beach. This place is visited by a lot of migratory birds so if you are an avid bird watcher then do not forget to give this place a visit.
Best Time to Visit: July to March.
How to Reach: You can take direct buses to Bakkhali from Esplanade in Kolkata and from Bakkhali you can reach Frazerganj by hiring a cycle van and the distance from Kolkata is about 127 km.
4. Tajpur Beach
Situated between Digha and Shankarpur, this beach is a quiet one but it still offers activities like paragliding. The area is dedicated for pisciculture, thus you’ll find a lot of fish ponds in Tajpur. The beach is a home to numerous red crabs who love to play hide and seek with the tourists. If you want to experience the local life present in the coastal areas then you can visit the fishermen villages near the beach.
Best Time to Visit: November to February.
How to Reach: Take the buses from Dharmatala to Digha and get down at Tajpur. It is about 170 km from Kolkata.
5. Digha Beach
The beach is one of the most visited beaches in West Bengal due to which an extension to the old Digha beach was made, the new Digha beach. Due to its popularity, you’ll get resorts and hotels of all sorts at every price, making the beach more convenient for travelling. Except for the beaches, you can also visit the science centre at the new Digha beach or enjoy a boat ride at the Amravati Lake. This popular beach has a lot of water activities like surfing, jet skiing which you should definitely try out.
Best Time to Visit: October to February.
How to Reach: Take direct buses from Dharmatala or Karunamoyee in Kolkata. You can also cover the km by your own private car.
Pro Tip: Book hotels that are directly connected to the beach.
6. Mandarmani Beach
The beach has gained popularity to be the longest motorable beach in India. The stretch is about 13 km and people love to enjoy the thrill of driving their cars here at full speed. The beach also attracts tourists for the red crabs which can be seen throughout the beach. You can try out playing beach volleyball here or even take a ride on a banana boat. You should not miss out the Digha-Mandarmani festival during which there are a lot of Bangla bands who perform on the beach. Mandarmani is also famous for its budget ornaments and objects that are made out of seashells.
Best Time to Visit: October to May.
How to Reach: Either take buses from Esplanade in Kolkata or else take the trains leaving for Digha. Mandarmani is about 170 km from Kolkata.
7. Shankarpur Beach
It is a beach which is pretty isolated and thus you will get to spend some really good time in the quiet surroundings of the beach. It is best to go in groups since going solo won’t make the visit much fun. One of the best things to see on the beach is the early morning sunrise which looks extremely beautiful. After the sunrise you can see the fishermen at work with their nets, catching fishes.
Best Time to Visit: September to February.
How to Reach: Take a bus till Digha from Kolkata and from Digha you can take a taxi till Shankarpur. It is located at about 185 km from Kolkata.
8. Talsari Beach
The beach isn’t densely crowded, giving you a peaceful time during your visit. Located at the Odisha-West Bengal border, this beach is about 10 km from Digha. The beach is surrounded by tall coconut trees and palm trees which make the surroundings very beautiful. The tides on the beach play hide and seek with the people, when the tides are high you can reach the main beach only by boat and when they are low you can easily walk to the main beach. Tourists are fascinated by the backwaters of the beach, which has to be crossed if one needs to reach the sea.
Best Time to Visit: October to December.
How to Reach: Take direct buses till Chandaneswar which is only 3 km from Talsari Beach. From Kolkata, Talsari is located at a distance of 190 km.
9. Udaipur Beach
The beach is an unexplored virgin beach which is just 3 km away from Digha. The only people you’ll see on the beach are a few fishermen in the nearby huts. They also run makeshift stalls where you can have some delicious seafood while enjoying the cool sea breeze. Every tourist who’s been to the beach claims that the sunrise should not be missed at any cost. If you’re a fish lover then you should definitely give this beach a visit.
Best Time to Visit: October to February.
How to Reach: Reach Digha either via bus or train. From there you can take some local transport to the beach or even walk till there. The beach is about 185 km from Kolkata.
10. Bakkhali Beach
The beach stretches from Bakkhali to Frazerganj. The water here is greyish in colour since the land, slopes into the Bay of Bengal. There is also a Mangrove forest that can be visited where no tigers are present, making it a safe place to see the Mangrove trees. If you are done taking a dip in the beach then you should head to the Crocodile Park which is situated near the beach and has about 6 crocodiles and many deer. As memories, from the beach, you can buy local handicrafts sold at the beach by the vendors there.
Best Time to Visit: October to March.
How to Reach: Take the local train that leaves from Sealdah to Namkhana. From there you can take the ferry till Bakkhali. The distance from Kolkata to Bakkhali is about 125 km.
Bengal has a mix of crowded and secluded beaches. If you love the calmness of the beach then definitely go for the secluded beaches but if you want to get involved with a lot of water sports and find budget accommodation then visit the crowded beaches. Lastly, avoid visiting the coastal regions during the monsoon months. Hope that this article helped you out! Happy travelling!
Contributor: Arkoprobho Hazra.