seaside resort town in West Bengal, India

Digha (Bengali: দীঘা Dīgha DIH-ghah) is one of the most popular seaside resorts in West Bengal. People from the cities flock around the beaches of Digha during the vacation. As it is close to cities like Kolkata and Kharagpur, Digha has emerged from a small fishing hamlet to a weekend getaway with numerous budget hotels and lodges.

New Digha Beach

Understand edit

Climate edit

There are mainly five seasons in Digha, namely summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. Summer starts in April and continues until June with a maximum temperature of 37 °C (99 °F). Although cold wind from the sea keeps the weather pleasant in this time. Next comes monsoon in July and lasts till the end of September. Digha generally experiences an average rainfall with high humidity in the monsoon season. Autumn sets in October and lasts till mid of December with an average temperature of around 25 °C (77 °F). The weather remains very pleasant this time. Winter sets in the second half of December and lasts till mid February with an average temperature of 15–16 °C (59–61 °F). The spring is the most enjoyable season in Digha starting from mid February to mid April. The hotels remain full of their capacity as tourist inflow is the highest in this peak season.

Talk edit

Since Digha is near the border of West Bengal and Odisha, both Bengali and Odia are understood by the locals. Therefore, having a knowledge of any one of the two languages can be useful to communicate with them.

Get in edit

By train edit

Digha railway station

1 Digha railway station (DGHA)   is the main entry point to the town. However, you should make reservations in advance for weekends, national holidays and sessions like Durga Puja, Diwali, Christmas etc. For train timings, check out the Indian Railways website. There are several trains from Howrah (HWH), New Jalpaiguri (NJP), Puri, Mecheda and Panskura.

By bus edit

There are frequent bus services to 2 Digha from Kolkata, including Esplanade, Baruipur, Garia and Joka. Buses from Garia run from 4:00AM–8:30AM and there is also an afternoon bus service from the same state transport depot. Service is regular and residents of Jadavpur, Tollygunge and Rajpur Sonarpur can easily use the good service.

There are also bus services from Asansol, Baharampur, Bardhaman, Santiniketan, Serampore, Siliguri and Tarakeswar. Buses are available from Howrah as well, a connection has been made from Sealdah to Digha where a private bus arrives at 8:30AM throughout the week. It takes the shortest route from Sealdah connecting SN Banerjee Rd, Taltala, Wellington, Esplanade to Howrah station, it departs from Howrah station within 5 minutes to Digha.

By car edit

Travelling to Digha by road has become easier, promoting tourism in Digha and the surrounding beaches. The roads are excellent and you can easily reach Digha from Kolkata in 4 hours of sedate driving.

Route: From Kolkata via Vidyasagar Setu and Kona Expressway take the NH-16 (old NH-6) till Kolaghat -> take a left turn on NH-116 (old NH-41) excellent roads till Nandkumar -> right turn on state highway all the way to Digha, via towns of Contai and Ramnagar.

En route decent toilet facilities and food is available at Ruk Zaraa (Kolaghat), Sher-e-Punjab (Kolaghat), Express Food Plaza (Kolaghat), Sher Bengal (Mecheda) etc.

Get around edit

A cycle-van stand near Digha Science Centre
  • Cycle-vans (commonly known as 'vans') is one of the unique modes of transportation in Digha. These are available everywhere and can be booked for touring around Digha and nearby places.
  • Motor-vans are used in digha as public transport for touring far places like Mandarmani, Shankarpur, Chandaneshwar etc. Motor vans will take you to New Digha from Old Digha for around ₹5 per person.
  • Private cars are also available in Digha.

See and do edit

Chandaneawar Temple
Digha Science Centre
  • 1 Amarabati Park.
  • 2 Chandaneswar Temple. A famous Shiva temple. Known as the "Second Puri", the temple was built in typical Kalinga Architecture style of Old Odisha temples. A huge annual fair on the Pana Sankranti (Odia New Year) is celebrated on the premises. Many pilgrims visit the temple during this period.  
  • 3 Digha Science Centre.
  • 4 Kajal Dighi. A pond with toy train (miniature railway) rides.
  • 5 Marine Aquarium and Regional Centre, State Hwy 57, +91 3220 266 311. 10:00AM–6:00PM (closed Su). This is possibly the most well equipped marine aquarium in India, but the collection of specimens is poor. Some common local fish are kept in this huge aquarium.

Beaches edit

  • 6 Old Digha Beach. One of the most popular beaches in West Bengal and it gets overcrowded, especially during the cooler winter break. Activities in the beach include horse riding, sunbathing, swimming volleyball, cricket, football etc. However, Old Digha is not safe and conducive for bathing. It is not as wide as it used to be due to heavy soil erosion. Big stones and concrete steps are used to hold together the beach.
  • 7 New Digha Beach (2 km (1.2 mi) from Old Digha). The best place for a dip safely. The beach here is flat. Beer is generally served at the beach by the enterprising locals who would accept payment later by coming with you to your hotel. Beware, they may ask a high price for beer. Other activities in the beach include horse riding, sunbathing, volleyball, cricket, football etc.
  • 8 Mohana Beach. A less-visited beach at the estuary of the Champa River. There's a fish market in the beach.
  • 9 Shankarpur Beach (14 km (8.7 mi) from New Digha). The Shankarpur Beach near Hotel Sandy Bay is not crowded, but it is not a great beach with stumps of trees scattered all over the place. At places the beach is muddy. The beach near the Benfish Tourist lodges is better. No one should leave Shankarpur without relaxing on the beach on a full moon night with a glass of vodka topped up with coconut water. The ambience is mesmerizing.    
  • 10 Talasari Beach (4 km (2.5 mi) from New Digha). There is a river by the beach. It gets submerged with high tide. The river gets dried up twice a day. Again it gets filled with water once there is high tide. Once you cross the river using ferry boats you will reach the beach. The beach is quiet and the sea is calm. You can easily take a bath in the sea. You can move around the beach and listen to the breeze. You may also take a boat ride if necessary.    
  • 11 Udaypur Beach (3 km (1.9 mi) from New Digha).

Buy edit

  • Cashew nuts: There is a cashew nut farm in Digha so varieties of cashew nuts are available.
  • Digha Mohana Fish Market: Buy fresh fish here
  • Hand woven mats made of hemp. These mats are called Madur in Bengali and the colourful Madurs of Midnapur District are famous.
  • Jewellery made with Hyderabadi Pearls.
  • Ornaments and Curios made of sea shells.

Eat edit

A tea stall in New Digha

The famous 'Hinger Kochuri' is a famous breakfast of Digha. There are many stalls and sweet shops all over Digha which offers this delicious breakfast.

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, a vegetarian meal is available for ₹35-45, Bengali fish curry-rice is available for ₹25-35. A meal with egg curry-rice is available around ₹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, crabs and prawns 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 at Shankarpur, they prepare the fish much better than at the rest of Digha. The quality at Shankarpur is comparable to the splurge dining in Kolkata but is comparatively cheaper and the fish as fresh as you can demand. The trouble of travelling would be well compensated.

  • Pabitra Hotel, New Digha (5 min walk from bus stand along main road), +91 96 471 66166, .
  • Hotel Sandy Bay serves good Bengali cuisine. Try their sea food - prawns, pomfret, bhetki, parse (a small sweet water fish - cooked whole with the bones - so you must use your hands to eat), rohu (a form of carp). Vegetarian food such as mochar ghonto (spicy young green bananas), aloo posto, aloor dum (Bengali style), Kashmiri aloo dum and cholar daal is also available.

Drink edit

  • Alcohol — There are many bars and wine shops in Digha serving all sorts of hard drinks, but the liquor shops close around 7pm. If you want to buy a drink after the shops are closed, some guys in front of the shops will provide alcohol at higher prices (potentially black bargaining). The bar at Hotel Nest is good. But from Sandy Bay you can face the sea directly. A liquor shop has opened just 50 m outside the gates of the Fisheries premises on the right fork from Hotel Nest. A variety of medium grade whiskies, rum and other spirits are available.
  • Green Coconut water, (commonly known as 'Daab') is very cheap here. A single green coconut costs around ₹10-20 and the water is sweet and refreshing. The green coconut vendors move with their cycles all along the Sea Beach. There are also green coconut vendors which provide seating facilities near the beach.

Sleep edit

Sunset at Talasari Beach
  Note: To avoid the unsavoury, corrupt, and thoroughly untrustworthy booking services based in Kolkata, it is best to get a place to stay on arrival without advance reservation.
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget under ₹1,000
Mid-range ₹1,000 to ₹3,000
Splurge over ₹3,000

Always avoid the hotel-agents at the Digha station as their hotels are situated very far from the beach. It is better to consult the cycle-rickshawallahs for better lodging facilities (they take commissions from the hotel guys)

Budget edit

  • Ashoka Lodge, Shankarpur, +91 3220 264275. ₹250-700.
  • Hotel Kamala Residency, New Digha, +91 32 2026 6154. Breakfast included. Restaurant in hotel. Double non A/C rooms ₹900. Double A/C room ₹1,500 and triple with A/C ₹1,800.
  • 3 Hotel Nest, +91 98745 34777, . Good hotel but away from the beach. Has a 24-hour fitness centre. The distance from the beach won't really matter since they have a jeep standing by at all hours to ferry guests to and from the beach. The restaurant has seafood such as prawn and topshe. Non-guests are welcome to use the restaurant. The hotel also has a boating park. ₹800-3,500.
  • Hotel Rajmahal. A less expensive yet quality hotel with restaurant near to sea beach. ₹500-1,500.
  • 4 Hotel Sea Hawk. One of the few places in town that doesn't hike up their prices as demand increases. Food is moderately good and room services standard. INR 2500 onwards. From ₹2500 for a ground-floor sea-facing double up to ₹6,500 for an A/C double bed.
  • 5 Hotel Suman's, +91 32 2026 6471, +91 32 2026 6271. A very homely accommodation at New Digha, close to sea beach. Tariff from ₹200. Walking distance from Railway Station and Bus Stand.
  • Minakshi and Taranga (Benfish Tourist Lodges), +91 3210-225225. A/C double bed rooms. ₹550, non-A/C doubles ₹250, dormitory with 5 beds ₹250.
  • Ownland Hotel & Resort, Sibalay Road, Old Digha, +91 943 201 5692. Spa, fitness centre, swimming pool, pool & table tennis, banquet hall, aquarium, Babylon (roof top), disco lounge: Impulse, multi-cuisine restaurant ₹800-₹2500.
  • Sandpiper Guest House, Barristers' Colony (opposite Hotel Sea Coast), +91 33 2475 3441. Eight rooms, all having uninterrupted sea views and each capable of sleeping 4 adults. En suite bathrooms, marble flooring, multi-cuisine restaurant, secure car parking. ₹7000 upwards.
  • State Youth Hostel, New Digha, +91 33 2248 0626. Bookings can be done at the Directorate of Youth Services, 32/1, B.B.D. Bagh (South), Kolkata. Doubles with attached baths are ₹225 per day.
  • Sweet Home, Shankarpur, +91 3220 265988. Check-out: 11:30AM. All sea-facing rooms. Authentic Bengali cuisines available for those who stay. ₹600-1200.
  • Tanrango Lahori. Transport available from station. From ₹150 (varies with season)..
  • Panthasala (6 km (3.7 mi) from Digha Railway Station), +91 6781 232 528. Run by the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation. Rooms ₹250-650, Dormitory ₹70.

Mid-range edit

  • 6 Hotel Santiniketan Digha, +91 8653978373. ₹1,000 standard non-A/C rooms ₹1,700 for triple A/C deluxe room.
  • 7 Hotel Sea Coast, Barrister Colony, Old Digha, +91 933 100 6392. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11.45. Conference room, centralised A/C, bar & multi-cuisine restaurant, sea facing rooms & family rooms also available. ₹6,000 - ₹8,000.
  • 8 Hotel Seagull, Barrister colony, Old Digha, +91 32 2026 7195, +91 933 193 6900. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:00. Excellent views, good service, ask for a room in the new building. Rooms available from ₹2,300 for non-sea facing rooms up to ₹15,800 for royal suite. ₹2,300 for non sea facing A/C rooms.
  • 9 Hotel Utopia Digha, Forest Bungalow Road, Gobindabasan, Khadalgobra, +918653978373, . With sea and forest views. TV, air-con, and free wi-fi in the rooms. Free parking. From ₹800 standard rooms ₹1,500 for an A/C double bed.

Splurge edit

  • 10 Dighali Tourism Property (Digha Tourist Lodge), toll-free: 1800 2121655. Run by West Bengal Tourism. ₹2,500 to ₹3,000.
  • 11 The Palm Resort, Shibalaya Rd, Old Digha, +91 3220 267076, +91 98309 37570. Swimming pool, free parking, power back-up. Double deluxe INR 1800 to deluxe executive INR 4500.

Stay safe edit

  • Electric torches or emergency lamps can help in case of temporary power outages, which are frequent during the summer. However, most of the hotels in Digha have their own backup generators, so if you don't bring a torch, you'll probably be fine.
  • Mosquito repellent — this is a must for visitors. Most shops in Digha sell repellent.
  • Safety at Sea. The sea becomes rough to very rough during high tide, especially during the new and full moon. It is unsafe to swim during high tide. There is a sea wall which protects Old Digha from erosion, and it is also unsafe to cross the wall during high tide. Most of Digha has No Swim warnings which you should mind. Always obey the commands of the khaki Coast Guards if you want to swim safely.

Go next edit

  • Bhubaneswar (340 km (210 mi) from Digha) — the capital of Odisha with several temples and the Nandankanan Zoo
  • Mandarmani (about 30 km (19 mi) from New Digha) — another popular seaside resort
  • Puri (about 340 km (210 mi) from Digha) — a pilgrimage spot with the Jagannath Temple, also famous for its beaches. There's a Superfast Express between Digha and Puri

This city travel guide to Digha is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.