Mandarmoni, 180 kms from Calcutta Airport, is a nice little village which has developed into a seaside resort place over the decades. Unlike the more tourist-attracting Digha in the south, its waves are calm and comforting. Hardly any hustle and bustle, or dreaded hawkers throng the beach. So it definitely is THE seaside destination to relax and enjoy before delving into the busy lifestyle again.
There are several resorts lining the beach, so it’s best to choose one after getting there on weekdays. If you’re planning a weekend tour, then be sure to make reservations, as Mandarmoni is frequented by tourists throughout the year. Currently, this village boasts of the longest motorable beach in India (13 km).
Mandarmoni is easily accessible by car, bus or train. After getting off on Contai/Kanthi Station if you’re coming by train, board a trekker or a magic cab which may go all the way to Mandarmoni. Otherwise you can break at Chaulkhola, which is the stop where tourists arriving by bus usually get off at. From Chaulkhola, trekker charges Rs. 20/- per head.
There are a lot of sea sports occuring in the pristine beaches of this quaint village. Parasailing, motor bike, banana ride, jet boat ride…..you name it, you got it!
Just keep in mind that there is no option of shopping out here, so that’s a bummer. But in exchange, you get to soak in the beauty and gentleness of the jhau forest, undulating sand dunes, intersecting rivers, low waves rolling in and out in a never-ending pace…..there’s no end to it! You can just walk by the side of the dunes and immerse in the pure bliss. It’s probably best if you walk during the low tide, as during the high tide, the sea line hovers near the resort gates. The beach ends near the wide mouth of River Jolda beyond which lay Tajpur, yet another seaside destination.
Mandarmoni is home to the endangered Red Crabs, which are prohibited to be eaten, and this is one law well maintained by the locals. You can see several sandballs clawed up beneath your feet, and as soon as you go near the crabs, they shy away. We saw them in abundance near River Jolda, because the noisy trekkers didn’t ply that far.
That’s it. Two days of fun and frolic, or only quiet relaxation. Depends solely on you. And don’t forget to try the local special meals with crabs (not red ones), prawns and fish. They taste absolutely delicious!
Till next time then. Ciao!
Pictures: Joydeep Barman, Suman Ganguly, Rajib Sardar