Digha and Talsari Beach Day1
Why the Beaches
Childhood was best. Lots of holidays with almost no stress. Even big vacations to the sea side ancestral place. Thus I developed the love for vagrancy. Especially I loved the salt factory fields. So lets relax to the sea beach, lets implore the mangroves. This time Talsari, the Subarnarekha Mohana at Bichitrapur, Dighara a pristine virgin beach and age old Digha Mohana and a witch temple.
To Digha and to Talsari
We decided to travel by train to Digha. Though in my childhood there were no train there. Even 40yrs ago there was not much direct bus service. I travelled to Kharagpur by train. Always we had to run to get a seat in a lone bus leaving for Egra. Similarly I had to do the same at Egra and reach Contai. Then from Contai to Digha by a local bus. That changed when we had a bus service directly from Mecheda, and further when directly from Kolkata. Then came the train.
Whatsoever on reaching Digha we had lunch and using a local Toto reached Talsari at 3:30 pm. Though I have been to Talsari many a times but never stayed back as hotel facilities were scarce.
Talsari beach low to high tides and Sunset
This time we stayed at the only private hotel there as Panthanivas booking was unavailable. I had tried to get a telephonic booking previously though they didn’t have any system to take the money online. My room was more or less good with AC and geyser but with a wonderfull sea view.
Notably it was yet low tide . So we walked to the beach crossing the areas covered by the sea at high tide. Subsequently seeing lots of sea life as the sea had receded temporarily.
Soon the sun was on horizon. Dusk is always a good time as birds flew over the shore. Was busy with my camera. Village women were returning home with firewood from the mangrove bushes. They were reluctant to be photographed so had to use the zoom lens.
Incidentally as high tide started to appear tourists started to return to the higher areas of the shore. Stranded Cows swam back to land as water started to fill up. A cannel appeared out of no where . Boats kept on land came afloat. Two fisherman started using the fishing net. An amateur photographer started clicking one. And I preferred to click her photographing. Many youngsters were shooting over the boats.
The Talsari fish market soon transformed to one for tourists with ice cream vendors, chat shops & muri wallas etc. Sun has set with a cresentic moon appearing on horizon. Stars started to get brighter as darkness fell.
After an icecream each, me and my wife returned to our hotel. We ordered chicken pakoras and coffee as evening snacks. Service was prompt.
We had dinner at our room and went to bed after having an evening chat at the sea facing balcony. Again I thought of snapping the stars but just fell asleep being very tired.
Talsari Bichitrapur Bhusundeswar Temple Dagara & Old Digha ¸Beach Day2
Sunrise and Talsari Morning
Early morning I tried some distant shots from my room using zoom lens being awaken by birds chirping. Soon we had bedcofee and butter bread with omlet as breakfast. We tried to reach the beach by a village road to be met with sudden shower.
Later at 8:30 am we went to the beach armed with umbrellas to have tea coffee and mid morning snacks from a local shop. Bought 2 hats as the sun was strong. After a stroll in the beach in front of Panthasala Chandaneswar we returned to hotel as our rented car had arraived from Digha. After using the washroom promptly we checked out from the hotel and started for Bichitrapur.
On way to and in Bichitrapur
Bichitrapur which literally means an amazing place is really so. We reached the Balsore road and travelled to it. It’s the farthest most part of Subarna island.
We were searching for a place to have lunch as we couldn’t be to a hotel before evening. I decided to have non poultry chicken and rice freshly cooked from a local shop. Furthermore ordering the food we along with our driver went for the boat ride.
A 6 seater boat cost us Rs 1000 for about an hour. Accordingly there were 8 seater bigger boats too. We were provided life jackets. By the way we had to choose the fresh ones as most of them were torn. It started to rain and we quickly got on the boat, luckily one with head covered and motorised too.
Amidst the rains and high tide we were taken to a very tiny island. Tide was too high and it seemed the sea was full to brim as the small island shore was only about an inch above sea level. Dotted with mangroves it was awsome. Photographing was difficult as because of inccessant rain.
Subarnarekha Mohana and return to land
The travel was fearsome and exciting. Pleading the men we moved further to the confluence of subarnarekha and the ocean. It was a wrong decision as we saw spirals in the strong water current and our boat was too tiny. Only the tip of some mangrove trees were visible. We returned quickly as my wife is a non swimmer. Though traditional swimming mostly will be of no use there. We clicked some storm stricken drenched storks, sea birds and pan kouri.
Chandrabali Khati Beach
On way we stopped to snap some birds. We were going to a place neither our driver nor we know. Google maps and the locals be our guide. We were to travel to Bhusundeswar Shiva Temple along the Chandrabali Khati Beach.
Along the sea side road we reached the creeks at Subarnarekha confluence harbouring mostly fisherman launches and trollers. Each in different modes of action. A true feast for the eye, seeking human life forms.
Bhushundeswar Shiva temple
Bhushundeswar is a sea shore Shiva temple with a very large Shiva linga. Largest in asia the locals claim. There we were through a place still with almost no human settlements but fisheries mostly for prawn. I could hear the low humming of fans in the prawn ponds working day in out for oxygenation. Yet no public transport is available and you have to book a car. Most of the times local people travel by van rickshaws or merely on foot.
We crossed a culvert to reach the temple ground. Small temple room with a deep garvagriha with a big shiva linga.
Thereafter leaving the temple we crossed the subarnarekha river to move to Kamarda and travelled to Dagara.
It’s a new beach being developed by the Odisha government. The only development being a asphalt road to the beach and a tall light tower at the end of it. The weather was cyclonic not accepting our umbrellas and even breaking one. Waiting little at a local tea stall ultimately we got a chance to roam the beach . The beach had no toilet facility yet.
By evening we started to return to Digha in Bengal. Road was bad being under construction, even a flyover was being built. On way we stopped at Chandaneswar for tea and evening snacks.
Upon consultation with an aquitance at Digha we decided to stay in a hotel by the beach. Thereafter we went to Old Digha sea beach. The night beach view was interesting. It was bustling with more life unlike yesteryears. But adding to my worry I failed again in getting a starry sky amidst the ocean horizon.
Digha Mohana or Champa River confluence
Early at dawn we hired a local Toto to visit Digha Mohana one of my wife’s favourites. Saw transformation in progress more of concrete more of development and new shops springing up. Walked along the concrete road to the sea and got selfies with the pounding waves in background.
What interested me was using the zoom lenses on the sailors and fisherman on boat returning to the creek with their catch. Two shops had sprung up selling dried fish. I could zoom to get a photograph of thee Maa Ganga Temple on the other side of the Champa River from its Mohana itself.
Heard many stories from my paternal grandparents and father when I was a child. Chiefly of how the canal to Mandarmoni locally called Lahi was built. About witches and their pets the crocodile and the tiger, of her broom sticks. Of her flying back to Assam every dawn and returning by dusk.
The primal lands of human settlements always had many folklores. Demigods get to be gods. This was the witch temple as I heard in childhood surrounded by the sea, salt water every where except for the temple pond. Fisherman used to worship her here everyday before venturing to the sea. Where as this time I went there to find only a Kali temple of a different sort.
A wooden goddess with strings tied by locals expecting fulfilment of personal wishes. In this case sadly enough the old Lykani temple was no where to be found except for 2 small broken pieces. What so ever we saw an earthen kitchen for cooking the gods offerings just like our yesteryear ancestral place. This kitchen amazed my wife.
On way back to Old Digha got some excellent panorama of the Champa River laden with numerous fishing boats. Astonishingly it’s the place to where the boats go entering inland from Digha Mohana. It’s almost a mini harbor of its kind. Actually the opposite bank pine forest is a part of the Shankarpur 2nd beach.
Old Digha Beach Watch
Had a little stroll along the beach on the paved road clicking snaps of beach life for while.
Finally we returned to our hotel had a refreshing bath and lunch at the restaurant downstairs. We lazily moved towards the New Digha station. Nevertheless we waited for the train and returned by Digha Howrah AC Duranto express. Luckily our car and driver were waiting at the platform.
Soon I was at home caring for my aquaria, garden and bonsai plants. On one hand the trip was short but still exhilitering. Taking leave for now till next time
With heartfelt regards
A Wondrous Wanderer