This is the only beach in the country which has the potential to become a truly international go-to beach destination just like Goa and Kovalam. People from Kolkata have been a regular visitor to the bay side in places like Digha and Puri but this is now the go-to place for a quick weekend break. Mandarmani is a new considerable new baby in the beach scenes in India and it’s quite unique also.
I have heard many people compare Mandarmani with Daytona Beach since just like Daytona you can drive the car on the beach when the tides are right. If developed more than what it is today it will be one the most beautiful bayside locations in India.
My chance to visit Mandarmani came by luck when my company had organised a weekend get together for the IT department in the year 2010. It was in the month of August so it wasn’t that hot with few occasional showers. We had booked two cars to take us to Mandarmani. Personally, I always prefer journey by a car when it comes to Mandarmani instead of Train. Even if you take a train you would again need to catch a car from the designated station as there are no direct train connections to Mandarmani.
If you do travel by car then you must also keep in mind that the route is also a key route for major truck movements thus make sure you plan well when to leave the city limits and head for the highway. And talking about highway the first thing that comes to mind are the numerous Dhabas that you will find at regular interval. Of course, the famous one is the Sher-E-Punjab at Kolaghat but now there are many equally good Dhabas along the way.
Since we had to start the journey from office thus we were bit late and started after lunch. Make sure you do regular stops from time to time to enjoy the journey rather than have a fixed agenda to reach the end destination. We made a couple of stops and one stop was particularly to taste hot egg omelettes.
The journey from Kolkata to Mandarmani is not at all boring and all throughout the way you will be able to see wonderful scenery of rural Bengal. Most of these are cultivation land so you will get to see a perfect example of a day in a life of a farmer in this country.
Mandarmani is around 170 Kilometres from Kolkata thus on an average it takes between four to five hours to reach the destination. But here there is a small catch since the last stretch of the journey needs to be done on the beach sands thus it’s important to know the tide timings. The beach roads completely get under water during high tide and on the other end it goes back nearly a kilometre when the tides are low.
Make sure you reach your destination before evening as the tides shift in the evening and you don’t want to get caught in one of them.
Legally all the resorts at Monmdarmoni are officially illegal but it’s a virtual agreement between the concerned parties that make the whole hotel business go on. Almost all the hotels and resorts are right on the beach. There are no roads just the sandy beaches directly in front of the hotels and resorts. There is also no electricity connectivity from any power grids to this place and all hotels run on diesel-powered generators. These generators run 24X7 thus you need not worry. However as per some latest information, some hotels near the entrance to the beach are starting to have electric connectivity.
Keep this in mind that once the tides are high there is no way to reach the highway and you need to wait till next day sunrise to exit your hotel.
There are quite a few good resorts that are available here and you can choose from a variety depending your budget. For food, you must try the various fishes that are available here which are directly purchased by the hotels from the fishermen.
One of the resort also has an attached entertainment park making it really enjoyable to children. Other than that you can also go for a Jet Ski ride, Banana Boat ride, Parachute ride and RTV rides along the beach. Alternately if you have an all-terrain vehicle then you can surely take it for a spin in the beach when the tides are low. Keep in mind that the beach can look extremely deceptive and you may encounter some loose sand patches where your car might get stuck. Thus, it’s not all recommended for small less powerful cars to take a chance. If you do get stuck then the locals come to your rescue with a tractor but you need to shell out nearly 2000 to 3000 Rupees as you will have no option.
There is a Mohana at the end of Mandarmani where the River Champa flows into the Bay of Bengal. You can take a Vano (Motorised Cycle Van) to this place to enjoy its natural beauty. You will find hundreds of red crabs all over the beach. The name Mandarmani came from the word “Mondar” which means crab in the local dialect that is spoken by the people over here.
I would recommend spending an extended weekend at Mandarmani with your family or with friends and come back really fresh back to your office. Hope you have enjoyed going through my blog, it’s by chance that I found the DVD full of photographs from this trip and decided to write down a short blog about it.
Hope you have enjoyed going through my short photo blog and for the next weekend, you will surely check out Mandarmani.