All About Mandarmani, A Hidden Gem On The Coast In West Bengal

The beach is said to be India's longest motorable beach, stretching 13 kilometres. The long stretch of hard sand beach lapped by the waves of the Bay of Bengal makes for a refreshing getaway
Mandarmani is a popular beach in West Bengal
Mandarmani is a popular beach in West BengalTitas Sengupta/Shutterstock

The southern part of West Bengal, which is perched on the Bay of Bengal, has several beaches, most of which are scattered across the Midnapore region and the South 24 Parganas delta. The majority of them are peaceful retreats with understated beauty. Among them, Mandarmani, located about four hour from Kolkata, retains a sense of freshness. The 13 kilometre-long beach is said to be India's longest motorable beach. The long stretch of hard sand beach lapped by the waves of the Bay of Bengal makes for a pleasant getaway. The been the backdrop for several Bengali films. Here is a guide to things to do and see in Mandarmani:

At The Beach

Sunset over the beach
Sunset over the beachSanjoy Barman/Shutterstock

Go slow and watch the red crabs playing on the hard sand beach washed by the turquoise waters of the Bay of Bengal. Walk to the 'mohana', or river delta, where the beach ends and river meets the sea. There are a few fishing villages on one side of the river, and dense jhau trees on the other. Watch the setting sun gild the Bay of Bengal with its hues take quiet strolls by the beach or enjoy sea food delicacies at the shacks on the beach.

If you are feeling adventurous, you could try some water sports, like jet-skiing, banana boat rides, and speedboat rides. You can rent a jet ski or banana boats on the beach until 3 pm. In addition, locals also offer sand drives, but this significantly pollutes the beach and should be avoided.

Food, Glorious Food

If you love seafood, you are in the right place. Try the fresh catch of the day if you like seafood. You might be able to sample some local fish prepared in the Bengali style at the restaurants in Mandarmani. Do try the delectable fresh crabs, lobsters, and clams at simple beachside eateries, or one of the restaurants attached to hotels and resorts. We recommend the seashore dhabas or beach shacks for simple, basic, yet delicious dishes. For instance, the Mandarmani Restaurant Cum Dhaba is known for no-fuss meals. Located near Priya Jeet Resort, Dadanpatra, it stays open from 6am to 11pm, perfect for an early morning breakfast before you hit the beach. Another option is Smriticharan Beach Shack on Mandarmani Beach Road which is open till late. And do not miss the delectable crab curry at Sea Hut Hotel and Restaurant on Mandarmani Sea Beach Road.


Nearby Attractions

Visit Shankarpur (21.9 km) where the Champa River meets the sea. You may choose to take a dip in the sea or simply sit in the shade of the casuarina trees. Temporary kiosks sell green coconut water and light snacks.

Drive down to New Digha (30.1 km) for more beach adventures and to check out the Amarabati Park with its toy train, aerial gondola and boating facilities. If you have kids with you, they will enjoy the outing. To experience a fabulous array of aquatic life, including freshwater species, local marine species, and species that need conservation, include the Marine Aquarium in Digha on your schedule. The Marine Aquarium and Research Centre (one of the sixteen regional centres of the Zoological Survey of India) is in charge of the aquarium. More about it here. Do not venture beyond the popular bathing zones of Digha beach as some areas are prone to quick sand. 

How To Reach

The nearest airport is in Kolkata, from where Mandarmani is a 3-4 hour drive past Kolaghat. The nearest railway is Contai, from where local taxis go to Mandarmani. Air-conditioned bses leaves from Esplanade in Kolkata every morning.There are several non-AC state buses throughout the day.

Where To Stay

Hotel Sonar Bangla is a large property right on the beach with a long paved promenade with shaded benches facing the sea.

Address: Mandarmoni Beach Road, District Purba Medinipur, Kalindi, Chaulkhola, Mandarmoni, West Bengal 721455

The Sana Beach Resort is as close to the water as it gets.

Massara Resort (mid-range, from Rs 2,900 has bicycles on rent and beach volleyballs.

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