If you are all set to get off the tourist trail and spend a winter weekend exploring a lonely, pristine sea beach near Kolkata, Dakshin Purusottampur Beach is the perfect place for you. It's situated in the East Midnapur district of West Bengal.
We four travel freaks, on one cold Saturday morning, assembled at the Esplanade Bus Terminus, Kolkata and boarded Digha bound SBSTC ( South Bengal State Transport Corporation) bus to visit this not so popular exotic sea beach.
Our journey begins!
The bus left the terminus by 7.45 am and made its way through the roads of the city. Soon, it crossed the Toll plaza of second Hooghly Bridge and took the Kona Expressway. It was a foggy winter morning. The sun was less bright. We were enjoying our journey through the countryside seating on a window-side seat. The bus stopped once near Kolaghat for breakfast.
Reached the destination
The bus reached at Chowlkhola more around 12.30 pm. We got off and took an auto for the destination. Initially, the road was good but after some distance, it became bumpy and the journey was really painful. The auto dropped us at the Main Gate of Shri Ramkrishna Temple, Vivekananda Math, Mandarmani Branch – It is the only place to stay there. Two double-bedded rooms were pre-booked.
Shri Ramkrishna Temple, Vivekananda Math
A short walkway from the Main Gate takes you to a large courtyard and across the courtyard, a double storied building of the Guest House stands.
Upon arrival, we were welcomed by the Maharaja of the Math. After a brief introduction, one of the representatives allotted us rooms on the first floor and then gave us a short tour of the whole campus.
The first floor contains the double & the three bedded rooms. Rooms are spacious (Non AC) with attached bathroom. Geyser facility is available. The ground floor has an office room and a dining room. There is a large Prayer Hall and a small pond on either side of the courtyard. A high school, Vivekananda Vidyamandir, Ramkrishna Vivekananda Mission, with an attached hostel for poor children and a Health Clinic are also there on the same campus. A number of trees bearing a variety of fruits, many seasonal flowers and chirping of variety of birds add to the beautiful ambience of the Mission.
Since, it was already lunch time, we quickly freshen up and gathered at the Dining Hall. A spacious kitchen and adjacent Dining Hall cater to inmates and visitors as well. Both veg and non-veg meal are available. Meal is cooked mainly with fresh vegetables from the fields and fish from the pond. After having done with a sumptuous lunch, we took rest for some time.
Visiting the red Crab Beach
We set off to explore this virgin beach in the afternoon. A five-minute's walk from the Guest House through a narrow trail flanked by the fields of tomato takes you to the beach. The view was simply breath-taking. The wide stretch of beach lies in front of us. Some boats were parked on one side. The Bay of Bengal was seen far away, may be, it was a low tide time.
There was no soul on the beach except we four although a few fishermen were busy at their work far off near the shoreline. The cool breeze was blowing. A walk along this secluded beach far away from hustling bustling of the city life is a heavenly experience. You just forget all the worries of life. Isolated from the flock of tourists, this serene beach has a lot to offer.
The most interesting thing is the red crabs. They found in millions and make the beach like a red carpet. That's why, this beach is also known as "Red Crab Beach". Although crabs are playing on the beach but hide into their holes as soon as they feel any sound around.
Numerous wildflowers enhanced the beauty of the beach. As we were walking along the beach, we saw at a distance some fishing boats were gliding over the sea. Gradually, the sun started setting down. The aura of the setting sun tinted the place golden yellow. It looked breathtakingly beautiful. We all were speechless. After witnessing this gorgeous sunset, we got back to the Mission.
A relax evening
In the evening, after daily worship and evening prayers by the students of the Mission, we all (both inmates and guests) were provided with snacks and tea. Then we spent some time sitting on the elaborate balcony on the first floor. As the night progressed, we began feeling cold. Hence, we preferred to sit inside the room. We were served with sumptuous dinner by 9 p.m.
Day 2 :
Waking up early morning, we spent some time roaming around the Mission Campus, watching beautiful birds flying around, listening to the morning prayers at Prayer Hall. You may take an early morning stroll on the beach although we skipped it because we have another plan.
Visiting the surrounding rural areas
After having early breakfast, we took an auto and went to visit the surrounding rural areas. On the way, first we came across a beautiful mosque and then saw the preparation of Molasses from date palm juice. It is a very familiar sight in the early winter morning in rural Bengal. The villagers collect the date palm juice from trees overnight and in the morning they boiled this juice in a container at low temperature for a considerable period of time.
This juice then turns into wonderfully scented liquid molasses ( in Bengali, it is called Nolen Gur) and date molasses (Patali gur ). We all bought both liquid and date molasses and came back to the Mission.
Having our lunch by noon, we started our return journey and reached Kolkata by 7 p.m.
Best time to visit:
Winter is the best time to visit the place.
How to go :
The nearest railhead is Howrah/Sealdah. Nearest airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport. Board any Digha bound bus from Esplanade Bus Terminus and get off at Chowlkhola More and then take an auto or you can hire a cab from Railway station or airport.
Cost of fooding & lodging :
Rs. 500/- per head per day.
Contact numbers :
8116793234 : 8768435247 : 9735197738
Pre booking is mandatory.