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Old 19th June 2014, 00:59   #1
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Default Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

"Cholo kothao jai ei weekend e" (Let's go somewhere this weekend)

After a few weeks of strenuous life at work, and the last road trip being more than a month old (Gaur trip), these were the words that came out of the mouth of my wife. And, it all started again.

This time, the time itself was a constraint. Having already taken 10 days leave for Marriage + Honeymoon( in Thailand) and with a Kashmir trip planned during Durga puja (October) and a road trip to West Sikkim planned this November/December, we couldn't afford to take more leaves now.

So, we decided on a quiet and relaxed outing to Tajpur, the beach of the Red Crabs.

The trip, though short, had it all.

Engulfed by the highway.
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Drenched by Rain.
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Mesmerized by the sea.
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Charmed by the blossoms.
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And....the result

Pure bliss!!
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The trip was planned on 14th June, 2014 Saturday. The night before, it was the world cup elite clash between the Spain and Netherlands. The game was scheduled from 12:30am IST, and I was in no mood to miss the clash. But the day after, I had to drive. So, we decided to start for Tajpur a bit late and with the destination just within 170 Km, it shouldn't be a concern.

We had packed our luggage for 2 days on Friday itself and were ready for the trip.
After watching an exhilarating match between The Winner and Runner of the last edition of World Cup, the late night sleep didn't had any impact on my mood in the next day. I was feeling fresh and all set to hit the highway.

Day1


We woke up at around 7:00am in the morning, shared morning tea with our Family. It was a relaxed trip, so there was no rush.

I quickly tried to set my GPS (MMI Navigator), but to my utter surprise, in spite of showing the location of Tajpur in the Map, it couldn't find any road till the destination to Tajpur. This was the tricky part, as I knew that there is a road to Tajpur taking left from SH4 near Alampur (before Digha).
The MMI easily pointed the Mandarmoni Sea Beach taking left from Chaulkhola More, but it failed with Tajpur.
So, I pointed Chaulkhola more on State Highway 4 as my destination and started for the journey, hoping to seek help if needed.

We started from home at around 8:00 am, went to BP COCO fuel pump near Command Hospital (Alipore area), filled up the fuel tank to the brim,
checked the Tyre pressure and went ahead.

In no time we crossed the 2nd Hooghly bridge (Vidyasagar Setu) and landed on Kona Expressway(NH 117). This stretch of KONA Expressway is good barring a few signals on the way.

Overloading...not from any OOP programming concept though
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2891-1024x768.jpg

At the end of the KONA Expressway, one has two options -
1) exit on the right (via the flyover takes you to NH2, the road to Delhi via Durgapur Expressway) and,
2) the exit on the left which steps on NH6 (Kolkata - Hazira (Surat)).

We took the left exit this time and stepped on NH6. The condition of NH 6 till Kolaghat is full of diversions with the four lane work in progress. It took me around 1.5 hours to reach Kolaghat from Kolkata this time, whereas during my Digha trip in Aug, 2012 I covered the same stretch in ~1 hour. I assume that the Toll fare of INR 90 oneway at Dhulagori Toll doesn't justify the value considering the state of this stretch of NH6.

Dhulagori Toll Plaza
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2890-1024x768.jpg

Crossing the Rupnarayan River- This new bridge is in far better state now, who will guess now that it was a place of huge traffic snarl 1.5 years back.
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2892-1024x768.jpg

We had a sumptuous breakfast at Sher-e-Punjab in Kolaghat and off we went. We took a left turn after Kolaghat and stepped on to NH41. The state of road is superb. It was four lane all the way and it's worth paying INR 65 oneway at Sonapetya Toll for the pleasure of driving here.

The NH41 stretch
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2895-1024x768.jpg

We continued on NH41 till Nandakumar, then took a roundabout and took the third exit to State Highway 4. Here I found one interesting feature of my MMI navigator. The navigator was set in 3D mode, but when the roundabout at Nandakumar arrived, it shifted to 2D mode automatically to give a clear idea of the road ahead. I liked it.

When we hear the word State Highway, we instantly visualize a two lane road with maximum probability of ill maintenance. At least, being here 2 years back, I had a fair idea of this stretch. This road was very bad in stretches and pothole ridden and the buses that ply in this route, they drive like there is no tomorrow.
But this time I found that the road condition improved drastically. It is still two lane but the tarmac laid is new and far better than before. But the characteristics of bus, or rather the bus drivers remain the same. I don't know if there is a problem with my visual or not, but the chassis of some of the buses seems terribly misaligned. When they approach from the other side, the head and tail can be seen clearly when looking straight at
it. And on top of that, they will overtake any trucks and other vehicles anytime and it is your duty to stop and let them do that. They seldom hit
the brake and when they do, they make sure you are off the road.

A State Highway 4 stretch:
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2903-1024x768.jpg

Now, my MMI has been set to Chaulkhola More. But Tajpur? We had to seek help from the local guys. We stopped at Chaulkhola More, asked some local guys about the direction to Tajpur, they replied "If you want to go to Mandarmoni take left from there, and for Tajpur you have to continue straight towards Digha and take a left turn near Alampur. The road is higher than the SH4 with water bodies on both sides". We said thanks, and continued driving until we approached a Yellow building. This building is on the right side when you are going towards Digha, just opposite to the road to Tajpur.

The Tajpur road to the left- The picture is clicked on my return from Tajpur, so EON is parked facing the Yellow building. Straight on is Digha. There is pointer too at the side of the entrance to the road to Tajpur.
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_3009-1024x768.jpg

And the Yellow Building.
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_3007-1024x768.jpg

As we entered the Tajpur road, we found that the road is far improved compared to the pictures shared by 1100D (TBHP handle) few years back. This shows that this place is gaining popularity and losing its virginity at the same time.
Some pictures:

Water bodies onboth sides of the road
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2914-1024x768.jpg

The road to Tajpur beach
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2907-1024x768.jpg

EON parked on the side, the ribbons are World Cup special (German flag)
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2911-1024x768.jpg

The greenery
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2926-1024x768.jpg

The queue of resorts seen from distance
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2924-1024x768.jpg

Our hotel was Sabuj Saikat hotel. First heard of this hotel in a post by Samba (TBHP Handle). Searched for the review of the hotel in the web and the feedback was very good, specially the food. So I called them and booked a room for one night.
We got a call from the hotel guy on Day1 morning asking what we would like to have for lunch. We immediately decided that our food should have a feel of sea-side holiday, so immediately cancelled any chicken/mutton preparation. Rather we asked for Pomfret and a Prawn ("Golda Chingri" as we say in Bengali) dish.

The hotel is located very close to the sea (a privilege not enjoyed by many hotels in this area), had ample parking space and the cottages were good too. The hotel is situated amidst the Tamarisk trees and the beach is 3 minutes walk.

The approach road to our hotel, a morrum road surrounded by greenery
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2927-1024x768.jpg

Our Hotel
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2928-1024x768.jpg

The siblings relaxing in the parking spot, the youngest one is clearly distinctive
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2970-1024x575.jpg

The cottages
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2972-1024x575.jpg

We arrived at the hotel at around 12:45 pm. We had our lunch and I must say that the hotel lived upto its reputation of food quality. The outside conditions were hot and humid, so we agreed on taking some rest and visit the beach in late afternoon.
One surprise, the hotel had an LCD TV and that too with Sony SIX.

We went to the beach around 4:45 pm and were surprised by the population red crabs in this beach. They were everywhere. The beach itself wasn't crowded and the red crabs were moving everywhere. But if you get too close, they disappear underground.

The Tajpur beach is serene and a good 300 metres before you reach the sea. We were very much impressed by the less number of tourists here compared to the other beaches (Digha/Mandarmoni). We spend some quality time together here, taking snaps, walking through the woods and the beaches, sitting by the sea with the Bay of Bengal crying out loud in hoarse voice.

The Beach
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2929-1024x768.jpg


Red Crabby! Are you alone?
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2934-1024x768.jpg


No, you have a friend!
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2936-1024x768.jpg


Or, Thousands of them?
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2933-1024x768.jpg


Hundreds of thousands!!
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2937-1024x768.jpg


The Sea from the edge of the beach
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2946-1024x768.jpg


Hydro-Design
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2955-1024x768.jpg


Sunset
Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2963-1024x575.jpg

The night at the hotel was a relaxed one, with cool breeze through the trees, noise of the insects in harmony (an opera would be more suitable term) and a brilliant time with my wife.

Day 2..to be continued.

Last edited by gearhead_mait : 26th June 2014 at 16:04. Reason: Continuing the Travelogue..
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Old 28th June 2014, 15:07   #2
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 28th June 2014, 15:21   #3
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

Nice thread. Beautiful pictures too. Please share the hotel expenses; that will be very helpful to prospective travelers.
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Old 28th June 2014, 16:11   #4
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

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Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Nice thread. Beautiful pictures too. Please share the hotel expenses; that will be very helpful to prospective travelers.
The expenses of this hotel is INR 1050 for Non-AC room and INR 1550 for AC room.
There is a package food system in this hotel which costs you INR 450/- per head which includes lunch, snacks and tea, dinner and breakfast the next day. The quality of the food is very good.
You also have the option to pay per item you order.
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Old 28th June 2014, 16:44   #5
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

A very well written review and the pictures are really good. Does the hotel have a pool facility too? And any power problems there?
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Old 28th June 2014, 17:03   #6
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

I have planned a beach holiday. And this has come as a respite to the usual Digha/Shankerpur.

Please share if you have more pics and if possible a road log (either via GPS or Google Maps)

Thanks for sharing
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Old 28th June 2014, 19:09   #7
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

Wow thats a huge number of crabs. Are they all over the beach or on only some section of the beach?
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Old 29th June 2014, 08:13   #8
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

Nice review gearhead, I have visited Tajpur twice, both times, loved it, and thoroughly loved your pictures. Could you share the technical stats of the pictures Hydro-Design & the one with the two crabs together and the camera you used?
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Old 30th June 2014, 01:50   #9
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

Day 2

It was Sunday. We woke up a bit late had our breakfast, packed our bags and checked out of the hotel at around 10:30 am.
Our plan was to visit the other side of the Tajpur beach(close to Mohona), then move to Mandarmoni on our way back.

This part of the beach of Tajpur is accessible to cars. We thought about some beach driving here, but we couldn't, as it was time for high tide.

And the worst part of this part of the beach is, there are too much vehicles here. The Bolero's, Scorpio's all over here, and later we found out that it brought tourists from Digha, Mandarmoni to a day trip to Tajpur beach.
I squeezed in my EON luckily in a tight spot. But there is no respite, as the beach was full of water from the high tide and the spaces that was available had all sort of tourist vehicles parked.

A picture taken at this part of Tajpur:

Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2977-1024x575.jpg

We went ahead towards Mandarmoni, again having some word of praise for the location of our hotel, with such a beautiful and serene beach so close to it. Specially after seeing this part of the beach, which is the last place one wants to be for a serene getaway.

I must say that the road from Tajpur to SH4 is beautiful one indeed.
Some pictures, to justify this:


Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2988-1024x768.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2991-1024x768.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_2993-1024x768.jpg

Now, we traveled back towards Chaulkhola more, took a right turn and started making progress towards Mandarmoni sea beach.

Mandarmoni is 18km by road from Tajpur. From Tajpur, one has the option to take a ferry, cross the Mohona and reach Mandarmoni.

When we entered the road to Mandarmoni, we were surprised by the number of speed breakers this road had. The driving here is not as enjoyable as Tajpur road, also the distance of the beach in Mandarmoni from Chaulkhola is far more than Alampur to Tajpur.

When we reached Mandarmoni, it was high tide, so the option of fdriving in the beach here is also thrown out of the window.

Some pictures of Mandarmoni

Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_3010-1024x768.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_3014-1024x768.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_3018-1024x768.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_3021-1024x768.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_3022-1024x768.jpg

After some snaps and driving around Mandarmoni, it is time for us to hit the highway again for return.
I personally found Mandarmoni no where close to the ambience offered by Tajpur. Maybe, I didn't stay in Mandarmoni, that's why it may be a biased comment. But I sincerely felt that Mandarmoni is overcrowded to say the least.

On our return, the brilliance of Monsoon shone brightly. It was black clouds formation, thunders, torrential downpour, everything that can make an icing on the cake.
Its truly heavenly feeling to drive in the rains, with a light music in the background and raindrops hitting the roof hard.

Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_3025-1024x768.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_3031-1024x768.jpg

Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-img_3037-1024x575.jpg

On our way back, we stopped for lunch in Sher-e-Punjab Kolaghat, but was told that we have to wait for half an hour due to the rush of tourists.
We went ahead and had our lunch at Hotel Abhijit near Bagnan, not bad at all.
It took us 3.5 hours to travel back to our home(excluding lunch time). The diversions in NH61 far less on our way back.

End of a trip, an excellent one, but planning for another in Assembly line already.
This is life and this is exactly how it should be.

Last edited by gearhead_mait : 30th June 2014 at 01:52.
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Old 30th June 2014, 11:57   #10
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

Quote:
Originally Posted by docswarna26 View Post
A very well written review and the pictures are really good. Does the hotel have a pool facility too? And any power problems there?
No, there is no pool facility in this hotel. Anyway, you have the world's biggest pool not too far away.

Yes, there is power problems in this area. Each hotel has their generator rooms and in our case, the hotel had two generator rooms and they were running non-stop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
I have planned a beach holiday. And this has come as a respite to the usual Digha/Shankerpur.

Please share if you have more pics and if possible a road log (either via GPS or Google Maps)

Thanks for sharing
Thanks!
I have shared a few more pictures. I would recommend Tajpur over any other beach in this area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Servegaar View Post
Wow thats a huge number of crabs. Are they all over the beach or on only some section of the beach?
Yes, they are everywhere indeed.
Actually, they aggregate in areas where there are less people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arpanjha View Post
Nice review gearhead, I have visited Tajpur twice, both times, loved it, and thoroughly loved your pictures. Could you share the technical stats of the pictures Hydro-Design & the one with the two crabs together and the camera you used?
Thanks a lot!
The camera is Canon SX150 and it belongs to my wife. She is accredited for the photography posted here. Hydro-design is shot in Landscape mode and the Crabs are shot in Macro mode with horizontal blur.

Last edited by gearhead_mait : 30th June 2014 at 11:58. Reason: Edited the post.
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Old 1st July 2014, 16:01   #11
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

Nice pics. I'd visited this place last year (Stayed at a place called Tajpur Palm Village Resort) and found it to be better than Mandarmani, which is too crowded, absolutely no value for money and unsafe IMHO.

These hotels are pretty neat (I recollect an AC room with Large LCD) and the food is fresh and made to order.

Good decision to give Mandarmani a pass.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 12:14   #12
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

Quote:
Originally Posted by premjit View Post
Nice pics. I'd visited this place last year (Stayed at a place called Tajpur Palm Village Resort) and found it to be better than Mandarmani, which is too crowded, absolutely no value for money and unsafe IMHO.

These hotels are pretty neat (I recollect an AC room with Large LCD) and the food is fresh and made to order.

Good decision to give Mandarmani a pass.
Yes! I found this too. Mandarmani is too crowded to be enjoyed nowadays.
Don't know how many days Tajpur remains in the current state. Its awesome experience there.
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Old 4th July 2014, 14:46   #13
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Default Re: Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
I have planned a beach holiday. And this has come as a respite to the usual Digha/Shankerpur.

Please share if you have more pics and if possible a road log (either via GPS or Google Maps)

Thanks for sharing

The road log for your information:

From Kona Expressway:

Name:  Tajpur_Directions.jpg
Views: 6546
Size:  136.0 KB


Zoomed in:

Weekend Getaway: Exotic Tajpur and Mandarmoni-tajpur_directions_2.jpg
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