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Chandaneswar Temple

Chandaneswar Temple   is located in Balasore District near New Digha (Digha).
Approx.7 km towards west from Digha is famous for a Shiva Temple. In the month of Chaitra  i.e., in the last month of Bengali calender year, an annual fair is organized at this temple. Pilgrims from all over the country especially from Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar visited this Temple. There are bus/rickshaw services from Digha to Chandaneswar. Apart from this, Calcutta-Chandaneswar, Howrah-Balasore, Digha-Baripada buses ply via Chandaneswar.

THE TIMES OF INDIA - Come down to party on the Digha-Mandarmoni beaches

Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey, TNN Jan 6, 2012, 04.39AM IST

KOLKATA: Riding the waves on a water scooter, parasailing and landing on the golden beach or selecting your sea food from the aquarium and seeing it getting cooked in a live kitchen on the beach. Thought all this could happen only in Goa? These and much more are about to happen nearer home, in Digha and Mandarmoni, to pamper the adventurous side in you.

Starting January 13, the four-day festival has already created a lot of excitement among tourists as is evident from ongoing bookings, both on site and online. The state tourism department, which is organizing the Digha-Mandarmoni beach festival, has tied up with a large number of private leading hotels at Digha, Shankarpur and Mandarmoni to accomodate the rush.

Special stay packages have been designed for this and people are madly availing of the offers. This was evident at the tourism office at Dalhousie on Thursday.

Special arrangements for water sports have also been made and the department has tied up with leading private players who operate in places like Goa and Kovalam. A gala sea-food festival has been organized by the Fish Traders' Association of Digha where at least 150 myriad varieties of sea fish, oysters, squids, lobsters etc will be put on exhibit in a huge aquarium for the people to pick and choose. The department is tying up with leading restaurant chains in the city to participate in the festival.

"We can assure you that you will see some of the city's well known food brands at the festival. The sea food festival will perhaps be the largest ever that has been planned in the country if you take the variety and the spread on offer," said state tourism secretary, Raghavendra Singh.

The festival will be capped with rock music and some of the leading names in the city like Crosswindz, Cactus and Chandrabindoo have already been lined up to perform at the festival. Among the individual performers who have confirmed are Bickram Ghosh, Usha Uthup and Tanushree Shankar, informed the CEO of the Digha Shankarpur Development Authority (DSDA), Soumen Pal. Watch towers will be set up on the beach for the performers.

The programme will kick off with a half marathon that will be run on a 14km stretch between Shankarpur and Digha. The beach volley ball and beach kabaddi will be an add on for those with an athletic streak in them.

The festival is being looked upon as a curtain raiser to a mammoth development along the 40km shoreline, from Udaypur at the Orissa-Bengal border to Junput near Contai. Senior officials in the tourism department said that this is the brainchild of none other than chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, who had mentioned this in the election manifesto itself.

"We are ready with a masterplan for this development, which will be a public-private sector joint initiative. I can happily tell you that not only the leading hotel groups in the country, but even those abroad have shown preliminary interest in becoming a part of this shoreline development with the state government," Singh said.

Immediately after the festival is over, the state tourism department, along with DSDA and state urban development department, will identify plots that are available for development. "We will divide them into zones.

Since the place in question is along the sea, the land use pattern will be different keeping in mind the ecological balance. There will be separate zones for hotels, eateries, parks, markets and entertainment. We are trying to bring in some modern concepts like "piers" where a zone juts into the sea and people can enjoy a walk by the the sea or even dine," Singh added.

The package is priced at Rs 2600 per person for two nights three days, the state tourism department is making a killing. "I think it is quite cheap because they are also providing two and fro air-conditioned transport. We're going in a big group of 30 friends," said Anasuya Banerjee.