Digha is West Bengal's most popular sea resort and tourist spot located south west of Calcutta. It is 187 km from Calcutta and Described as the 'Brighton of the East best for a holiday. Digha has a low gradient with a shallow sand beach with gentle waves extends 7 kms in length. In Digha sea starts about a mile away from the start of the beach. The scenic beauty of this place is charming and luring. The beach is girdled with casuarinas plantations along the coast enhancing the beauty of this place. These trees apart from beautifying the sands also aid in reducing the erosion on the dunes. One can view both sunrise and sunset at Digha sea beach. The sunsets and sunrises reflecting off the salty waters of the Bay of Bengal are something straight off an artist's easel. The sea at Digha is calm and shallow for about a mile from the beach making it quite safe for swimming. Digha Originally known as Beerkul during Warren Hastings time was discovered in the late 18th century by the British. It is mentioned as the "Brighton of the East" in one of Warren Hasting's letters (1780 AD) to his wife.One can view both sunrise and sunset at Digha sea beach. The sunsets and sunrises reflecting off the salty waters of the Bay of Bengal are something straight off an artist's easel. The sea at Digha is calm and shallow for about a mile from the beach making it quite safe for swimming Also In 1923, an English tourist John Frank Smith was charmed by the beauty of Digha and started living here. His writings about Digha slowly gave exposure to this place. After independence, he convinced West Bengal's chief minister Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy to develop Digha as a beach resort. Shankarpur, a virgin beach as yet, is a recent discovery. It is a twin beach of Digha, around 14 km from Digha, along the Digha-Contai Road. It is now developed as a sea resort with hotels It offers nearly all the pleasures of a private beach with casuarina plantations. Shankarpur is mainly credited for all the advantages of Digha and decreasing the crowd of Digha. It can boast of a wide and unspoilt beach, casuarina groves by the side of a gentle sea and a good climate round the year. Apart from the long, tree-lined beach, the main attraction is the Shankarpur Fishing Harbour Project.