I haven't been everywhere, but its on list. – Susan Sontag
Kokan fascinates me. The serene beaches and the not so commercial atmosphere, makes it very homely. We decided to tour the Sindhudurg district and try to cover as much as we can during our short stay.
Travel Duration: 5 days- 4 nights.
Date: 6-10 November 2013
Climate: Pleasant, Nov to Jan would be a good time to visit.
We started from Pune and took the Kolhapur-Radhanagari route to reach Parule, although the roads are not in good condition the route passes through the Radhanagari forest with the dam backwaters in sight and is very scenic and beautiful.
It was a log drive to reach Parule, where we were put up at Macchli, a nice resort in the natural beauty.
After refreshing and having a fulsome meal we headed off to check the nearby beach which was Bhogave beach. Bhogave beach is endowed with foamy waves and silver sand. Village Bhogave has another attraction of unification of sea and river named Karli. After enjoying a nice dip in the sea we headed back just by the sunset as its difficult to travel in Konkan during night. With no street lights and no one on the streets too to check for directions we reached back Macchli in time and had a great dinner to end our first day.
On our second day we drove to Malvan. The route to Malvan passed through the proposed airport under construction. Sindhudurg is a great place to try water sports and snorkeling, scuba diving in India. On reaching Malvan we took a ferry to the Sindhudurg fort and also included snorkeling and scuba diving.
It was a nice breezy ride and we anchored close to the fort where there was a small training session for the snorkeling and scuba participants after which they performed it. My son did not fit the age for snorkeling but then was allowed a little swim with some help. He thoroughly enjoyed it! 🙂
After the Sindhudurg fort ride we were dropped back on the shore and we then headed for lunch at Atithi Bamboo hotel which serves meals with different offerings in variety of fish\prawns\chicken etc. My husband enjoyed a surmai rava fry while I hogged on the modest vegetarian meal offered along with some nice Solkadhi.
After lunch we headed to the Rock garden and Chivla beach. The rock garden was hardly a garden, with little shade to offer and a few swing and slides. There used to be a toy train in this place but was not in function when we went there.
The Chivla beach is very rocky and reminded me of the Band Stand in Mumbai. Its a nice place to sit on the rocks and view the waves running towards the shore. We spent some time here and then headed towards Tarkarli.
Tarkarli seemed a more popular destination with lot of tourists and the beach road full of homestays and resorts. A fellow traveler mentioned to us that when they had visited Tarkarli way back in 2000 it was water was so clear they could see the corals from the beach shore. Now it happens to be polluted a lot with large volume of masses flocking to it. There were a lot of crabs too on the beach, due to which my son was not even ready to step into the water.
We then cut our visit short and headed to the Dhamapur lake from Tarkarli. It was a short drive we made with the help of GPS and also inquired on the route of the best route to take. (We realized long back that GPS is not solely reliable in Konkan). Dhamapur is a quite and serene place with a very beautiful temple of Bhagwati Devi. The idol of the Devi is very beautiful and the surrounding lake appears very pious and pure. Here we sat on the steps near the lake and had a short pedicure as there were a lot of fish in the lake.
It was nearing sunset and that meant we needed to head back to Parule – Macchli. As we were returning, it started getting dark. With no street lights in sights we saw people carelessly travel on foot long distances, or some of them waiting endlessly for a bus to arrive. We crossed small temples and they are the only signs to go by when you ask for directions. We finally reached Macchli, and then had a yummy dinner with the Kokani delicacies.
The next day we were to leave Macchli and then move to a Homestay at Dwarka, near Sawantwadi. It was a great stay and the hosts played perfect. In the morning we visited an ancient Surya Narayan temple, which belonged to the Samant family. It was very beautiful and clean.
Before moving onto Sawantwadi we visited the Kille Nivati and the Nivati beach. This is a small fort in ruins mostly but offers a great view of the bhogave beach.
We reached Dwarka Homestay after lunch. Dwarka is a wonderful homestay midst nice mango plantations. We had some rest and post tea, we left for Kondura beach. This was a lovely beach. The high tides kept was away from water. We then watched the fishermen gather the catch of the day and also enjoyed the kite flying of the village kids.
The drive on the “sagari mahamarga” or coastal highway from Dwarka homestay to Kondura and back was great and refreshing. We then spent time chatting with the owner Dilip Aklikar, who had passionately built the property. The day ended with another great dinner.
The next day we drove to Redi Ganapati Mandir. The Ganapati temple of Redi is located approximately 30 km from Vengurla, in the small village of Redi. The town in which this temple is situated contains manganese mines and the Ganpati idol was found in one of the mines near Rewati port. Trucks keep ferrying the ore to the shore. The story goes that the ganapati idol was found by one of the truck drivers after the Ganapati appeared in his dream and instructed him to search a particular place.The idol is in a sitting position and approximately 15 meters in height.
While Redi is in Sindhudurg, we were so close to Goa. From the Redi temple we visited the Terekhol Fort, which is in Goa. It was originally built by the Raja of Swanatwadi but later captured by the Portuguese. The fort was recently converted to a hotel, but the hotel was not operational when we visited. The fort offers a great view of the Tericol river and the coast of Goa.
After the long drives over two days it was time for a fill. We then ferried to the other coast along with our car, took a fill and a lunch at Mandrem beach and returned back to Sindhudurg.
We then visited the Sagareshwar temple, behind which is the sagareshwar beach. The beach is very good and clean, with less tourists around. After spending some time here we then returned to Dwarka homestay for dinner.
The next day we departed back to Pune, via the Sawantwadi-Amboli-Kolhapur-Pune route.
It was a amazing 5 days 4 nights trip where we covered around 6 beaches, 2 forts and a few temples. Both the homestays were amazing with great hospitality and great food.
Details of the stay:
Dwarka Home stay:
Tips for travelling with kids:
We also took the help of Jayesh Paranjpe, fro Western Routes to plan this wonderful trip.