A Hidden Gem called Bordi

10th Aug 2016
Photo of A Hidden Gem called Bordi by Karthik Adithya
Photo of A Hidden Gem called Bordi 1/1 by Karthik Adithya
Sitting at the dock of the bay, wasting time. :)
Day 1

Discovering the existence of Bordi

If you are one of those people, like me (but, of course), that loves a quite evening listening to the deep rumbling of waves, and rustling of trees by a beach, I am sure you would appreciate a quaint pristine beach.

This is a small write up about one such afternoons I spent, while travelling last year along the Indian West Coast.

In 2016, I was on a solo Backpacking journey along many places of India, most of which primarily lay along the scenic Indian West Coast.

My journey took me along various places, like Kerala (Ernakulam, Munnar, Calicut, Kasargod, Mangalore and such), Konkan Coastline extending all the way from Mangalore till Goa, and then, I hit Mumbai.

It was while staying in Mumbai, that I decided to spend some time with a few friends from the city. My plan was to spend some time in the city, and then move on towards Gujarat, Silvassa, and Daman.

One such evening, while hanging out with my Mumbai friends at their office, I found out that I could I make a pitstop at a relatively unknown village with a Parsi community, and a beautiful beach called Bordi.

I am a sucker for both Culture Travels, as well as, Beaches, and hence, naturally this piqued my curiosity and interest.

Onwards to Vapi

In the following days, after spending quite a few days having a good time with my Mumbai friends, I took a bus, after an amusing mix-up about first being directed to someplace South of Borivali by 6km, and almost walking two thirds of the way back up north, before actually managing to grab the next available Private service bus towards Surat, Gujarat.

The Scenic Ride to Vapi from Mumbai, with terrain eventually flattening out. You can almost sense a culture shift halfway.

Photo of Bordi, Maharashtra, India by Karthik Adithya

Things to Do, at Gholvad Railway Station

Photo of Gholvad Railway fatak, Gholvad, Maharashtra, India by Karthik Adithya

"Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road." ~ Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Photo of Gholvad - Bordi Road, Gholvad, Maharashtra, India by Karthik Adithya

My destination was Vapi, the first city that you enter, once you reach Gujarat, from Mumbai, and also a city sandwiched between Daman, and Silvassa, and very close to Bordi, which lay on the Maharashtra and Gujarat Border, coastline area.

The details of my experiences in Vapi, Daman and Silvassa will be part of other blogs, but let me explain the journey and discovery of Bordi.

Finding Bordi

There are two ways to come to Bordi. The easy way, that is from Mumbai. And the hard but interesting way, that is from Vapi.

I, reflexively, took the latter route.

So, to reach Bordi, one must reach a small village/town called Gholvad, which has the nearest Railway Station. There are many trains that ply between Surat and Mumbai, which stop here. Just go through the Train timetable to find the train that suits you.

If you have the love for taking convoluted routes, like me, and find yourself caught up in Chemical City, Vapi, I must advise you to take a share Auto-Rickshaw from Vapi to Bhilad, since Surat-Gholvad trains that go through Vapi are not too frequent.

I would personally recommend this to enthusiastic travelers who do not mind an eventful, albeit longer journey, since the roads are wide, smooth, and very scenic.

At Bhilad or Sigdi or Nahuli, which are all small urbanesque villages along the way, you can have nice breakfasts/brunches, at one of the many highway restaurants. I had an amazing Chai, and some real good Poha and Puri-Bhaji.

The advantage of taking Shared Autorickshaws is that they are not just cheap, but one can break their journey to explore various places along the way. I paid, Rs.20/- for a 20km share ride (steal, innit?!). But to be fair, I sat with 11 others in the Tempo Rickshaw. I would highly advise you to keep your luggage light, if you plan to try this way of transport.

At Bhilad, one can get down, and take either a local passenger, or continue further in any local buses/auto rickshaws plying towards Gholvad.

Gholvad is a typical Marathi village, right at the border with Gujarat, with a quiet Railway Station, a small Paan Shop. The Railway Station is a bit outside the main settlement.

I have tried to dig my photographic collection, and it would seem, I was primarily fixated on my left side, and with a good reason, I should imagine. You can decide, based on your thoughts on the following photographs. :)

"I guess when you turn off the Main Road, you have to be prepared to see some funny houses." ~ Stephen King

Photo of Bordi, Maharashtra, India by Karthik Adithya

"Old houses were scaffolding once, and work men whistling. " ~ T.E.Hulme

Photo of Bordi, Maharashtra, India by Karthik Adithya

Any guesses what opens behind these gates? You'd be surprised! ;)

Photo of Bordi, Maharashtra, India by Karthik Adithya

One of the reasons I was fixated on the Left Side of the Road - these beautiful woods!

Photo of Bordi, Maharashtra, India by Karthik Adithya

Reasons to be fixated on the Left Side. Pt.2

Photo of Bordi, Maharashtra, India by Karthik Adithya

Extending as far as I could see - Bordi Beach

Photo of Bordi Beach, Bordi, Maharashtra, India by Karthik Adithya

Does it qualify as ancient? o.O

Photo of Bordi Beach, Bordi, Maharashtra, India by Karthik Adithya

For the Love of Symmetry and A few shades of Gray. Shot at Bordi, by the beach.

Photo of Bordi Beach, Bordi, Maharashtra, India by Karthik Adithya

Make memories, yeah? :)

Photo of Bordi Beach, Bordi, Maharashtra, India by Karthik Adithya

Gholvad a quiet little lazy place, where nothing much really happens. The Railway Station does have a fancy Bakery attached next to it, where one can indulge in some nice cakes and such. I preferred my Cancerous bare necessities with a Chai (not proud). ^_^

Right outside the Railway Station, there are buses which ply from Gholvad to Bordi, which is 4.5km away.

You can either take those buses, at a bare minimum price of under Rs.10/-, or choose to walk. I walked on my way towards Bordi, for a bit, before being generously offered a lift, by a local.

The Gholvad-Bordi Road (shown in the picture above), is a picturesque walk with beautiful nature on both the sides. The first you notice, when you enter Bordi is the surprisingly wide, clean, and smooth roads, carefully laid out. On the left side of the road, there are mostly abandoned buildings, trees, marshy areas, and a Government School. On the other side, there are modestly luxurious looking houses, with aesthetic architectural appeal, and a couple of resorts which cater to Corporate tourists, who seem to frequent Bordi for a quiet, Corporate Retreat.

The left side of Bordi's Main Road, when you enter the village, from Gholvad, is a scenic view. Full of trees, marshes, water, abandoned buildings etc. One of the finest views I saw was of the Government School. The entire left stretch has a beach extending on the other end of this expanse of greenery and hauntingly beautiful abandoned places, but the Government School is quite unique, in its own way, since it opens up to a courtyard overlooking the beach. When I entered Bordi, since it was during the period of monsoons, it looked it will rain anytime, and there were strong winds, and the kids were playing football in the courtyard, overlooking a windy, expansive beach. I can't think of a more beautiful way of spending afternoons after school!

And along the road, there are paths perpendicular on the left side, which seem to lead beyond the trees, to the beach.

"And along the road, there are paths perpendicular on the left side, which seem to lead beyond the trees, to the beach."

Photo of A Hidden Gem called Bordi by Karthik Adithya

Finally, after taking one such path, and passing through a beautiful wooded area, with its own marshes, I finally entered the Bordi beach, at around 2PM, in the afternoon, after leaving Vapi around 11AM, on a quiet overcast August morning.

And boy, what a sight!

My view of Bordi Beach and the Arabian Sea.

Photo of A Hidden Gem called Bordi by Karthik Adithya

Bordi Beach, is long, and stretches almost a kilometre, I would think.

And thankfully, since it was in the middle of the week, during monsoons, the day I went there, I was literally the only guy on the beach. But talking to locals, informed me that not many still know about this place, or frequent here, except a few local area business men, who visit the resorts.

It has been one the most beautiful, untouched, and pristine beaches I have ever visited, and I would recommend this beach to any solo traveller or beach lover to visit for a day. It costs you next to nothing, and the experience of visiting a wide beach, which can give decent beaches of Goa, a run for the money, without the hullabaloo of Goa beaches is something totally worth exploring, I'd say!

What's more, Bordi is one of the oldest Parsi settlements in the country, with the evidence of same across the village. It is a quiet village, with a few small, but honest eateries, where you can have your lunch, and some fancy bakeries.

The Only Evidence I found of humanity, on that day, at the beach!

Photo of A Hidden Gem called Bordi by Karthik Adithya

On my way back, since I was staying at Vapi, I needed to come back to Gholvad, and take the next train plying towards Surat, which was to stop at Vapi. I reached Vapi, in good time, by around 8:30PM.

I cost me less than Rs.500/-, the experience of entire day.

Transport ~ Rs.200/-

Food ~ Rs.200/-

Other Bare Necessities (Chai, Biscuit, etc.) ~ Rs.100/-

But I ply frugally. Even with a little indulgence, I'd find it hard to imagine this trip costing more than Rs.750/-, if you use public transport.

If you use private transport, please calculate the cost on Petrol/Diesel based on the distance from where you leave. ^_^

I'm lazy to give you those details. :P

Stuff I carried to this trip:

1) Money (duh!)

2) Camera

3) Phone and Power Bank

4) Water Bottle

5) A Book and A Pen (I try to pretend to write, sometimes.)

6) A Novel - I forget, which one.

7) Earphones

8) Some Hand Sanitizer and Facewipes

9) A Poncho (Good idea, during monsoons, I'd say.)

10) A Torch (If you are out on the road, in the dark.)

I don't know, if I carried too many things. What do you think? Enough, right, for a day trip? I try to travel as light, as possible.

Hope you enjoyed my long and detailed description of Bordi, which is one my favorite hidden gems from my Backpacking times, last year.

Happy travels, peeps! Enjoy Bordi, and let me know once you did! ^_^

Cheers, and out.