Kashid – The virgin beach of Maharashtra, India

16th Aug 2014
Photo of Kashid – The virgin beach of Maharashtra, India 1/6 by Muktadhara Ray
At the Janjira Fort
Photo of Kashid – The virgin beach of Maharashtra, India 2/6 by Muktadhara Ray
Ruins of Janjira fort
Photo of Kashid – The virgin beach of Maharashtra, India 3/6 by Muktadhara Ray
ruins of janjira fort
Photo of Kashid – The virgin beach of Maharashtra, India 4/6 by Muktadhara Ray
Pune - Mumbai expressway during monsoons
Photo of Kashid – The virgin beach of Maharashtra, India 5/6 by Muktadhara Ray
Pomfret Thali
Photo of Kashid – The virgin beach of Maharashtra, India 6/6 by Muktadhara Ray
Kashid - Ko Phi Phi of India

Last year I shifted to Pune from Kolkata. Among other things, what made me very happy about this decision to move was, the numerous places around Pune that will dot my weekends. Over the last year, a mixture of personal letdowns and professional struggle has brought the frequency of these travels much below my imagination allowed me but could not stop my travel feet entirely. One such trip, happened in the month of August this year,with my cousin and her husband to the pristine beach of Kashid.

Kashid is about 170 km from Pune and the best way to reach there is hire a cab (of course if you don't own a vehicle of your own.) The standard cab charges from Pune is 300 km at the rate of Rs 8 per day + driver charges(Rs 200). So around 7 am in the morning we set out in a ford Figo for Kashid. The drive at the Pune Mumbai expressway and breakfast at Lonavla makes up for most of the efforts put. The beauty of this place during monsoons is beyond what words can describe. The place where you take a detour from the expressway towards Kashid, the road is dusty , broken and the ride is not very pleasant. Finally after a couple of hours into this nightmarish travel, the first sight of sea is a relief. Kashid has one big main resort, named Prakriti, but if you check the rates online, it is pretty expensive. So it is best to go for cheaper resorts or hotels. The one that we stayed in charged us 1400 INR per night. The first sight of the resort was pleasant, there were palm/coconut trees in the grounds and hammocks were tied to the branches. The room was modest and clean and we quite liked it. My motto whenever I visit any beach is to try the fishes available and stay away from chicken.We wasted no time in ordering pomfret thalis for dinner and set out in the hunt of lunch. Lunch was a feast of fishes and rice for us, pomfret, bangda, surmai, rawet and what not in a small nameless shack by the road .Once our bong taste buds were satisfied with the wide variety of fishes, without wasting any time, we set out for the Murud Janjira fort.

Murud is a muslim dominated place, we passed a couple of mosques before we reached the place from where we would get a boat to the Janjira Fort. the boats are like the ones you see in Pirate of Carribbean movies only much smaller in size. We had to jump onto the boat from a very high place(stairs) and onto the steady arms of the 'captain'. The return trip in such boats costs only Rs 50 per person.Everyone folded their legs and settled down at the floor of the boat. After a while at the sea, we could see a huge dark structure spotted with greenery in the middle of the sea.

Our so called guide told us in a very shrill nasal tone that this fort was built before the times of Shivaji and such is its strength that it is still standing unshaken after all these years, despite the numerous thunderstorms , earthquakes and fierce sea waves all around.

Even from a distance, the magnanimity of the fort does make you small. The guide farther tells us that the speciality of this fort is that you cannot see its entrance till the time you have reached near the fort.As we went nearer, we saw a flight of stairs that led to the Fort.

Waves lashed at the stairs and a few men stood there. The job of this men is to get hold of the people at the boat with their arms and flung them on to the drier steps. The inside of the fort is not at all maintained. There are weeds growing everywhere and it gives a haunted feeling. I felt like a thousand eyes are watching me.

The guide will tell you that at some point this fort had dargahs and temples and rooms and ponds and anything else that a city might have. During war, it would give protection to an entire city and no enemy till date could bring down the fort, it was so well guarded. Nights at Kashid are heavenly. At sunset, you must be at the beach lying down on the clean white sands and see the sea devour the sun.There will be very few people to give you company and absolute silence around you like you have been taken to a different world.

The speciality of the Kashid beach is that there is a small hillock by the beach and when you see it from a distance it appears no less than the Phi Phi islands in Thailand. It is a topic of debate whether the beach looks more beautiful at night or in the early mornings.I for one could not choose a favorite. Go halfway up the hillock and sit staring at the sea and I can guarantee you will forget half of your life's problems. Personally I feel , a night is enough to explore Kashid, but if you have an exciting group of friends or someone special you may extend it upto 3 days and visit the nearby Alibaug. For a heart that is eager to travel, even an eternity is not enough.

This fort is in the middle of the sea and takes you back in time. The boat ride is very adventurous. You have to Rs 50 per person. These boats have the most primitive way of sailing, they sail with the direction of the wind. The sea was a lil choppy when we stepped into the boat and the struggle of the 4 boatmen to find the right direction was a thing to see. The fort was visible at a distance. It's magnanimous. I was in Rome sometime back and the Colosseum had given me the same feeling. It's a pity that the government does nothing to protect these ancient monuments.The boatmen tell you mesmerizing stories of shivaji and the fort on the way. It takes about half an hour to reach the fort. Inside the fort it's all ruins and thick jungle. You can hire a guide for 300 bucks who will show you around but it's not worth and you may want to look around a bit by yourself. On the top of the fort you can still see some canons that look out to the sea. I sat by them and thought how many enemy ships must have been bombarded by these canons!

Frequent searches leading to this page:-

maharashtra tourism hotels, tourist places in maharashtra in winter, top tourist places in maharashtra, top 10 tourist places in maharashtra, maharashtra state tourism