If you are a beach lover, this is the place to be. Close to Mumbai, yet at a distance - a nice getaway. White, clean sand, loads of activities, visually pleasing fun all around, boat rides, horse rides...all's happening here.
Deciding to test my driving skills, a friend of mine and me endeavoured to land up in Kashid. The nearby Phansad Wildlife sanctuary was more on my mind than the beach.
Kashid is about 35 km from Alibaug, to the south of it and around 120 km from Mumbai. Google maps will help you as it helped us. Just as you heave triumphantly realising you are almost there, it seems only too far as you drive through never ending narrow lanes with houses lined up with children playing on the streets and junta going on with their day-to-day activities and 'not from this land' tourist junta blaring their horns off for the truck in front to give way and and raising your indignation (I hate honkiing...OK TATA BYE BYE). As you see the first glimpse of the sea, splashes against the rocky surface makes you wonder if this is the beach you'v come to, but it's not. It will remind you though of the climax of 'Ek Duje Ke Liye.
It took us roughly 3 and 1/2 hrs to reach the place from Mumbai - not bad I would say, getting lost twice and being on the big roads for the first time.
With no prior bookings we decided to find a place to stay before we ventured on the beach. There are a lot of homestay options before and after you cross the beach. With the long weekend, we were sure most of the stays would be pre-occupied and so it was, but we did manage 'Sagar Tourist Home', almost a km away from the beach. It has a spacious backyard with coconut trees and swaying hammocks. Dinner tables were laid below the cocunut trees and you could see the local women cook your food. The home cooked culinary treat was delicious. They have parking space.
Needless to say, lots of beer/wine shops line the streets, resulting in a pleasant countenance on the tourists' faces. You won't find any at the beach but many about 3 kms away after crossing the beach on the way to Murud.
The beach with its white sand looks even better when you are watching it from a distance. A few kms away from the actual beach is a secluded stretch and a view from the road above makes a picture perfect. Am sure a lot of romantic couples would prefer to have this beautiful stretch to themselves. Kashid is the nearest to the Goa experience I guess. Spotted a lot of firangs also enjoying themselves in the sun and water. Even though you may see a lot of coconut trees at the homestay you are in, the sweet cocunut water is more or less reserved for the beach. The locals use theirs for growing the hard brown coconut for selling and for cooking purpose.
A sumptuous meal cooked in the open on a choolah, with wooden embers flying may have made our meal more delicious. We had our lunch of fish thali, surmai curry, surmai fry and sol kadi. Dinner was a chicken thali. The food was worth the money. Any place on the Konkan coast, you HAVE to try the sol kadi. It's a local speciality prepared with coconut milk, cocum and tadka with some spices....and is a good appetiser....yummy...you can't just have one and will be left craving for more.
Even though I did not spend a lot of time at the Kashid beach, as I was busy in the nearby jungle of Phansad, I will recommend this place as a good getaway from the racing crowds of Mumbai. Apart from the beautiful beach, you have other nearby places worth visiting as listed below:
Phansad Vanya Jeev Abhyaranya (wildlife sanctuary) - 20 km from Kashid
Revdanda Beach Fort- On your way to Kashid - 8 km (did not visit). Revdanda is also a port and you see heavy machinery from far away entering into the sea picking up gravel 'reti', I suppose.
Datta Mandir - 8 km from Kashid (did not visit)
Light house and fort of Korlai and the fishing village - Since this was more of an unplanned visit, we did reach the fishing village of Korlai, but saw the fort only from a distance. The fisherwoman, the fishing nets, boats with colorfull flags, the smell and sight of fish everywhere kept for drying in the sun, fishermen casting their nets, the fort perched on top of the mountain, water birds taking free rides on the boats, children playing in the rejects of the sea on the shore...the clicks just kept coming, and the shutter speed just managed to keep pace!!
The grand forts of Murud Janjira are not far, nor is Alibaug, depends on what you wish to cover.