While trying to click the super-moon on the 3rd Dec. wondering to myself, when will I be able to click a nice picture of the super-moon, rising through a water body with its serene glow, reflecting off its surface. And I started hunting for a spot in western India(Pune), where I can get a click that I have imagined. Decided with Kutch, however, me and my friends cannot go with the plan, more often, and we, by the time the date approached, came to an understanding where Nimish will be spending quality time with the Family, on New Year's Eve; Moumita will goto South Goa, with her mom for some quite, tranquil, and bonding time. I for myself chose a point on the northern Shoreline of Maharashtra, known as Korlai Fort, however since I have got leaves from 30th Dec to 3rd Jan, and the distance from Pune to Korlai is just 4 hours, I made a plan to travel few other beaches on coastal Maharashtra.
Anyway, I have not been to any beach there, other than Guhagar and Alibaug, and this was my chance to have a first hand at them. So, on the morning of 30th December 2017, I packed my bags, with a hope to spend a beautiful ending of the year, welcoming the new year with the sound of waves, and clicking the supermoon rising through the water at Kundalika river Basin, from Korlai Fort. My bike was not in the perfect condition, however, as I didnt have any other alternative, I moved anyway around 12:00 noon. I moved via Tamhini Ghat, along the Mulshi Lake, to Mangaon. From Mangaon, I took a right to Goregaon, and continued onwards to MandanGadh. Had a tea and a smoke here, and continued towards Palgadh, and then to Dapoli.
By the time I reached here it was already 07:00 in the evening, so I stopped at the first lodge that I found, and checked in. As the story of every budget traveller goes, it was a shady hotel, but I just have to sleep for the night. Had a Masala Dosa for dinner, at a nearby restaurant, and retired to bed.
The next morning, I was up early, as I had to charge my phone, camera, and hit the road by 09:00. I have few beaches to cover and reach Harihareshwar, and camp there, to welcome 2018. Hence, I had breakfast at the same restaurant, refuelled bike, and got on saddle again, towards Murud beach. It was too crowded and dirty, so moved to Harnai. Didn't like it much, so moved ahead towards Anjarle, Savane and Kelshi Beach. All three are very serene, secluded and free from commercialization. Spent some time on each one, and moved to the next, and was finally on my way to Bankot, by 2 PM, from where I will take a Jetty to Harihareshwar. It takes 10 min by Jetty to reach Bagmangla from Vesavi.
Once off the Jetty, I reached Harihareshwar in no time. At the beach, I took a stroll to find a place, to spend the night, and pitch my tent, while keeping myself safe from the drunk crowds waiting for the new year. Luckily there were Police personnel at the beach, to ensure the safety and keeping everything under control. Feeling relaxed, I pitched my tent, and gathered wood for my bonfire looking at the cold night ahead. By this time, it was almost sunset, and now it was time to capture the heavenly essence of the place, with the humanly gadget, by a human, and try to do justice to the indescribable beauty around. Hope the pictures transcend you to my settlement for the night.
Soon twilight approached, and with it brought the serene calm moonlight that illuminated the whole scene, but, I guess it was the waves that blushed the most, at the view of moon, than any other element at that beach, as I could see them suddenly go all restless and haywire, making the herd of humans, get back a little.
Later, I kept the camera inside the tent, and took a walk to the beach, to look at all the people who have gathered at the beach to welcome the New year, eagerly waiting for the midnight. People greeted each other at mid night, fired some crackers, and then slowly took leave to their Hotels or homes. However, there were some crazy ones as well, like me, who sat there whole night drinking and enjoying with friends. Anyway, I took a leave from the beach around 01:00 am, and hit the sack.
The next morning, which was the 1st January 2018, I woke up to the waves crashing at the shore, took a long walk at the beach, clicked some, and then staring packing to move to Murud via Shrivardhan, and Diveghar. My first stop was Srivardhan, which was not so happening, hence, I just got fresh, at a Public Washbooth, and I must say that it was quite clean. Feeling fresh, I now had breakfast at a nearby restaurant, and moved towards Diveghar, but not without a quick stop at Beautiful and serene Aaravi Beach. After a 1 hr drive, I reached Diveghar, which didnt entice me much, as hoards of people were crawling at the beach, and making it as dirty as we as humans are, hence moved to my final destination for the day, which was Murud
Now was my time to be enchanted, as the road from Diveghar to Dighi(point to get Jetty for Janjira), via AdhGaon, was one of the most beautiful road I have driven on till date. The surf was touching the road, and the road had zero traffic.
Once at Dighi, I quickly got ticket for Jetty, and loaded my bike onto it. It was a short ride to Janjira of just 15min. Ashore, I had a tea and a smoke, before moving on towards Murud, to find a place to rest for the night, while I plan and make arrangements for the next day, to make sure nothing goes wrong, while I click the rising super-moon. I found a room at a Homestay for the night, and luckily the owner was very kind and helpful. Threw my bag and rest of the belongings at the room, and went towards Janira-Fort, as it was one of the points, I had planned to visit, however the crowd again got the best of me, and I decided to spent my evening at the Murud Beach, rather than going to the Janjira Fort.
Disappointed by the crowd, even at Janjira fort, I came back to the homestay to had Lunch, and rest for sometime, so that I have some energy left to enjoy the evening at the beach. Murud Beach, was one of the famous beaches on this stretch so far, that I appreciated for its cleanliness, and beauty. The sun was about to set behind the silhouette of Padmadurg fort, while its golden orangish glow, was making the ocean gleam in all its glory.
Feeling ecstatic, after spending tranquil time at this pristine beach, I started waiting for the moonrise, while my host prepared dinner for me. The Moon rose with it's eerie glow in the backdrop of Coconut trees lining the property, hence I was unable to get a clear shot of it. Nonetheless, I kept camera on tripod, the whole time so that I get to practice a few shots before the big show, the next day. Slept a bit early tonight, as wanted to have proper rest, as I have no idea about where I would stay tomorrow.
Finally the day came, for which I have made this trip, Korlai. I woke up, had a quick breakfast, and moved towards Kashid Beach. Reached Kashid by 10:00, had a tea, clicked some, and moved to Korlai. Around noon, I reached Korlai, and was quite pleased to look at the location I have decided. At Korlai, I stopped at the home of Mr. Santosh Sativedkar, as they have a small shop to help me with tea and food, and also for me to sit and relax. Once I was a bit relaxed, I hiked to the Fort to have a good look of where the moon will rise from, and my Vantage point to click the moon. When satisfied with all the preparation, I decent down, to rest for some more time, before the moon rise. All this while, Nimish was on his way to Korlai from Pune, as he somehow decided to join me for this spectacular event.
I ascended the Fort again, around 06:15 PM, as it will take me around 15 min to reach the fort. There were few tourists at the fort, in the evening, however, they got down, as the darkness grew, and I was left alone on the Fort, waiting for the moon to rise. Around 06:56 PM, I saw a dark red dot on the horizon, growing by each passing second. As, I couldn't waste anymore time now, I quickly got to clicking, as the captivating red Supermoon, was in all its glory, at the Kundalika river basin.
After half an hour of fiddling with my camera, I got down from the Fort, as Nimish has arrived and he couldn't find my stop for the night. When I reached to Mr. Sativedkar's shop, Nimish has already parked his car, and the dinner was also ready for us. The Egg-curry, was a delicacy to be enjoyed at this small fishing village, and soon our tummy were filled to the brim. With our stomach full, we gathered our gear for the night and climbed the Fort again to spend the night on the beautifully Moonlit fort, casting its buff glow reflection, on the sea.
The next morning, we clicked few shots at the Fort, and packed the tent, and returned to our host. Had quick breakfast, and got on the saddle again to move home after 4 days of nomadic but totally fulfilling time.
Itinerary : 1st Day : Pune-Dapoli (Via Tamhini Ghat and Mandanghad)
2nd Day : Dapoli-Anjarle-Kelshi-Harihareshwar
3rd Day : Harihareshwar-Shrivardhan-Diveghar-Dighi-Murud
4th day: Murud-Kashid-Korlai-Korlai Fort.
My Experience : I was on a 5-day trip to Coastal Maharashtra, as I have not visited these beaches yet, and have heard a lot about the pristine beaches on this stretch, and as I traveled through them, the words I have heard became the stories, I will tell. My hosts everywhere were simple and poor, but kind and humble people, which further pushes me to create and keep my distance from the Ego-pleasing, Power and money hungry fake world that we have created with Urbanization. Honestly, I hate to leave such places, however, bread and butter calls me, for another beautiful day and another awesome place.