Mumbai: If you have exhausted your options for sightseeing in this bustling metropolis, or, if you are in dire need of some solitude-seeking, soul-searching serenity, the bucolic coastline of Maharasthra – the third largest state in India, the capital of which is Mumbai – is a fantastic option. Maharashtra is sadly overshadowed by the beaches of its much smaller cousin Goa, with loads of tourists and weekend trippers heading off to this southern paradise, while skipping the equally beautiful and at times, even more peaceful seashore havens of Maharashtra.
However, with over 700 km of palm fringed coastline on the Arabian seas, Maharashtra has a lot to offer. While beaches like Alibaug, Kashid, Harihareshwar and Ganapatipule list among the all-time popular ones, there are myriads of hidden gems that are a sheer delight to discover and drop by. Having criss-crossed this state over the last many years, I personally prefer the beaches south of Mumbai to its northern counterparts, most of which are defined by incredibly long sandy stretches (that make for lovely morning or evening walks), whitish-brown sands, acres of coconut and palm plantations zealously hiding the beaches and finally, the quintessential hills that act like sentinels and prominently mark the boundaries of one beach from another. Thus characterized, the following is my personal pick of the 5 must-see far-from-the-madding-crowd beaches in this beautiful state. While it is a wonderful experience any time of the year, autumn to spring (October – April) is undoubtedly the best time to revel in these blue waters. The closer ones can be checked in as a day –visit from Mumbai, while it is highly recommended to stay for a weekend to better savor the beauty of the beaches.