2 years back, it was our Chinti's last day in the office n next day one of our friends got married. Post this emotional joyride for couple of days, finally our much awaited road trip to Ganapati Pule started, the typical 'Dil Chahta Hai' type. But this time it was all girls gang - Chinti, Punjaban n Me, heading to one of the most beautiful Konkan* road trips in Maharashtra.
Since Chinti was relocating, she wanted to create beautiful memories as much as possible, before leaving Mumbai. I don't remember exactly when we decided this plan, but we had a well prepared plan since our return journey was supposed to be the main highlight of our trip- The complete coastal route, parallel to the Arabian sea, crossing through beautiful coconut trees.
We hired a cab from Mumbai itself. Since we wanted to have a peaceful break from the routine noisy life, we booked the accommodation in advance, in Malgund (around 2.5km from Ganapati Pule) at 'Madachya Banat', a beautifully built property just in front of the serene Malgund beach.
We started Friday early Morning. After our favorite breakfast at McDonald's near Seawoods, it was a nonstop journey of around 4 hours till Kashedi ghat**. We took a small drinks break just before the start of the ghat. Since it was summer and Konkan is too hot during these days, a small drinks break was refreshing. We reached Chiplun city at 1.30pm but decided not to halt for lunch, rather headed straight to Malgund, another 2 hrs journey. Just 2km ahead, Sangameshwar Road on Mum-Goa highway one has to take right turn on Kond Asurde - Dingani road for Malgund.
We reached Madachya Banat at 3.30pm. It is a family run property, beautifully maintained with friendly hosts and service. Food is just like home-made food, typical Maharashtrain Ukadiche Modak and Fish fry. We really had a great stay here, highly recommended. We spent the evening in the resort only relishing on fish fry and solkadi, a typical konkani appetizer served with food, made up of coconut milk.
Next day, post breakfast we went to Ganapati Pule temple, the famous Ganesha temple situated right on the beach. It is known as the only temple, where the deity faces the west so as to guard the western gates unlike deities in other Indian temples who face the east.
Post lunch, we left for Light house at Ratnagiri via Arrey-Warrey road. One of the most mesmerizing views one can witness throughout this one hour journey. A must to do for travelers visiting this area. We reached at the light house well before its scheduled time, so we had a happening photo session for almost 30 mins before we got the entry for the light house. And then the ultimate feeling of 'On top of the world', at the light house. The view from the top was just magical, the stormy winds blowing over the roaring Arebian sea, giving the sense of calmness to the soul, which was till now surrounded by the day to day clamor. With enchanted minds, we left the place with big smiles on over faces. The last day ended with sumptuous Ukadiche Modak, a typical Maharashtrian delicacy.
Sunday, post breakfast we left the resort by 9 am and the much awaited excitement began, the coastal road trip from Malgund to Mumbai. We took the route from Malgund- Karhateshwar Temple, near Jaigad Fort- Velneshwar Temple via ferry at Tavsal - Vyadeshwar mandir at Guhagar- Dabhol via ferry - Dapoli-Harnai- Anjarle- Harihareshawar temple via ferry at Vesavi. We reached Harihareshwar temple at 5 pm, the final destination through coastal route. Accompanied with beautiful beaches, visits to some of the ancient temples, we had one of the most thrilling journeys of our life. With a short refreshments break near the temple, we left for the return journey. From here onward, we moved out via Mangoan and took the Mum-Goa highway and reached around 10 pm to Mumbai.
Even after 2 years, the memories are still fresh in our minds, reminding us the picturesque beaches, stunning view from the light house, never ending company of coconut trees, breathtaking view from the Arrey-Warrey road, the peace at Malgund beach, the serenity at the temples. the cravings for the home made food at the resort and in the end the times we friends spent together.... it just making me speechless every time the memories cross my mind.
Seriously Dil Chahta Hai, many more such Soulful Trips with friends.
*'Konkan' is a region, extends throughout the western coasts of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, bounded by the Western Ghats (also known as Sahyadri) in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west.
**'Ghat' in Marathi means a difficult passage over a mountain.