Lure of the seashore

Tripoto
24th Mar 2019
Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza
Day 1

Everyone feels the lure of the seashore sometime or the other. As a lover of the sea i feel this often and start planning to transport myself to a coastal place.

Last week after celebrating Holi my husband and I took off to Anjarle beach in Kokan region of Maharashtra. A trip to Konkan means having access to unending pristine beaches, rich flora and fauna, evergreen forests, mesmerising landscapes, pleasant weather, beautiful sunrise and sunsets, picture postcard villages, splendid temples, majestic sea forts and delicious lip smacking local cuisine ( sea food).

Having been to Anjarle the previous year i had this urge to explore more and we decided to make another trip.

We drove down to Anjarle from Mumbai. The road is a bit rough once you get off the highway and there are lot of steep curves and inclines which can slow down the pace but you have awesome scenery and beauty around to soak in. You move up and down some ghats, cross rivers and bridges before finally touching the beach and the village.

The first day was spent relaxing at the beach and we enjoyed the beautiful sunset. We also checked on the Olive Ridley turtle conservation site where there were already 8-10 nests carefully protected till it was time for the hatchlings to come out. Soon we would be able to see the little turtles make their way to the sea.

We opted for home stay near the beach. Anjarle offers simple home stays within the coastal village that also provide good home cooked food especially the sea food which is a specialty of the region.

Day 2

We spent our second day around Anjarle exploring the nearby places. We drove down to Harnai beach which is a fishing village. There are hills on one side of the beach with the road running along the shore, a mosque in the backdrop and Harnai Bunder on the adjacent side.

There are 3 forts one can explore in this part Fort Goa, Suvarnadurg Fort and the Fatehgad fort. To protect Suvarnadurga, 3 forts named Goa fort (not to be confused with Goa state), Kanakdurga and Fatehgad were built on the coast near Harne village in Maharashtra. Amongst these, Goa fort is comparatively large and is still in good shape.

We first visited Fort Goa from where we could see the lovely Suvarnadurg Fort in the middle of the sea. A very picturesque place indeed, we stayed here for an hour enjoying the sun and the sea breeze. And lots of photos.

Our next stop was Harnai beach from where boats are available to Suvarnadurg fort. But we had to wait as there was high wind and it was not advisable to visit that fort in the sea. So we decided to explore more beaches instead. We drove to Palande beach located around 3 km from Harnai, this beach lies between the coastline passing through the Murud Beach and the Harnai Beach. Murud beach had a lot of water sport activities.

The drive was wonderful along this road running parallel to the sea.

After a sumptious lunch at one of the beach facing hotels we returned to Harnai to visit the evening fish market. Harnai is famous for its fish Auction that takes place twice a day.

The fisherfolk work really hard to sell their catch and you can catch all the action of how they put up their stock for sale right on the seashore. Fresh fish in different varieties and sizes can be seen. Sometimes you just marvel at the sheer size of the fish and price quoted for it.

Later we climbed up to a cliff near the jetty which has an abandoned Light house with another a view of Suvarndurg fort. Then just before sunset we arrived in Anjarle and headed for a swim in the sea just as the sun went down. It was Saturday evening and turtle enthusiasts from Pune and Mumbai were around to see if they could catch a glimpse of the sea turtle babies.But we all had to wait just until the next morning.

Day 3

We woke up early as we had to be at the beach before 7am. The local youth and members of the Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra foundation would release the young turtles into the sea from their protected nests. I volunteered and helped them set up the barricades to ensure safe journey of the baby turtles to their home in the sea. There were five hatchlings that day. It was such a heart warming sight to see the little ones going out into the sea. We had to view them from a distance as you can see in the pictures. No one is allowed to use camera flash or come in contact with the little turtles and no one can enter the sea till they have safely reached into their home.

A lot of care taken by the volunteers and team of conservationists.

The Turtle festival is an annual festival held at some of the beaches like Anjarle and Velas during the months of March and April.

After the turtle sightings we drove to Harnai to take the boat to Suvarnadurg fort. We spotted a dolphin while at the sea before reaching the fort. The boat stops at small beach near the entrance of the fort.

A flight of steps takes one to the hidden main gate towards the east. It has on its threshold a carved figure of a tortoise and on the side wall, that of Maruti (Hanuman).

Inside the fort there were several buildings, water tanks and a place for ordinance.

The fort was probably built by the Bijapur kings in the 17th century. Captured and strengthened by Shivaji, it became a stronghold of Maratha navy and remained with the Peshwas till 1818 AD. It was one of the main naval bases of the Angres.

The boat leaves in half an hour and we make the most of the time available to us. A walk around the fort allows us to admire the surrounding views and be amazed by this massive structure built in the middle of the sea. It is said there is beauty in ruins to those who see.

I loved this little adventure and wished something more was known about the history of this fort.

Trip back home was a long drive this time through a different route and newer landscapes.

The coastal part of Maharashtra will always remain special to me. The Sahyadris, the Arabian Sea and everything in between these two that sums up to what is called Kokan.

There is so much more to explore i wish i can go back soon.

Fishermen's boats in the creek with a backdrop of verdant hills and mangroves paint a beautiful landscape.

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Fishing boats in the creek near Anjarle

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

View of Harnai village from Sunset view point with the village temple and the 2 forts in the vicinity.

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

View of Suvarnadurg fort in the sea.

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Surrounding hills, mangroves, creek and old bridge.

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Inside Fort Goa. My husband thinks he has conquered the fort and celebrates with a local drink Maadi which is fresh palm sap or coconut wine.

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

View of Suvarnadurg fort from Fort Goa

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Relaxing at Fort Goa. A beautiful place in the Sun or Sea....?

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Walking down the other end of Fort Goa

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Sea is bluer on the other side?

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Harnai Jetty

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Harnai Bunder kids swimming in shallow waters

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

View from Harnai Jetty

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Fluttering feisty flags on these fishing boats are captivating and make for the perfect photo

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Fish left for drying out on a cliff

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

another shot of the Harnai Jetty and boats

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

At the fish market where these guys get easy food . The bullock carts are for carrying the catch from boats to the shore .

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Fish market Harnai. Rs.1200 for the pomfrets and Rs.2500 for the bigger fish

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Turtle fans viewing the little turtles racing to the sea. Can you see 2 turtles and their trail as they move to the sea?

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Way to the beach Anjarle

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Village roads

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Village homes

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

A small temple in the village Anjarle

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza
Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza
Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Boat ride to the fort

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza
Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Chilling out

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza
Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza
Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Entrance to Suvarnadurg fort

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza
Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Nature's art

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza
Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza
Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Rear view of fort

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Nature

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Water tank in the fort

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza
Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Another view of the fort

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Beach in front of the fort

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Happy to be here

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Our boat

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

Roadside eatery

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza

My all time favorite Misal paav

Photo of Lure of the seashore by Sonal Patel Dsouza
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