Whenever I see pictures of Italy, I always wish to go there. That has been my dream destination for years now. The rocks, the ocean, the river makes this place very enticing. But when I visited Malvan, I felt, it’s all right here.. There is SO MUCH to see in India. ENOUGH to last atleast a few more years of travel.
Malvan has it all. The beaches are clean with unique water sports, boat rides through a rocky sea to hidden islands, a point where the river and the sea meet, great mountains in the background, awesome food, warm people and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.
I took a bus from Bangalore to Pune to meet my friends and to start our drive back to Malvan. I could have avoided that and headed straight to Kolhapur (close to Malvan) but I really did want to meet my Pune friends :)
We started from Pune on Friday at 12:00 AM. Amit drove his Fiat Punto so well that we covered the 9 hour stretch in flat 7.5 hours. Abhiruchi Resorts managed by Abhijit and his mother is a lovely place with over 20 AC rooms. The food here is great, rooms clean and people very friendly and helpful. As soon as we reached, we took a walk to a Fisherman’s beach in our backyard and spent some time sitting on a parked boat. After a good round of photography and ‘who can jump from a six feet high boat’ game, we headed back for some well deserved sleep.
Evening was to Chivla Beach. This beach is awesome for people wanting to play in the ocean. The waves are not as friendly as you would expect them to be but are challenging enough to ensure you hang around to check your metal. We played here till our heart’s content and then headed towards Rock Garden which contrary to Amit’s imagination was not a garden made of rocks. There was a garden in front of a rocky patch, a point from where we watched the sun, set.
Next morning, after some good breakfast, we headed out to Sindudurg Fort where Hemant, our guide who is a repertoire of knowledge about the fort and Shivaji Maharaj took us on a journey back in time when the fort was built. As we understand, it took King Shivaji’s men just 3 years to build this 48 acre fort. And we talk about Metros in the city which take over 15 years. The thought process and strategy behind every door, every turn, every well, every temple inside this fort is mind-boggling.
We were ready for Scuba Diving after this right next to the Sindudurg Fort. As we had to wait for a while before it was our turn, we asked for tubes and jumped into water. I have no clue how to swim but by the end of the 2 hours in the ocean, I could manage to move swiftly from one place to other (With the fins and tube ofcourse :p).
Then came the part which we all loved. SCUBA DIVING. They tie some weights around your waist so you get pulled into the sea. The instructor gives you good amount of training on how to breathe through your mouth to take in the oxygen through the oxygen pipe. And then you dive 15-20 feet deep to see the corals and the fishes.. So many of them smiling (I actually thought they were smiling) and swimming around, the experience is total must for each one of us.
We headed back to our room for a quick shower and started our drive to Devbaug Beach. Here’s where Karli River meets the Arabian Sea. The sight is breathtaking. Behind the river is a range of mountains and behind the sea is a setting sun. You can sit right where they meet and make your choice.. What do you want to see?
Next morning, we boarded a boat for one of the best boat rides ever. We visited the Tsunami Island (This island did not exist until Tsunami, when it surfaced from below) where we had our breakfast(Some awesome Kokan Food). As we were driving towards the Golden Rock, our boatman told us that we were at the Dolphin Point but the season is October to February. And suddenly we saw one of them jump. Yes we spotted Dolphins when we least expected to see them. Not one or two. Almost 35 Dolphins. All around us. Swimming in sets of 4-5, creating formations and giving us a great show!
From here, as we drove towards the Nivati Beach, we moved past the Golden Rock, a rock that turns golden when sunlight falls on it. We had to go between 2 huge rocks to reach Nivati Beach. Here we found a small hill which we hiked to get a gorgeous aerial view of the ocean, mountains and the Golden Rock.
On our way back, we stopped at one last island – The seagull island. Again we did not expect to see any. But we spotted Pelicans and Seagulls. It was so totally OUR DAY :)
We were told that we just crossed the Crocodile Point. We wondered why we were not told when we were there. The thing is, there are no crocodiles there but it is called so, because when you look at this point from a distance, it looks like an alligator.
My friends dropped me to Kolhapur from where I boarded a bus to Bangalore. What a lovely hidden place Malvan is. If you do go there, do me a favour. Do not litter/play loud music/throw beer bottles on the beach/write your name on the rocks. It is surely a treasure. Just let the place stay nice.