If you love road trips, then the Pune-Tarkarli road along the coast of Konka is a great destination. On the way, you'll find forts, temples, hillside resorts, dining rooms, and small restaurants serving delectable seafood.
Trips to the beaches of Konkan are an experience of tranquility, pristine beauty, mesmerizing sunsets, and delicious seafood. It's the best place to relax, the perfect place to spend a weekend or a holiday.
And for this very purpose, we decided to go on a road trip to cover most of the scenic beaches on the Maharashtra coast, we had nine days on our hands, and we wanted to make the most of it. After doing some google research, we found that Maharashtra had to offer 92 pristine beaches. We were astonished at the above and a little overwhelmed by how we could cover all of them in just nine days. But I took up the challenge and thought that if we can make 20 beaches, I will cover the most. Without doing a lot of ado, let's get started
Our first destination was Alibaug which is 142 km away from Pune and takes approximately 3 hrs 30 mins to reach the destination. We started our journey by 6 a.m. to enjoy few beaches before going to our hotel as the check-in was post noon.
Nearby Alibaug, there are ten beaches
We reached Alibaug by 9.30 a.m. and headed right to the beach; we had breakfast at the beach. When we arrived, it was low tide; we visited the Kolaba fort visible from the beach itself and is just 1 or 2 km away from the beach.
Once you reach Alibaug, you can head right to the beach and have some fun there... You can ask locals for the low tide and high tide timings and walk our way to the KOLABA FORT inside the sea...
The walls of the Kolaba fort are approximately 25 feet tall. This fort has two entries. On one side is the Alibaug, and on the other side, it opens to the sea. There are two English cannons on the north gate and the Siddivinayak temple constructed from Raghoji Angre, Dargah of Hadji Kamaluddin. Despite being between the salty Arab sea, the fort has freshwater wells. The view from the top of the fort is incredible, and you can set your cameras and click on them.
After spending almost 1.5 hrs on the fort, we headed back to our hotel. We stayed in hotel Ravikiran, just dumped our bags got freshen up, and had lunch in the hotel itself. By 3 p.m., we were utterly relaxed and satiated
We went to Varsoli beach; it was pristine and serene beach also less crowded, so we enjoyed the waves to the fullest here around 5 p.m. we moved to Kihim beach to do Bird watching and see the beautiful sunset by the Arabian sea.
Headed back to our hotel then for dinner and good rest.
At 8 a.m., we started from our hotel and reached Kashid Beach, which was just a 1 hr drive from our hotel. Adorned with cliffs, rocks, and a golden shoreline, Kashid Beach is every beach baby's, photographer's, and nature lover's escape. We did a good morning walk at the beach and had a sumptuous breakfast.
At 10 a.m., we began our trip to Murud, just 30 minutes drive from Kashid Beach. Murud beach is a vast black sand beach extending for nearly 1.75 km along the coastline and crystal blue waters. This is one of the best-known beaches of Maharashtra and one of the highlights of Alibaug. Murud Beach is a charming destination, where hills surround stretches of sand on three sides.
Since we had the entire afternoon with us, we planned to have lunch by the beachside shacks and then went ahead with water sports like a banana boat ride and parasailing.
We also visited the most popular Siddhi Vinayak temple in Murud and then headed to Divegar
The ride to Divegar was 90 mins; we planned our stay in Exotica by the sea at Divegar; this resort is just 2 mins away from the beach. We reached divegar by 8 p.m., and we're way too tired; the food offered at the hotel was delicious and lip-smacking. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and went to bed.
We woke up early at 7 a.m. as we had to enjoy Divegar Beach. And he was walking along the beach in the morning, collecting some seashells and watching seagulls.
We had breakfast at the hotel and headed straight to the beach of Shrivardhan. The beach is situated between two popular destinations, Harihareshwar Beach and Diveagar Beach. Some people have a misperception that Shrivardhan Fort i s close to this beach, but both are different places with a familiar name on the Konkan coast.
It was well maintained compared to the nearby beaches. There's less crowd, too, and you can enjoy peace here. We hired a small boat to visit the place where the Great Peshwas of Maharashtra lived.
We had lunch at Shrivardhan Beach and headed straight to Harihareshwar Beach, 40 minutes away by car.
There are two temples in the same complex - one is the sanctuary mentioned above, and the other is dedicated to Lord Kalabhairav.
The priests advised us first to visit the Temple of Kalbhairav before entering the main shrine, which we did.
Kalbhairav is Shiva's ferocious manifestation. The Kalabhairav Jayanti is celebrated with great grandeur every year in November. Later on, we visited the main Temple and received the blessings of the Lord.
The temple premises also have a sanctuary dedicated to Hanuman.
The Parikrama or Pradakshin of this important Temple in Maharashtra passes along the coast of the sea. I want to advise everyone visiting this place to try parikrama at least once. It might be an adventure of your life to do that. But remember, the rocky area is inaccessible to the high tide.
The path goes down the forest, where you must ascend, go down and pass sloping rocks. There are numerous caves and crevices with idols, such as Gayatri Tirth and rock carvings, such as Vishnu Pad, on this route's marvelous rocks.
Ganesh Gully was another place that we visited during the low tide (Shukla Tirth). Here is a little statue of Lord Ganesh wedged in a niche between two mountains. This statue is immersed in 30 feet of high tidewater.
There's plenty of parking space in the Temple. It's surrounded by small shops selling gorgeous souvenirs that we bought and ended our visit to this wonderful destination on this lovely beach.
Calm beach, azure skies, a clean, secluded beach... What else do the stressful humans need?!!
There are more of them... Four scenic hills - Harihareshwar, Pushpadri, Harshinachal, Bramhadri, adding to the beautiful landscape; the river Savitri, flowing nearby, and dense forests that add drama to the picture. It seems that God, the painter, used all his paintings to create this fantastic beach.
There are two beaches here, both just as wonderful...
* one in front of the Temple of Harihareshwar.
* The other is about 2.4 km away from the MTDC resort.
We loved the sunset so much that we decided to stay at Harihareshwar Beach.
Early morning we woke up by 5.30 a.m. as we slept the early day before, did one more pradikshana to the Temple, watched the mesmerizing sunrise. Felt as if God blessed us.
By 7 a.m., we started our journey to Dapoli. We reached Dapoli by 10 a.m. checked in our hotel, and Maharashtrian breakfast at the hotel
Dapoli, like alibaug, also has many beaches around
For a while in our hotel, we had a rest and went to Karde Beach.
Karde beach is so quiet that I felt like I was in paradise during my period. I walked on it for a long time, so soft was the flat surface on the sand. This beach has a layer of white sand and underlying black sand.
It was time to go to the beach of Ladghar after Karde. The place was majestic during the night. I had the luck to see from here to sunset the breathtaking views. I explained it in a few words, so wonderful. I've seen dolphins have fun in the sea. They looked playful and quiet and did not want to get troublesome as if on vacation too. It was worth visiting Dapoli to see this view.
We skipped the beach but returned to Kadyavarcha Ganpati to visit the hotel.
We started our day at 8 a.m. the next day. Visit Guhaghar Beach, 1 hr 40 mins drive from Dapoli.
Guhagar Beach is one of Konkan's most famous beaches. Also, one of the nearest beaches to Chiplun. The great thing about Guhagar Beach is that you're bound to have a good time, no matter what you do on the beach.
We had breakfast and lunch at the Hotel Annapurna; we visited Talkeshwar Lighthouse point about 21km from Guhagar Beach between breakfast and lunch; you need to get to the village of Anjanwel. The lighthouse is situated on a hill. You can enjoy a panoramic view from the Talkeshwar lighthouse. You can also visit Titanic Point, about 5 minutes away, to get some good pictures of the sea.
After lunch at Guhaghar, we got back on our journey and made a final pit stop on the way, very close to Ratnagiri, to a place called Prachin Konkan. The unique, interactive life-size museum on a large campus depicts life in the Konkan. It traces the region's history, highlighting the people's lifestyle, the economic, cultural, social, and religious background, the rich flora and fauna, and how the place has developed over the years while maintaining its natural charm.
Then we went to Velneshwar Beach, 35 minutes away from Guhagar. Velneshwar beach lined with coconut trees is famous for its rock-free sea and its clean atmosphere. Whether you want to stroll around the beach, sunbathe or swim, you can do all that.
Our night stay was in Ganpatipule, which is almost a two-hour drive from Velneshwar Beach. We were trying to get there early, so we started at 5 p.m. We arrived at the beach resort, had dinner, and a good night's sleep in our bed.
Early in the morning, we had Lord Ganesh's good darshan at the Ganpatipule Temple on one side of the beach.
This Temple is home to an ancient statue of Lord Ganesh, 400 years old. The idol of Lord Ganapati or Ganesha is a swaymbhu, meaning self-born since any artist did not make it. Unlike the other idols that face the East, he faces the West. Like other pilgrims, we took the parikrama of the hill where this Temple was to seek the blessings of the Lord.
The next stop was Ganpatipule Beach, which we were treated to white silk beach sand, clean surroundings, and a cool breeze that relieved our stressful nerves. However, the sea here is not safe to swim in because it is deep and rocky.
After lunch, we planned to visit aareware beach, 20 min drive from Ganpatipule. Checked out of the hotel
Aare-ware beach is just a short drive away, about 12 kilometers from the famous Ganapatipule Temple. An archaeological wonder in itself, the two sides of the same mountain, the beach of Aare and Ware, was formed ages ago by the convergence of the mountain to the ocean. This kind of phenomenon is indeed a pinnacle of the beauty and tranquility of nature. One is supposed to be mesmerized and instantly fall in love with the virgin and crescent twin beaches of Aare and Ware.
The perfect way to enjoy this scene is to sit on the rocks in Aare Ware's ghat while enjoying fresh coconut water. In fact, this is where you can end up losing yourself in the beauty of nature and enjoy the whole experience of Konkan.
The 10 km stretch of the Aare Ware Beach road-beginning right from Ganpati Pule Beach to the next T-point junction-is the most lovely location on the entire Coastal Maharashtra route. With its many ups and downs, the road often goes up the hill and down the mountain, sometimes offering a distant view of the mighty deep blue from the top of the cliff and sometimes even a closer shrug.
The next stop was Ratnagiri, just 15 km from Aare Ware Beach. In the evening, we reached Ratnagiri, checked in at our hotel by 5 p.m. And then planned to do some light shopping, like Cashew Nuts and Konkan delights.
While Ratnagiri has quite a few hotels, budget stays, and homestays, the one that tops our list is the Atithi Parinay Farm stay in the wilds of the village of Kotwade, a few kilometers away from the main town. Located in the peaceful surroundings of the Konkan belt's vast stretch, Atithi Parinay is a sprawling pet-friendly boutique homestay that provides an ethnocultural stay and is equipped with all modern amenities.
The next day we planned to visit the beach of Kasheli/Devghali, which is 42 km away from Ratnagiri, a drive of approx 1.5 hrs. Kasheli is a coastal village in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, with an isolated, untapped beach of Devghali with a fantastic view. We took a small pit break on our way to Kasheli at Thiba Palace/Thiba Point. You can have a panoramic view of Someshwar Creek, Bhatye Bridge to Pawas, and the Arabian Sea.
The palace is a beautifully built three-storey building with sloping roofs. Semi-circular wooden windows with beautiful curves are the main attraction of this structure. This palace was used to keep King Thibaw, the last king of Burma (now Myanmar), under house arrest.We're not going to say a lot about Devghali Beach because its picture will speak a thousand words.
We stumbled upon Kanakaditya Temple, one of the very few Surya mandirs in Maharashtra, in our good search for a good restaurant for lunch. The Temple is situated in thick woods, and the Sun Idol is in a full standing position, with beautiful, stunning eyes and a very delightful body language. The Temple has a lovely wooden ethnic sabha mandap. The Temple's main roof is covered with pure copper sheets that look like pure tejonidhi in full sunlight. With no hustle of the city, a very calm and cool atmosphere will tempt you to stay.
After a good lunch, we went to Kunkeshwar Beach, 68 Km away, and about a drive of approx 2.5hrs.
Kunkeshwar Beach is one of the most enchanting beaches in the Sindhudurg region due to its long white sand coastline. Driving along the coast of Kunkeshwar was a wonderful experience with Arabian sea views. We also received blessings from a small Shiva temple known as the Kunkeshwar Temple.
We stayed at The Kunkeshwar MTDC resort for the night.
The next day, as usual, walks along the beach in the morning. A 5 km-long stretch of seashore with a breathtaking view and delightful surroundings makes Kunkeshwar Beach an ideal day out. We had to move ahead again, so after a good breakfast, we moved to the beach of Aachra, which is only 27 km away.
Achra Beach has situated about 6 km from the town of Malvan in Maharashtra's coastal area in Tarkarli. Bluewater and high waves, and several adventure sports are some of the beach's main attractions. Achra Beach also consists of some ancient temples, such as the 260-year-old Lord Rameshwar Temple and the 115-year-old library.
The nearby village of Achra is famous for its medicinal and agricultural treatments.
This beach is a few kilometers away from Malvan with clear water. It's a pristine beach with white sand. The distance will increase if you leave Tarkarli. Suppose you have less time to cover Sindhudurg and water sports. It's better to go directly to Malvan, where the beaches of Kolamb and Tarkali are, with another beach in between, i.e., Vayari. However, if you want to spend time in peace, visit the coast of Achra.
After lunch, we went to Tarkarli, approximately 1-hour ride from Aachra.
Pristine virgin beaches with white sand and crystal waters, dolphin spotting areas, water sports such as scuba diving and snorkeling, the backwaters of the Karli River, delicious Konkani cuisine, and exotic delicacies such as the Alphonso mangoes, Tarkarli Beach Malvan in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra is a rare find waiting to be explored.
The vibe of the place is heightened by its tranquil, relaxed atmosphere minus the crowds of tourists. Unquestionably, it is one of the most beautiful beaches on the entire Konkan coast, with waters so crystal clear that you can see the seabed up to a depth of 15 feet.
It is the only destination in Maharashtra where you can stroll deep into the Arabian Sea to witness its stunning undersea beauty, full of exotic coral reefs and vibrant fish species, i.e., scuba diving/snorkeling.
If you signed up for scuba diving the day before, you'd be picked up by a boat early in the morning from Tarkarli Beach. If you've been to the Andamans or anywhere else in the world, chances are you might be disappointed, but if you're a novice, then Kudos! You'd be entering the fantastic underwater world for just a thousand bucks.
After escapades in the sea, it's time for an ocean history lesson. Take a trip to Malvan Beach and catch a ferry to Sindhdurg Fort. It is humongous, and over 4000 heaps of lead have been used for casting the fort, built over just three years (1664-1667). For its time, its architecture is quite revolutionary. Shivaji built this naval fort after failing to take over Murud Janjira from the Siddis. While the guide tells stories about the courage of Shivaji, ask him about the locals who live on the fort's premises.
For our night stay, we stayed at the MTDC Resort in Tarkarli, a cluster of cottages that are spacious, well-equipped, and located right on the beach. An excellent choice for anyone looking for luxury accommodation with all modern amenities.
We spent the entire day at Tarkarli relaxing at the beach. The next day, we had 9 hours of the journey back to Pune via Kolhapur.
We started early in the morning, about 7 a.m., to avoid traffic, took a lunch break at Kolhapur, visited the Temple of Maha Lakshmi, and took her blessings for the journey ahead. It was a tea break at Satara. Reached home at 9 p.m. Post- dinner
We were ecstatic because we could explore 20 beaches as targeted. We also explored the majestic naval forts that had withstood the test of time, traversed the roads that crossed the hills to give a view of the sea, and savored some of the most authentic and spicy seafood. I realized that all the stories I've ever been told about the Konkan region were true.
While is glamorous and the Maldives is Super Luxury, Fortunately, the Konkan coast, a territory rich in natural and cultural heritage, has not witnessed rapid commercialization, making it even more, an adventure to travel through this rustic landscape. The region is relatively carefree yet always buzzing with activity. Children chasing tires on the beach, Boatmen returning to their colorful houses, fisherwomen screaming at prices - so much seems to happen, and yet there are times when time seems to standstill. It's probably because nobody is chasing it. Slow-paced life is refreshing and highly stimulating.
Konkan's untapped gems are best explored without itineraries, through interactions with locals who will happily share one or two regions' secrets. October to December are the best times of the year to visit this beach destination.