Konkan

Konkan

Things to do - general

Konkan, also called Aparanta, coastal plain of western India, lying between the Arabian Sea (west) and the Western Ghats (east). The plain stretches approximately 330 miles (530 km) from the Daman Ganga River north of Mumbai (Bombay) to the Terekhol River between Maharashtra and Goa states and Daman and Diu union territory in the south. Between 28 and 47 miles (45 and 76 km) in width, the Konkan includes the regions of Thane, Greater Mumbai, Raigarh, and Ratnagiri.

The region is traversed by seasonal rivers that drain the heavy monsoonal rainfall from the crest of the Sahyadri Hills. The generally uneven terrain is composed of eroded remnant ranges of the Ghats that form low lateritic plateaus in the west and terminate in a coastline of alternating bays and headlands. Only about one-third of the land is cultivable, and the population lives mainly in the relatively fertile river valleys near the coast and in the newly developed industrial belts around Mumbai, Thane, Khopali, and Panvel. The barren hills are occupied by the pastoral Bhil, Kathkari, and Kokana peoples. The main crops are rice, pulses (legumes), vegetables, fruits, and coconuts; fishing and salt manufacture are also important.
The industrial complex of Greater Mumbai is the primary economic focus of the region. Nearly all trade is carried on with Mumbai, and steady migration to the city has left rural Konkan depleted of manpower and skilled workers. Iron and manganese are mined and exported through the port of Reddi.
The ports of the Konkan were known to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians and to Arab traders. The spice trade brought prosperity to the ancient Hindu kingdoms of the area. The cave temples of Elephanta Island and Kanheri bear testimony to the prosperous culture of this era. With the advent of the Portuguese and British, the port cities were further developed and fortified but now have lost their former importance.
PLACES TO VISIT
Revdanda Fort:
located at 17 Kms. From Alibag revdanda is an important port. The Salav bridge at revdanda which joins Murud and Alibag gives a cool view of the surroundings, You can see a beautiful sight of Revdanda port, beach and The Vikram Ispat factory from the bridge. A walk to the adjoining beach will give you a breathtaking view of the Revdanda Fort. The fort was built by a Portuguese Captain by the name of Soj in 1558.
A visit to the fort is a must as it is a very beautiful ancient fort, though in ruins it is worth your visit. The view of the fort from the beach is quiet picturesque. You can see some buildings inside the fort. A walk along the fort will give beautiful views of the sea and also the Korlai fort.
The Fort of Korlai:
Korlai fort can be seen from the bridge at Salav, located at three Kms. from Revdanda, on the Revdanda – Kashid road. The fort is an Old Portuguese outpost guarding the entrance to the river. A small road leads up to the top of the fort. There is a Lighthouse on the fort and a small climb from behind the lighthouse will take you to the fort. The fort is in ruins, but the view from the lighthouse is beautiful and the rocky beach at Korlai is also good.
The forts of khanderi and Underi:
The sea forts of Khanderi and Underi are Located three kms. in the sea near Thal. You can take a boat ride from Thal to visit the forts. However there is no permanent ferry to the forts and you have to hire a boat from the local fishermen. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj built the fort of Khanderi and the fort was most of the time in possession of the Marathas barring a few years of English possession. The fort of Underi is at a distance of ½ kms. From Khanderi. There were continues fights taking place between the Marathas and the Siddhi of Janjira for the possession of these forts.
Bankot Fort:
The Bankot fort is located near Bagmandla, which is near Harihareshwar. From Bagmandla you will have to take a boat ride to get to the fort, from where the trek begins which is approximately half an hour long. The Fort is also known as Himmat Garh, which means the fort of Strength. there is not much to see and it is in a state of ruins.
Suvarnadurga and kanakdurga – Harne:
Located at 17 kms. from Dapoli at Harne, The Suvarnadurg fort consists of two forts, kanakdurga the land fort and Suvarnadurga the sea fort. The forts were built by Adilshah and later captured and fortified by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1660. Earlier there was a tunnel connecting both the forts but now only way to go to Suvarnadurga is through a boat. However currently there is no regular boat service to the fort and one has to arrange for the ferry from the local fishermen. There is a lighthouse inside the Kanakdurga fort.
Gopalgad Fort – Anjanvel:
Anjanwel is a small town near Enron Company Plant at Veldur. Gopalgad Fort at anjanwel is one of the picturesque forts in Konkan. It is a coastal fort, half of which is on a hill and the other half touches the sea. You can drive up to the fort walls, but care should be taken while driving as it has very steep climbs. Roaming through the remnants of the fort is a nostalgic experience which you will definitely like.
Jaygad Fort:
The fort of jaygad is located at 25 Kms. from Ganpatipule. the fort is still in a good condition and quiet a few people still stay inside the fort. the fort was primarily built for guarding the Jaygad port. You can take your vehicle up to the fort and a walk along the fort walls will give you beautiful views of the sea and the port.
Ratnadurga and Bhagwati Forts:
The Ratnadurga and Bhagwati forts were built during the Bijapur dynasty and captured by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj from the Adilshah and fortified by him in 1670. The forts are on a hill and its three sides are sea facing. The forts are spread in an area of 120 Acres. Both the forts are worth seeing and the Bhagwati fort also has a temple of Bhagwati Devi.
You can see the Bhagwati Bander (Port) at the foot of this fort and there is a Lighthouse near the fort from where you can get a view of Ratnagiri city below. The Bhagwati Bander (Port) is a major port on the Konkan coastline.
Purnagad fort:
Located at 25 Kms. from Ratnagiri after Pawas, Purnagad fort is spread in an area of 22 acres. The fort is located at the mouth of Muchikund river creek. The fort is in good condition and you can find some cannons in the fort. A walk along the fort will give you a good view of the surrounding area and you will find lots of squirrels running around.
Sindhudurg Fort:
The Star attraction of the Malvan trip, the sindhudurg fort is an excellent example of the foresight of the great Maratha King, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He built this fort in 1664 on ‘Kurte’ islands and is an excellent example of fort building architecture. You have to take boat ride in order to visit the fort and will cost you 20 – 30 Rs.
The fort has 52 ‘Buruzs’ with an average height of 30 meters. The fort has three sweet water wells with Bhavanimata, Mahadev Temples and also a Temple of Shivaji Maharaj himself. In the fort you can also find a rare example of branching of a coconut tree. A visit to the fort is a must for any tourist and you will enjoy going around in the fort.
Vijaydurga Fort:
Devgad is famous all over the world for its delicious Alphanso mangoes, and this becomes quiet evident as soon as you approach Devgad. You can see Mango plantations everywhere and it is the main occupation of the people in Devgad. Located near Devgad the Vijaydurga fort was built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on the mouth of Vaghotane creek.
The fort is on a strip of land going into the sea and is spread in an area of six hectares. The fort has 27 ‘Buruzs’ and is still in a very good condition. The huge stones used for the fort walls and the strength of the walls are still visible and it is quiet interesting to think how these huge walls were built in the open sea.
The beaches of Akshi and Nagaon:
Located on Alibag – Revdanda road at 8/9 km’s. From Alibag, the beach at Akshi is a beautiful White sand beach with suru trees dotting the coast. The water is clean and safe for swimming. You can see the Kulaba fort and Alibag at a distance from the beach. The beach further extends to Nagaon. The Nagaon beach is also very beautiful. Both the beaches are a favorite of the tourists. You can also visit the nearby ‘Satad Bunder’ a small fishing hamlet.
Kashid Beach:
Located on the Road to Murud Kashid beach is a lovely stretch of white sand and clear water. It is one of the best beaches on the Alibag Murud Stretch, there are quiet a few well known resorts at kashid which offer a beautiful view of the beach.
Kihim Beach:
Located at 12 kms. From Alibag, on the Mandwa-Alibag road Kihim is a very beautiful place to stay, it has a long beach which is excellent and clean. To come to Kihim from Alibag you have to turn left at Chondhi And if you come by Launch from Mumbai to Mandwa it is on Mandwa Alibag road. It is a favorite weekend getaway of mumbaikars as it is quiet convenient for them to come to Kihim on a Saturday, stay there and go back on Sunday. MTDC has also a resort at Kihim with tents for staying on the beach.
Revdanda Beach:
located at 17 Kms. From Alibag revdanda is an important port. The Salav bridge at revdanda which joins Murud and Alibag gives a cool view of the surroundings, You can see a beautiful sight of Revdanda port, beach and The Vikram Ispat factory from the bridge. A walk to the adjoining beach will give you a breathtaking view of the Revdanda Fort. The fort was built by a Portuguese Captain by the name of Soj in 1558.
Murud Beach:
There is a very beautiful beach at Murud and a lot of Hotels and Resorts along the beach to choose from. The Murud beach is very beautiful, clean and safe for swimming. Apart from the beach Murud is more famous for its proximity to Janjira at Rajapur – The majestic sea fort which remained unconquered till the end.
Srivardhan Beach:
Srivardhan is a nice place with sun kissed sands on a spectacular beach. It has a nice atmosphere and an unpolluted air and sea. The beach at Srivardhan is a very good beach and a nice place to spend your evenings watching the sunset.
Harihareshwar Beach:
Harihareshwar is a famous pilgrim place with an ancient Shiva Temple and Kalbhairav Temple situated on the beach. It is also known as Dakshin Kashi. Harihareshwar has a beautiful beach which is rocky on one side and a clean sand beach on the other side.
Bagmandla Beach:
Bagmandla beach Situated near Srivardhan is a very clean and secluded beach near Harihareshwar, you will surely enjoy playing in the white sands and clean water on the beach. You can also take a boat ride from here to the nearby Bankot Fort.
Diveagar Beach:
Diveagar was the ancient capital of the Shilahar kings. Diveagar has a beautiful beach situated behind the Ganpati Temple and stretches up to 4-5 kms. The beach is a very clean and beautiful beach with clear waters, and unlike other beaches it is not very crowded.
Kelshi Beach:
Located at 40 kms. from Dapoli, Kelshi is a typical small Konkani village. The 2.5 Kms. beach at Kelshi is very beautiful and secluded and there are beautiful sand dunes on the beach where children enjoy sliding down on the sand dunes. There are no hotels in kelshi and you can only stay at places where people offer lodging facilities in their homes.
Harne Beach:
Harne is a big port and lots of fishing trawlers and ships come here everyday with fresh fish from the sea. There is a big local fish market which assembles at the beach every morning. Its a very different experience taking a round of this market and see the buying an selling of fishes.
Karde (Murud) Beach:
Located at 11 kms. from Dapoli the beach at Karde (Murud) is an excellent white sand beach and we would like to rate it as one of the best beaches on the Konkan coast. There are a lot of good Hotels and Resorts alongside the beach and it is not at all crowded, practically it is like your own private beach.
As it is close to Dapoli, you can always drive down to Karde for a dip in the sea and return back to Dapoli.
Guhagar Beach:
Guhagar located at 42 Kms. from Chiplun is a typical Konkani town with a beautiful clean Beach where a lot of people come in the evenings to see the sunset. There is an ancient Shiv temple of Vyadeshwar here.
Velneshwar Beach:
Located at 16 Kms. from Guhagar, Velneshwar has a beautiful beach and an Ancient Shankar Temple. The Temple complex has three four different temples and the secluded beach behind the temple is very beautiful and clean.
Hedvi Beach:
Located at 18 Kms. from Guhagar, Hedvi is famous for its Ganpati Temple, and the beach at hedvi is very beautiful. Near the beach there is a place locally known as ‘Baman Ghal’, at this place the rocks are cut by the sea water and a george has formed. at the time of High tide the water gushes through the gorge (Ghal) and a water column rises to a height of up to 100 feet in the air.
Ganpatipule Beach:
Ganpatipule is famous for the ‘Swayambhu’ Ganpati temple and the whole hill is considered as a ganpati. A lot of people visit Ganpatipule and it is becoming a hot tourist destination. The beach at Ganpatipule stretches for 12 kms. and is a very beautiful white sand beach. It is one of the most beautiful beaches on the konkan coast, However caution should be taken before entering the sea as lot of people die every year because of drowning. The MTDC has a very good resort near the beach.
Bhandarpule Beach:
Located at 3 Kms. from ganpatipule, Bhandarpule also has a very beautiful beach. The beach at Bhandarpule is secluded and less crowded than Ganpatipule, However the sea here also is dangerous for swimming. you can get a beautiful view of ganpatipule and Bhandarpule beach from the top of the hill before descending to Bhandarpule.
Ratnagiri Beach:
Ratnagiri is a beautiful city and an important port. The city is quiet industrialized and has many fish processing and exporting units. The Ratnagiri beach is a lovely beach, which penetrates the sea and you can see a White sand beach on one side and a Black sand beach on the other at the same time. You can watch a beautiful sunset at the beach in the evenings.
Bhatye Beach:
The entire coast of the Bhatye village is covered with ‘Suru’ trees and is locally known as Bhatye Suru Ban. The entire area is covered with trees and is very beautiful. The Bhatye beach is a clean and beautiful beach. The beach is less crowded and secluded as it is a little away from the main city. At one end of the beach you can also visit the temple of ‘Zhari Vinayak’.
Malvan Beach:
Malvan is a small city with beautiful beaches and nice places to stay. Malvan is famous for its food and its proximity to Sindhudurg fort and its beautiful beach. The sunset at the Malvan beach is spectacular with Sindhudurg fort in the background and also there is a big fish market in the evening with auctions of fresh fish taking place right on the beach.
Tarkarli Beach:
Tarkarli one of the best Beaches along the Konkan coast located at 7 Kms. from Malvan is fast becoming a hot tourist destination. The whole area is very beautiful and is situated at the mouth of Karli river. Tarkarli has an excellent white sand beach and you will definitely fall in love with this beach. MTDC has very good resort with tents at Tarkarli and lots of people come to visit every year. The nearby Devbag beach is also very beautiful.
Kunkeshwar Beach:
Located at 15 Kms. from Devgad, Kunkeshwar is an ancient Shankar temple built in the 10th century by the Yadavas. The temple is situated on the beach and is very beautiful. There are six Deepmals and huge Nandi in front of the temple. the Beach in front of the temple is also very beautiful and clean.
Mithbav Beach:
Located at 20 kms from Devgad, the Mithbav beach is a very beautiful white sand beach. the waters are safe for swimming and the whole beach is very picturesque. This is one of the lesser known but beautiful beaches.
Vengurla – Mochemad Beach:
Located at 25 Kms. from Savantwadi, Vengurla is a beautiful coastal town with a excellent beach and a port. The Dutch and Portuguese conducted trade activities on a large scale through the Vengurla port. The beach near the port has some very beautiful spots where you can relax on big boulders and look at the ships and boats in the sea. The Mochemad Village at a distance of 10 Kms. from vengurla also has a beautiful beach.
HOW TO GET HERE
By Air: Nearest airport is Belgaum, 64 kms. Dabolim(Goa) airport is 120 kms.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is Sawantwadi Road on Konkan Railway, 30 kms.
By Road: Mumbai is 549 kms by road, Pune 390 kms. State Transport and private vechiles ply from Sawntwadi, Malvan, Vengurla, Kankavli.
Country India
Visa requirementsVisa is required
Languages spokenHindi & English
Currency usedIndian Rupee (INR)
Area (km2)720

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