Kashid and Diveagar area are one of the popular weekend destinations for Mumbai and Pune tourist. In my last article, we explored varies option from Alibag region till Revdanda and now let’s move ahead to explore further in Coastal Konkan. Kashid and Diveagar offer you Konkan lifestyle, beautiful beaches, Fort, forest and Temples. This region is well connected by road from Pune and Mumbai city.
After crossing Kundlika River, you can take left for Phansad wildlife sanctuary. Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary is a bird sanctuary in Raigad district, Maharashtra. It is spread across an area of 52 Sq. km. Although it is mainly a bird sanctuary; a few species of mammals like a giant squirrel, Indian fox, Bonnet macaque, Indian Civet, Langur, Sambar, wildcat, deer, and leopard can also be spotted. However, it is very difficult to do so. This Sanctuary was formed in the year 1986. There are few points where water is available in ponds through water springs. In a local language, such a place is known as Gaan (गाण). Different points in the forest are Dharna chi Gaan, Sabas Gaan, Phansad Gaan, and Chikhal Gaan. Among these Chikhan Gaan is a famous point to spot forest birds. This forest consists of more than 160 spices of birds and 17 spices of mammals. Tent stay and dormitory are available whereas group of ladies from nearby village serves tasty veg and non-veg meals.
Korlia fort is located next to Kundalika River. This fort was built in 1521 by the Portuguese with the permission of Burhan Nizam. It was initially known as the “Rock of Chaul”.You can visit this place to see Lighthouse and Fort. By paying a nominal fee, the lighthouse engineer explains the functionality of lighthouse. To reach on the top of the fort, Proper stone steps are laid. The fort is mainly divided into 6 parts. Topmost point is known as Balle killa and there is an old church. Westside section was used for a storehouse of ammunition and place to park ships at that time. Entrance door to a different section of the fort is quite interesting.
Next destination is Kashid beach. It is a beach town on Alibag-Murud road. It is popular mainly because of its white sand, curvy beach shape, mountains behind beach and beautiful sea view. Kashid has a 3 km stretch of beach tucked in between two rocky hillocks with Casuarinas grooves all around the seashore. Few seas facing resorts are available in Kashid and lots of homestay accommodations are available. There were too many food stalls to offer lots of snacks items.
You can visit Ganesh temple from Nandgaon on route to Murud which is known as Sidhi Vinayak Ganesh temple. This temple has been in existence since 1036 AD. Myth has it that panchang (Hindu Calendar) is blessed by this Ganesha. Murud beach is famous for water sports and a flat sea bed. plenty of hotels are restaurant are available in Murud.
Next destination is Janjira Fort. The fort was originally built in the 15th century on a smaller scale by a local Maratha-Fisherman Chieftain- Ram Patil to protect his people from pirates/ thieves and was known as “Medhekot”. Siddi commanders Pir Khan, who came with three ships armed with necessary weapons and soldiers and captured the fort. Pir Khan was succeeded by Burhan Khan, who demolished the original fort and built an impregnable much bigger, 22 acre, some time in between 1567 and 1571. Fort has 19 rounded three-story bastions. History says that there were 572 cannons to protect the fort. You can see India’s 3rd largest cannon named Kalal-Bangadi. Other highlights from the fort are 6 stories place (now only 3 floors are left), Balekila, Queen Lake, quarters, mosque, etc.
You can visit Khokari Tombs after Rajapuri. There are 3 stone Tombs (around 500 years old) belongs to the early ruler of Janjira. Largest Tomb is of Siddi Surul Khan who was chief of Janjira from 1707 to 1734. Other two smaller tombs are of Sidi Kasim, commonly known as Yakut Khan and his brother Khairiyat Khan who was in command of Janjira. Tombs are built in the Indo-Saracenic style and restored by the Archaeological Survey of India.
You can cross the creek by Ferry along with your vehicle from Agardanda to Dindi. if you travel towards Diveagar by Coastal side road then you can visit offbeat beaches Adgaon beach and Velas agar beach. Beaches are not popular in tourist hence quite clan and claim place. The road is parallel to the beaches and offers you a refreshing view.
Next place is Diveagar. This place was famous for a weekend beach destination. It was famous for Suvarna (Gold) Ganesh Temple but unfortunately, an idol made up of gold was stolen in the year 2012. On the special day of November 17th, 1997 (Sankashti Chaturthi as per the Hindu calendar), a villager found a copper box in few feet below farming land. When the box was opened, they Ganesh idol made up of pure gold and ornaments belonging to the Lord. It was then that the god was named “Suvarnaganesh”. This discovery has turned the village into Holy place.
Another attraction from Diveagar is Rupnarayan temple which is located close to the beach. Vishnu Idol is very old and it is in the form of Dashavatar. Idol is beautifully carved in black Sangamravari stone. As per history, the temple was built between year 800 to 1300. Madhavrao Peshwa used to visit this temple along with his wife Ramabai Peshwa. Diveagar beach is Flat and safe for swimming. plenty of water sports are available along with some food stalls.
Next destination on the south direction is Shrivardhan. If you take coastal road then you can take a pit stop at Aaravi beach before reaching Shrivardhan. Aaravi village is located on the southern point of beach whereas Kondivali village is on the northern side of the beach. Hence beach is known by both names. Beach towards Kondivali is Rocky. Shrivardhan is Taluka city located in the coastal region. It is also a birthplace of first Peshwa Balaji Visvanath. Now Peshwa temple is built at the birthplace. The town is also a popular beach destination. Recently the beach is developed with a beautiful walkway along the beach. There are few viewpoints built and benches for relaxation.
Harihareshwar is 19km on the south of Shrivardhan. Harihareshwar was blessed by Lord Shiva and famous for Lord Shiva Temple. It is known as Kashi of Southern India. Temple is surrounded by Holy hills named as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiv and Parvati. Temple and nearby area have huge mythology history associated with it. Pradakshina (Parikrama) route is unique and interesting. It starts behind the temple. You need to climb a small hill and then get down from another side. Take a walk around the rocky coastal hilly area which is exposed to strong sea waves and wind. Parikrama becomes very risky during high tide as the entire path is covered by sea waves with the strong water current. For monsoon, the route is closed for safety reasons.
For Stay, plenty of option like a resort, Hotels or homestay is available in Shrivardhan, harihareshwar, Diveagar, Murud, and Kashid area. Diveagar, Shrivardhan, and Kashid are the best places to try tasty seafood. A vegetarian meal is easily available in this region. I will share information on next section from Velas to Dapoli in my next article.
Pritesh Kulkarni from Pune is in IT industry by profession. Travelling and exploring places is his passion along with travel and wildlife photography. He is travel Blogger and has written more than 125 travel blogs in last 6-7 years. Visit the blog: http://pritskulkarni.blogspot.com/?m=1. You can contact the author through the email: [email protected]