Wooden statues of gods in the ceiling
Wooden pillars- painted, hence dont look like wood
Roof interlocked wooden beams
We also went to Purangadh, it’s a nice spot but the sea is rocky and if you wish privacy go there else nothing much to see.
I reached clinic and filled the slip; which is given to every patient and waited in the queue. I entered his room and he asked “yes, what is the problem?” I looked at him and smiled and he stared back at my face for few moments; and screamed “arey, you Kishor!” after so long time. We hugged each other spoke for few minutes and then again I waited again outside for him to complete his work.
We then chatted for till late in the night, he is one of the most popular doctors in the town. Meeting him is a pleasure as he radiates tremendous energy(he even speaks too fast).
I had visited Malvan before and stayed at Tarkarli, one of the most popular beaches of Malvan. However, Rahul told me that I should try Chivala Beach this time. We went to Chivala beach and stayed with Prof. Prasanna Mayekar. By the time we reached it was dark, I could see the waves hitting the beach in front of his home and could hear roar of the sea.
We went out for dinner and came back and slept. The next day morning we got up at 5.30 a.m. and decided to go on the beach for a stroll, as soon as I stepped out; what I saw was one of the most beautiful scenes in front of my eyes.
The beach was not more than 50 mtrs from our room, it was a 2 km long stretch of the sand, in form of an arch; with not more than 10 fishermen. I had stayed at Tarkarli before; but this was something very different. We were staying at 15 minutes walk from heart of Malvan town and still the beach was so secluded and private. Only seasoned travelers know about this beach; the rest go to Tarkarli.
If you are a family and wish to avoid crowd, especially if women of the family want privacy while going in the sea; then this is the most recommended beach. If you are a honeymoon couple; then lso this is the most recommended place. Entire stretch of 2 km is at your disposal with white sand and clear water and absolutely no human beings making it as good as your private beach. Do stay at Mr Mayekar’s or Mr Ram Patil’s place they are right on the beach(visit http://www.mygreatstay.com/ to locate and book these places).
We moved to Sindhudurg fort after breakfast. It is an amazing fort in the middle of the sea. Rocky surroundings make it difficult for enemy boats to reach giving added protection to the fort.
This is among the last of the big forts in the chain almost 65 forts (small and big- ranging from North to South) that Chhatrapati Shivaji built along the coast of Maharashtra. The fort sprawling over 45 acres was built in record time of 3 years (1664 to 1667).
There are 42 bastions to the fort along the boundary wall. The wall is built with Mixture of jaggery, lime, udad dal(lentils) and molten lead. It is so strong that after facing strong waves for centuries they are still intact. There are three sweet water wellss namely Dhudhbaon, Dahibaon and Sakharbaon (baon means “well” in Konkani the native lanugage). Besides there are temples of Bhawani, Mahadev(Shiva), Mahapurush and Shivarajeshwar. Shivarajeshwar, is temple of Shivaji, built by his son Rajaram. This is also the only fort where palm and foot print of Shivaji, taken in lime mortar are preserved. These were taken when he came to visit the fort after its completion.
In front of the Mahadev temple is a small well and apparently there is a secret tunnel from inside the well(local legent). This tunnel goes few Kilometers under the sea and comes out on land. It was used as escape route, in times of trouble. You can see the opening in the picture; but where exactly it leads; is not known as excavation is yet to be done.
This fort again shows foresight of Shivaji; who had predicted that enemy will not only come from land but also from sea and hence building forts is necessary. Given the fact that, later British used the same route speaks of this wisdom.
Our guide told us very interesting story about construction of the fort. While this fort was being constructed, Shivaji had to go Agra to meet Aurangzeb who put him under house arrest. The reins of kingdom were with his mother in his absence. But obvious in such situation; money was falling short and his mother Jijabai gave token currency to workers with a promise that once Shivaji is back, everybody would be paid. Later the money was paid. But the saying came that “ye killa(fort) Kavadiyon ke Mole mein bana hai”
View of the fort from Boat
Well in front of Mahadeve Temple - opening of the tunnel can be seen
We came back and had lunch. We then moved on to see the surrounding area. We went northwards on coastal road to Aachare and then to Kunakeshwar.
There are some very interesting places on the way; which not many tourists know about. Once you leave Malvan at approx 5 km is Ozar. Don’t miss to spend time at Brahmanand Swami Samadhi here. It’s a small valley with a fresh water pond, a cave where swami stayed and some very old trees. The environment is blessed with absolute tranquility and is prefect for meditation.
Caves where Swami stayed
Wooden pillates with carvings
We then moved on to Kunakeshwar. The temple here is famous and was undergoing renovation. The town is like any other temple town; with crowded roads, lot of noise and dirt. I personally did not like this place much. It was already dark and we did not spend much time there. We started journey back to Malvan.
The next day we got up and went on a stroll on the beach. We then met people from the town who are running homestays. Ghar Mithbawakaranche is the oldest operator here and is famous for food. They chatted with us for some time. We then went on to meet Balu Padwal of Visava. Later we met Mr Khanvilakar of Ya-hoo hometel and many others. Their stories are worth reading (most of which are not told by them; but it is our research). They are mentioned here and I urge you to read on; as it not only the beach and sea that make a place interesting but tourism is about people and knowing their stories; is to know real India.
MTDC started effort of marketing Tarkarli with setting up a resort. At that time there was nothing in that town. Mr Mithbavkar, a locale from the village started as canteen contractor (I don’t think MTDC would have been able to get any outsider that time as business was not great). MTDC resort became famous for two reasons one its location and second its food. Mithbavkar operated the canteen till 2007 but in 2008 the property was privatized and his contract was discontinued; it is also suspected that there was political interference in the deal. Thus, the man who helped develop tourism and is a local lost his job and somebody outsider got it courtesy government body which was supposed to protect them. He is now operating his homestay and the food is still a big hit.
Balu, is absolutely forthcoming and blunt; which is why I liked him. If you go to Malvan make it a point to meet him. He started his life with selling Jambhul(Jamun) in a crate in front of MTDC resort gate. He started interacting with tourists and came to know that they need somebody as guide. He then started working as guide to them. This made him understand tourist psyche and preferences. From little money he had; he then started a homestay. He has now bought a boat and he plans to start backwater cruise(what a dream for guy who is not trained by anybody).
Mr. Khanvilkar was working working at Mumbai. There was lock-out in his company; he went back to Malvan to start a homestay as means of livelihood. He knew benefit of getting organized and hence formed association of homestay operators. They regularly meet and learn from each other.
Homestays are thus symbols of grit, survival instinct, innovation and commitment. It is better to support their dream of the future; than to throw money at some resort and buy luxury; raw material to which is cheap labour of locals, exploitation by people in power and dirty capital.
We spent evening on Tarkarli beach with plans to start for Vengurla in the morning…..
Coming up next Vengurla; then Gokarna and Murudeshwar ………………keep reading and keep giving feedback…
friend while you read this blog; two my fellow friends(jasleen and amit) are participating in mitsubishi driving challenge. they are the most lovely couple one can find on earth... vote for them by clicking link below....