places to visit in konkan

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Top 10 Places to Visit in Konkan, Maharashtra


You work for long hours in front of your laptop and the rest of the time glued to your very smart smartphone. Am I right? Or am I not right? Doctors suggest looking at GREEN color. They say that it soothes the eyes. Why this introduction? That is because we are going to take a virtual ride to the green bliss which has this ESSENCE in abundance, the top 10 places to visit in Konkan.

Maharashtra’s very own countryside – Malvan

Places to visit in Konkan - Dhamapur Lake View
Places to visit in Konkan – Dhamapur Lake View

This article is laced with some enchanted pictures which will keep you drooling over the natural beauty of Malvan, Maharashtra. Each and every picture is clicked by me or my friends using a mobile phone camera and an SLR. The pictures are taken on our road trip journey as and when we spotted a beautiful location.

You can blame me if you start planning your next trip to these places because I have attached extremely adorable pictures.

The journey to the magical Konkan
The journey to the magical Konkan

Instead of discussing the touristy places or the internet decorated places of Malvan located in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra like Ganpatipule, Dapoli, Harihareshwar, etc; I would take you to the less-traveled places which are mostly thronged only by people staying there, their friends, friends of friends and relatives. You would find very little written about these places. And you might even fall in love with these top 10 places to visit in Konkan when you visit them. I am telling you, accept this challenge and you will not regret it.

Even the bikers who are riding for their entire lives will swear about the beauty of this road journey. And talk to those who have taken a road trip to this place, they will not stop jabbering about the journey and the beautiful spots whilst on their route.


Ganesha Festival – Right time to Visit Malvan

The scenic beauty will only show you the best!
The scenic beauty will only show you the best!

We had taken a road trip from Pune-Malvan for celebrating the much-decorated 10-days Ganesh festival which is very popular in Konkan, Maharashtra. Maharashtrians celebrate 10 days Ganesh festival on a large scale in metropolitan cities likes Mumbai, Pune. Cities like Nagpur, Kolhapur also do that. A lot of people from these cities whose native place is Malvan, Konkan make sure that they visit their hometown during the Ganesh festival which usually arrives between July-September every year.

Local residents welcoming the God of wisdom!
Local residents welcoming the God of wisdom!

Malvan, Konkan has a very unique style of celebrating this 10-days Ganpati festival, the idols are made by the artists staying here, the decoration material is organic like leaves, flowers, beetle leaves, coconut. Now people are adapting the eco-friendly Ganesh idols for a better environment.

Author
The 10-days Ganesh Festival
Mesmerizing Ganpati Idol

I did not know what to expect out of this holiday however one thing was sure I was going to be the closest to nature for the next 8-10 days and decided head towards Malvan.

Top 10 outstanding Places to visit in Konkan

Redi Ganpati Temple, Dhamapur Lake, Kunkeshwar Temple, Chivala Beach, Devbag Sangam Beach, Tarkarli Beach (Tarkarli scuba diving), Bhogave Beach, Lake Moti in Sawantwadi, Angnewadi, Vengurla Beach, Devgad, Sindhudurg fort, Sawantwadi Palace are some important places to visit in Konkan.

I would insist on seeing all the places, however, you can decide for yourself as per your time convenience. Day-wise suggestion is given at the end of the article.

You will spot such charming scenes all along the way!
You will spot such charming scenes all along the way!

How to reach:

  • Roadtrip from Pune to Malvan via Satara & Kolhapur
  • Approximately 10 hours journey including 2 stoppages for food
  • Distance covered approximately 380-400 kilometers on one side.
  • The other route is via Ratnagiri, Ganpatipule. (if you wish to see these places)
  • Buses are available from Pune / Mumbai / Kolhapur. Kankavali is the destination.
  • Trains are available from Pune & Mumbai (higher frequency from Mumbai, 7-8 trains daily). Kudal station is the destination point.
  • Road trip or train journey is recommended
konkani fish thali
Fish Thali

Where to stay in Malvan, Konkan:

I got an opportunity to stay with my friend’s family.

You will get homestays near the beaches at a very low cost (approx. INR 1000-2000 per night)

Must visit are Versoli beach, Tarkarli beach, Bhogwe beach. Simple home-stays with basic amenities (AC/Non-AC rooms), sometimes with beach view, really close to the beach are easily available in these beaches.

They offer home-cooked food. You can order in advance if you have special requests like pure vegetarian food or sea-food.

Must-try dishes are fish fry (pomfret fish fry, surmai fish fry, halwa fish fry, bangda fish fry, prawns masala, prawns fry) dry fish chatni (sukat, bombil), rice bhaakri.

Not to miss is the soul-soothing sol kadhi (drink made with kokum/ aamsol/ amsul, ginger, coriander leaves, and coconut milk)

Small mud houses & temples have kept Konkan beautiful
Small mud houses & temples have kept Konkan beautiful

Duration Required to explore this appealing place:

We saw these places at our own pace in 8 days you can cover them in 4 days excluding the traveling days. Many might say it can be a weekend trip however personally I think it is very tiring to cover the traveling and see these places over a weekend. Give a minimum of 2 nights stay in Malvan and 2 days to enjoy Konkan properly.

Internal Travels:

Autorickshaw, rental scooters similar to what we get in Goa, rental cars with drivers/without drivers. These are local services that you will easily get once you reach the destination i.e. Kudal or Kankavali in Malvan.

The approximate cost of rental scooters will be INR 300-500 per day & for the rental car, it will be up to INR 1000/day.  

Best time to visit:

  • Post-monsoon.
  • Monsoon (might get difficult to travel as it rains heavily in this region) trains, buses are delayed.
  • If it is a road trip you will have to drive extra cautiously during monsoon.
  • The beaches and water sports might be closed during monsoon.
MALVAN WEATHER

Itemizing the must-see places in Malvan, Konkan

  1. The Spiritual Bliss at Redi Ganpati Temple
  2. Shree Ganesha of the trip can be done by visiting the Redi Ganpati situated in a small village of Redi.
  3. This Ganesh idol was found in one of the mines at the Rewati port.
  4. As per Wikipedia an old man saw this idol in his dreams and urged the villagers to dig up the place.
  5. Investigation states that the idol was built by the Pandavas. And it is Dwibhuja (2 arms) as compared to the other idols that are Chaturbhuja (4 arms)

This temple is located 30 kilometers from Vengurla Beach.

Redi Ganpati Temple Google Maps Location: https://goo.gl/maps/nMQ88RGe6KFSnoX16

Nearby spot: If you wish to see a fort converted to a heritage hotel, take a 7 kilometers drive from Redi Ganpati Temple to Fort Tiracol / Fort Terekhol. You get to see a beautiful view of the sea from one of the corners of the fort.

View from one of the corner of the fort
View from one of the corner of the fort

You can stay at this luxurious heritage hotel. The price ranges between INR 6000-INR 12000 per night. However, we can take a quick tour throughout the fort in 10-15 minutes if we do not want to stay. The dining and bar facility is available at this luxurious place. Food with a breathtaking view is heavenly.


1. Vengurla Beach : One of the must places to visit in konkan

Places to visit in Konkan - Vengurla
Vengurla Beach
  • Get the feel of Goa in Malvan: Vengurla Beach
  • I was surprised to know that we can do scuba diving in Malvan, Maharashtra also. I thought I will have to go to Andaman or Lakshadweep for scuba diving.
  • This beach does have scuba diving and parasailing activities.
  • It is a white sand beach and less crowded compared to other popular beaches around this place.
  • I would like to hear the reasons from you, why this place is rated among the top 10 places to visit in Konkan.
  • Rich in marine life you get to see a lot of fishes and other underwater marine life once you are scuba diving.
  • The instructors for parasailing are well equipped with all the safety gear. One person accompanies you in the parasailing activity.

Charges: Approx. INR 1200-1500 for scuba diving + parasailing (also depends on your bargaining skills)

Distance: 30 kilometers from Redi Ganpati Temple

Do not miss: Vengurla Lighthouse & scuba diving in Malvan, check the availability in monsoon season

Entry charges:

  • Rs. 10 per person. Be ready to take a small trek up a hill & then climb up the steep steps inside the lighthouse
  • Not recommended for elderly people. 
  • Government guest house is available near this place – you can check below Maharashtra’s State list of available guest houses here – Link for Guest houses In Maharashtra.

Vengurla Beach Google Maps Location: https://goo.gl/maps/cGWDvux1XHKGDp6d6

2. Divine combination of Nature & God: Dhamapur Lake, Malvan

The post-monsoon look of this place was enthralling. Greenery, lush green trees, dewdrops falling from the grass, a quiet lake beside the temple was bedazzling like a newly wedded bride. Boating is available in Dhamapur Lake, Malvan. It is a Bhagwati Devi Temple and usually, newly married couples visit this place to offer their prayers. I would rate this place as one of the top 10 places to visit in Konkan.

Dhamapur Lake
Dhamapur Temple

Charges for boating: Approx. INR 100-150/person

Dhamapur lake, MalvanGoogle Maps Location:https://goo.gl/maps/f2Bp2RMnNP8XEqLaA

Dhamapur Temple - View from the boat ride
Dhamapur Lake

3. The Mystic feel: Kunkeshwar Temple, Devgad

Visiting this place will lead you to multiple things on the checklist ticked. Like, this is a Shiva Temple, you can visit Kunkeshwar Beach, Devgad Beach & the Devgad Alphonso mangoes are famous for its unique sweet taste-do not miss this at any cost, please. Mango lovers you will personally come to thank me for this recommendation! You will get mangoes in the season April-June only.

Also, this temple has a lot of stories about how it was built. One of the stories I read was, Pandavas had built this temple in one night. Isn’t that very interesting? And also it seems there is a hidden “Shivalinga” which is seen only when it is a low tide. We will believe only what we see. Alright? Do not miss this one of the best top 10 places to visit in Konkan.

Devgad Haapus Amba - Alphonso Mangoes
Alphonso Mangoes

Must see: Either sunrise or sunset at the beach. Avoid going in peak time as this place is crowded.

There are a lot of homestays and small restaurants which offer food and stay are a very negligible amount. Approx. INR 500-2000. Must try the Malvani fish curry thali. Malvani fish curry thali has rice, 1-2 bhaakri, 1 fish fry, 1 fish curry, sol kadhi, pickle, salad. The food is prepared using homemade masala and taste is not very spicy, fish is shallow fried with Rawa/semolina coating, diet conscious people can eat it guilt-free. The price ranges between INR 150-250. Vegetarian food is also available.

Kunkeshwar Temple, Devgad, Malvan Google Maps Location: https://goo.gl/maps/JaREHfaUfbiTKZP5A

4. Lesser-known Gem: Chivala Beach, Sindhudurg, Malvan

You might be surprised to see the feel of Marine drive, Mumbai at this place due to the triangular-shaped blocks spread across the beach. There are shacks similar to Goa and tents erected on the beach. I would again emphasize enjoying the beach in the early morning when there are less crowd and more peace. This surely comes under the top 10 places to visit in Konkan.

You will get small eateries that serve snack items, try fish thalis if you are a seafood lover. And regular Maharashtrian vegetarian thali which includes 2 veg sabzi, 2 chapatis/roti, rice, dal, papad, pickle, salad & 1 sweet dish. The price ranges between INR 100-200 and is available everywhere.

Chivala Beach, Sindhudurg, Malvan Google Maps location: https://goo.gl/maps/fvh9TXEDhonV9GZr7

Photographers have ample opportunities to show their skills here. Amateur photographer like me came up with beautiful pictures like these in the magical Konkan. Clicked near my friend’s home.

Beauties spotted on your way!

5. Devbag, Malvan – The Enchanting Beaches

Devbag beach is approximately 12 kilometers from Malvan. Tarkarli is among the famous beaches of Malvan which is crowded, hence you can book a stay at Devbag so that you find fewer people here. Long-long stretches of water and sand are the highlight of both places. Both are equally good in their own way. You will get many beach resorts where the ocean is right outside your room.  

Usually, people throng this place for water sports, dolphin ride, white sand beach, stay at beachside & Tsunami Island. You can take 5-10 minutes boat ride to reach this island. Here you get water sport activities and small snack shops. Tsunami Island is an imaginary name given to the island to attract travelers, it is popular for water-sports particularly during high tide, the island is submerged in water till the knee length. There are a lot of homestays, 3-star hotels in the nearby vicinity. Devbagh Beach Resort, Sea View Resort are a few which will cost around INR 2000-INR 3000 per night. Try and find a place closest to the beach. You will be able to spend time on the beach for a longer time.

Devbag Beach, Malvan Google Maps Location: https://goo.gl/maps/J1hApwLGLeTxPo4M

Keep all your senses active while exploring these places because nature offers you endless scenic beauties. Clicked near the trees on the way to Tarkarli Beach.

Tarkarli beach

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6. Spot the DOLPHINS here: Tarkarli Beach, Malvan

Many people from Pune & Mumbai have heard about this place and also must have visited. They say you see dolphins from the beach if you have a good eye-sight. Alternately, there are speed boats which take you far away in the ocean and you can see the dolphins there. Tarkarli scuba diving is also popular because the charges are comparatively cheaper than Andaman or Lakshadweep. However, the experience might be similar. The water is clear and clean. It is rich in marine life.

There are homestays that cook authentic Malvani food delicacies. Give a sumptuous treat to your taste buds with their unique style of food cooked with grated coconut and home-made masala.

Suggestion to stay: Tara Resort, Tarkarli +91-84102800969 / 9423289842

Cost – Approx. INR 1500 per person (scuba diving + parasailing + dolphin ride). The water-sports activities are pretty much similar in all the beaches.

Tarkarli Beach, Malvan Google Maps Location: https://goo.gl/maps/H4RnchBGeRRimiUC7

7. The Blue Flag Beach Award goes to Bhogwe Beach, Konkan

The place is pretty intact as it is a lesser-known beach. And agree with me, humans have always bought so many changes in nature due to their very own existence. Lesser human activity in this part of Malvan has led to less commercialization, the water looks blue, it is a white sand beach, most importantly Bhogwe Beach, Konkan has won an award, the Blue Flag Beach Award in 2019. The ocean deserves our respect and care.

Bhogwe Beach, Konkan Google Maps Location: https://goo.gl/maps/sTEYdmEVF9b9UXBY9

8. Fort on an islet – Go, experience the history: Sindhudurg Fort, Sindhudurg, Malvan District

A must visit fort for everyone especially the fans and devotees of the Great Maratha Warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj & history lovers. Sindhudurg fort is on the western coast of Maharashtra. A 10 minutes boat ride to the islet will take you to this historical place where you can see the fort and fall in love with our great history.

Sindhudurg Fort
Sindhudurg fort

Important tip: Do not forget to hydrate yourself enough, carry caps/hats, wear cotton clothes because the sun can get harsh if you are on the fort anytime in the afternoon.

Time required: 1 hour on the fort is enough to see everything

Sindhudurg Fort, Malvan Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/W1JgvXYmTAQgZ9359

9. The place of lake, Palace and wooden toys: Sawantwadi, Konkan

Moti Lake and Sawantwadi Palace are must-visit places and purchasing wooden toys are not to miss activity.

How about a sight of a lake right in the middle of the city? Freshly renovated and neatly maintained for cleanliness is a tourist attraction whilst on Sawantwadi, Konkan trip. Sawantwadi is the last stop before entering the border of Goa if you are taking the Kolhapur-Satara route. So now you can take a detour for some time if you are on a road trip to Goa. It may sound surprising if I say there are the Queen, the Prince, and Princess stays in the Royal Palace of Sawantwadi.

One part is the palace is occupied by the royal family of Bhonsle dynasty and entry is prohibited to this portion. However, we can see the other parts of the palace. You may spot some local artists working on their wooden art, old paintings, and huge halls like they show in movies.

Artist creating magic with age old art
Artisans at Work

Entry fees: Nominal amount of approx. Rs. 20-25 per person

Time required: 30-45 mins depending on your interest.

Sawantwadi has maintained the age-old traditions and artifacts who work on exceptionally well-crafted art of making wooden toys. The toys are too cute to ignore, even if you do not have kids at home, you will be delighted to purchase these as souvenirs for family and friends.

Wooden Toy - Sawantwadi
Irresistible wooden toys

Additionally, just in case if you are planning your trip around February, go to the below event.           

10. Angnewadi Jatra / Yatra, Malvan (meaning Mela in Hindi and Fun Fair in English)

Angnewadi is a Village in Malvan. This place has a history of a Goddess materializing 400 years ago, hence every year the Angnewadi Jatra is organized. This Jatra has received many awards in the past. It is celebrated in the month of February, the date keeps changing.

What to expect: Spiritual atmosphere, lakhs of people & a trip down the memory lane of your childhood funfair time. 

Summing up this green paradise by exploring beaches, temples, fort, relishing local delicacies, seeing a Palace, watching a lake in the middle of the city.

What to bring back: Cashewnuts, Alphonso Mangoes, dry fish, wooden toys, hundreds of photos, and a zillion fond memories of our very own Malvan / Konkan / Maharashtra. You can purchase these items from any local shops, try to compare prices initially by asking in a couple of shops, and then purchase the items.

Panoramic view of a temple
Panoramic view of a Temple

Recommendation:

Day 1: You can keep a combination of 2 temples, 1 beach, 1 fort on day 1. Like start with Redi Ganpati, visit Tiracol, see Vengurla. Halt at Vengurla.

Day 2: You can cover Bhogwe beach, Tarkarli, Devbag, Sindhudurg fort.

There is so much to see, the choice lies with you.

Malvan / Konkan was so magical, it made an amateur writer like me emotional and poetic. Sitting in the mud house one afternoon I had penned these lines which are cherished to date. I hope you get the gist of this place through my words and photographs. In 2020, nature is healing itself and we will get ample opportunities to travel in the future.

View from the rooftop of the mud-house
View from the Mud-house

Imagine lush green grass touching your feet while you walk, the only colors you can see is shades of green which are so soothing to your eyes that you won’t want to leave this place forever, time flies so quickly & quietly that u keep wondering how did this happen, away from the city life, where we keep hunting for organic materials and here we are so close to nature that everything is organic.

Sun-rays beaming from the mud roofs and falling on your skin, making it glow which no smartphone app can do.
Time so quite that you can hear the birds chirp even when you are inside your home.
People so good that you keep thinking, how good it would have been if they were your family.
The freshness of cooked food and the amount of love put in by the mothers is beyond anyone’s imagination.
And language so different yet so similar to ours again makes us think that we are one.
Where back in city life we can’t imagine our home without TV, AC, Refrigerator and all other electronic gadgets here we don’t even miss them for a second but still left amazed how is everything running so smoothly? 

Random clicks while walking
Scenic beauties like this are a common sight!
My sincere Thanks to!

I would like to thank my colleagues-cum-friends Chinmay and Aditi who gave me a few important insights about this beautiful place.

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