May 11, 2014

Quote of the Post: "Trip to Tarkarli is not complete without visiting Sindhudurg Fort and deep dive in the sea. " - Quote about 'Tarkarli' in Malvan, Maharashtra - Sachin Kumar Gupta

It was a nice trip to remember with Meenal, Pooja and Pankaj. We saw many bikers and groups travelling to Goa and other travel destinations over the long weekend. We travelled Mumbai - Alibag - Kashid - Murud - ShrivardhanHarihareshwar - Harnai - Dapoli - Velneshwar - Jaigad - Ganpatipule - Ratnagiri, and now was the time to move to the next destination --- Tarkarli in Sindhudurg district.

Tarkarli: If you are coming from Pune or Mumbai, you have to reach Kankavli. Below map will help you reaching from Mumbai and Pune. 
Mumbai - Pune - Satara - Kolhapur - Radhanagari - Phonda - Kankavali - Kasal - (Malvan - Kasal Road) - Tarkarli Road - Turn to Tarkarli Beach.

Tarkarli - Rock Garden - Chiwla - Malvan Map
We paused at a bridge near Phonda, where many birds were flocking together. It was nice photography point to stop by. As soon as we reached Tarkarli, Kingfisher bird welcomed us, and let me click some photographs quickly.

Things to do at Tarkarli, Malvan: Magnificent Tarkarli is well known for its natural beauty, and there are many prime places to visit in and around Tarkarli that attracts visitors:
Here, It is an experience to see the auction of fish catch in the evening when all the trawlers return after day’s fishing. The catch is then sold to the highest bidder. You will love to see many colorful fish. 
Devbag Sangam - 06 KM
Rock Garden, Malvan - 06 KM
Chiwala Beach - 07 KM
Kunkeshwar Temple - 40 KM
Goa - 75 KM

Tarkarli Beach: On a fairly sunny day, one can see the sea-bed up to a depth of 20 feet, This place has gained prominence because of its transparently clear seas. At Tarkarli beach, we also saw some sea-birds flocking around. We found the birds flying at the seashores at many places at Tarkarli. There are newly built M.T.D.C. cottages with accommodation and recreation facilities nearby, which you'll have to book well in advance. Now a days, MTDC also has luxury houseboat facility available at Tarkarli. There are 2 famous houseboats, named- Hiranyakeshi (a deluxe houseboat) and Karli (a standard houseboat). We will plan for the same sometime later in Jan or Feb.  

Sunset at Rock Garden: This is no doubt to enjoy the sunset at Rock Garden point, if you are at Tarkarli. The Rock garden is situated near the Arase Mahal and on the Rocky Shore of Malvan. As soon as sun goes down, you will see the crowd increasing to enjoy the sunset glimpse. Many couples pick-up their rock stones to enjoy their loving moments. There is also a toy train, which runs till 7 pm. It is kind of 16 seaters which takes small round charging 10 INR per person. 

Chiwla Beach (Chivla Beach): If you really want to enjoy more cleaner beach, move Chiwla beach, which is just 1 KM away from Rock Garden. You will feel like being at cleaner Marine Drive of Mumbai. There are many cone shaped stones are being placed at the beach side for longer stretch. Sea and sand blending in enchanting natural harmony, gracefully cruising boats in calm and cool waters add to the beauty of this beach. 

The best time to visit Tarkarli is Dec and Jan, Though it is magnificent most of the months other than monsoon season. It is also a seafood lovers place. Coconut, Rice and Fish assume prime significance in the Malavani cuisine. Seafood containing fish, especially Bangada (Soloman) Paplet (Pomfret), Prawns, Bombil (Bombay Duck) and Tisrya (Mussels) is very popular. Sol Kadhi (A preparation made of Sol (Kokum) and coconut milk) is famous drink, We enjoyed it many times. Varieties of Alphonso Mango (Hapus Aam) are particularly popular here. We took approx 2 boxes (5 KG) of Hapus mangoes in quite reasonable rates while returning back to Pune. 
Quote of the Post: "Friends Together..Check! Lovely Drive..Check! Awesome Beaches..Check! Tasty Food..Check! Fun filled trip..Check! Rejuvenated..Check! - What else can u ask for!!!" - Quote about 'Devbag' in Malvan, Maharashtra - Sachin Kumar Gupta 

In our endeavor to explore the coastal belt of Arabian Sea, We travelled Mumbai - Alibag - Kashid - Murud - Shrivardhan - Harihareshwar - Harnai - Dapoli - Velneshwar - Jaigad - Ganpatipule - Ratnagiri, and now was the time to move to the next destination --- Devbag (Devbaug) in Sindhudurg district.

Tip: If you are planning to visit Tarkarli or Malvan, Book hotel at Devbag area, you will feel like enjoying private beach. Much awaited trip to Tarkarli, finally came our way and here we scoot for our weekend get-away. After much of hastles and multiple discussions, we finalized our stay at 'Sea Pearl Beach Resort' at Devbag, which is considered to be one of best region in Malvan (Dist. Sindhudurg). 

Don't confuse with Devbagh in Karnataka. If you are coming from Pune or Mumbai, you have to reach Kanakavli (Pronounced as Kan-Kavli). Below map shows the route to Devbag from Mumbai and Pune. 
Mumbai - Pune - Satara - Kolhapur - Radhanagari - Phonda - Kankavali - Kasal - (Malvan - Kasal Road) - Turn to Tarkarli - Devbag Mobar Road. 

Devbag - Malvan Map
Devbag Mobar Sangam: This famous place is surrounded by water mostly and is at the confluence of river Karli and Arabian Sea. While driving from Tarkarli, you will enjoy the beautiful scenary of Arabian sea at one side, while tranquil backwaters of Karli river at the other side. It was just 5 minutes drive from our hotel, however we chose to explore this place on foot. Some of the major points can be easily seen from here. 

Mobareshwar Temple: This small temple is located at the tip of this Sangam. There is a boating point nearby named - Mobareshwar Boating Centre. You can book the boat and traverse multiple points with 6-8 people. To your luxury, Houseboats are also available in backwaters! There are so many colorful boats, your eyes will simply love those, and capture the moments. 

The same place is also the origin for the outset of boat rides covering below places. 
1. Sangam Point 
2. Island Bed (Seagull Island) 
3. Tsunami Bed: You can enjoy many water sports here.  
4. Bhogwe Beach [700 INR for 1-4 points]
5. Dolphin Point --- Must see, if you are getting up early in the morning.
6. Sea Travel [1000 INR for 1-6 points]
7. Nivati Beach 
8. Nivati Fort [1700 INR for 1-8 points]
9. Lighthouse [3500 INR for 1-9 points]

Sunrise and Sunset at Devbag Beach: It was a treat to adore magnificient sunrise from the Karli river and eye-catching sunset at Arabian sea. Fishermen carrying their traditional boats & nets daily into the sea, is an interesting feature to watch on this beach. The first morning, we saw many colorful fishes and crabs being captured in the nets by local fishermen. Next day, I wokeup early in the morning and captured many pics with Sun rising from the horizon. Some sunrise pics taken from the hotel top. Evening was funfilled with tea/snakcs at beachside of the hotel, and later beach bath and sunset. We spend some time together in beach-swing. 

Devbag is an ideal spot for refreshing the mind and soul. The best time to visit Devbag is Dec and Jan, Though it is magnificent most of the months other than monsoon season. Magnificent Devbag is well known for its natural beauty, and there are many prime places to visit in and around Devbag that attracts visitors: 

Chiwala Beach - 12 KM
Rock Garden, Malvan - 11 KM
Kunkeshwar Temple - 45 KM
Goa - 80 KM
Ratnagiri - 150 KM
Quote of the Post: "Trip to Tarkarli is not complete without visiting Sindhudurg Fort and deep dive into the sea. " - Quote about 'Tarkarli' in Malvan, Maharashtra - Sachin Kumar Gupta
Tip: If you are planning to visit Tarkarli for Scuba diving, avoid visiting during monsoon, as you wouldn't be able to visit Sindhudurg Fort and can't do water activities - scuba and snorkling. If you are coming from Pune or Mumbai, you have to reach Kankavli. Below map will help you reaching from Mumbai and Pune. Mumbai - Pune - Satara - Kolhapur - Radhanagari - Phonda - Kankavali - Kasal - (Malvan - Kasal Road) - Sindhudurg Killa (Fort) route by market - Kurte Island by Boat.

Sindhudurg Fort at Kurte Island
Whenever I hear the name - 'Tarkarli', scuba diving picture comes into the mind. For adventure water sports lovers, snorkeling and scuba diving facilities are available at Tarkarli. In India there are a very few places where scuba diving can be done and Malvan is one of them. Due to its relatively clear sea water, Malvan serves as a perfect spot for scuba diving and snorkeling with surface oxygen supply. Near the outer walls of Sindhudurg fort one can see lots of live corals and colorful marine life under the sea. 
For me it was my third undersea experience - First undersea walk at Cyprus from sea-shore, Second undersea walk from the boat-ladder at Coral Island, Pattaya. This time, It was totally different experience as we did scuba diving with cylinder, and closer to Sindhudurg Fort. This is being organized by 'Om Shiv Moreshwar Scuba and Snorkeling Centre, Malvan'. They offer different services at different rates per person:
Scuba Diving with Cylinder - 3500 INR per person
Scuba Diving - 1500 INR per person
Boating Suffer - 500 INR per person
Snorkeling - 400 INR per person
Dolphin Suffer - 300 INR per person
Boating - 200 INR per person
Sindhudurg Fort  - 50 INR per person

The full package can be combined with Sidhudurg Fort visit. They also provide photography and videography for snorkeling and scuba diving for additional 100-200 INR. Try to bargain as much as you can. A boat took us to the place from Malvan pier. For novice, well-trained snorkeling coaches, guide on snorkeling and ensure safety. They ensure that one can have the first & finest ever experience of marine life. They also provide life jacket, snorkel, face mask, stretchable dress, cylinder and other stuff as per picked service. 

You will also be amazed to know that you can purchase tea, coffee, snacks while on-board at boat...from another boat! This can happen only in India. For snorkeling, they give 10 minutes of training and 20 minutes of sea-world experience with 20-30 feet depth. Whereas for scuba diving, They give 15 minutes of training and 25-30 minutes of sea-world experience with 40-60 feet depth. The overall time taken depends on waiting time, and size of your group. Meenal and I went for scuba diving with cylinder together. 

Sindhudurg Fort at Kurte Island: Sindhudurg Fort (Fort in the sea) lies on a rocky island (Kurte) just off the coast of Malvan. Sindhudurg fort, built in the 16th century by Shivaji, is the only fort which has Shivaji temple inside the fort and palm imprint of King Shivaji. Sindhudurg was built with the help of huge rocks on the ‘Kurte' island, which amazes people. One of the best preserved forts of the Marathas, the 48 acre Sindhudurg fort has a four kms long zigzag line of 9 meters high and 3 meters wide rampart with 42 bastions. Three sweet-water wells are present on Sindhudurg Fort. While just roaming at the circumference of the fort, we enjoyed splash of sea-waves going higher than sea-walls and talking to them. 

How to get inside the fort: The fort is approachable from the Malvan pier by a boat. The boat was swinging on the tides and moving towards the main gate. You may take a guided tour of the place. The design of main door is an enigma. The technique was so deceptive for the enemy that they could not even realize where the entrance was due to blind curves. Zigzag pattern of outer wall was built in such a way that the enemy would be visible from any point inside the fort. During monsoon, Fort is mostly cut off and no water activity like scuba and snorkling happens. 
Things to see inside the Fort:
Shivaji’s palm and footprints
Shivrajeshwar Temple
Climb at the fort top and enjoy the 360 degree views
Talk to Sparkling sea-waves near fort edges

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