Mumbaikars, Here's an Alternative to Goa At Half the Distance

Mumbaikars, Here's an Alternative to Goa At Half the Distance
Chiplun, a quiet hideaway five hours from Mumbai, Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

No dazzling attractions force themselves on your Chiplun itinerary but if you choose, there are always wide green vistas to gaze upon and beautiful viewpoints to drive to

OT Staff
June 06 , 2021
06 Min Read

The Konkan town of Chiplun is off a bend, halfway down the green-banked Bombay-Goa highway. This highway is to Mumbai what a tunnel is to a convict – its significance for the denizens of the metropolis reaches almost reverential levels. Mumbaikars have been taking this road for years, to do in Panjim all they would/ could not in their own city. But they have also been coming back with headaches and a sore realisation that there is such a concept as ‘too much of a good thing’.

 
 
 
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This is exactly where the quaint, laid-back town of Chiplun comes in.

It is located in the pocket between these two high ends, a place to put your feet up when you want out from the rat race as well as the beach frenzy. Chiplun is like a gracious host, undemanding of its guests but always solicitous. No dazzling attractions force themselves on your itinerary here but if you choose, there are always wide green vistas to gaze upon and beautiful viewpoints to drive to. Also, enough good food and odd purchases will interweave your interlude here.

Read: Off the Tourist Track in Ratnagiri

You’ll need a car for sightseeing. You can also get autos. Most places are easy to find in Chiplun while driving, despite the fact that many of the roads do not have names and there are almost no sign boards.

 
 
 
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Parshuram Temple and Village
At Parshuram Village
The village of Pethe Parshuram near Chiplun has a dreamy air, which belies its uniqueness and significance. According to legend, Parshuram, a hot-tempered saint, gave up all his land to prove to his guru that he was a true sanyasi. It is said that he came to Pethe Parshuram, and in characteristic anger, threw his axe into the churning sea, which at that time came right up to Chiplun. The water receded up to the point where his axe fell and Parshuram claimed – or reclaimed – quite a bit of land. Today, Pethe Parshuram is a clean, one cobblestoned street village that makes a quiet living from tourists who come to the namesake temple and buy knickknacks from the surrounding shops.

River Vashishti
There are many things to do by the river, which meanders along a wayward course in this region. Drive down to the jetty, which is 20 minutes from the highway. Boating is a pleasant activity especially in the evenings. No permits are needed for fishing. Be cautious; reportedly, crocodiles are occasionally spotted in the river.

 
 
 
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Where to Put Up
It would be a wise decision to not take that bend off NH66 and into the heart of Chiplun if you’re looking for accommodation. There are wellequipped hotels on the highway, all backed by rolling green hills. One tip is to keep in mind that restaurants are called hotels in this region and hotels are called lodgings.

The Riverview Resort (Tel: 02355- 259081-83) is spread over nine acres on a hilltop and unfolds down to the Vashishti River. All 37 rooms come with great views. Located on top of a hill, Dongarmatha (Cell: 09820189761) is an eco-resort with great views. Hotel Shalom International (Tel: 256467-68) is right on the highway opposite DBJ College. It offers 20 rooms and a kids’ play area besides a restaurant and a bar.

Motel Vanashri (Cell: 09422433588) is also located off the highway near Bahadur Sheikh Naka. It has 12 rooms, a restaurant and a bar. Government Rest House (Tel: 252793), also called Sarvajanik Bangaon Vibhag Bungalow, near RT Camp, is another option with eight rooms with attached baths. For reservations, contact PWD Office in Chiplun (Tel: 02355-252806).

Read: Ditch Goa, Head to Tarkarli

Eating in Chiplun
The Riverview Resort’s restaurant The Riverview is a good place to try Konkani cuisine. The regional speciality, vada pav, is available on order and the sol kadi that is served here is excellent. An interesting dining experience (with advance notice) can be had at Parshuram Temple, which serves lunch and dinner daily. All the cafés outside offer thalis. Do try the nachni papad at Pethe Vishranti Graha. Hotel Abhishek does good soups, surmai, mutton, chicken and veg thalis. A delicious Malvani treat.


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