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Maharashtra: Beach Vibes

Maharashtra: Beach Vibes

Move beyond Mumbai and explore the long coastline of Maharashtra dotted with beaches big and small

Maharashtra's coastline is dotted with charming beaches
Maharashtra's coastline is dotted with charming beaches Shutterstock.com

Alibag
Famous as a site for second homes of Mumbai’s elite, Alibag does not need any introduction. The coastal stretch between Alibaug and Murud-Janjira is dotted with many smaller beaches—Revdanda, Aksi, Kashid, Kihim, and others—with their own fan followings. From the Alibaug beach, you can spot the Kolaba Fort located on an island in the Arabian Sea. During low tide, the water recedes so far that you can either walk or take a horse-cart ride to the fort. A huge fair is held in the fort on the day of Maghi Ganesh Chaturthi (usually in February).

Mumbai is nearly 100km by road from Alibag. You can also take the ferry boat from Mumbai to Mandwa jetty and then travel onwards by road.

Bordi-Dahanu
The twin villages, near the Gujarat border, are known for their lonely beaches, old Parsi homes and a flourishing chikoo cultivation. There is not much by way of activities. But there are places to try authentic Parsi cuisine. Usually, a Chikoo Festival is organised when the fruits are ready for harvesting. The place can be combined with a trip to Daman and Silvassa.

By road, Dahanu is 140km from Mumbai. 

Diveagar
The white sand beach of Diveagar remains fairly uncrowded. The town landmark is the 12th century Roopnarayan Temple dedicated to Vishnu. The place can be visited in conjunction with Harihareshwar and Shrivardhan. Nearby Devkhol, known for its temples, is also a good place to go birdwatching.

Mumbai is 180km away by road. Driving is the most convenient option to reach Diveagar.

Ganapatipule
The twin attractions of the Ganapati Temple and the beach, make the place rather crowded during holidays. So, if you are looking for some tranquil moments, look for a beach resort away from town (but you need a personal vehicle for smooth commuting). Beachside shacks, camel and pony rides, water sports, etc. are some of the attractions along the stretch nearest to the famous temple. 

Mumbai is a little over 300km away by road. Ratnagiri, 45km away, is the nearest railway station. 

Guhagar
This once sleepy town is discovering its commercial potential. Pilgrims flock to town for the old temples, especially the Vyadheswar Shiva Temple. The beach remains fairly empty of tourists. You can combine a trip to Guhagar with trips to Velneshwar beach (15km away), the Dashabhuja Ganesh Temple of Hedavi, or a boat ride to Jaigad (from where you can continue to Ratnagiri and Ganapatipule), etc.

Mumbai is 280km away by road. 

Harnai-Murud
If tranquillity on the beach is your kind of holiday, then Murud-Harnai is the place for you. The white sand beach perfectly complements the turquoise blue Arabian Sea. Gateway to the sea forts, Suvarnadurg and Kanakdurg. Durga Devi temple in Murud village (not to be confused with Murud Janjira near Alibaug) is known for its architecture. Take a boat from Harnai village, cross the Paaj Creek, to visit the Kadyavarcha Ganapati temple.

Mumbai is 225km away by road. Khed, on Konkan Railway is the nearest station. Dapoli, 14km away and connected with Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur, is also a convenient gateway.

Shrivardhan
The beach, lonely for the greater part of the year, can be a tad crowded during long weekends. The abundance of betel nut trees give the town a green look. Can be visited in conjunction with Diveagar and Harihareshwar.

Mumbai is 185km away by road. Autorickshaws ply to and from Harihareshwar, 20km away.

Shiroda
Located very near Sawantwadi—near the Maharashtra-Goa border—Shiroda is still off the tourist circuit. It does not have much by way of amenities such as places to stay or local restaurants. But you can always have a picnic with your family or friends; only remember not to litter the place.

Mumbai is over 500km away by road. Nearest airport is Dabolim in Goa.

Tarkarli
Tarkarli is another famous beachfront along the Maharashtra coast that requires little introduction. Take a beach stroll, go on a cruise in a houseboat or go snorkelling in the Arabian Sea..Tarkarli and its neighbouring towns, including Malvan, are dotted with homestays, most of which have the sea as their backyard. For some delicious coastal cuisine, visit the eateries in Malvan; those with a sweet-tooth can try the chocolate-cashews sold in the local market

The nearest airport is Dabolim in Goa. Mumbai is nearly 500km by road. Kudal, on the Konkan railway route, is 45km by road.

Velneshwar
One of the most picturesque of Maharashtra’s beaches and yet thankfully not invaded by the holiday crowd. The town is known for its Shiva temple. You can also plan a visit to Guhagar and Hedavi from here.

Mumbai is about 300km away by road. Chiplun, 50km away by road, is the nearest railway station. 

Note: Do not venture out to the sea alone. Consult the local people before deciding to take a dip in the sea—not all areas are suitable for bathing; the local people know best. Do not litter the beaches.

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