What? Another contest? This one is right up my alley though!. BlogAdda’s latest contest in a long line of contests is one where people contest with each other by giving a context to the content of the photos in their blogs. Phew! (trying to be funny is doubly difficult bah!)
It isn’t so difficult to write a travelogue of a certain place but it is so difficult to actually pick out five of your best/favourite photos from a whole bunch of pictures! Come to think of it, travel photo folders in my computer are competing with each other for a place in this blog, as we speak!
That line from Pringoo is so true. Have seen such ‘fast’ travelers who wants to see everything but ends up seeing nothing and more importantly ends up being a lonely traveler without any experience to share, without any experience to enrich their soul!
Shot this picture at Juhu Beach. Had gone during a weekday thinking it won’t be as crowded as it generally is but was proved wrong by the thrones of burkha clad or dressed to go to a shaadi women! A fair was held at the beach with people thronging the make shift shops to buy accessories, household items and anything and everything else with the sea as the back drop. Come to think of it, even the Anjuna Flea market doesn’t offer this kind of view! Saw this balloon guy who tried to sell those balloons to everyone and anyone but if you did not have change (Rs.5), he wouldn’t sell it to you! Ironic in some ways but funny all the way! Sir buy balloon? Only Rs.5 sir. What? you do not have Rs.5. I no sell you balloon!
The dude in the centre got an earful from his supervisor and he kept pleading he did not do no wrong. After sometime another supervisor comes and says some things in a South India language (I think it was Tullu) and you could sense the tension between those two. Once the guy left, the worker was back to doing his job but his eyes said more than what he could possible say with words to his supervisor!
Found this lonely log at Diveagar Beach, Maharashtra. What was intriguing was this erstwhile tree was so close to the sea that I wonder how old it must have been? There were many shrubs growing a little further away but this was different. The footsteps in the background add to the mystery of this photu!
Clicked this at Bhandardara, a hill station in Maharashtra. Bhandardara is popular for its lake, known as the Arthur Lake and fed by the Parvara River. We were here just before the onset of summer so the weather was cool, the water was clear and the sky was blue! This small abandoned hut makes for the best view of the lake no matter what time it is. Imagine getting up in the morning and gazing at the reflection of the sky on the calm waters of the lake. Not many sights come close to this!
This picture is one of my favourites. Clicked at Manori Beach, Mumbai. This was also perhaps the first time when people were clicking me instead of the scenery. Why you ask? Well for starters, I was flat on the ground when taking this picture and onlookers were bemused at what I could be clicking from that height that I couldn’t click standing up. Well, it was the sea shells, which look humongous from this angle!
Hope you enjoyed reading through!
There is something about a beach. The sound of the waves crashing, the touch of sand and the chills of the cold seawater on bare feet is but a generalization of an experience one can have on a beach. Yet it is amazing how each of these experiences is unique.
Over the last four months I stepped foot on more than 20 different beaches across Maharashtra and Goa. It is not an achievement I brag about (Well maybe I do :P) but it is the experience that I treasure. Some of these visits seemed mundane while others were pure bliss. After all what is a visit to a beach if it does not enrich your soul, calm your mind and clear your head?
It all began with a trip to Kashid and Murud beaches which are ahead of Alibaug. Regarded as one of the prettiest beaches in all of Maharashtra, Kashid was one place I was eager to go. White sands and calm and cool waters was what I expected and it is what I got, or rather, experienced. A blog post about the trip to Kashid and Murud is up here.
But little did I know, that this little trip will set in motion a chain of events that would lead me to the point of penning down my experience of many more beaches, some of them pristine, untouched paradises!
The long-deserted stretch of the Diveagar beach won me over while the more famous Harihareshwar was only a small visit for the sake of proof through photographs for I was too eager to head back to my new found solitude at Diveagar. Harihareshwar though is an excellent beach with the waters calm all throughout the year!
Then, after a lull, came Goa. This party destination is the destination of choice to spend my new years eve. Unless I find another beach destination with lesser people and same old Trance/Techno/House/Electro music, Goa will continue to remain my preferred destination to ring in the new year. But this is not the only reason why Goa is a preferred destination.
For one, I am in love with Goan beaches and can never get enough of them. Secondly, beaches have a calming effect and no where but in Goa am I at peace within.
Be it basking in the sun on Calangute, or having dinner at Souza Lobo at Baga, or light snacks at Bob Marley Shack at Candolim, Goan beaches offer a lot more than sun, sand and booze and apparently great sights too ;).
Chill on every beach and enjoy the unique beauty was my moto on this trip. Offcourse, like a dog, I left my imprint on each beach I visited. The massive early morning waves at Calangute are not to be missed while the serene waters of Colva and the unpolluted ocean at Palolem is as close to heaven as any living mortal can get.
Anjuna has its own charm as well. The erstwhile rave capital of Goa still thrives just like any other beach. Tall cliffs that overlook the ocean make for a perfect sunset point. Baga, on the other hand, is dotted with clubs and discs and shacks that go on all night, but it is Anjuna where the real parties happen. It is not just the parties, the coarse Anjuna sand and the strong water currents are an attraction of their own.
But really, the most fun is the long stretch starting from Baga and ending at Taj Aguada. Different sands and a different colour of the sea every few 100 meters is a sight that greets one. It is like a beach buffet – every delicacy is there – choose the one you want! Speaking of delicacies, one should try out the Bob Marley’s Shack at Candolim. They serve good Vindaloo and excellent Veg Pakodas. It is also located in one of the less crowded parts of Candolim, partly due to the anchored ship there, which apparently no one wants to take responsibility for. Then there is X-Bar Restaurant at Calangute which serves good biryani and good food in general. Another is Manik which serves good Hukka too and has excellent chicken tikka! It is located just ahead of X-Bar on the road that leads to Baga Beach.
Moving away from the more commercialized yet very pretty north Goa beaches, we checked out the long deserted stretch of Colva. The day we went, there was a strike by the locals forcing us to take the longer, prettier road to the beach. Once there, didn’t feel like leaving.
A beach with so few people on it – surely this cannot be Goa in December. But it turned out that the strike was in part responsible for the desolation that was Colva. Anglers’ beach primarily, this is where many locals come as do the tourists.
The prettiest beach in all of Goa and by far the prettiest I have stepped foot on, Palolem was as enchanting as they come. A round cape, rocks and boulders mark the edges on either side. While the beach is pretty, it is the southern tip, which caught my attention. A natural pool by the sea, it was a pretty sight.
So much so that I chose to spend time sitting on the rocks there gazing out to the endless sea as if there was no tomorrow. A quick lunch at Chascaa was preceded by a long walk.
Amazed by the beauty, I felt sorry for the beach wondering how much pollution the resulting commercialization must be causing. But it was a clean beach suggesting that shack owners could be responsible for preserving its beauty.
Goa has so much more besides beaches. There is Fort Aguada with its majestic Lighthouse and the panoramic view of the Arabian Sea.
Then there is the Anjuna Flea Market which is probably the biggest I have seen so far. Excellent place to buy gifts and everyday items at throw away prices. Offcourse, one would need to bargain hard to get those throw away prices in the first place!
Palolem was my last beach visit in Goa. However, beach hopping did not end there. It continued with frequent visits to beaches across Mumbai and Maharashtra. I have penned down my subsequent travelogues in the following posts:
Had a chance not to long ago to visit Kelwa beach. A free weekend meant I could laze on the sand at a beach nearby while clicking some pictures for memories sake. Instead of the rush and dash to visit many beaches, this time there was only one. Apparently, the Queen of the Beaches in the Virar-Vasai belt, Kelwa is located near Saphale railway station and is easily accessible by rail or road.
Had planned this trip earlier but due to lack of time couldn’t really free myself for this trip. But this weekend I finally managed to ride all the way to Kelwa. Taking the Western Express Highway, one can drive down to Manor or take a l from Saphale. The Mumbai-Saphale Link Road is supposedly more scenic but we missed it and instead had to take the left from Manor.
Going through an industrial town early in the morning wasn’t what we had hoped for but it helped us reach the beach in quick time. Once there, we were greeted by an empty patch of sand that stretched for more than a mile on either side. A long and pretty beach is Kelwa but for some reason the far end of the beach looked visibly prettier even as it was hazy in the morning!
There is a small outpost (people call it fort) on the left end of the beach while on the right end is a dam. We did not have time to check out the entire beach but it was still fun walking the long stretch to the outpost.
The outpost needs to be climbed up on and only those who dared were successful. We on the other hand, were happy to lay besides the calm sea with the water gently caressing our feet. While sitting on the beach, we noticed a lot of crabs dancing around from one hole to the other. They got accustomed to our prolonged presence and did not seemed to mind us sitting there – they would go around us to reach their destination!
As the day progressed the crowds only got bigger. Conclusions were drawn. Kelwa is the Juhu Beach of the far-flung suburbs! There are quite a few stalls there selling cold drinks, nimboo pani and small biscuits and tea. So refreshments are easily available. Though behind the trees, there is market where the choice of the sellers is dried fish, lots of it! Probably a fish market more than anything else but it is kinda nice to see fishermen and women selling fish though would have loved to see some freshly caught ones.
There are horse rides available from the entrance to the fort and back though a walk on the beach wouldn’t do any damage. It is a pretty beach no doubt, and for my next trip I plan to check out the other end of the beach which looked deserted.
We rode back home in the afternoon and stopped at Vitthal Kamat at Manor for lunch and then back home via. NH8.
Went on one of the beach trips and this time to Kelwa Beach via Manor. While returning, decided to head off to Vithal Kamat for lunch. The restaurant we went to was a vegetarian one.
We ordered for a heavy lunch including Kadai Paneer, Chole Masala and Lassi. The food here is standard fare and tastes very much like the usual in most vegetarian restaurants. Also ordered for Lassi which was nice and thick. The tandoori aloo paratha was nice as well.
The pricing here moderate and the ambiance is more or less like that of a family restaurant. There are other restaurants around Vithal Kamat so a visit to Kelwa/Manor wouldn’t leave one searching for food atleast!
The previous weekends and trips were planned, to an extent, and so was this particular trip. Decided to check out some beaches close to Mumbai this time as opposed to going out-of-town for beachasms (a term I coined for ‘pleasures attained whilst visiting beaches’ – to be understood spiritually!). Had heard and read about Uttan and Manori. Hence, decided to out for myself, these beaches that were so close to Mumbai (Infact, they are in Mumbai!)
But, before that, I had to go to Ulhas River and capture the sun rise.
The sight of the sun shining over the waters with the fishing boats seemingly after the sun as a marker for their next destination is a picturesque moment that I had waited to capture all this while! Had planned a trip to the Ghodbunder Fort as well but the Republic Celebrations were in full swing and had to postpone the plan for a later day. From Ghodbunder we then moved to Uttan beach. However, for some inexplicable reason, we ended up at Pali Beach, ahead of Uttan. I guess the mistake we did was to ask people about ‘the beach’ and not ‘Uttan Beach’.
The beach isn’t must to talk about though the jumping fish kept us intrigued for some time.
There is the Pali Beach Resort opposite this place and ahead is a small cliff from where a panoramic view of Pali and Uttan areas is visible.
Pali is great place to go to see locals in action or locals just lazing around watching the sunset. The road along the beach keeps going north. Not sure where it goes to but it didn’t seem to end so we turned back.
This time we decided to go to Manori (with Uttan already forgotten about!). On the way we took to off-roading and landed up at Gorai beach.
Though a little unnerving at times, the route landed us right on the far end of Gorai. But since we had planned a trip to Manori, we rode across the beach onto the road and back on the trail for Manori.
Clear waters, lots of sea shells, wonderful sad and lime juice on the beach was just so heavenly! It is amazing that not far from Manori lies Juhu beach, one of the most polluted beaches in the whole of Maharashtra, and here at Manori, the water is clear!
It is a shame though that the beach is so small, for it gets crowded quickly. But what the heck, everyone’s here to have a good time. Manori too, like Gorai, has many resorts around its periphery and most people on the beach were living at these resorts over a long weekend.
There is a certain section of the beach with many sea shells which look, in the scheme of things, akin to gravel being placed on the road – dangerous often but easy to avoid. No dangers here though, only pretty shells. Though some of them did contain hermit shells as we soon figured it out!
It was a low tide while we were at Manori and the receding waters left behind a rocky terrain, something that I am quickly getting accustomed to! It was revealed to us but the receding waters, a couple of pools were made around Manori for people to enjoy the beach and stay cool in the waters the entire day (how thoughtful!).
A long day at the beach made us hungry and since Rock Chic was paying, we decided to eat at a place of Rock Chic’s choosing! Had lunch at Pixxy Resort (whose directions we had followed earlier in the day for our off-roading experience).
While chilling out and unwinding at the resort, we reflected back at the day well spent! Though it went horrible wrong early in the morning with the Fort visit still pending and the trip to Uttan being an epic fhail, it was still a successful day with both thoroughly enjoying the trip nonetheless. Even with all the travelling in the day, it felt like a lazy day. Coupled with lazy service, it just made us plain lethargic! The day finally ended when we, grudgingly, called for the bill, paid the money, and headed back home!
A visit to a pretty beach was what made our day. Just sitting and idling around was fun and for a change we happened to have the time to do that!
With this I end my three part ‘Beach Hopping Series’. If you guys come across any more beaches worth the visit, please to post in the comments! Trance Dude shall check it out!
A trip to beaches around Alibaug cannot be complete without trying out a restaurant there. We decided to go to Fulora in Alibaug City. Located a few meters away from the St. Bus Stand, Fulora is popular among locals and tourists alike. So Trance Dude, Rock Chic and Lord Chicken found a cosy table to relax and eat.
First up we ordered for Chicken Lollipops along with Prawns Chilly. The lollipops were pretty standard though the Prawns Chilly Dry was a big disappointment. Small in size were the prawns and the dish didn’t taste that good. It was below average for my liking. We though things may get better with the main course but the quality only went down. Ordered for a Chicken Afgani which was green in colour! The meal wasn’t spicy but quite oily. In fact we could only taste the oil and not the masala or the chicken.
Overall the food was a big disappointment as we had expected something better.
Trance dude doesn’t quite remember when he went to Gorai beach but it sure was a long time ago! So TD (short for trance dude) and Rock Chic (RC) rode on TD’s pulsar on a hot Saturday afternoon towards the beach. But before that, the plan was to go the Global Pagoda at Esselworld, Gorai. The Pagoda, an immense structure in the suburbs of Mumbai, is one of a kind in South East Asia. Dedicated to Buddhism this imposing building is still under construction but does not fail to charm the onlookers with its golden colours and massive dome.
Even the smaller one is immense and is a replica of the bigger Pagoda. intricate carvings on the Door and sayings of Gautam Buddha are abound in these Pagodas. There is also an exhibition on the life of Gautam Buddha. It is an intriguing one to say the least. A beautiful portrayal of Buddha’s life right from the his childhood to his enlightenment. A word of advice though: Start from the left as we made the mistake of starting from the right side of the room and saw his life backwards. Come to think of it, it was quite cool!!
There is a video session as well which shows why the Pagoda is being constructed, how, donations received and purpose in the grander scheme of things. Lastly one can buy books and small items like fridge magnets (Trance dude loves fridge magnets and he bought one for himself).
The imposing pagoda is in the same complex as Essel World but we decided to hit the beach after a tiring walk around the structure. The nearest beach is Gorai and this is where we went. The beach is one of the prettiest along the Mumbai shoreline. The best part about the beach is that we can drive on in for most parts.
The pretty beach also has a few shacks and many private bungalows and resorts throughout the stretch. The grey colour sand does not please everyone but it wasn’t a problem for us. We actually liked this beach especially Rock Chic, for whom the beach is the best she has ever visited (doesn’t matter if Miramar in Goa is prettier but Gorai is the prettiest she says).
We even ate at the shack, Raju Koliwada, which is the closest one can get to experiencing Goa. Off course, still cannot sit on the beach and drink beer, a real shame though. Anyways lunch was good and we continued checking out the beach. Riding on the beach made us lazy and I cannot remember walking on the Gorai sand! A low tide helped in bringing the bike right up till the waves which was an experience I will never forget. Imagine splashing sea water all over as you ride from one end of the beach to another!
Not to forget the pretty treeline as far as the eyes can see. The beach grew more beautiful for Trance Dude as he spent more time on Gorai. And while there, we decided to stay back for the sunset as well. The evening lights brighten up the skies as if they are on fire. A shade of orange engulfs the sea and the sand and everything around them. It is such a pretty sight that I may never get enough of it, ever!
It was my first time to Gorai but most definitely not the last. A pretty beach like this tends to get crowded on holidays so planning ahead may help one avoid the crowds. It was lovely experience on the beach and for once a beach visit in Mumbai was a pleasant one!