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Short and Memorable trip to Korlai Lighthouse and Fort

October 13, 2009 7 comments

It’s become a feature of my weekends now. A new place to visit and explore every Sunday and last Sunday was no different! Korlai was always on the agenda and this time my friends and me were eager to check out the lighthouse and the fort. Though the initial plan was to ride all the way to Alibaug, where Korlai is located, we decided to head by boat to save on time (Which we eventually didn’t!). A quick view at the Google Maps made us relatively comfortable that Ferry Warf (Bhaucha Dhakka), from where bikes can be ferried to Alibaug wasn’t so far away from Bandra, but alas we still ended up getting lost! Thankfully some really helpful and extremely sleep uncles (yes in that order) did help us figure out the way to Bhaucha Dhakka and boy were in time or what! Reached there just 5 minutes before the boat left the shores! Phew!

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Once on the boat, it was going to take us 1.5 hours to reach Ravas Jetty, where the ferry unloads the bikes and passengers. Ravas is around 10 Kms from Mandwa Dock and around 10 Kms from Alibaug as well.

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The nearest beach, I think, is Kihim. The road towards Alibaug isn’t good for bikes at all and is in stark contrast to the road leading to the Mandwa Dock – you know how I know this? Because while coming we took a wrong turn and ended up at Mandwa (this must explain how I would know how many Kms Mandwa is from Ravas!!).

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It did not take us long to reach Korlai and we were directed by the locals towards the correct path to the fort and the lighthouse. The path is a bit narrow and only one car can pass at a time. Since we were on bikes it wasn’t a problem for us at all! The path towards the lighthouse is very pretty! The sea and a beach on one side and a hill on another side topped by the Fort make for a pretty heady combination! I can imagine why the Portuguese must have selected this location! When at peace, the men, women and children come out to play on the beach!

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Anyways, once at the lighthouse, we were given a tour of the place by the guide there. He told us about the various characteristics of the lighthouse and what makes it different from others. Was quite a short but extremely insightful tour! The tour was succeeded by a visit to the fort.

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The fort is situated in a good location and canons, rusted at that, dating back to the 16th century are still there. The fort is not as big as it is long. Infact it is hardly as wide as a 2 lane road and is rectangular in shape. It is a shame the fort hasn’t been renovated like the Shivneri one, but efforts are on to preserve this once might Fort. The visit to the fort was a satisfying one as it was only the 3rd fort visit for me in a year!

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The visit left us hungry and dehydrated as we descended to Nagaon to find a restaurant. After nearly 30 minutes of searching we finally found and soon realised that we were lucky to find it in time as it seems to be the only one present in the vicinity with a descent menu! We ordered mainly for rice items including a Chicken Biryani, Prawns Biryani and Dal Fry and plain rice for the lone vegetarian in the group. The food was much better than what we had at Murud!

We then headed back home but missed the last ferry from Ravas to Mumbai which is at 4:30 PM. So we ended up taking a very crowded ferry to Uran and headed back to Mumbai. Reached home at 8:45 PM – extremely tired, exhausted but very very satisfied with the trip! Looking forward to doing another one soon!

Here are the Ferry costs: INR 30 per person/ INR 30 for loading the bikes/ INR 30 for holding the Bikes (not sure what this means but basically just to have the bikes on board after loading them costs INR 30 extra!). The rates are the same while coming to Mumbai though to Uran it’s a bit less since its just 15 minutes from Revas!

Food Costs (Vibha Restaurant): INR 120 for the Prawns Biryani, INR 50 for the Chicken Biryani – cheap rates, good food!

Links:

Picasa: http://picasaweb.google.com/godzi.85/KorlaiFortAndLighthouse

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