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!
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!
On the way….the morning clouds at Palm Beach Road, Navi Mumbai
The beautiful NH17
One of the many curves on the way to Diveagar
The View from our cottage, Vrindavan
Nature at work…or should I say Big Red Ants at work
A beautiful path to…..
a beautiful beach, Diveagar Beach
The Creek at Diveagar Beach
An old tree trunk, Don’t know for how long its been here!
Sunset at Harihareshwar Beach
Catching up at night at MTDC Resort
Sunrise at Diveagar Beach
Ripples in the sand, almost looks like I am in a desert!
The Road back home!
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!
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.
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!!).
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!
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.
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!
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!