Every trip should not be about reaching some pre-fixed destinations.Instead trips are made of journeys through an anxious traveller’s eyes.The mind of a true traveller seeks every byte of information from the surroundings and nature.Sometimes some trips should be unplanned with enough emotions of zeal because our nature is always a “Treasure Island”.So a traveller should go out without any limits of exploration ,into the road that fetches them the ultimate pleasure of enlightenment.Road trips are most ideal for a passionate traveller as it is benevolent in bestowing eager tourists with surprises that a traveller expects from nature.
I have always been an eager traveller and due to my past experiences in travelling I am always keen to do as many road trips as possible and traverse the versatile geography of my country.In that regard I always dreamt of flying above an ocean guarded by mountains ,where the roaring waves of the sea splashes on the foothills of the mountains.The dream inspired me to do a coastal road trip along the Western Ghats in India ,because that is where the state highway of Maharashtra intersects the slanting mountains that fall into the Arabian Sea.
The journey to discover the golden coastal highway inspired me to go on an unplanned road trip on the second week of February .It was unplanned since I did not book any hotel along the western coastal highway nor did I fix any destinations to travel.So I set off from Panvel in Navi Mumbai with a portrait of mountains and sea in my mind.
Alibaug was the first beach that I encountered when I started my western coastal road trip to Goa from Mumbai.A famous weekend destination from the financial hub,it offers adventure sports and a muddy trail to the Alibaug fort.The beach is crowdy with a large trail of shallow sands guiding the tourists to the fort.The landscape was normal like other sea beaches except that one can walk deep into the sea to visit the fort when the water retreats from the shore.It was a good introduction for me to start my coastal route to the most famous tourist destination in India as my journey proceeded towards less explored sea beaches.
Empty vast Revdanda beach with a rocky shore.
A half an hour drive from the famous Alibaug beach took me to this serene lonely beach which is known as Revdanda beach.We were proceeding towards the Karshid beach when suddenly from nowhere we reached a vast stretch of rocky shore with a magnificent clear sky enhancing the panoramic sea view.The Western ghats were visible by this time ,surrounding on the other side with a series of mountains of yellow dry grasslands.As we proceeded towards the south the bridges over the backwaters mesmerised me with the backdrop of standing and moving waters in a single frame.Sometimes I could see a small settlement of dilapidated port and ships making an equally different vision with huge constructing machines on the beach.I was stunned and anxious like a humble amateur child ,so I stopped on every bridge till I could capture the finest moments of landscape in my camera.The changing scenery kept me preoccupied as the road meandered along the Ghats and showed me a distant picture of an empty beach full of coconut trees and a sea that was reflecting the colours of sky.
Since the beach was devoid of any crowd,tourists could get a wide angle view of the three horizons meeting in its most purest form.The state highway gave me the feeling of a parallel coastal road within a couple of hours in my journey to Goa.I became more anxious to travel further and explore the beautiful untouched Konkan.
A dilapidated port under construction.
Bride over the backwaters on the state highway.
Mumbai to Goa road trip through the Maharashtra state state highway unleashes itself after Karshid beach.The Konkan highway meanders all along the vicinity of the Arabian Sea coastline with the Western Ghats and its valleys adding to the pristine beauty.
This road trip travels in between the valleys and mountains with a panoramic view of the backwaters and the crystal blue sea.The beaches are clean with very less crowd that adds to a clear serene view of the landscape.What more does a traveller needs for a memorable road trip when the nature is providing them with mountains and sea together in a single view.True respect for all the labours who have devoted themselves in building such a scenic highway.This again proves that if we believe in our nation’s geography,it proves to be a continent covering the versatile geography and terrain.
My anxious moments of visiting a landscape of mountains and sea together came to reality when I arrived few kms after Rajapuri in Janjira beach.The place was windy but the ambience was peaceful for a travel freak to capture the stunning views of the Janjira beach and the fort.
After a hectic road trip and encountering numerous clean beaches of Western Maharashtra, I arrived at MTDC Harihareshwar in the evening.I was totally unaware of the trail to the beach in the evening but I could hear the roaring sound of the waves from the MTDC campus.I woke up early in the morning in the hope of finding my way to the beach to capture the sunrise. Delightfully I was impartially awarded with an awesome view of the sunrise.
The beach was reflecting hues of gold and the water looked like waves of the blue sky.The beach was Rocky with black sands that surprised me even more.The locals told me about another clean beach in Harihareshwar but after arriving into this splendid beach I was sure enough to take my colourful memories in this black sand beach.People go to Greece to watch the black sands in Perissa but most of us are unaware of this sparkling beach of the MTDC Harihareshwar resort.
I felt fortunate enough to get an accommodation on a weekend in this beautiful campus made by Maharashtra tourism.Undoubtedly this beach ranks first on my list of the numerous beaches in the Konkan trip.
After a surreal sunrise from MTDC Harihareshwar we took a ferry boat service from Bagmandale to catch the National highway to Ganapatipule. Ferry rides are frequent to avail the shortest route along the coastal state highway in Maharashtra .On our way to Ratnagiri the first ferry we took was in Agardanda to Dighi and the second ferry was from Bagmandale to Bankot. The ferry also takes the car on to other side of the sea for Rs 150.The cars have to park themselves in the reverse gear into the ferry so that when the ferry arrives on the other side ,the cars can directly face the road.Ferry services are available from 9 o clock in the morning till 10 o clock at night.
Agardande ferry station.
Availing the ferry clearly saves half an hour drive around the coastal highway.People may drive back along the backwaters on to the state highway but that will be a much longer route.After Bankot avail the NH66 highway for a faster route to Ganapatipule.
Bagmandale ferry station provides a scenic landscape with a mangrove forest in the backwaters of the Arabian sea.That attracts a tourist for capturing numerous memories until the ferry arrives to board the passengers.
Mangrove trees and fishing boats in Bagmandale ferry station.
Bagmandale ferry station.
I was surprised to see such a decent waiting hall in Agardande ferry station that proves the efforts put down by the government for public welfare.Avail the two ferry rides before Bankot to enjoy a new adventure in the coastal highway drive to Goa. The ferry ride will show you a different geography of the Konkan along with the meandering roads in the Western Ghats.
The view of the landscape as the highway curved away from the sea and moved towards the mountains.
The famous NH66 highway to Goa was covered in 6 hours as we reached Ganapatipule by the sunset to watch the majestic last ray’s of the sun in the Arrey ware beach road to Ratnagiri. Instead of going directly to the beach we came across a panoramic sea view of the beach from a cliff .The view was more than expected as the late afternoon sun rays camouflaged the crystal clear water of the sea with the blue sky.
The western ghats were bordering the road on the left hand side while on the other side there were sharp reflections of the Arabian sea.The beach was devoid of any heavy crowd and sometimes there were glimpses of a lonely fishermen walking over the yellow sands.It is said that Ganapatipule beach resembles that of a crystal clear long stretches of beaches like those in the Maldives. Well I havn’t been to the Maldives but I am sure enough that this beach is one of the cleanest beach in Maharashtra with pastel colours of the sea.
The view provided a visual treat to the tourist.The reflective colours of nature along with the top view from the cliff helped us in capturing the scenic Konkan terrain as it merged with the Arabian sea.Undoubtedly the trip was fetching me numerous coastal landscapes with the mountains that I was dreaming of long before I started my journey.
After taking my best snaps of the surrounding landscape from the cliff ,I proceeded my journey towards Ratnagiri , the mango town of India.The elevated coastal road was like that in Rajapuri with Western Ghats cliffs on the left side of the road, bordering the clear blue water of the Arabian sea.
As I drove down the curved path of the highway I saw a sign board mentioning Aare Waare beach road.Prior to my trip I have heard a lot about this beach nestling in the foothills of the Western Ghats situated just on the Ganapatipule and Ratnagiri highway.In few minutes I reached down to the plains of the sea shore and arrived at the beach.The beach was less populated with white sands glowing due to the last rays of the sunlight.I did not waste anytime in capturing the beautiful sunset over the sea.
The landscape was new to me as I had never seen a beach at the foothill of a mountain.The Western Ghats and the sea were merging together in the same place.The beach gave me numerous moments of photography as I tried to sketch the kaleidoscopic moments with my shutter and lens.
As I commenced my journey, eventually I came across a bridge over the backwaters of the sea.On my right side the shallow sands were reflecting hues of sunset while on the left side the calm blue water of the backwater reflected images of the mangrove trees.I decided to stay in this heavenly place till sunset to capture this illustrious moments of photography in this trip.
The backwater near Aare ware beach.
Our second day Konkan journey concluded with a sunset hue in Ratnasagar beach resort.Spectrum of clouds lingered in the sky creating rolling waves of hues ,glowing along the vast sky.The distant hill was dark and looked like a giant whale with numerous neon lights of the city, establishing the modern civilization. The magical view of the sky seemed to me like an illusion but the hot sands and the cool land breeze assured me of the vibrant sky on the beach.
The resort offers excellent cottages on the Bhatye beach with free breakfast for Rs. 3500.With respect to the location, I would say that it is quite cheap in Ratnagiri, the mango town of India.I didn’t prebook any accommodation in my Konkan trip except that in Goa.For Harihareshwar ,MTDC provided me with an excellent black beach while Ratnasagar proved to be equally mesmerising with a vast private clean beach.
My sudden encounter with this beach was due to this magical view of the sky creating astronomical colours in the evening.After my eyes caught the spectrum in the sky,I rushed out to this lonely beach with my camera and discovered this marvelous property on the beach.One can locate this property on the main highway towards Goa from Ratnagiri. The property is covered with plenty of coconut trees and well decorated gardens of flowers.I felt fortunate enough to find such beautiful locations without any prior booking.
Ratnasagar Beach Resort.
A road trip always brings us stress but at the same time it fetches us with such unaccounted stunning landscapes and new ventures that stays in our memories forever.
Bhatye Beach just infront of the resort.
With pristine memories of Ratnagiri I proceeded towards the beach capital of India with more zeal to explore the beaches and forts ,further along the Golden coast of India.I hope the readers have found a divine picture of Maharashtra and the towering Western ghats making its way to some clean beaches in our country.Keeping in mind the anxious moments of my journey towards Goa,I am concluding the coastal dream in Ratnagiri to give way to a different geography of the Konkan in my next blog.