Lady in Black's Konkan Trail-Exploring Diveagar, Shrivardhan & Harihareshwar


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Lady in Black's Konkan Trail -Exploring Konkan's Hidden Gems-Diveagar, Shrivardhan & Harihareshwar

Maharashtra’s Konkan Coast– the narrow strip between the Western Ghats and Arabian Sea have been on the agenda since the last monsoon. Remote, little-explored fringe of superlative beaches like Diveagar, Shrivardhan, Guhagar, Ganpatipule, Malvan, Tarkarli and Vengurla have enchanted me a lot for the last year or so. Most of these beaches boasts of crystal clear waters, virgin white sands and lush green environs. Best way to explore this is via a road trip through state highways along the Konkan Coast line.

Being close to Mumbai ‘Diveagar, Shrivardhan & Harihareshwar’ were on the list and Diveagar in particular was highly recommended by colleague of mine.

So after a hectic month at office was ready to do small road trip to Konkan Coast to celebrate ‘Lady in Black’s’ 10k Run. This trip was special as I did this trip with my mom. We decided to explore Diveagar & Shrivardhan. Although it was actually not planned we also ended up visiting Harihareshwar Temple on ‘Maha Shivratri’ where we had to spend 2-3 hrs in the queue to complete the darshan. Mom was ecstatic to see this Shiv Temple and Suvarna Ganesh Temple @ Diveagar.

Diveagar lies in Raigad district of Maharashtra about 180 km from Mumbai was the ancient capital of the Shilahar kings. Diveagar has a beautiful secluded beach situated behind the Ganpati Temple that stretches up to 4-5 kms. The beach is a very clean and beautiful beach with clear waters, and unlike other beaches it is unexplored and not very crowded. Diveagar came into limelight upon the discovery of Ganesh idol made of pure gold in one of the Supari Baghs (Garden) in the village.

I must say Diveagar Beach was a real revelation ~ 5-6 km long stretch with white sand & clear water. At one end of the beach is a fishing settlement while on the other end there is a sanctuary to the migratory seagulls feasting in the creek waters.

Trip Details
Car – Lady in Black ‘Honda City’ celebrating 10k with this Ride
Time - 38 Hours (Feb 19th and Feb 20th 2012)
Distance-450 Km
Trip Expenses-Petrol - Rs 2200, Accomodation-Rs.1800 including Food and Others –Rs. 500 Total-Rs.4500
Route- Mumbai -Panvel -Pen -Nagothane–Kolad-Indapur-Mangao- Mhalsa-Shrivardhan-Diveagar

First of all Customary Teaser Pics


Lady in Black @ Konkan Coast [:)]
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Lady in Black Posing [:)]
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Sunset @Diveagar Beach [:)]
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Unexplored beach between Diveagar & Shrivardhan-Surreal
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Some Random Clicks
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Very nice start Ashish, good pics and nice write up i am hooked to this thread now, saw you on some other forum too :)
 
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Wow, I could not find that unexplored beach during my trip to Diveagar last year. But it is one heck of a place. Calm, neat, serene and white sand! Only thing missing is shacks with some beer. But I guess that makes it more peaceful.

Nice write-up with some nice pics. Need more to satisfy the thirst [:)]
 
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Very nice start Ashish, good pics and nice write up i am hooked to this thread now, saw you on some other forum too :)
@ToughGuy: Thanks Buddy, Glad you liked it. Will post more pics soon. Yes like sharing my travel experiences with everyone and across forums [:)]

Wow, I could not find that unexplored beach during my trip to Diveagar last year. But it is one heck of a place. Calm, neat, serene and white sand! Only thing missing is shacks with some beer. But I guess that makes it more peaceful.

Nice write-up with some nice pics. Need more to satisfy the thirst [:)]
@Thetraveller: This is just before the Shrivardhan Beach while coming from Diveagar after the fishing village in between. It was absolutely gorgeous..Will be posting more pics soon of Beautiful Diveagar [;)]
 
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Mumbai-Diveagar Lady in Black's Konkan Trail

Day 1 Feb 19th Sunday

Being on the road is one of the best experiences that one ought to experience and if the drive is to Magical Konkan Coast – the narrow strip between the Western Ghats and Arabian Sea the journey can be enriching and spellbound. Imagine just being brought to a screeching halt by the sheer splendour of sea jut alongside a coastal cliff road. As they say a driving holiday is just so much more involving and I definitely enjoyed this Konkan ride.

As Diveagar Road Trip was on my mind for a long time it didn’t required much of a preparation only bit of info required was about the route map and decision to be made was as to which route to be taken. As far as arrangement for accomodation @ Diveagar was concerned. One Simple call to Mrs. Suhasini Vijay Patwardhan the owner of Ambience Cottages was enough and one of the Cottages was booked for Rs. 1600 (including Breakfast but Non-AC).

At night we had the local Marathi Veg Thali at our resort only. Food though was nothing to write much about and nothing to complain about either. Although Mom didn't at all enjoyed the Marathi food. Was an early end to the day as I dozed off at around 11 pm as I wanted to wake up early and click some Sunrise Pics @ Diveagar Beach


As far as the route is concerned we took the following route

Panvel-Pen-Nagothane-Kolad-Indapur-Mangaon-Mhalsa-Shrivardhan

And as per my research there is another route

Mumbai - Panvel - Pen - Nagothane -Uthekol via SH 97 -Mhalsa –Shrivardhan

I started from my place Wadala at around 7.15 am and choose the Mumbai-Goa NH-17 route till Mangaon. Well early start was quite fruitful as we were near Panvel in quick 20 min. I have done few road trips to Mahabaleshwar, Satara & Jawahar but this was my first ride via NH-17.

So those going via this route from Mumbai for the first time remember after crossing McDonald @ Panvel dont forget to take side road going to Panvel otherwise you will find yourself on Mumbai-Pune Expressway and you will not get exit for next 8 KMs. Take the JNPT Rd/NH 4B and than Mumbai-Goa Road. Got my Lady in Black’s Tank Fill up @ HP Petrol Pump just at the start of NH-17 before Karnala. Have heard horror stories of NH-17 (Most Dangerous Highway in Maharashtra) so was bit conscious as well as careful while driving.

Panvel-Pen-Vadhkal section was quite scenic and road conditions were good too although there were some slow patches. At Vadhkal main junction, Take the left towards Mangaon straight road goes to Alibaug. Road conditions from Vadhkal to Mangaon via Nagothane, Kolad & Indapur is quite good although it is a single lane and road widening work is being carried on. I covered this section of 61 km in an hour or so and was closing by Mangaon at around 10.15 am. Just before the main town of Mangaon near Karoli Phata we stopped at a recommended restaurant ‘Open Umbrella’ for some snacks and a cup of Tea. Had Kanda Bhaaji and Idli Wada and two rounds of Tea. I am a ‘Tea-O-Holic’ Just can’t say no to a Tea.

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Before resuming my journey to Diveagar made a call to the owner of Ambience Cottages where we had done our booking for stay @ Diveagar that we will reach in another 1-2 hours and that we will not be doing our lunch at hotel. At places like these prior intimation is required in case you want to have local food. So we resumed our journey by around 11.15 am as per the route and maps we need to take a right towards the Mhalsa (pronounced as Masla and not Masala ).

Drive from Mangaon-Mhasala was amazing -Roads were extremely good, Enjoyed the Steep Winding Curves & Ghat Sections although there is one bad patch just before the Mhasala. Asked a Traffic Cop at an intersection for way to Diveagar and he asked us to follow the Shrivardhan route. Actually there is another direct way to Diveagar via Mhasala which is shorter.
When a local guy told me about that I got upset about taking the longer route but than later when I drove via Shrivardhan to Diveagar I was feeling very happy that we came by this route only. Mhasala – Diveagar (via Shrivardhan) – Was an Amazing Winding State Highway with Great View of Arabian Sea

We stopped en route and clicked some pics It was surreal

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Must say the ride on the coastal cliff road from Shrivardhan to Diveagar was the highlight of the Journey. I did this leg twice. Shrivardhan-Diveagar while going to Diveagar and next day while going to Harihareshwar. We reached at around 1.15 pm @ Diveagar and our resort Ambience Cottages. Freshened up and saw Indian Cricket Team down under doing not so good . Had a cup of Tea and than decided to first visit Suvarnaganesha (Golden Ganesh) Temple just a walk distance away from our resort.

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Suvarnaganesha (Golden Ganesh) Temple
As mentioned earlier that this hidden gem of Konkan ‘Diveagar’ came into limelight upon the discovery of Ganesh idol. As per historical information on Suvarnaganesha Temple it was found on November 17th 1998 (Sankashti Chaturthi as per the Hindu calendar) in a copper box weighing 30 kilos in one of the Supari Baghs (Garden) in the village near the temple. The box contained sculpture of Lord Ganesh made out of pure gold and ornaments belonging to Lord Ganesha and was named “Suvarnaganesh”. Sculpture was made of pure 24 carat gold weighting 1 kilo and 300 grams with height of 60cm and was believed to be 300 to 400 years old.

Suvarnaganesha Temple is small and non descript. First time visitors might miss the temple looking for a building of prominence. But in Diveagar simple structures have a charm & essence of its own. We bought the prashad did our prayers and paid our homage to the deity. We were really happy when priest of the temple allowed us to go inside and touch the idol I was really touched by this nice gesture. Must say the best part about the Suvarnaganesha Temple is it is peaceful and it leaves you with an indescribable feeling of calmness.

We walked back to our resort as it was quite hot although I did made a quick dash to the beach and came back to take some rest before heading back in the evening. Back at our resort saw Indian Team going down to another humiliating defeat against Australia.

Beach During the Afternoon [:)]
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After taking a 30 min power nap at around 4’o clock we left to visit another Temple Sundernarayan Temple (aka Rupnarayan Temple) although later we found out that temple is being re-built, after that we headed straight to the Beautiful Diveagar Beach. Diveagar Beach was abuzz with the Locals, Tourists (mostly Mumbaikars & Punites)

Camel Ride, Horse Cart Ride, Para Sailing and Boating are the options available @Beach

Mom and Me took the Horse Cart Ride (Rs 30 / person for a 10 min cute little ride) and after that we had some Cocunut Water I did checked with Mom weather she wants to do Para Sailing but straight came the reply ‘No’. Actually we saw a failed attempt of takeoff at the beach that led to some minor injury to the father and daughter duo.

Now it was time to experiment out with my SLR (Canon 550D) and its new accompli Tripod (Benro A2970T BH1) to capture some Beautiful Sunset Pics

Here are few pics from the collection


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Beautiful Sunset @ Diveagar Beach
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Random Shot
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Good trip log Ashish, like your experiment with sun surely this equipment worth every spent penny. Your log will be quite helpful for me as i planned road trip to Pune this year in Dec will try to fit this trip in my itinerary.
 
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Good trip log Ashish, like your experiment with sun surely this equipment worth every spent penny. Your log will be quite helpful for me as i planned road trip to Pune this year in Dec will try to fit this trip in my itinerary.
Thanks ToughGuy. Still learning different facets of Photography. Beautiful places like these make your work easy [:)] BTW if you can keep 4-5 days for Konkan Trip from Pune in Dec you can explore quite many places Tarkarli, Vengurla, Ganpatipule, Malvan, Guhagar Diveagar, Shrivradhan and Harihareshwar
 
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Thanks ToughGuy. Still learning different facets of Photography. Beautiful places like these make your work easy [:)] BTW if you can keep 4-5 days for Konkan Trip from Pune in Dec you can explore quite many places Tarkarli, Vengurla, Ganpatipule, Malvan, Guhagar Diveagar, Shrivradhan and Harihareshwar
Yep you are true, our beautiful mother nature can make things easy for us. Yep will keep you advice in my mind thanks Ashish for your valuable tips.

Regards
 
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Hey Ashish very nice travelouge buddy. I too planning to explore the konkan but some how couldnt do. Your write up has made me to try another chance to visit konkan. How do you planned your trip? Means how you selected the spots? Man i am going to konkan specially ganapatipule and Harihareshwar. Rather i have visited harihareshwr during my college trip but couldnt recall the memories as it was very short trip and no camera with me. I will take your help in planning the trip
 
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shreevardhan is the place to have delicious sea food.

so for anyone your first pit stop should be shrevardhan- harihareshwar and then diveagar.
 
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Beautiful pics , nice travelogue, you did remind us that Maharashtra still has a few nice unpolluted beaches!!
 
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Hey Ashish very nice travelouge buddy. I too planning to explore the konkan but some how couldnt do. Your write up has made me to try another chance to visit konkan. How do you planned your trip? Means how you selected the spots? Man i am going to konkan specially ganapatipule and Harihareshwar. Rather i have visited harihareshwr during my college trip but couldnt recall the memories as it was very short trip and no camera with me. I will take your help in planning the trip
Sandy As mentioned in T'Log Diveagar was on my mind for a Long Time so didn't required much planning...Just added other places like Shrivardhan & Harihareshwar. First decide on one main destination and see what other places you can explore...BTW there are many T'Log available on net to make a perfect itinerary for your Konkan Trip.

Tarkarli, Vengurla, Ganpatipule, Malvan & Guhagar are some on my to visit list.

shreevardhan is the place to have delicious sea food.

so for anyone your first pit stop should be shrevardhan- harihareshwar and then diveagar.
@Superbad: Yes I agree and also because of beautiful roads one should follow the same route to Diveagar via Shrivardhan...It is Amazing [:)]

Beautiful pics , nice travelogue, you did remind us that Maharashtra still has a few nice unpolluted beaches!!
Well there are many Unexplored Beaches in Maharashtra and they will remain Beautiful till they remain Unexplored [:)]
 
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Mumbai-Diveagar Lady in Black's Konkan Trail

At night we had the local Marathi Veg Thali at our resort only. Food though was nothing to write much about and nothing to complain about either. Although Mom didn't at all enjoyed the Marathi food. Was an early end to the day as I dozed off at around 11 pm as I wanted to wake up early and click some Sunrise Pics @ Diveagar Beach [;)]

Day 2 Feb 20th Sunday

Well woke up early at around 5.30 am even before the alarm went off as I was very eager to hit the Diveagar Beach for the Sunrise Pics. I freshened myself pretty fast and rushed to the Serene, Calm & Beautiful Diveagar Beach Spent around 1.5 hours and even had a refreshing morning Tea

Here are few pics from the Collection

Spotted Mr. India @ Diveagar Beach [:D]
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Serene, Calm & Beautiful
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Other Side of the Beach
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Waiting for the Sunrise
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First Glimpse of the Sun
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Bullock Carts Trail @Diveagar Beach
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Bullock Carts Trail-Continued
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Bullock Carts Trail-Continued
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Bullock Carts Trail-Continued
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Bullock Carts Trail-Continued
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Trying to Smile...Too Tough for Me [;)]
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Just Like That Shot
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Mumbai-Diveagar Lady in Black's Konkan Trail

Day 2 Feb 20th Sunday...Continued

After a refreshing Sunrise @Diveagar Beach, came back to the cottage by around 8.30 am, quickly took bath and got ready and went for pooja in a nearby Shiv Temple today being the Mahashivratri. After the pooja had another round of tea and Upma for breakfast. Must Say Upma sprinkled with generous grated coconut was Yummie

We checked out of our cottage at around 10 am settled the bill (Rs. 1750 including Dinner & Breakfast). We thoroughly enjoyed our stay @Ambience Cottages, Diveagar. Well for more information on the accommodation check out the following link Beach Resorts in Diveagar, Beach Hotels and resorts Diveagar, Bed and Breakfast Diveagar Maharashtra

So we left Diveagar and headed to Shrivardhan and Harihareshwar. Because we came via the same route we knew the ride to Shrivardhan would be quite enjoyable. We stopped after 3-4 km near a fishing village near Jivana Bandar. One could actually see lots of seagulls from here because lots of fish spread across a hill, Don’t know why? May be they sell their fish after drying them up only. Well I did clicked few pictures at that place. Must say was view was fascinating

Lovely Vistas of the Arabian Sea

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After some time we resumed our journey but the photo shooting breaks continued. Mom was quite fascinated by the small huts in the fields. We stopped after crossing a village and saw those huts in fields on one side and a pristine and unexplored Beach on the other side.

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An Unexplored Beach en-route Shrivardhan
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B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L
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After that another break for clicks of the Coastal Road
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Lady in Black Flaunting in Style
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After that we headed straight to Shrivardhan (Birth City of Peshwas) didn’t ventured out on the beach. We went to the main town to see the memorial built in the memory of Balaji Rao Peshwa (Shrimant Baji Rao Balaji Bhat). A brief history about Baji Rao, he was the son of the first Bhat family Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath. At the age of 20, he was appointed by Shahu Maharaj as peshwa upon the death of his father. He fought over 41 battles and is reputed to have never lost one. But despite such rich heritage the memorial was in a very sorry state of affairs. It was more like a dumping ground with filth all around the place. I didn’t spend more than 5 min at that place.

After that we headed to Harihareshwar also known as Devghar (House of God) or Dakshin Kashi to visit the Kalbhairav Temple (Shiva Temple). Our host @Ambience Cottage Mrs. Suhasini had already informed us that today being a Mahashivratri and also a Monday there will be long queues as local people will also visit the temple.

And she was right we had reached around 12.15 pm and had to stand for more than 1.5 hours in scorching sun to complete the Darshan. After that we went to complete the famous Pradakshina Marg around the temple.

Few Pics Pradakshina Marg

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After the Pradakshina, Mom and me had some fresh Coconut Water and enjoyed the Views of Beautiful Harihareshwar Beach

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Although we only had Upma during Breakfast we weren’t feeling too hungry so decided to skip the lunch and resume our journey to Mumbai. By around 3.30 pm we hit the roads again and headed to Mhsala via Shrivardhan. As I wanted to cover much of the 200 km Ride back to Mumbai before the Sunset, Lady in Black was in Top Gear. I covered around 61 km in 1 hr without any photo breaks. Enjoyed the ghat section from Mhasala to Mangaon. We stopped at Open Umbrella restaurant again for some snacks and a cup of tea. We ordered some snacks and tea but later we were informed that snacks will take at least half an hour as the chef is taking a small break WTF

As we were short of time we didn’t waited for the snacks and left in 15 min after having tea. By around 5.30 pm we were back on NH-17. Sunset on the Horizon was enticing but due to paucity of time didn’t stop anywhere at all. Well another 3 hour drive covering 136 km on the crazy NH-17 we hit the Panvel Town by around 7.45 pm with Vadkhal-Panvel section being the toughest at night. Got stuck for 15 min in a small traffic jam near Vashi, but reached my place by around 8.30 pm safe and sound. Was interesting to see the odometer reading 10012 (Lady in Black Completed 10k) [clap] although I missed clicking the 10k reading on Odometer [frustration]

Lady in Black’s First Konkan Trail was Simply 'Fun-Tas-Tic', Diveagar ~A Beautiful Secluded Town was a real revelation and so was Shrivardhan & Harihareshwar. Magical coastal roads were dream to ride on. Will come back for another ride in Monsoon and explore other beautiful Konkan Gems.

Thanks everyone for appreciating this T'log.


Collage of Best Pics
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Lady in Black's Konkan Trail was 'Fun-Tas-Tic'
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