Thursday, 28 March 2013

Nagaon & Kashid Beach Trip

Before I move to new workplace, I got a chance to plan my next short holiday. I got week's break before joining to my new company. At the very last moment we (me and my wife Renuka) decided to visit Nagaon and Kashid beach along with some nearby tourist places. Renuka somehow managed to take a one day leave after Holi festival and we went for a 2 day trip.
Travelers for this trip were me and Renuka.
We left Pune on Tuesday evening after Renuka's office.

Me and Renuka near Kashid Beach

About Nagaon and Kashid:-
            Nagaon is nearly 7 km away from Alibag. The Nagaon beach, lies between Alibag and Revdanda. It is lined with Suru Plants (Casurina Plants) and is clean and beautiful. There are many home-stay options are available. Nagaon is a vast expanse of flat beach with soft fine mixture of white and black sand. Nagaon is a safe beach for a dip in the water and one can walk a long distance into the sea. It is an ideal destination to just laze around but now it is slowly establishing itself as a destination for water sports too. Here you can have a feel of konkani lifestyle. This beach was use it as the backdrop for the famous song 'Sagar Kinare Dil Ye Pukare' in film Sagaar.

           Kashid is a beach town on Alibag-Murud road. It is popular mainly because of its white sand, curvy beach shape, mountains behind beach and beautiful sea view. Kashid has a 3 km stretch of beach tucked in between two rocky hillocks with Casuarinas groves all around the seashore. Few sea facing resorts are under construction in kashid and lots of home stay accommodations are available.
Kashid beach is generally crowded by Mumbai people on weekends so my advice is to visit this place on weekdays to enjoy this beautiful romantic sandy beach. We were there on weekdays and hardly saw crowd on the beach.

Our Route:-
            Best way to reach Nagaon is Pune - National highway 17 towards Mumbai- join Express way - Lonavala - After crossing Lonavala-Khandala on Expressway, there is Khopoli exit - Take left at Khopoli square for Pen - Pen - Alibag - 3 km before Alibag, take right for Nagaon (Location board is missing but you can see lots of hotel board for Nagaon) - take right after few km drive (Belkadephata) - Take right at Shivaji stachu for Nagaon Beach.
Distance between Nagaon beach to Kashid beach is 30 km and road is parallel to sea which makes your journey more scenery.
While return journey, we choose different route. It was from Kashid - Murud - Rajpuri - Roha - Nagothane - Pali - Khopoli - Joined mumbai-pune Expressway - Pune.

Day 0: 26 March, 2013 Pune - Nagaon: (Total Distance traveled: 152 km):
              We wanted to spend maximum time in konkan area so we decided to leave Pune by Tuesday evening. After Renuka's office, we left Pune around 7 pm. Journey by expressway was quick and soon we took Khopoli exit. From Khopoli till pen, there are hardly any restaurants, so it’s always better to have your food on Expressway's food mall or at Khopoli. We were not hungry and that's why we took our Lunch break at Pen. After average quality dinner, we proceeded towards our destination. With the help of sign boards we managed to reach till Alibag but then it was bit difficult for us to spot the sign boards due to night time. We missed Belkade phata and went around 6-7 km ahead of Nagaon. Local people told us a how to reach and by 11.30 pm we finally reached at Nagaon.
            Today was the Holi festival so all the villagers were busy in preparing large scale bornfire. Holi is mainly associated with the burning of Holika (Holika was a demoness in Hindu scripture who was burnt to death). On the day of Holi, the firewood is arranged in a huge pile at a clearing in the locality. In the evening, the fire is lit. Every household makes an offering of a meal and dessert to the fire god. During this festival, people are supposed to forget about any rivalries and start new healthy relations with all.
           We spent around 25 min to search a home stay within our budget. Holi begins at midnight in konkan and we did not want to miss it so we came out of our room. There was huge Holi arranged just outside to our stay by local people. They invited us to join them and we witnessed traditional Holi festival which is rare to witness in metro cities. After sometime all local people started their meal and they also offered food. We had tasty Pavbhaji and lots of Coconut water. We enjoyed this festival and it was one of my memorable events from this trip. We called off our day at 2 AM.

Holi festival
Holi festival

  • Car Petrol: INR 1500/- (Approx. 20 Liter at INR 75.80/lit)
  • Expressway Toll: INR 99/- (one way toll)
  • Dinner at Pen: INR 160/- (Veg dish along with Roti and rice for 2 people)
  • Toll at Dharmatar: INR 15/-
  • Room rent at hotel vaishnavi: INR 800/-

Day 1: 27 March, 2013 Nagaon - Alibag - Kashid:
             We woke up early morning by 8 AM. We decided to go on the beach for swimming. Clear weather and cool morning breeze from the sea made us feel fresh. There was hardly any crowd on beach. We enjoyed swimming in sea within safe limit. Water here is safe for swimmers and also for an occasional dip however the shallow water stretches for quite a long distance. There are also many water sport activities like Para sailing, banana boat ride, Bumper Tube Ride and Jet-Ski rides. We got to know from local that as today is second day of Holi so lot of crowd from Mumbai and Pune are expected. We decided to move back before people hit this place to celebrate Holi with colors. We took Jet Ski ride which was amazing. The feeling of riding at a high velocity in a vast traffic-less ocean, gives you an epic rush.

Nagaon Beach

             After enjoying our swimming, we went back to rooms for breakfast. We took some rest and decided to move for Alibag. While leaving from Nagaon, we just wanted to check the rush on beach. It was high tide and sea waves covered entire beach. There were too many people on beach. We were lucky that we enjoyed when there were hardly any crowd.

Nagaon Beach
Nagaon Beach at high tide

Holi at Nagaon Beach
             On the way to Alibag from Nagaon, there was one small temple. It is known as Nav-nag temple (Nine snake’s temple). Hardly any tourists visit this place. Local says that Name of this village came because of this place. In temple you can see total 10 rocks having snake images on it. 9 were originally placed here and in recent time someone added 10th snake idol. After visiting this place, we reached to Alibag by lunch time.

Nav Naag Temple at Nagaon

              I would like to share some information about this place. Alibag was developed in 17th Century by Sarkhel Kanhoji Aangre the naval chief of King Shivaji's Kingdom. It was also a birth place of SarkhelKanhojiAangre. Prior to this, a rich Muslim person Bene Israelite Ali developed seven gardens. So the local people called the place AlichiBagh (Gardens of Ali).This city came in limelight because of KanhojiAangre. He was one the great naval warrior.

Sarkhel Kanhoji Aangre and its Samadhi 

Alibag Beach

              We reached at Alibag during lunch time. We were too hungry so we went in sanman restaurant which is famous for sea food. We had lovely sea food meal and we shared a table with famous Marathi film industry actor Atul Parchure. After heavy lunch we went on Varsoli beach which is located about a mile from the main Alibag beach. It is relatively less visited site and as a result is a quiet beach. We wanted to visit Kolaba fort (Not to be confused with Colaba in Mumbai) which is situated in the sea at a distance of 1–2 km inside from the Alibag shores. During low tide, you can walk to the fort. Walking on sea bed during low tide gives you a very fresh feeling. It takes 45 min to 1 hour to visit Kolaba fort and it has bastions, Ganesh Mandir, ruins of few old buildings, giant canons and a sweat water lake/well in the middle of salty ocean.

Sanman restaurant 

Veg Meal

King Fish Meal

Lunch with Atul Parchure

             Shivaji Maharaj built this fort in 1680 to keep Portuguese under predominance. Later this fort became the main place and was used for building huge/magnificent ships. Afterwards, this fort became the main place of Maratha’s Armada in Konkan. Kanhoji Aangre used it as his main base from which to launch raids on British ships. Unfortunately there is no guide or detail information available so always better to read about the fort before you visit. The ‘Mahadarwaja’ (Main entrance) to the east is a special thing as it was difficult for enemy to locate during war. Personally I liked the fort but not well maintained by government and tourist.

Kolaba Fort
Kolaba Fort
             We left Alibag, after our beautiful trip to Kolaba fort. We already decided to visit Kashid beach for our tonight’s stay. Road from Alibag to Kashid was beautiful as you drive along the sea. We reached there by 5.30 pm. After searching for better stay option, we found one clean and nice hotel which was lose to beach. We checked in our luggage and went on beach to witness sun set. Unfortunately we were late and missed the sunset.
             Kashid Beach was lonely, very clean,white sandy curvy beach. There were too many food stalls to offer lots of tasty snacks items. We spend some on beach and had some coffee and Egg burji. As we were very tried, we preferred to stay in the hotel after sun set. We took some light food for dinner and took rest. Till this time, we had perfect trip. As I fell in love with Kashid beach, we decided to visit in early morning.

Sandy Kashid beach


  • Jet Ski ride for 2: INR 500/-
  • King fish meal: INR 230/- (Restaurant Sanman)
  • Prawns Fry: INR 120/- (Restaurant Sanman)
  • Veg. meal: INR 80/- (Restaurant Sanman)
  • Kolaba fort entry: INR 5/- per person
  • Horse cart ride: INR 80/- for both (From Kolaba fort to beach)
  • Coconut water: INR 20/- per pic
  • Egg Burji at Kashid beach: INR 50/- per person
  • Dinner at Hotel: INR 158/- ( 1 veg. meal and egg Masala)

Day 2: 28 March, 2013 Kashid – Janjira Fort – Pune via Pali: (Total Distance traveled: 190 km):
               We woke up early morning by 7:30 AM. Before we go to beach, I wanted to capture curvy beach photo from nearby hill. After small hiking I got beautiful photos. Now it’s time to visit beach. We were alone on this beautiful beach due to an odd day. We spend around 2 hours and had hot maggi there. We were completely wet due to swimming, cool breeze was playing around and we were enjoying maggi.

Kashid Beach

Hotel Picnic
              We came back on our room by 10:30 am. After spending some time in hotel, we checked out from room by 12.30 pm. Our next and last destination on this trip was Janjira fort. Drive from Kashid to Rajpuri was good. We were driving along the costal line which was offering us breathtaking views. We reached at Rajpuri and decided to visit fort first. This was my 3rd visit to the fort in last 5 years but first visit for Renuka. This was one the best sea fort ever builds. To reach on fort, you have to take sail boat which hardly takes 10 min to reach there. There were lots of local people who work as guide. I was aware about the history of fort but due to other members from boat, we shared guide cost with them. What I observer during visit is; History which guide told to tourist was not 100% true. They hardly know 60-70% historical information but other stories were not real. Better to go there after reading some historical facts.

Janjira Fort

               Don’t know why they hide some facts like the fort was originally built in 15th century on a smaller scale by a local Maratha-Fisherman Chieftain- Ram Patil to protect his people from pirates/ thieves and was known as “Medhekot". Siddi commanders Pir Khan, who came with three ships armed with necessary weapons and soldiers and captured the fort. Pir Khan was succeeded by Burhan Khan, who demolished the original fort and built an impregnable much bigger, 22 acre, stone fort sometime in between 1567 and 1571. The fort was called 'JazeereMahroob Jazeera ' which in Arabic means an Island. Siddi was not won by any war but by braking trust and offering liquor to Ram Patil. Latter on Siddi king forcefully converted Ram Patil to Islamic and when he opposed then he killed by Siddi. Latter many local Koli and Hindu’s was killed who opposed their establishment. Shivaji’s all attempts to capture Janjira fort failed due to one reason or the other.  When Sambhaji also failed, he built another island fort, known as Kansa or Padmadurg, just 9kms north of Janjira. You can see rocky bridge during low tide at Rajpuri which was an unsuccessful but great attempt by Sambhaji. The Janjira state came to an end after 1947.

Fort Entrance

              Fortification was an amazing and very strongly builds to protect against enemy. Fort has 19 rounded bastions. Three story bastions were beautifully constructed. History says that there were 572 cannon to protect the fort. You can see India’s 3rd largest cannon named Kalal-Bangadi. Other highlights from the fort are 6 stories place (now only 3 floors are left), Balekila, Queen Lake, quarters, mosque etc.The main entrance of Janjira Fort is adorned with a stone carving, which illustrates six elephants trapped by a single tiger. This carving is believed to be a symbol of the bravery of the Siddi rulers.

Rajwada & Houses

Queen lake from Balekila

Giant Cannons namely Chavdi(Range 8 km), Goumukh(Range 10 km) and the biggest Kalal Bangdi (range 12 km)

Kalal Bangdi Cannons

           Usually boatman forced to return in same sailboat within 45-60 min and they scared you by saying if you don’t opt for guide then you will lost inside fort area. But you need at list 2/2.5 hours to see the fort in detail. Also you can come back to Rajpuri by any boat. Do not miss this beautiful historical place.In Rajpuri, you can see Palace of Nawab. The palace was built in 1885 for administration purposes. However you can see the Palace only from outside as the palace is still owned by the descendants of the Nawab and is a private property.

Sailboat

Kokani boat Pub: After Holi festival, all local celebrate, enjoy in unique way.

            Once we reached back to Rajpuri, we were too hungry. We had our lunch in new sea rock restaurant. Food was ok but view of fort Janjira from restaurant was beautiful. It was around 5:00 pm in clock and we started with our return journey. We choose different route for our return journey. It was from Rajpuri – Roha – Pali and then Pune via Khopoli. After little km drive from Rajpuri, we saw lots of huge man made water ponds, nearly about one by one acre. We were puzzled and took pit stop there to ask about it. We came to know that this was a prawns framing. We got all information about this farming. As prawns were not ready in the ponds else I have been taken it to home. One acre plot gives then around 5000kg prawns and they sold it to local market as well as in national market.

New sea rock restaurant

prawns fish framing

prawns fish framing
              After this small brake, we drive our car nonstop to the expressway. Trip was over and we came Pune by 9:00 PM via expressway.

Hotel information:

  • Hotel at Kashid: Picnic Park Kiran Khopkar (9226279146)

Expenses:
  • Room rent: INR 700/- (Actual rate was INR 1200/-)
  • Maggi at Kashid beach: INR 30/- (for 2 plates)
  • Coconut water at Kashid: INR 20/- per pic
  • Car parking at rajapuri: INR 30/-
  • Sail boat to fort: INR 20/- per person
  • Fort Guide: INR 200/- for 2 person
  • Lunch at sea rock restaurant: INR 165/- (Panjabi dish + roti)
  • Car Petrol: INR 500/- (Approx. 6-7 Liter at INR 73.80/lit)
  • Toll at Expressway: INR 99/- (one way entry)

I will try to upload more and more travel blogs. Thanks for reading this Travel Blog.


PriteshKulkarni
Pune