Sunday, 23 December 2018

Trip to Malgund, Gapatipule and Scuba at Kajirbhati beach

Malgund beach was on my list for a long time. I visited Malgund 2 years back but it was just for one evening. It was 4 days planned year-end trip before Christmas. Our destinations for the coastal line were Malgund, Ganapatipule, Kajirbhati, Aare-Ware, Ratnagiri and nearby offbeat beaches.
Travelers for this trip were I and Renuka.

We after our Scuba Dive

About Ratnagiri, Malgund and surrounding places:
Ratnagiri city is a port city on Arabian Sea coast of Maharashtra in India. It is a main city from the Konkan region and famous for its Alphonso Mangoes, Birthplace of “Lokmanaya” Bal Gangadhar Tilak, prime leader of India’s freedom movement and Shivaji’s Fort. There are many tourist points in Ratnagiri district that are blessed with untouched and beautiful beaches.

On the northern side of Ratnagiri, you can visit twin beaches called Aarey - Warey and also the Malgund beach. Malgund is known as the birthplace of the Marathi poet Keshavasuta, born in 1866.
Ganapatipule is a holy destination which is just 25 km from Ratnagiri city.

The route to reach Malgund from Pune is –
Take National highway 48 (Old Number was NH4) – Drive till Karad city on highway – Cross Karad and drive for few km – after Karad, look for the first flyover on the highway – Do not take flyover route – Take right below the flyover – Drive on State highway 144 – Malkapur – Amba – Sakharpa – join on Mumbai Goa highway – Drive towards Mumbai for few km – Take left for Ratnagiri – Ratnagiri - Ganapatipule - Malgund.

Another way to reach Malgund is Pune - National highway 48 (Old number was NH4) - Umbraj - take right turn at Umbraj – Paatan village – Kumbharali ghat – Koyananagar – Chipalun – Take a left on National Highway 66 (Old number was NH17) - Take right at Navadi - Chafe - Ganapatipule - Malgund. This route is not in good condition (Dec 2018) due to road widening.

Day 1: 20nd Dec 2018 – Pune - Ganapatipule - Malgund:
               We woke up early morning and left home at 6 AM. We wanted to avoid highway traffic and enjoy the morning breeze. After Satara, we took a pit stop for tea and coffee. We decided to go by the Kumbharali ghat as we were not aware of road condition. We wanted to have breakfast in Chipalun but because of the road condition, we had breakfast before Kumbharali ghat. Because of the nonstop drive after breakfast, we could reach our destination before 2 PM. Our first destination was Ganapatipule.

Lord Ganesh's Vahan mouse

              Due to Weekday and afternoon time, there was no rush at all and we took Ganesh Darshan comfortably. we were in front of Ganesh Idol for more than 10 min whereas, on weekends/peak time, you hardly get 5-6 seconds for darshan. Ganesh Idol from the temple is Swayambhu (means self-originated) ganGaneshol. According to locals, the Hindu god, Ganapati, taking umbrage by a remark made by a native lady, moved to Pulé (a few km ahead of the town) from his original abode of GaneshGulé. Thus the region was named Ganpati-pulé. The temple is at the base of a hill and very close to the sea. The God is considered to be the Paschim Dwar-devta (Western Sentinel God of India), and those who visit Ganapatipule, make it a point to pay their respects to this deity. We had Mahaprasad as Khichadi and Laddu (Sweet) in the temple.

Ganapatipule Ganesh Temple
Ganapatipule Ganesh Temple

               Our next destination was Malgund which is just 3km away from Ganapatipule. We haven't booked any hotel room so we visited a couple of hotels. As per the budget and requirement, we settled down at "Sagar Darshan beach resort". He offered us a good discount for 2-night stay due to Weekdays through the third (Saturday) night was already sold out. we like the place as it is located on the beach. Each room is a separate small cottage with a sunset view from the room. The hotel area was well maintained with Konkani touch.

Sagar Darshan beach resort, Malgund
Entrance to Sagar Darshan beach resort

Sagar Darshan beach resort

              We had some rest and visit the Malgund beach for sunset. This place is on the north end of Malgund beach hence hardly any tourist visit this side. We had a short walk on the beach and then settled down for sunset. Watching a sunset from the beach is our favorite activity. After a long time, we saw Sun touching the sea horizon spreading beautiful red color in the sky. We witnessed a beautiful sunset and captured the moments.

Malgund Beach

Sunset at Malgund beach

Sunset from Malgund Beach
Sunset from Malgund Beach

               We return to the hotel and ordered a meal. Owner set up a campfire for us as it was cold. Small dining huts are set up close to the beach. Food taste was average but having dinner with campfire and sea wave music made our day.

Sun touching sea horizon

  • Petrol: INR 3000/-
  • Toll 1: INR 90/-
  • Toll 2: INR 60/-
  • Breakfast: INR 85/-
  • Ganapatipule Entry: INR 10/- for 2 person
  • Coconut water: INR 80/- for 2
  • Stay at Sagar Darshan resort: INR 3000/- for 2 night
  • Bread butter toast at the hotel: INR 50/-
  • Dinner at Hotel: INR 370/- (Starter, Kaju Masala, 4 chapatis):
  • Coconut water: INR 60 for 2
  • 3 water bottles: INR 60

Day 2: 21st Dec 2018 – Malgund:
              We woke up at 6AM and left the hotel by 7AM to explore some untouched beach on the north side of Malgund. The road till Jaigad is parallel to the shore which makes you feel fresh. Every section offers you a view of the upcoming beach on the same route. As you move towards the Jaigad side, Road becomes smooth and wide.

Coastal Village near Malgund

              The first beach after Malgund was Waravade. The beach was a bit clean with off white color sand. We spend some time on the beach and when we were about to leave, we saw some activity in the sea. Soon we got to know that it was a group of Dolphin fish. Group consists of around 15 to 20 dolphins and they were Swiming very close to the beach. It was a memorable time to watch these beautiful fishes closely from the beach. I was not carrying my telephoto lens, I missed an opportunity to click the photographs.

Waravade beach
Waravade beach

               After a wonderful start, we went ahead for our next beach. Next beach was near Undi Village. When we reach, we got to know that there is no access road for the beach and the entire hill belongs to Jindal company for their staff house. We move ahead in search of the next beach. we reach at Kachare Village while searching route for the beach. Beach is known by name Kachare beach. The road to the beach is very narrow and hardly any tourist visit the place. The beach is divided into 3 parts due to the rocks formation. You can walk to the next section of the beach through the rocks while watching sea waves splashing water during high tide. Kachare beach is clean, soft sand and curved in the shape. The beach is clean as it is totally untouched.

Kachare beach
Kachare Beach (Section one at the rightmost hill, Section 2 below hill 2 and section 3 left)

Kachare beach (Section 1)

Kachare beach (click from the second part of the beach)

              We enjoyed the morning time on the beach and had a walk till the third section/beach. We took a lot of photos before we came back. We loved this beach so much as it was difficult for us to leave. Konkan always offers you offbeat places and It's our responsibility to keep such beaches clean and safe for our future generations.

Kachare beach
Kachare beach (third part of the beach)

              We left this beautiful place. Our next destination was Nandivade beach. Nandivade village has Hanuman Temple and clean beach. The village gives you a typically Konkani feel. The beach was clean and very well maintained by the villagers. Homestay is available in the village as well. We spend just 30 min on the beach and started our return journey to Malgund.
We visited Jaigad fort in the past hence we skip the visit. You can read my Blog for Jaigad fort details here

Nandivade beach
Nandivade beach

              We came back to the hotel by 10-10.30AM and had a tasty breakfast. After spending some time in the hotel area, we freshen up and left for some local sightseen. Malgund is known as the birthplace of the Marathi poet Keshavasut, born in 1866. His full name is Krishnaji Keshav Damle and he wrote poetry under the pen name Keshavsut. He was born in the year 1866 October 7. He died in the year 1905 and in the span of 39 years, we wrote 132 poetry. Poem Tutari was a famous poem in Marathi wrote by Keshavsut which was called to fight for independence. The poem inspired many Indians to fight to overthrow the British occupation.

Birthplace of poet Keshavsut
Birthplace of poet Keshavsut

               Keshavsut's house is now converted into Mesume and library. House is a typical old Konkani house. You can read his famous poem written on Stone and places behind the house. Library and information of famous Marathi poet are also available in the museum area. It's a gold mine for Marathi people who have interest in Marathi literature. Afternoon time is the best time to visit this place. After this place, we visited Ram Temple which is a 1000-year-old temple.
              It was 2 PM on the clock and we were hungry. We went to Ganapatipule for lunch as there are plenty of options available for veg and non-veg meal. After lunch, we returned to the hotel for some rest. We visited Malgund beach again for sunset. We had a long walk on the beach. We got to know about Yoga fame Holiness Shree Mataji Nirmala Devi. Last week of December is celebrated as the week of Nirmala Devi in Malgund. Her followers from India and around the world (Yes, We saw many non-Indians in Malgund) visit Malgund for Yoga, Prayers, and celebration. This was the reason for not getting a room in Malgund from 23 December onwards till year end. If you're looking for a holiday near Malgund then better to avoid last week of December month. We planned to check a couple of hotels near Kajirbhati beach for our Saturday night stay. we got to know from locals that Shree Nirmala Devi's followers do not prefer to stay outside Malgund so it is easy to find the hotel from Ganapatipule to Ratnagiri area.


              Many followers were on the beach for some Yoga activity, an area in front of our resort was empty. We saw Sunset spreading colors in the sky from Malgund beach. It was a calm and peaceful evening. we decided to visit Nakshatra restaurant from Bhandarpule for dinner. The restaurant is owned by  Mithil Pitre and we know each other coz of travel. The ambiance of Nakshatra resort and restaurant is good and we enjoyed the dinner with tasty Modak.

Sunset at Malgund
  • Breakfast (2 Omelet, bread Butter toast, coffee): INR 165/-
  • Entry at Keshav Sut home: INR 20/- for 2 person
  • Lunch: INR 450/- (Chicken Wade meal, began Masala, bhakari, Cold drink, water)
  • Dinner: INR 782/- (Starter, Amrakhand-Puri, Bengal Masala, Kokani Wade and Juice)

Day 3: 22nd Dec 2018 – Malgund - Ratnagiri - Kajirbhati:
              We woke up by 7AM and went on the beach for running. We spend morning time on the beach and came back for breakfast. We check out the hotel by 11AM and went to Ratnagiri for sightseen as planned. On the way to Ratnagiri, We took a pit stop at Aare and Ware beach. The road journey from Ganapatipule to Ratnagiri offers you beautiful scenery as most of the time the road is parallel to the seashore. The road has several curves and hairpin bends that give you a wonderful view of photography. The road travels past a high cliff, below which the sea waves ferociously lap without a pause. In fact, the road hugs the seashore for a length of some 7 - 8 Km. It becomes difficult for nature lovers to go ahead without capturing the beauty in the camera. We took many pit stops for photography. This route is ideal for an aerial view of the beaches.

Near Aare-Ware Beach

We travelers...Ware beach at the background

Ware Beach
Aare Beach during low Tide

              This was our third visit to Ratnagiri hence we decided to visit only Ratnagiri Marine Fish Museum and Birthplace of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. click to Read my Travel Blog on Ratnagiri year 2014. We first visited Ratnagiri Marine Fish Museum. Museum consists of many varieties of Marine as well as freshwater fish variety. You can see Wheale fish skeleton as well as information on marine life. Its good place to spend an hour.

Sea horsefish

Marine fish

              We were hungry so without wasting any time we had our lunch at "Amantran" restaurant. It is famous for seafood and the meal was delicious. I tried Royal Pomfret fish meal with Crab masala whereas Renuka had Veg meal with Amras and Modak.

Royal Pomfret meal with Tasty Crab Masala

              After a tasty meal, We went at Bal Gangadhar Tilak Birth Place. He was an Indian nationalist, journalist, teacher, social reformer, lawyer and an independence activist. He was the first leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities called him "Father of the Indian unrest." He was also conferred with the honorary title of "Lokmanya", which literally means "accepted by the people (as their leader)".
             You can see the entire house which is maintained very well. You can get a sense of the typical house of a Ratnagiri resident. Some of Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s personal belongings like pagdi, uparna, and pen are there on display along with some old photos too. Unfortunately, tourists skip this place but I feel proud and lucky to visit such a place where a legend freedom fighter of India was born.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak birthplace

             We returned to Bhandarpule and checked in at hotel Krushnkunj. We spend our evening time at Kajirbhati beach for Sunset and some photoshoot. We meet our friend Rupesh Prabhu who newly opened Scuba Dive site near Kajirbhati beach. We booked Sunday morning slot for Scuba and went to Ganapatipule for Dinner. In our last trip, We visited Prachin Kokan Museum. so we visited Magic Garden. This place has some illusion ride, magic show, mirror maze etc. An overall good place to visit with Kids for fun. we had a light meal at dinner and went to the hotel for rest.

Sunset from Kajirbhati Beach

Light after Sunset from Kajirbhati beach

  • Fish museum entry: INR 30/ for 2 person
  • Fish museum Camera chargers: INR 25/-
  • Lunch at Amamtran: INR 900/- (Royal pomfret meal, Special Veg meal, Crab Masala, Cold drinks)
  • Stay at Krush-Kunjan: INR 1500/- AC
  • Bhel at kajirbhati: INR 25/-
  • Magic garden entry: INR 300/- per person
  • Dinner: INR 170/- (Curd rice, extra curd, and Masala Papad)
  • Ice cream: INR 170/-

Day 4: 23nd Dec 2018 – Scuba Dive at Kajirbhati - Pune:
               We woke up at 7.30 AM and left the hotel by 8.30 AM. We reached at Kajirbhati beach for Scuba Dive. We were doing scuba dive after a break of 3 years and it was our overall 6th Dive in India. The weather was perfect for dive and a cool breeze was playing on sea water. We were amazed at the water visibility; we were not expecting so much clear water visibility. we reach a Dive site in the boat. Dive location was just 200-300 meters away from the beach and overall depth was 4-5 meters. We geared up with wetsuits. There are plenty of Corals, Rock patches and fishes around us. We were surrounded by beautiful and colorful small fishes, they aren’t harmful and watching them is a treat to the eyes. It is really hard to describe just how awe-inspiring SCUBA diving is … the underwater world is just so unique.

Selfie during Dive (Date time was not set in camera)

We during Scuba Dive (Date time was not set in the camera)

              This dive site also consists of Live marine plants and small underwater valley. We saw a variety of fishes and this dive site is far better than Malvan for sure. It's not good to compare the Dive sites as every dive site have its own identity. By the time I'm writing this travel blog, I just came back from Scuba dive trip to Netrani Island (Karnataka) where I was swimming with 400-500 fishes and saw Shark, eels, giant Napoleon fish etc. Soon I will publish travel blog with underwater videos on Netrani Trip.
              We spend around 40 to 45 Min inside water and overall experience at Kajirbhati was simply amazing. After Scuba Dive, We returned hotel bath and check out process. We took a lunch break at Rupesh's newly opened restaurant. After a tasty meal, our return journey to Pune begins.

Ignore Date and Time on video as It was not set in the action Camera

             We prefer Amba ghat route for our return journey. we had Evening break as hotel Kasturi, amba ghat and Dinner at Aaram hotel near Khambatki ghat. We reached home safely by via NH-66 route by 11PM. It was truly a stress-relieving trip.

Time to go Home!

  • Coffee: INR 30/- for 1
  • Maggi: INR 40/- for 2 person
  • Scuba dive: INR 4000/- for 2 person
  • Veg Lunch: INR 130/
  • Fish lunch: INR 300/-
  • Car petrol: INR 1000/-
  • Snacks and Coffee 120/-
  • Toll 1: INR 75/-
  • Toll 2: INR 60/-
  • Dinner: INR 200/-
  • Toll 3: INR 90/-

Contact Numbers for reference:
Sagar Darshan beach Resort: 919422382593 / 919881060298
Rupesh Prabhu (Scuba Dive at Kajirbhati): 919766420038 / Sachin Govekar 918669646658
Madachya Banat, Malgud: 919867027261 / 919930024501 (Mid Range resort)
Krishnakunj Resort: 919820198037 (Budget place)
Amantran restaurant: 02352226001
Prathamesh Water sports, Malgund: 919405957305 / 917020207826

GPS coordinates:
Malgund Beach: 17.174884, 73.257205 (There are multiple ways to enter on the beach)
Waravade Beach: 17.218313, 73.244727
Kachare Beach: 17.256174, 73.226099
Nandvade Beach: 17.268331, 73.220884
Kushal water sports (Scuba Dive): 17.113187, 73.277832

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

Pritesh Kulkarni