Unexplored beaches in the Kokan belt of Maharashtra

Do you remember that scene from the Bollywood flick – Jab We Met? The one where Geet(Kareena) is about to run away from her home and she sneaks into Aditya’s room to bid good bye.

Geet: Main toh bhaag rahi hoon. Saara kuch planned hai. Tumhein bye bolne aayi hoon.
Aditya decides to run away with her. When they step out: 
Aditya: Plan kya hai?
Geet: Kayee options hain.
Aditya: (surprised) Options?
Geet: Ya to hum railway station ja sakte hain, ya bus stand.
Aditya: (intrigued) Aur vahan pahunchenge kaise?
Geet: Let’s see. Main road se autorickshaw mil sakta hai.
Aditya: (exasperated) Unbelievable.
He stops running.
Geet: Arey chalo…
Aditya: (scolding) Ye tumhara plan hai? Shayad main road se rickshaw milega? Tumhein zara bhi akal hai ki nahin?

Ahem.. Aishwarya and I planned a girl trip. Whenever we go with the boys, we don’t worry much about safety etc. And travel and moving around is taken care of by them. We wanted to dirty our hands, handle the whole thing ourselves. Anjarle was the destination. Saara sab kuch planned tha – We booked our bus tickets, planned to meet at Karad bypass (the connecting point between Bangalore and Pune) and guessed we would get buses to Dapoli and from there to Anjarle. One day before our trip, we called our friend Amit to get some local Anjarle numbers – Just in case. We shared our plan with him and  he wanted to join us. 

This had to be our girl trip. But Amit had asked the question and we love him too much to say no. So, we planned some girl time away and decided to let Amit drive us to the destination. Once he picked us up, he told us that on hearing our plan, he was so worried about our safety, that he decided he had to be with us. He was sure, with the plan we had, we will never reach Anjarle.The thing is, we had assumed too much. The connectivity between Karad and Dapoli is very poor and Anjarle too is a remote village with few vehicles and no mobile connectivity. So, Amit applied for 3 days leave, became our “Aditya(Shahid Kapoor)” who drove us to our destination. Sweetest gesture ever!!! 

Waiting for me at Wai Junction

Waiting for me at Wai Junction

NH4 – Wai junction was our meeting point, good old poha our breakfast! The drive to Dapoli started at 9:00 AM and with hardly any stops, ended at 1:00 PM. Almost the entire 140 kms is through mountains. At Dapoli, we had our first coastal meal of the trip. The fish and prawns were heavenly and throughout our trip we ate lots and lots of them. The last 20 kms of our drive was ahead of us with so many pit stops as the drive is downhill and you get to see Anjarle and Harnai from the top. Palande was the first beach we spotted and we had to take a moment to walk on beach sand! Ketki beach resort at Anjarle, the place where we stayed(@Rs. 1000 per room for 2) is on the beach. 10 steps and you are walking towards the sea. How cool is that 🙂

Our stay :)

Our stay 🙂

As we waited for them to clean up our room, we couldn’t resist getting into water. We played in this very friendly beach to our heart’s content and decided to check in and come back again. The hot kaanda bhajjis and not so warm chai on the beach fueled us enough for another round of wave bashing.

Anjarle Sunset

Anjarle Sunset

Best workout ever :)

Best workout ever 🙂

We gobbled down some awesome kokan food, played some Carrom and Amit headed to Dapoli to be with his friend. Aishwarya has always been a fitness person. I started working out recently and so far I’m loving it. So, the next morning, we headed out to the beach for a run at 6:30 AM. It felt great to run with such great ambience as motivation. At the end of the horizon was a small hill and we decided to hike up.???????????????????????????????

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On enquiry, we figured there are buses to our next destination – Murud(Not the Murud of Kashid, Murud, Janjira fame). We waited at the Durga Devi Temple for half hour and boarded a local bus to Murud. The drive is scenic as you are traversing from beach view to mountain view, back to beach view.

View of Anjarle

View of Anjarle

We walked around till we spotted a resort(Swapnadeep – Rs. 1000 per room) which looked good for us. We left our bags at the reception and headed out in look out for a good restaurant. We walked for maybe a kilometer and half and found not a single eatery. We had started entering houses that had boards saying they provide meals and asking them if we would get food(begging almost, except we were willing to pay). Finally, we admitted defeat and had lunch where we stayed. To our surprise, the food was exceptional and the prawn curry was heavenly. 

Kokan Food!

Kokan Food!

We heard about a fish auction at Harnai and wanted to experience it. Our bus dropped us at a junction and we started walking towards the fish auction point on the beach. This is where the unpleasant part started. We saw a dead dog and a dead pig on the beach. It looked like they were dead from drowning for a couple of days. Locals did not seem to care and were playing cricket right next to it. The shore was dirty and almost everything was happening there. Men stared and passed comments as we walked towards the watch tower. But once we reached an elevation, we did not seem to care as the view of the boats in the sea was just, so colourful.

As we did not wish to go back through the beach, we decided to take the road and stumbled upon Bhuikot Killa – One of the few forts of Shivaji that is not on a mountain or an island. It is on plain land. The sunset from here was breathtaking.  The long walk felt never-ending and we finally reached the junction at dusk.

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Sunset at Harnai

Sunset at Harnai

Next morning, we walked around the Murud beach noticing all the birds and animals that have walked on the shore.

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We headed out to Karde beach which is my favorite beach from this trip. The water at the beginning is see through almost till your feet are 2 ft deep. It turns brown after that, blue in the middle and green at the end. All this with lots of white from the waves. I loved this beach. We started to build a sand castle but ended up building a watch tower and a pyramid.

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We checked out of our hotel at 1:30 PM and we had to reach Satara at 6:00 PM. Extremely difficult but Amit with his impeccable driving skills ensured we could take a short break at Mahabaleshwar for some amazing Strawberry cream, at Satara for Pedha and still make it to the bus.

All in all a beautiful trip to beautiful beaches. I still don’t feel like getting back to my routine. I want to be back at Anjarle 🙂

Trip Details
Travel: Bangalore to Wai Junction – Airavat Bus – 8:00 PM departure. Satara Bypass to Bangalore: Airavat Bus – 4:00 PM departure from Pune
Mode of transport: Fiat Punto
Cameras used: Canon Powershot SX230 HS and Canon Powershot Sx170 IS
Pune to Anjarle: 198 kms
Resorts: Ketki Beach Resort, Anjarle: +9194204 74912 , +9175888 57813, +912358 – 234391
(Keep trying as they are not reachable most of the time)
Swapnadeep Resort, Murud: +919223289152
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