Ep - 14 Vengurla to Sawantwadi | Yashwantgad Fort | Maharashtra Tourism

Ep - 14 Vengurla to Sawantwadi |  Yashwantgad Fort | Maharashtra Tourism

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Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host Harish Bali. Today is Day 14 of our Konkan tour. We have Prasad with us. We are starting our day at the Vengurla beach, which is nearby.

Prasad has told me that the Vengurla beach, as called by the tourists... ...is actually called Sagareshwar Beach by the locals. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. You can see it from the outside. This beach is named after this temple.

Come, let's go. We visited Vengurla lighthouse and Jetty point last evening. Now, from where we are standing, you can see the lighthouse... ...up on that hill in the distance. The jetty point is located at the base of this hill. The view of the Arabian Sea from atop that hill was amazing.

I told you we could see a wide angle view from there. Isn't it so? Yes! It looked so good! Correct. Prasad Bhai, we haven't had breakfast yet. So, you have arranged for it at a homestay, right? Yes Sir! Come, let us go and have breakfast.

We've reached this homestay for breakfast. We have with us the owner of this homestay. Ma'am, what is this area called? Mandavi. Mandavi? Mandavi Khaadi (bay). Mandavi Khaadi. I really like the environment of this place.

Specially these trees, it is so green all around. What you see around, all these are mangrove trees. Prasad told me a while ago that we can go on a mangrove safari here. Yes, we organize that.

Oh! You organize it? Yes! Ours is the "Swamini" self-help group with 10 women members. We operate these two boats, you can see. Right now, because of the rains, safaris have been stopped.

But by first week of October, we will restart. Lovely, great! Shall we go inside? Yes! Look at what we are eating for breakfast. Ma'am told me that this square-shaped pav (bread) is... ...a local specialty of Vengurla. What do you call it? Chaukoni Pav! Chaukoni Pav. Because of the shape? Yes! Does it have something else other than maida (refined flour).

Apart from Maida, it also has Urad Dal. Urad Dal! Kanda Bhaji (Onion fritters). Why is coconut milk of this colour? Because of a little haldi (turmeric) and gur (jaggery).

Alright! Ma'am, I've eaten this before in South India. It is called "Idiyappam", right? Yes! What do you call it? Shirvale! Shirvale! A short while ago, when I visited their kitchen, I saw that... ...they make dough out of rice flour and... ...cook it before making balls out of it. And then, they make Idi-appams out of it within minutes. Yes! Very good! So, this is your traditional breakfast? Yes! Have you had your breakfast? Yes! Alright.

I have to admit, this Pav is different in taste. It is soft, slightly salty, and it makes for... ...an amazing combination with this Kanda Bhaji. You must not miss eating this when you visit Vengurla. That is the least I can say. Very tasty! Now I need to dip this Shirvale into it. Yes, dip it and then eat it with a spoon.

I ate it for the first time in Coorg. By God! If you hadn't told me there was gur in it,... ...I would still have come to know that it had gur. That is because you have used a good amount of gur.

Its taste is amazing and you can feel the presence of haldi. Because it has more than just a pinch of haldi. You feel that you are eating something, which is... ...a mix of coconut milk, haldi and gur. And it has elaichi (green cardamom) as well. Yes! For added flavor! Very, very tasty! It has a unique flavor. Ma'am, I have to admit...

...I really enjoyed this breakfast. Thank you! No, I am being serious. Because I have to say, when I ate it earlier... ...it didn't have gur and haldi in it. Yes! So, that combination was tasty as well but... ...this is a totally different experience. So, is this recipe common throughout this region? Yes, it does.

Hmm! Very tasty! After finishing this breakfast... ...we would also like to see your homestay accommodation. Sure! Is this the room? Yes, this is the room. Alright Ma'am, this looks comfortable. You have 3 rooms in all? Yes, 3 rooms. You told me that the tariff is Rs. 1000.

Yes! For a single person or two people? For two people. It is good, specially if you throw open... ...these windows. It will ensure proper ventilation. Great! Are these the backwaters? Yes! So, these must be mangroves in front of us? Yes, these are mangroves. So, this is where you take the boats? Yes, we row boats along the length of 2.5 KM and... ...also tell the visitors about various species... ...found here. The coastal areas experience cyclones, typhoons regularly.

These mangroves save the population from those natural calamities. The roots of these mangroves grow right back... ...out of the deep earth? We need to save mangroves because...

...these will save us, in turn. You are absolutely right! So ma'am, is this your farm where we are standing? Yes, this is a small farm of ours. Please show us some vegetables that you grow here. Please come sir! Look at this Guava, completely organic. This is a Bhindi (Lady finger) plant. I am looking at this.

Usually, the Lady finger that we eat at home is this big. See here! Yes! But this bhindi is more than double in size. Yes! Wow! This variety is called "Gauthi Bhindi."

Gauthi Bhindi. Yes! The main advantage of living here is that.. ...one can also eat local food. Yes! Sir, you had your breakfast here. You should have come for the lunch instead.

We belong to the fishermen community. So, our fish thali is unlike what you get elsewhere. You won't be able to forget its taste.

Alright! Whenever I visit again,... ...I will definitely come here for lunch. Sure Sir! As for breakfast, I really liked it. I liked this short visit to your homestay.

Thank You! Thank you Sir. This is Prasad's bike. It will take us to the Crawford Market. You can come by car.

Okay. Sir, we've come to the Vengurla market. This part of the market is quite old and... ...it is called the Crawford Market. This market was established during the British rule. The Vengurla market, though not very large,...

...still has 40-50 shops. You told me this building is the Crawford Market building? Yes! We've come to the Crawford Market, where... ...you can see flowers and fruits are being sold. This is something unique. You can see paintings on the outer wall of this market. These paintings depict the older form of Vengurla market.

I can see two paintings around here. Let us check out further. Let us go. Prasad, this market has been renovated in a way... ...that it looks attractive to the visitors. Correct! Let us go and look at the market inside.

Sure! Very good! There are shops on this side as well. I think the shops on the inner side are closed right now. Yes, these are closed because of Corona.

Some of the shops are closed still. We were to have some cold drink here, right? Yes Sir! There is a shop called Raj Shri, in this direction. Let us go there. We've come to the Rajshri shop to have their...

...famous "Cocktail" drink. We also have with us the channel subscribers. Great! Oh wow! Look at all that goes in this. It has milk, fruits, ice cream and jelly on top. It is loaded to the top. Very good! So, this is a famous cocktail of this place? Yes, it is. During the summer season, which is also mango season...

....I drink mango shake frequently. At least thrice in a week! Though it is delicious to have but... ...a little weight-gain is also in order. Hmm! It is delicious! Good! In the coastal region Sir,... ...because of high humidity... ...people prefer to drink beverages like these. Like these one, at other places too? Yes, you will find such shops elsewhere too. Like the Hare Krishna Cold Drinks in Sawantwadi.

Nice! It has apple, banana too. Overall good! Sir, we are now going to visit the spice farm. But before that, there is a newly opened fish market... ....in Vengurla. This building? Yes.

You can visit this and there is another one... ....in Sawantwadi. Let's visit the one in Sawantwadi. The time is 12.30 pm.

How much time will it take to reach the spice farm? It is about 10 KM from here Sir. It will take no more than 20 minutes. 20 minutes! Okay. Let's go. Sir, we've come to a small village located inside... ...a forest on the Vayuri mountain near Vengurla. This is Balu dada, who has a farm here.

He also has a mud house, which we call Maangar! We will visit his spice farm now. Okay! Shall we! So, you are Balu Dada? Yes! B..A...L...U? Yes! Tell me one thing... Yes sir! ...are these the roots of Supari tree, which... ...have grown over ground? Yes Sir! This happens because the roots keep the tree... ...firmly rooted even in face of strong wind. Really! It happens with the coconut trees too? Yes, right behind you is a coconut tree. In the same condition.

Look here is a giant spider. Oh Wow! Look at the web it has woven. Such a natural environment it is.

It is a black pepper creeper... ...growing around a jackfruit tree. Oh By God! How tall is this tree? Yeah, it is. How do you climb it? We use a ladder to climb. Alright. I am enjoying it here so far. From what I've seen so far, most of the trees here...

....are those of supari (betel nut). Yes! This leaf is of Supari tree and... ...it is used as a natural plate to eat. Really! Yes! It hardens when it is dried. Yes, I've seen these leaves during my tour of coastal Karnataka. This is a laung (clove) plant.

And this plant gives a fruit called "Bimal." What are the uses of Bimal? We can use it in place of a pickle with our meals. This is Kokum tree. But right now, it is not in season? Yes. Kokum is ready for harvest during May. So, you get sufficient amount in May,...

...which lasts you throughout the year? Yes. Alright! Great! Shall we move on? Yes. This one is a small tree called "Surungi."

Its flowers are used to manufacture perfume. We saw this plant somewhere else too? Yes, in the forest Sir. This is Javitri (Mace) plant.

Javitri! Nice! This tree is of "Tejpatta" (bay leaf). You can pluck one and see closely. You can smell it and chew as well. You will be able to identify the flavor.

Like this? Hmm! This feeling is exactly like the peculiar feeling... ...you get while chewing betel leaf. But the flavors are different in both cases. This is Tirphal (Szechuan pepper) tree and...

...it is used in making fish curries. Tirphal? Tirphal. I just recalled that I saw it in several places. It is also known as the Szechuan pepper. And if we keep it on our tongue for a while...

...our tongue would go numb, right? Yes! So, is it like this? Aaahhh! It pricks. Yes sir, it is pointed. How do you harvest Tirphal? Is it a berry? Yes, it comes in a bunch like peanuts. This is an All-spice tree. Oh! This is All-spice.

It is a mixture of 4-5 different spices? Yes! How is it used? We use its leaves in cooking and to make spice powder. Will you show me a leaf? Yes, sure! You brought down 10 leaves in one blow. It feels like this leaf has the flavors of.... ....laung, Jaiphal (nutmeg), tejpatta, all in one leaf. So, you take a leaf like this and crush it into the curry. Yes! Great! Okay then, now, we will see your mud-house? Yes! This is Chibud, a local variety, almost like a watermelon. But it isn't as sweet.

Chibud? Yes! So, is it ready for harvest? It will be ready in about two more days. Alright! When I look at roof tiles like these... ...I am reminded of my factory visit in Mangalore. Not exactly in Mangalore but during our tour of...

...coastal Karanataka. There is a whole process behind production of these tiles. We even made a proper video on that factory visit. I will give you a link of that video in the description. Let us go. This mudhouse has a wooden ceiling. Yes! I have to say, there is a marked difference between...

...the temperatures outside and inside this structure. The interiors feel colder here. Is this bed for your personal use? No, it is for the guests who may book this accommodation. So, what are the charges? Rs. 2000 per day.

For double occupancy? Yes! Great! What is in this room? Here, we are planning to set up a traditional chulha (stove). Nice! What is this device called? It is called "Ghirad". It helps in grinding rice into flour as well as...

...making Kokum Bee extract. Kokum Bee means? This is dried Bee of Kokum. Bee means seeds. Yes! What will you do with it? The outer shell will be remove and Bee, which is inside...

...will be extracted. You mean seed? Yes, seed! This one, dark brown, almost blackish in colour. Yes, that is the seed. This one! What will you do with this seed now? It is grounded to extract Kokum butter.

Kokum butter. Kokum butter is a totally new concept for me. What is the butter used for? Usual purpose? Like with Bhakri (flatbread)? Yes, we use it on Bhakri as well as for cooking food. Look at what they've prepared for our lunch.

I am familiar with one of these things. And it is this. It is called... Aru Vadi. ...Aru Vadi. Nice! Tell me what all this is. Sir I will begin with this roti.

It is made of Nachani (Ragi) flour. On the inside, this roti is smeared with Kokum butter and salt. Right next to it is nutmeg pickle. Further, this is a type of wild vegetable, and... ...this is Kokum pickle. This one, you know already, is Aru Vadi.

Next to it is coconut chutney. From that side, the first dish is Val Ki Bhaji. I have a feeling that I have had it earlier in Goa. You must have Sir.

The next two vegetables after this are again wild vegetables. And what is this? This is a Sattu (powdered beverage) made of Nachani (Ragi). It is a drink, just like Solkadi. It is good for digestion.

Nachani ka Sattu! Yes! And this? This is Horse gram curry (Aamti). It is to be eaten with rice. Lovely! This you told me is a wild vegetable. Yes! This dish is an amalgamation of vegetable and coconut.

Coconut is overriding the flavor of this dish. You told me this dish is made with this vegetable? Yes! Its taste is good! What is it called? Sir, its local name is "Fagala." Fagala. I liked Fagala very much.

Lovely! Look at the serving style! So, you serve food like this to all the guests? Yes. Either on banana leaf or the one I showed you earlier. Kokum pickle? Yes! It is very sour. Kokum is sour in itself and I took a larger bite too. The taste of this Jaiphal pickle is remarkable.

Balu bhai, let me tell you, for people like us... ...who live in cities, such an experience is rare. May be once in one or two years. Right now, we are sitting outside their mudhouse. In front of us is the forest. Only sounds that we hear are bird calls. And there is the sound of water flowing nearby.

Except these two sounds, it is complete silence. You need to keep an open mind to try and experience this kind of food. Most of the times, we don't open our mind enough... ...while trying new food. So, if you try this food with an open mind... ....you will realise how rich this food is. We had informed them last night itself that... ...we were coming for lunch. Rest, how much in advance do we need to inform you...

....for you to keep the meal ready. 3-4 hour in advance. Let me taste this as well. Should we call it Nachani Sattu? It is locally called "Aamil." Aamil.

Apart from the coriander and ginger,... ....does it also have Chhaachh (buttermilk)? Yes, it has Chhaachh. Chhaachh and with that Nachani? Nachani powder. This is a unique drink.

Talking of taste, I would say it isn't that tasty. To be honest. But as you said, it is highly beneficial. It is very useful for digestion. From that point of view, however rich food you may eat...

...as he told me a while ago... ...after that you can have just one drink like this. Then see how fast your food will be digested. It works somewhat like the Solkadi. Prasad has gone to wash his hands. Meanwhile, I thought I would start with the Kharvas.

I am also talking to Balu Bhai's sister here. Have you prepared this Kharvas? Yes! What all goes into this? Buffalo's milk, the first discharge of milk after delivery. Besides, it has coconut milk, gur, jaiphal and elaichi powder. And haldi.

Haldi? Yes! We also add haldi leaves to it sometimes. How do I explain its taste? I am just taking a wild guess. You eat spongy rasgulla! I am talking only of the sponginess. While eating it, you will feel that you are...

...eating some kind of sweet with gur in it. As for haldi, you won't be able to identify it. However, if someone will tell you it has haldi,... ....only then will you be able to find out about that. It is very, very tasty! What is its shelf life at room temperature? If I prepare it at night, it needs to be finished... ...by next day afternoon. Since it is made of milk, it doesn't last longer. That means, it doesn't last for more than 20 hours? Yes! What about refrigerator? You can easily keep it for upto 3-4 days in a fridge.

To sum it up, if you visit Maharashtra,... ...you must experience this taste. It has a delicious flavor. Too good! We just came to know that they had prepared Kheer for us.

So, we will eat Kheer as well? Yes, of course! What is in this kheer? These are turmeric leaves, haldi leaves in the kheer. Really! That is amazing! How was it made? Its taste is very different. The rice, after being sauteed in ghee,... ...cooked in coconut milk. Normally, we cook kheer in the usual milk.

But you used... Coconut milk! ...instead of usual milk. Amazing! What else is there in this kheer, which I can taste? It has gur, Jaiphal, elaichi, a little bit of haldi too. And haldi leaves for flavor.

If I am being honest, I am impressed with its taste. And I've just had one spoonful so far. Its taste is marvellous! Super tasty! It is 4 pm now and we must take your leave. We enjoyed food at your place thoroughly. The lunch was tasty, no doubt but...

...the sweet dish elevated the food to another level. Okay then! Thanks to both of you. Thank you! Thank you! It is 4.15 pm now. Earlier, we had thought that if we are able to leave here... ...at 2.30 pm, we had planned visits to 3-4 destinations. But it is late now.

So where will we go now? Sir, we will go directly to Yashwantgarh, a sea fort. Rest we will plan according to the time of the day left. Yes Sir! Alright! How much time will it take us? It takes about 40-45 minutes 40-45 minutes? Yes! Alright! After travelling for 45 minutes, we've reached Yashwantgarh Fort. How far is Goa border from here? Sir Goa border is about 4 KM from here.

Panaji is almost 40 KM from here. And this is one of the last coastal forts of Maharashtra. Alright! Yes! Where is the entry gate to this fort? Sir, from this side! This side? Yes! We have entered the fort. Earlier you saw the main entry gate to the fort. That is the main entry for anyone to come inside the fort. The main thing to notice is that if an enemy comes into the fort...

...he won't be able to come in all the way. Even if he enters through the main gate,... ...there is a 20-feet deep space that goes all around the fort. Though it has been many centuries now and you can see.. ...vegetation on the walls of this fort but... ...this safety measure remains intact even today. This is the second gate of the fort.

Let us move on. Prasad, all this is laterite stone, right? Yes sir but it has also been reconstructed recently. Alright! Obviously, at that time, it must have been something else. Yes! Another noticeable thing is that even after you climb these stairs... ...you cannot enter the fort directly. You need to turn left at 90 degrees and... ...this is the third entry gate to the fort. So, even if the enemy comes straight through this door,...

...due to the sharp turn here... ...he will have no option but to slow down. That makes it easier for the soldiers inside the fort... ...to counter the attack. Let us enter the third gate now. We have entered the top part of the fort. But due to this vegetation, we aren't able...

...to get a clear view of the surroundings. But I've understood that if this place is maintained well... ...one can make out the whole boundary wall of the fort... ...from this point. What is this part of the fort called? Sir this portion is called "Bale Qila". And the part you can see from here, in this direction... ...that is called "Rajwada." Rajwada! Yes! As per my information, between 1707 and 1713,... ...this fort was built under the supervision of... .. Kanhoji Angre. The purpose to build this fort was to keep an eye... ...on ships coming in through sea route and... ...to identify traders and enemies. His vision was clear that all of the coastline...

...should be under the control of Marathas. And he was known as the Navy Admiral of the Maratha Empire. Can we go there? Yes! Okay. After coming in from the Bale Qila portion... ....we have now entered this older part,... ....known as Rajwada. During old times, the Raj-Darbar (royal court) used to be...

...this huge so that the courtiers could be accommodated. Can we climb to the top? Hmm! From which side? First we will go in from that entrance. And after that, we can watch the views around the fort... ...from top of the boundary wall. Come then. Now, the scene is that after a lot of effort,... ...we've reached the boundary wall of the fort. It took us 15-20 minutes to walk through this vegetation... ...to reach here. Whether this is due to the monsoon or otherwise, we don't know.

But the fact of the matter is that there is no clear path. We just kept walking till we reached here. Two minutes ago, I was standing at this point to see... ...the sea view. Though I could watch the sea, but not with a clear view... ...because of these trees. However, I've understood that if all this vegetation is removed... ...and this place is maintained properly.... ...it could be turned into a very good tourist destination. This place could be popular both for its historic value and...

...its scenic beauty. Another thing is that since it is close to Goa... ...a lot of tourist can visit here from Goa as well. Correct! Alright! Okay then, we will go back now and... Go to Redi beach.

What is the name of the beach? Redi! Redi beach! We will join you once we reach there. From where will we go from? From here. Okay.

We've reached the beach and it looks amazing. Prasad Bhai, I can make out the sea in front of me. Yes! What is this? A river? This is the river and its backwater. Just like we saw in Deobagh.

It is a similar kind of Sangam (confluence) here. I was thinking the same. That is the sea and this is the river.

And there in the distance, I can see... ...people playing cricket too. Yes! So, one can go and watch the sangam from that point as well. Yes! Well, we can see the Sangam, either from this point or that one.

Let us walk a little further. Tell me something more about this place. Sir, this is Redi beach, the last beach of coastal Maharashtra. From here onwards, the Goa coast begins.

That is Shiroda beach. The river in between separates two villages. The people who are playing cricket, or doing something else... ...belong to the Shiroda village. So, they haven't gone from here.

Basically, they belong to that village. Alright! So exactly, this point is where the sea begins. Look at that! That is the sea and this is the river coming in.

What is the name of this river? It is called Redi river. If a tourist comes in from the Shiroda village, he would have... ...the advantage of watching the sangam on either side of the beach. Yes Sir! But since it is low tide right now,... ... that portion of land has emerged out of the water. During high tide, it stays submerged in the water. Alright! I thought this piece of land was like this always! Yeah! And to see that view, you will have to come here. And from that point, you will see a similar view in this direction.

Alright! You are saying that each of these beaches... ... offers a different experience to the viewer. Sir, this beach has small crabs living here. They usually go into these holes. In order to carve these holes, they keep throwing out...

..these little balls of sand, which creates designs... ...like these. I didn't see such a view anywhere in the past 14 days. Little balls of sand like these... Since it is low tide right now, the water level as receded and... ....we are able to see this phenomenon. Yes sir! One more thing that I've noticed is that the sand of this beach is white. Yes! Yes! These two beaches are the only two beaches... ...till right upto the Aravallis, where... ...you will find white sand. Look at this.

Yes! This is the first time that I am experiencing white sand on this trip. By November-December, this sand will have turned whiter. Some people had already told me that this sand would become whiter... ...in another two months but even at this time... ...the colour of this sand is white enough. Let us go upto that rock and watch the sea closely.

During high tide, these rocks must get submerged into the water? Yes! This means that during high tide, if a tourist attempts.... ...to walk into the water... ...it might turn problematic for him. I mean it would be risky. Yes, it would be.

It is good that we got to see this environment... ...thanks to the low tide. Otherwise, one would get super-excited by the beach. And one might venture out into the water.

But boss, let me tell you one thing Prasad... ...this place is worth visiting. It is not easy to come across a sangam of river and sea. I am not talking of watching it from a height... ... or standing on a rock like this. But watching the sangam, standing at ground level, like this.

Lovely! After travelling for 10 KM from the Redi beach,... ...we've reached Shri Ganesh Mandir in Redi. Though we've entered the temple premises but.. ...we cannot visit the inner sanctum because... ...it is closed for the night. Do you have any information about this place? Yes Sir! The legend has it that Lord Ganesha appeared in the dream... ...of one of the villagers of Redi. The villager was asked to take out an idol of Ganesha...

...from underneath a plateau. Together, the villagers dug out the idol, which is... ...placed in the temple to this day. This place is highly popular among devotees from Goa, Konkan regions. A lot of people from all over Maharashtra... ...visit here as well and take part in a huge festival. So, the idol of Lord Ganesha appeared on its own here and... ...because of that, this place is religiously popular. How old is this story? Sir, about 45 years back.

It happened during 1976. Okay! We saw the temple from outside. Now, we are going to go to Sawantwadi from here. How far is Sawantwadi? Sir, around 32 KM from here. 32, that means it will take at least an hour.

Yes! Alright! So, I will join you again once we reach Sawantwadi. Since it is 7.35 pm already, we won't be able to.... ...explore anything in Sawantwadi today. We will be able to reach there only b 8.30 or 8.45 pm.

We will only be able to say bye-bye to you once we are there. Finally we have reached Sawantwadi. The time is 8.30 pm. Today was special for me... ...especially where the food experience is concerned. The only thing I feel bad about is that if we could reach... ...Redi beach a little earlier, we would have enjoyed better. Anyways, about tomorrow's programme...

...we will explore local Sawantwadi for the first half of the day. We will try to do as many activities as we can upto 1 or 2 pm. After that we will leave for Amboli. Tomorrow's night stay would be in Amboli.

That is our plan for tomorrow. So, it is bye-bye for now. Thanks for your time!

2022-01-23 22:33

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