EP 11 - Devgad to Kunkeshwar to Tarkarli, Konkan Tour | Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra

EP 11 - Devgad to Kunkeshwar to  Tarkarli, Konkan Tour | Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra

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Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host Harish Bali. We are in Devgad right now. I have with me Mr. Prasad. Namaste! Namaste Prasad! Prasad runs a YouTube channel of his own and his home is in Sindhudurg district. We have been in touch for the past few days and...

...we had decided to meet here in advance. Now, about how we started our day today. First of all, we've come to Devgad Sea beach. We will visit the beach first. We saw some windmills here, by the sea. I can see 4-5 windmills from here. How many are in total?

There must be 8-10 windmills out of which 8 are running right now. Okay! The sea beach is nearby. Yes, this is a plateau and down below is the Devgad beach. And on the other side of this plateau is Devgad Fort. Devgad Qila (Fort)! That is a good thing you mentioned. We visited some Petroglyphs in the Ratnagiri district.

I saw there was no soil on the surface in that area. Laterite! It was all laterite stone throughout that area. Yes! That means the plateau area that begins from there, extends upto here. It all is plateau area, in this coastal region, right upto Malwan. Devgad area is mostly plateau.

80% of Devgad is plateau. That is one of the reasons why this region has an abundant crop of Alphonso mangoes. That is a very popular variety of mangoes. Right!

Yes! Let us go to the beach now. Yes! Watching the sea from a height is always a unique experience, right? Yes! So beautiful! Let us go. We had a good start today! Yes. By the way, it is very important to observe the quality of sand by the beach. You get to learn a lot from that.

Yes. This beach has golden as well as white sand. Here the sand is golden while in that area, I can see a mix of white and golden. As you go down this coast, upto Goa, Vengurla side...

...you will see clearer sand, almost white in color. Okay. The sand becomes whiter as we go down the coast? Yes! A while ago, we were standing up there near the windmills and... ...now we are standing down here, looking up to the windmills. It looks beautiful. We travelled about a KM from Devgad towards Kunkeshwar and we've stopped our car.

To see this view! This experience is totally diffrent from what we experienced at the beach. First thing is that we are watcing the waves from a height and... ...the rocks on the beach are of different variety. We are standing atop a mountain, there is greenery, and a road running past us. This morning, while travelling from MTDC Kunkeshwar to Devgad... ...I saw a very beautiful view. The road runs along the sea for a stretch of 4-5 KM. Somewhere the road is higher than the sea and at other places,...

...it is at level with the sea. Beautiful! Now we will join you once we reach Kunkeshwar. We will also show you the views on our way. Kunkeshwar has an ancient temple and beach. We will continue our journey further after we visit Kunkeshwar.

Shall we? (Nods) We've reached Kunkeshwar. We visited the ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Videography and photography are prohibited inside the temple.

Prasad and I visited the temple inside. Inside we noticed that the deity is 'Swayambhu' (self-appearing)... ...over a block of laterite stone. The architecture of this temple cannot be called that of Dravidian style. Nor can it be called that the"Nagar Shailee"(Nagar style). This can be called mixture of both.

About 400-500 years ago, when the Maratha empire was at its zenith... ...this temple was reconstructed. Actually this temple is quiet ancient. It is believed to be dating back to the 11th century. Ever since then, this temple has been visited by travellers traveling in this region. I remember visiting Murudeshwar while touring coastal Karnataka. We had visited a Shiv temple there as well.

In fact, there are a lot of Shiv temples along this coast. For instance Murudeshwar, Kunkeshwar, Harihareshwar, Velneshwar. We had also visited Ganpatipule, which has an anceient Ganpati temple. That temple is also located on the coastal line. So Prasad, where else can we visit now? From here... What is the time? It must be 11.30 am.

Yes...from here we are going towards Malwan. But on our way there, we will also stop at Achara. Achara! Yes. There is a Rameshwar temple in Achara. And the mangroves in Achara are very beautiful. Alright! Yes! How much time will it take to reach Achara? About half an hour! Alright! Let us go.

We've travelled 25 KM from Kunkeshwar to reach Achara. It is believed that this place is identified with Shri Rameshwar Temple. Right now, we are with the main priest of this temple. He looks after the deity of this temple. After reaching here, I went inside the temple and saw the deity. I have requested him to tell us about the history of this place.

And looking at the architecture of this place, it seems to be quite ancient. Please explain a bit about that as well. Sure! We cannot say anything concrete about how old this temple is. However, there is an ancient inscription on a wall outside the inner sanctum.

It reads that the temple was renovated around 1584. This temple must be at least 200-300 years older to that inscription. Our elders have told us that this temple must be at least 1000-1200 years old. Second thing, about the architecture of this place...

...it belongs to the "Faansana style." This style involves constructing another temple covering the smaller temple inside. You can see a larger temple covering a more ancient structure inside. There are wooden pillars made in the ancient style, protected by the outer structure. This outer structure must be at least 250-300 years old. These are Mangalore tiles on the roof? Yes, locally these tiles are known as Cowl tiles. A lot of people told me to visit Achara after visiting Kunkeshwar.

This place is dear to a large number of devotees. Yes! Devotees from far and wide visit this temple. At the different festivals organized through the year,... ...various celebrity artistes participate in the events. Thank you very much. Thank you! After travelling for 3 KM from the temple, we have reached the Jamdul island.

I will try and describe the view that we can see from here. There must not be more than 5-6 houses in this whole area. One of those you can see right behind us. The two trees that I can see around here are those of coconut and Supari (betelnut). Yes! In this direction, you can see the water. Now a question arises in my mind that where have we come!!! So, Prasad, tell me something about this place.

Yes! Let me show you along with telling you about this place. This is Sindhudurg's largest mangrove forect & backwaters. We will take a boat from here to enter the magrove. Namaskar Ji! Namaskar. Sir, we are travelling in the Achara backwaters.

The sea is right next to this backwater. Right, I can see the waves in the distance. This is a river of Achara, which joins the sea. That gives rise to this backwater. And we will go back from here. The forest that you see there is the mangrove forest.

Lovely! It is an experience in itself to ride in this small boat. Lovely! What a feeling! Amazing. This is where we will go from? Yes! Isn't it amazing! We came in from there and now we are entering a path which has mangroves on both sides. Prasad bhai, how large is this area? It must be about 210 hectares. Really! 210 hectares! Quite large. Let me tell you honestly, when we visited Chiplun, we couldn't enjoy our ...

...mangrove visit because the experience got diluted due to rains. But here, you can see bunches of trees, one after another. There are 40 species of mangroves in India and Achara has 20 of those. Some of the species found in Achara are not available anywhere else. Those species can also be used to make medicines. So, you mean out of these 20 species, some won't be found in any other bay? Yes, specifically Jhylacorpus and Raku.

Kaka, let me tell you something... ...I am really enjoying this boat ride. One reason for that is your depth of knowledge of this place. Another reason is that we are travelling in between two mangrove forests.

And now we are back into the open backwaters. Yes! Isn't it! Yeah! Please tell us something about yourself too. What is your main profession? fishing? Yes, fishing, doing mangrove safari and planting trees in the mangroves.

You plant trees as well? Yes, in fact, I've also planted Mangrove trees at my home. Great! Really great! I have to admit, planting mangrove trees at home requires a lot of effort. Does the water level remain the same throughout the year? It does but during low tide the water level goes down a bit. During high tide, it remains sufficient. So, it would be better to go on a safari during high tide? Yes, it is.

Now, I would request you to sit down in the boat and... ...tell us about the benefits of mangrove trees. I will tell you the benefits of mangroves. First of all, the mangrove trees take CO2 from the air and release O2. Mangroves are abundant in crabs and other aquatic animals, which we capture... ...sell in the market and then buy food for our families. Various fish species come into the mangroves for breeding because... ...they get abundant food here and a safer environment to breed. The fish travel here for breeding? Yes, they do.

As per my knowledge, mangroves also stop soil erosion that... ...happens due to the pressure from sea water. What is it called? Mangrove trees have thousands of roots running into the earth, which... ...helps it to reduce the destruction caused due to cyclones. Alright! You mean that mangrove roots bind the soil together and... ...don't let it erode. Yes, just like iron rods in a cement block make it stronger...

...the same way mangrove roots bind the soil together. And you are telling me that a mangrove tree has upto 10,000 roots! Yes! You mean one after another? Yes! These trees are short in height, right? And because of so many roots, the cyclones aren't able to destroy these forests. Yes! Bigger trees might get uprooted during cyclones, but not the mangroves. Yes. What is the life span of these trees? These trees live upto 70-80 years. And how deep do these roots run into the water? These roots run upto 10 feet down.

That means the roots are longer than 10 feet? Yes! There is no way in from here, so how do you catch crabs? We climb on top of these trees and then go in. How far do you go like this? Quite a distance! Imagine, we cannot even think of going into the forest like this. If you go in like this, you won't be able to find your way back. We also use tricks so that we can come out safely.

Tricks, meaning? We put up signs to guide us back the same way. Okay! So, despite being a local you cannot find your way out without signs... ...what would an outsider do then? Yes! If you don't put up signs, you could also get lost inside the forest.

Yes! Great! Such an educative programme this safari has been for us. The best thing is that this safari has been educative as well as interesting. We are back and time right now is 3.15 pm. Our lunch is delayed.

No problem! Where will we have lunch? We will have lunch at a nearby resort. Is it nearby? Yes it is close. After travelling for 2 KM from the mangrove, we've reached a place, is this a homestay? Yes, it is a homestay. Prasad has already informed them to keep a few dishes ready for our lunch.

That is why they've placed this table and chair set for us outside. As for the weather of this place, I don't need to tell you anything. You can look for yourself at the sky and you will know. It can rain anytime. And how far is the sea from here? It is at a walking distance, about a 100 m. We have with us the owner of this homestay and she has cooked this lavish meal for us.

Your good name? Kavita! Kavita! Kavita Talekar. And your good name? Paresh Talekar. Paresh Bhai! First of all you need to tell me about this meal because all this is new to me. This is a type of chutney made with the Bangda fish.

And this is Javla (sort of dry fish preparation). This is Lal Maat ka Sabzi (dish made with red leafy vegetable). Maat means? Maat is a sort of leafy vegetable but red in color.

Alright! So this dish is made with red leaves of a vegetable. Yes! It is known as Lal Maat. Lal Maat! And this is Raawas fry. Raawas? Yes fried Raawas fish. And that is what we call "Kalva".

Oyster! Oyster! And this is traditional fish curry. Usually, people eat chutney or fried fish with chapati but... ...this is eaten with rice. Alright. So tell me, is all this cooking done in these clay pots? Yes, we cook in clay pots. Wow! Amazing. Don't worry I will serve myself.

In our region, serving food is considered to be an honour in itself. Alright! We must do it because you are our guest. Oh! Thank you! What do you think? Is it going to rain? Yes, it will rain. The monsoons is already here. Ohh! It would be better if we shift inside. When we see a Malwani restaurant in a place like Mumbai...

...it has its roots in this region. (nods) We can say that, right? Yes, correct. The food of this region is quite famous, isn't it? Yes, Malwani food is famous. And I have specially cooked these vegetarian dishes to show that... ...apart from abundant fish dishes, Malwani food also has enough vegetable dishes to go. So, you have variety in vegetables as well? Yes, we have quite a few vegetables available in this region.

Really different taste! Really different! What was its name? Its name is Lal Maat and it has no other spices except... ...green chilies, garlic and onions. And coconut? Of course, it has coconut too. That is an essential part. Otherwise how would you know that you are in this region. Yes! But the main thing is that it has no other spices? Yes! Nothing else! Also, it feels like you are eating boiled leaves. Correct. It is a healthy dish.

Very healthy! In the past few days, we have eaten bhakri (flatbread) made of rice flour... ...and Jowar flour. These two flours are popular in this region. So, don't you cook wheat flour rotis in your homes? We do but we use rice flour more.

Actually rice is a common crop in this region and... ...therefore more popular. It is mostly rice. The taste of oyster is unique as well. I don't remember when I ate oyster last time.

But I must say the taste is unique and the preparation is amazing. Thank you! In the past few days, I've tasted Bangda fish at many places. Okay! But the taste of this fish is quite different. Hmm! It might be because it is home-cooked, with local spices.

And also because the place where we are eating it is famous far and wide. Correct! The texture of this curry is also quite different. You don't call this curry? No, we call it chutney.

We call it "Tikkla" actually. So are Tikkla and curry different? We can say these are same but as I told you... ..in Tikkla, the gravy is mostly red chili powder paste and a bit of coconut. The leaves in this dish are leaves of the haldi (turmeric) plant.

This dish is cooked with haldi leaves? Yes. Just imagine! This is our authentic recipe. Wow! I will taste Raawas now. When it started to rain, we thought it was going to be a downpour. But it is a matter of chance that the rain has stopped now.

I can see a lot of trees from here because you have a farm out there. Yes! Very good. This is Solkadi? Solkadi. Alright! I like this tumbler. The question is how many helpings can one ask for? (laughter) You can enjoy shots of it.

If someone like me were to drink in these tumblers... ...it would be embarrassing for him to ask for 4 or 5 servings. Anyways, I don't shy away from asking for more if I really like a dish. I could even ask for a bigger glass. That makes it a little less embarrassing to ask for more. Thank you! In the past 10 days, one thing that I've consumed the most is Solkadi.

I mean twice at least in one day and two glasses every time. Because once I leave here, I won't get to drink it. It is a regional specialty.

It is consumed after the meal to help with digestion. This Solkadi is different in taste from all that I have had before. She tells me it is because of difference in the taste of coconut. It is because the crop grown in this part of the coastal region is different in taste. Delicious! Kokum is no longer in season.

So how do you manage for the rest of the year, by drying it? Yes! I am not comparing but this fish curry tastes similar to... ...what I once at in Mangalore. This taste is not comparable to Goan fish curry. I think there is something common between this fish curry and... ...the fish curries that I ate in Mangalore. And I didn't feel that in any other dish, just this fish curry. That may be because this dish has lots of coconut, as is the case with... ...the Mangalorean fish curry as well. It could be a reason.

There is one more thing, you have used Bangda and a few other varieties of fish. What is the name of this dish? Bangdaki Tikkala! Both the fishes are so different in taste. Hmmm! The method of preparation is different for each dish. I told you already that the rain has stopped and we are sitting outside.

And now we are going to eat the dessert. I am loving this environment. There is lots of greenery, so many trees, amidst which we are sitting. We can continuously hear the sound of seawaves.

That sound is continuously reaching our ears. What are we going to eat here? It is called Patoli sir. Patoli! Oh! Thanks. It is made of rice flour and you told me that it is steamed... ...in this haldi (turmeric) leaf. So, this has basically been steamed in haldi leaf? Yes. Last time, I remember, I ate Patoli in Goa.

They also eat this frequently, isn't it? Yes! It is a traditional food item there as well. We can say it safely that the food culture is same between Goa and this region. This is filled with juicy coconut while the flavor of Elaichi (green cardamom)... ...is dominating it completely. One more point to be noted is that the haldi leaf has changed the taste.

If you prepare this dessert in some other leaf,... ...you will notice the difference immediately. This haldi leaf has a distinct smell, distinct aroma... ....which tells you that the dish has been cooked in it. And you told me that you've used it in the fish curry as well.

Yes! Imagine! What a preparation! Lovely! Let me tell you one thing, every dish was delicious. And this dessert has made me really happy. I liked it very much. So tasty! So, whenever you come to Goa or to Sindhudurg, you must not miss this dessert. Why I am highlighting Goa as well is because... ...I've eaten this food item in Goa, in Panjim. Therefore, I have an idea that you will get this dessert in Goa.

As for this place, I came to know of that today. I wasn't aware that you also had a recipe for it. Yes, we usually make it for the Naag Panchami festival. Alright! It is a festival specialty. Okay! Really delicious! We enjoyed the food! Seriously! Thank you very much for serving this delicious meal to us. And kudos to you too for coordinating this meal with them...

...otherwise it wouldn't have been possible for me. Fantastic! You can also stay here. They told me that the room tariff on double occupancy basis is Rs. 2000. As of now, that room is occupied so we cannot go there. But I will take the detail from them and...

...mention it in the video description. One more thing that I've noticed just now is that you also have a well here. Yes! Okay then, bye bye to you. Please write down your address on paper for me. Thank you for this amazing lunch. Now we will meet you in a while. We are going to Tarkarli beach.

Yes! It is called Tarkarli, right? Yes Sir. How much time will it take? About half an hour. Half an Hour! Great! We were on our way to Tarkarli beach but on the way, programme changed.

Prasad suggested we should take a little longer route and... ...go to Tondavali beach instead. We've reached Tondavali beach. The time is 6.30 pm. I don't see anyone else on our right and left side. We are the only ones here.

It looks like not many tourists come to this beach. Yes! Hmm! But the beach is good. It will be dark in another 15 minutes. Yes, it will be.

Tell me something about this location. You told me that backwaters are nearby. Yes! This village has a river on its left side. And on the right side is the beach. It is a small patch of land, the village, and on both sides, there is water.

So, I won't be wrong if I say this is the beach, then the road... ...and beyond that are the backwaters. Yes! And in between is the village, Tondavali and Tarasheel. How long is this road? It is 4 km long with these villages till the end.

Oh wow! Lovely! On that point, there is Gad river, which meets the sea. It is worth considering that small tourism pockets can be created ... ...here, with all the paraphernalia like boat rides, etc. This could create many new opportunities. Yes! Isn't it? There are backwaters at so many places here and tourists can...

...enjoy an hour long boatride there. Since everyone cannot go into the ocean but they can opt for the boatride. Yes! Especially locations like the mangrove safari that we did earlier today. It was so charming! There must be other such places as well. Yes! So, those need to be developed as well. Great! We enjoyed our day. Now we plan to go to Tarkarli for night stay at an MTDC property.

How far is that? Just another half an hour. Half an hour! 30 minutes. Okay! So, we are leaving for Tarkarli. We will join you once we reach there.

We've reached the Tarkarli MTDC beach resort. Tariff of the accommodation that we've booked here is Rs. 2500. For one night stay.

Prasad, tell me one thing, what is our itinerary for tomorrow? Tomorrow we will cover the best points in the region between... ...Deobagh and Malwan. That would include a Tsunami Island and in Malwan, ... ...there is a Sindhudurg Fort, after which this district is named. We will explore these placed tomorrow. That means tomorow we are going to remain in this 15 km radius? Yes! Oh! Great! Good! So, if it suits us, I mean if the programme doesn't change anymore...

....we will be spending tomorrow night here as well. I mean if the plan remains the same and there are no changes. Though not the last day, but there are last four days left of this journey. A few days ago, I was checking Google Maps to get an idea of where we are. It told me that we were 105 KM far from North Goa. And from Mumbai, we've travelled 550 KM in this direction. Today is the 11th day of our journey.

Just for a rough idea, it means we've travelled at least 50-60 KM daily... ...from Mumbai to reach here. You know already we didn't travel exactly along the coast. We went inland and came out several times. Tell us your opinion about today's episode.

As always, I shall be waiting for your comments. Tomorrow is going to be interesting as well. We will meet soon. Bye Bye! Thanks for your time!

2022-01-09 08:08

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