EP 1 Mumbai to Alibaug - By Ferry | Konkan Tour | Places to visit in Alibaug | Coastal Maharashtra
Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. Right now I am in Mumbai. I am going to begin my Konkan Tour from Mumbai. We are in Mazgaon, Mumbai, to be precise.
This place, where I am standing, is called "Bhaucha Dhakka." We are going to take a ferry to Alibaug. Right now, I am standing here and you can see... ...our car came in from that direction. There are more cars coming in. Some passengers are already waiting here because... ...the entry will begin in another 5-10 minutes. Our car will be loaded onto the same ferry on which we will be travelling.
We've paid Rs. 1700 fare for the car and... ...for ourselves, we've paid Rs. 360 per person. At present, four ferries run between Mumbai-Alibaug per day. The schedule is subjective to change in the seasons. The first ferry leaves at 7.30 am and we would be in Alibaug in an hour. Now we will join you again once we are inside the ferry.
We are leaving Mumbai now. You can see a lot of boats parked here. Some of these boats belong to fishermen who were out in the sea all night. Today despite being a Friday, the ferry is filled upto 80% of capacity.
This means whenever you've to travel from Mumbai to Alibaug... ....it would be wise to book your passage in advance. Looking at all these cars parked on the ferry,... ...you can realize that the ferry is almost full. I am going to enjoy this sea view for 10-15 minutes and...
...then we will go have breakfast. The food is served inside a large air-conditioned hall. I've got myself a bowl of Sabudana Khichdi. Look at the texture of this khichdi. Its price is Rs. 120. It is okay - neither good, nor bad.
I still remember, when I went to Jaipur, in Rajasthan, 4 years ago,... ...the taste of the sabudana khichdi that I enjoyed there.... ...I am yet to experience it again. The one-hour journey between Mumbai and Alibaug is interesting. You can spend 15-20 minutes out on the deck, enjoying the weather and sea. After that, when you come inside to eat, the time would just fly away. As I've already told you, the cafetaria is quite spacious. While half of the passengers are sitting here, half of them are outside on the deck.
So, you can enjoy this journey as suits you. We have reached Mandwa Jetty. When we boarded the ferry in Mumbai, I assumed we might have to...
...reverse our cars in order to deboard here. But that is not the case. You can see people driving straight ahead while deboarding the ferry. Lovely! Somebody told me that if I had chosen to come by passenger ferry... ...that leaves from Gateway of India... ...I would've had to pay lesser fare. So, if you don't have a vehicle, you can choose that ferry to travel. Its charges are in the range of Rs. 185-260 per person.
Let us go and check out that ferry service too. I've had to walk for 2 minutes to reach the passenger ferry jetty. You can see people boarding and deboarding the ferry from that point. This route is connected to the Gateway of India, as I've told you already.
So, now we are leaving for Alibaug, which is 15-20 km from here. We will enjoy the scenic views, sea beaches on the way... ...before doing local sightseeing in Alibaug for the whole day today. We've reached the Awas Beach. It is a beautiful place, with lots of greenery all around.
I am going to turn the camera around and show you the beautiful sea-waves. So beautiful! A lot of people had told me that in Alibaug, I would get to see both... ...crowded beaches as well as isolated, virgin beaches. Right now, we are at a virgin sea beach.
Let us climb this rock and watch the sea view. Look at the sea waves. Lovely! This place attracts very few tourists. Obviously, only those tourists come here who know about this place. The main charm of this place is to come here, sit on these benches...
....and enjoy the sea view. You can enjoy the weather and feel the sea waves for as long as you want. Great! Beautiful! After spending another 15-30 minutes here, we will head to the Kihim beach. The beach is 3 km from here and one can cross over on foot during low tide. But we will have to go by car right now. We will travel a distance of 9-10 km by car to reach this beach.
You can see buildings in the distance, which may look small. Actually those are very tall buildings, which make up.... ...the Cuffe Parade area of Mumbai city. South Mumbai! The weather is a bit foggy, so it may not be clearly visible. However, I can see it clearly with naked eyes. We've reached the Kihim Beach. We've parked our car.
This is the parking area. There are very few cars parked here. There are a lot of street food stalls on either side...
...of the path leading to the beach. You can eat here, if you want. Let us to to the beach. Nice! I am having fun at the beach.
Right now, there are not very many tourists here. Whatever tourists there are, are already in the water, enjoying the sea. The right way to enjoy being on sea beach is to...
...kick off your shoes, and walk barefoot in the water. I am not taking off my shoes yet. I will do so, when I visit some other beach later today. You can sit on the chairs here and enjoy the sea breeze. If you look in this direction, there are two forts. These two forts are 500 m apart and called "Khanderi" & "Undheri" forts.
These are basically two islands, on which these two forts were built... ...during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. A lot of my subscribers had told me that I should visit these forst... ...whenever I visited Konkan, or Alibaug. Though I have no idea how to reach there. But I am going to find out how to reach these forts. And if I get a chance, I would definitely like to visit there. Nice! After spending some more time on this beach,...
...we will go back the way that we came. On our way to this beach, I saw a shop selling coconut chikki. So, we will eat some chikki there and then continue our sightseeing. We've travelled just 2 km from Kihim beach. I've with me this Ma'am, from whom, I am trying to understand... ...what all she is selling here. So far, I've come to know that these all are varieties of papads.
On our way to the beach, I saw you board that read "Konkan Food." I decided then that we would come back to your shop. Do you sell coconut (nariyal) chikki? Yes we do! Is that it? Yes! Can I taste a bit of this chikki? Yes! What is the cost of one packet? Rs. 80. 80 rupees! Yeah! This chikki that I am eating, have you made it yourself? Yes! Really! Hmm! It is really good! Does it have gur (jaggery)? Yes! It has gur and nariyal? Yes! It has a really good taste.
Delicious! I will purchase this whole one packet from you. Okay! Give me one packet and I will pay you for it. The pond that I see there, does it have rainwater in it? Yes, it is. Hmmm! We are just 10 m from the pond right now.
And it is a very natural environment. Beautiful! Magnificent! Do tourists often stop here to buy these? Yes, they do! How long have you been in this business? Just a year ago! A year ago? Hmm! Great! I really liked its taste. We were on our way to Alibaug for lunch.
But we decided to head to Varsoli beach. We've planned to have our lunch here. I've already identified the restaurant where we are going to eat our lunch. Meanwhile, let us go to the beach. Right now, it is low tide, so the water level is away from the beach.
However, during high tide, the water level rises till here. Alibaug is hardly 2.0-2.5 km from here. There is a sea beach in Alibaug as well. You will find water sports activities in Alibaug as well as on this beach. Though such activities are halted due to Covid-19 restrictions. But in normal course, such activities do take place.
I can see just a few more tourists around here. But this beach is worth enjoying. Let us go to the place where we will have lunch. It is just 50-60 m away. The restaurant that I've identified for lunch is called "Vasco Da Goa."
This is where we've come for lunch. I am having soup before lunch. You can see the soup here. It is made of Kulath Dal (Horsegram). Though I've had this soup several times while...
...I was travelling in Uttarakhand but... ...that soup was made with dal itself and... ...here, they make the soup with powdered dal. Hmmmm! Very delicious taste! This soup is totally different from what I had in Uttarakhand. The taste is so different that it doesn't feel like it is made of same ingredients. They have added bits of garlic to the soup. This is the reason why the taste of garlic is dominating this soup. Overall, I liked the taste of this soup.
My lunch has arrived. Let me tell you what we've ordered. First of all, look at this vegetable dish. It is made up of leaves of the drumstick plant. I don't remember having eaten this dish ever before.
I've got these leaves so that I can show you. A while ago, I saw this dish being prepared in their kitchen. They sauteed the leaves, tempered them and then finished off with shredded coconut. This here is called "Kadve Vaal"! By Kadve, it doesn't mean bitter. But the name of the dish is like that.
This is Vaal, which are basically beans. These beans are initially green in color and then change color on drying up. These beans are sprouted, peeled, and then cooked like this dish. Great! We've also ordered pomfret fish curry. Look at its texture. Lovely! A short while ago, when I went into the kitchen to ...
...see this dish being prepared, I saw that... ...they also used Kokum to cook it. The recipe also uses coconut milk and a few spice pastes. At that time, I felt that this recipe's outcome was going to be fantastic. First of all, we will taste the dish made with durmstick leaves. Hmmm! Very different taste! Enjoyable! Though the dish is good in itself, its flavor is dominated by... ...the shredded coconut. This dish, obviously, wouldn't taste as good with rice as with chapati. We ordered this rice to go with the fish curry.
This dish is otherwise called "Sehjan ke patton ki sabzi." I am eating it for the first time. And there is a slight bitterness in the dish. However, that is balanced out by the addition of fresh coconut.
Its taste is unique. If you haven't tried it before, you must do that. Usually beans don't taste like this dish. I mean the beans that we usually eat, like Rajma, etc...
....are totally different in taste. However, the gamechanger in this recipe is this masala - Malwani Masala. I've also been told that many people make this masala-mix at home themselves. The masala is also available readymade in the market and... ...that is used to make this dish. So, this authentic recipe gets its typical taste from this masala. Today is our first day of Konkan tour.
As we proceed further, I plan to taste the fish curry at different places... ...to taste the difference. I've been told by a lot of people that I would find a difference... ...in the flavour of fish curry after every few km. Like from Raigad to Ratnagiri, I would taste different fish curries.
That way, every fish curry tastes different according to the region. As I told you a while ago, I saw that this dish also has coconut milk. The taste of this curry is slightly sweeter because of that.
Although this curry has Kokum too but the milk is dominating the flavor. Our lunch experience here was quite good. Let me finish the meal and I'll meet you back in a short while. There are a couple of options where we can go from here. One of them is Alibaug. We will stop on the way if we get a good sightseeing opportunity.
Otherwise, I will join you directly at Alibaug. Just as we were leaving, we met Prashant Bhai and Yogi Bhai. Namaskar!! Namaskar!! I came to know that you are interested in history as a subject.
He possesses detailed information not just about Konkan history... ...but also that of the rest of the country. He is taking me to show an ancient scripture nearby. The special feature of this scripture is that.... ...it belongs to 7th or 8th century. Some ancient scripture rests on this stone here, about which I am talking. Let us go closer.
Then you can tell us about it. This scripture was commanded in the 7th or 8th century by a local king. This scripture is in Brahmi script and it describes...
...the instructions of the king for a common man to follow... ...in his day-to-day life. These instructions are passed on to the local villagers. You are telling me that this scripture dates back 1300 years ago. Yes! There must be more such scriptures in this area? Yes, there are! We can show you about 25 such scriptures more.
These are still being discovered and more scriptures are being added to the list. Alright good! It was a new thing to learn. The oldest scripture that I've seen so far were in Odisha.
Those were written by Emperor Ashok. However, those scriptures are very popular but not these. Though you may be knowing about these, but the tourists don't. No, they don't.
To tell you frankly, these scriptures need to be preserved. These scriptures need to be protected inside a boundary wall. And information about these needs to be provided outside that wall... ...in English, Marathi, Hindi languages so that more poeple know about it. It felt good meeting you guys.
Thank you! We saw a board telling us about the Hirakot lake. We've stopped the car and now are going closer to the lake. Come, let us go inside.
This is the Hirakot Lake. Though this lake isn't very huge but it could make a good... ...sightseeing point in Alibaug. Overall well maintained. There is also a Hirakot Fort opposite this lake.
Though there is no fort there now, that place has been converted into a prison. Let us look at it from outside. I had told you that I will show you Hirakot fort opposite the Hirakot lake. On reaching here, I came to know that this isn't a Fort, it is a palace. It is called "Gadhi" in local dialect.
This palace has been converted into a prison... ...which obviously means we cannot go inside. The prison officials didn't want us to shoot a video on the front. So, I've seen the main entrance myself but we are shooting by the side. I've come to this side to see the wall structure of this palace.
This wall is built in the shape of a diamond... ...which is why it is called Hirakot palace. Alright, so I've shown you the palace from outside. Let us go from here now.
We will do some more sightseeing now. In the evening we will watch the famous sunset in Alibaug. Right now, we've come to visit the memorial of Shri Kanhoji Angre. You can see his statue. Let me also tell you some background history of this memorial.
A few centuries ago, the control of the west coast was divided between... ...the Siddhis and the Gujarat Sultanate. When the Marathas gained prominence under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj... ...it was decided that more forts needed to be built along the coastal line... ...to stop the entry of foreign forces like those belonging to... ...the English, Dutch, Portuguese. This strategy was devised by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. After his demise, this strategy was also followed by Shri Kanhoji Angre. We've come to visit his memorial today. You can google for some detailed information about this brave warrior.
It was a good experience to visit this memorial and share the information with you. Let us go to the Alibaug beach now. We've travelled for 5 minutes to reach the Alibaug beach. It was sunny just 30 minutes ago but now, you can see...
...the sky is covered in dark clouds. It seems like it is going to rain in the next 10 minutes. This is the entrance to the beach. Standing here, you can enjoy a beautiful sea view. Let us go closer to the sea. Though the weather are nice earlier as well but now...
...the experience has become even better due to the change in weather. Lovely! The increased water level is because of the high tide. During low tide, you can walk on foot right upto the fort in the background. During high tide, you'll have to take a boat to that fort. Since it is about to get dark now, I won't be going to the fort. I will try to visit this fort early tomorrow morning because... ...standing here, I've a strong feelig that I must go there. I told you a short while ago that it was under the strategy decided by...
...Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj that forts were built along the coastal line. This fort is a part of that strategy. And this view is just awesome! There are some water sports activities too on this beach. This crowded scene tells me that whoever visits Alibaug, visits the beach for sure. Nice place! Good location! The weather being cloudy has improved my experience of this visit. A lot of subscribers had asked me to visit the Mayur Bakery in Alibaug.
We've walked for 5-7 minutes from the beach, to reach the Bakery. Let us go inside and find out what they are famous for. We will taste that product.
For a while I was confused about what to eat in this bakery. We have with us Jayant Bhai, owner of this bakery. So, I asked him about his most famous items, so that I could taste the same. He told me most of their customers come here for the patties and this walnut cake.
This walnust cake is sold in the form of a cupcake. What are this patties filled with Jayant Bhai? It has a filling made of potatoes and onions. The first thing I would say after my first bite is that...
...this patties is fresh. Perhaps, this is the reason why your bakery is so popular. A lot of my subscribers asked me to go to Mayur Bakery. But none told me what to eat there.
(Laughter) This bakery was started 44 years ago by my aunt. We do not use any preservatives From what I've understood is that you don't use any preservatives. We don't use any preservative in any of our products. Excellent! What else goes into this cake? Walnut, cashew. This cake is perfectly balanced in its sweetness.
I have to say that this taste is exclusive, both the patties and the cupcake. What are the working hours at this bakery? From 7 am to 8 pm. You are open between 7 am and 8 pm.
Yes! Thank you for giving us your time. If you are in Alibaug and want to taste this delicious cupcake... ...you can walk to this bakery, which is just a few minutes from the beach. Alright, we will take your leave Sir! Thank you! We had planned to have lunch at Hotel Sanman in Alibaug. But I couldn't reach here in the afternoon. Now, the time is 7 pm.
I am not hungry right now. I would like to have my dinner after about an hour or so. Still, I am here to see the place that I had planned to have lunch in. Let us go! I've ordered for myself the Jitada fish, fish fry. Till that is being cooked, I am having this SolKadhi! Today is Day 1 of our Konkan tour.
We will get to taste a lot of Solkadhi at different places in the coming days. For your information, whenever you will travel in Konkan or Goa... ...or for that matter, even through coastal Karnataka... ...you will be served Solkadhi as an appetizer. By God!! Terrific taste! This is an appetizer but also very refreshing in taste. This drink has the sourness of Kokum and coconut milk's sweetness in it.
They have also added a bit of garlic and ginger to it. Some people even add fresh coriander to it. Overall, a very tasty combination! I would suggest you must have Sole Kadi at least once a day... ...whenever you travel in the coastal region. You will find variations in its taste as you proceed further. Jitada fish fry is here.
There are some pieces of prawns as well on the plate. I am going to add lemon juice to it. Many subscribers have told me that this fish is found in Raigad district. Very different & delicious taste! When I asked the owner whether this is a freshwater or saltwater fish...
...he told me that this fish is found in both. But what I am eating right now is saltwater fish. These prawns are amazing in taste. In fact, I found the fish and these prawns super-tasty. I am going to order one more sole kadhi for myself.
We will leave here after finishing this meal. Sole Kadhi gives you a hangover really, such is its aftertaste! You can get addicted to its taste really! I will join you again in a short while. Tonight we are going to stay in Nagaon. It is nearby. We will reach the cottage in another 15-20 minutes. I will join you once I reach there.
We've reached Nagaon. We've booked ourselves accommodation at Sidz Cottage. The double occupancy tariff of this place is Rs. 6500 during weekends. This is a weekend booking. For weekdays, the tariff is Rs. 5000 for a double occupancy room.
In Alibaug, there is variation between weekend and weekday tariff. One more thing, whenever we go to visit a place,... ...one has hotels, guest houses, homestays to choose from. But in Alibaug, you will find more cottages and homestays than hotels.
One of the reasons for that could be the high land prices in this region. This is the information I wanted to share with you. Now let us go in and have lunch...dinner!
I've ordered crab curry and bhindi (lady finger) for dinner. And I will eat it with this rice bhakri (rice flour flatbread). Let me taste the curry first. Very different taste! I had asked the staff about the reason behind the color of this curry. They told me it isn't because of any spices. Color is because of the onion and coconut...
...which are the two main ingredients in this curry. Both onion and coconut are sauteed on fire and then grinded into a paste... ...before being used to make this curry. So this color comes from that paste. Overall taste of this dish is delicious! Let me serve a piece! You require a certain amount of skill to eat crab. Then there is also the feeling that you get just a tiny bit of meat... ...from a very large piece of crab. The taste of this flesh is really awesome! We can eat the softer part of the crab shell. But you need a lot of practice to do that properly.
I have taken a tiny bite out of this piece. Let me finish this crab slowly. I will say bye-bye to you now.
It has been raining for the past 5 minutes. Let us see how the weather will be for tomorrow. If the weather is clear, we will leave here between 7 and 8 am tomorrow. After a day-long sightseeing, including Kashid Beach and Murud-Janjira ...we will try to spend the night at Hari Hareshwar! Rest, we will see how the day progresses tomorrow. So, it is goodbye from me now. Let me know your views about today's episode.
As always, I shall be waiting for your comments. That is it! Thanks for your time! If we need to say I like fish very much... ...and I eat fish at least once a day. How will I say that? (Speaking Creole language) It is very difficult to judge this language.
You won't understand it at all! Really! Though your mother tongue is Marathi, but you won't be able to catch it. No! But this is the dialect you use to talk between yourselves. Yes! There are about 250 families here? Yes!