Ep 3: Murud Janjira, Diveagar, Shrivardhan beach to Harihareshwar | Konkan Tour, Coastal Maharashtra

Ep 3: Murud Janjira, Diveagar, Shrivardhan beach to Harihareshwar | Konkan Tour, Coastal Maharashtra

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Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host Harish Bali. Right now, I am 150 km from Mumbai, in Murud. We reached here last night. It is 8.30 am now. I am standing by the sea.

Though one loves to watch the sea waves at any coast but... ...this experience is particularly enhanced during... ...mornings and evenings. I can see quite a few tourists around. Some of them are walking in the water while I am standing on the beach. We stayed in this building last night. It is called Murud Palace Hotel.

We paid Rs. 2000 tariff for double occupancy accommodation. Now, the first thing we are going to do is have our breakfast. We are going to a shop right behind the hotel. They told us they serve Poha for breakfast. So, that is where we will eat our breakfast. After that I want to visit the Janjeera Fort but...

...I am not sure whether that visit is going to happen or not. For that, we need to go straight for 4 km and... ...the Fort is on the backside of this mountain that you see. And there is another fort that I can see opposite me. It is known as "Padma Durg."

This is the first time I would be seeing a fort that is located... ...right in the middle of the sea. This fort was built by Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. Right now, I am not sure whether it would be possible... ...to visit the fort or not. Let me find that out. First, you enjoy the sea view and then we will go for breakfast. Here is Poha for breakfast.

Wow! What a taste! The Poha has a nice sweet flavor in it, owing to sugar. The second thing that I've noticed is that... ...in Konkan cuisine, you'll find coconut in a lot of dishes. Now, in this Poha, coconut would've been visible right on top but... ...it has coconut in it. If you eat it with clarity, you'll feel it too. This subtlety of coconut flavor is a new experience for me. I have with me the owner of this restaurant, Vijay Ji.

When I asked him what else I can try here, he said... ...I could try "Aadu Wade", which is not readily available everywhere. Now, you've told me that this leaf belongs to the Arbi plant. I remember that in Himachal Pradesh, it is known as a Pinaloo leaf. The leaf is big as well as small in size.

The main thing that he told me is that its stem is green. However, the leaves that are used as food have black, not green stem. The leaf is dark green in color, like this. I've understood the procedure of eating this leaf. It is covered in a batter made of besan (gram flour) and spices. It also has imli (tamarind) in it so that it doesn't itch.

This leaf is covered in Besan batter several times before.... ...being, what steamed? Yes, it is steamed, then fried. It is fried.

Can I watch how it is made? Yes, of course. So, this is a common breakfast around here? Yes, a lot of people love to eat it but.. ...it requires a long cooking process. Therefore, we don't cook it often. Alright. Vijay Ji told me that he lives nearby and... ...they had this dish ready at home. So, he has called for some of it for me to eat.

They haven't cooked this dish in restaurant today. Tell me one thing, you are going to deep fry this now? Yes, it is steamed. Can we eat it as it is too? Yes we can. So, Vijay Ji, what we are going to do is... ...you can save me a piece of the steamed part too. I want to see how both the versions taste. Last night, we had dinner in this space here.

But it is drizzling right now. Earlier, I had planned to have breakfast out in the open ... ...but let us eat inside for now. Aadu Wade looks like this after being fried. They have fried four pieces for me and the fifth piece is steamed. I am going to taste both the flavours.

They have got me a leaf with this dark brown stem too. And it has been used in cooking this dish. This is how the leaf looks like. In Hindi, it is said that we are eating...

..."Arbi ke patte ke pakode" (fritters made of Arbi leaves). Let us taste both now. First, I am going to taste the one that is not fried. It is alright as far as the flavours of besan and spices are concerned. But since it is not fried yet, the taste is somewhat raw. I have to say, the taste has completely changed after frying.

It tastes awesome now. It tastes very different now. The Pinaloo Leaf that I ate in Himachal, as I've told you already... ...tasted very different than this. The difference may be due to local spices.

We've reached Janjira Fort after travelling 4 km from Murud. I am showing you the the Janjira Fort right in the middle of Arabian Sea... ...from atop a hill. I have with me a local villager.

My name is Imran. Okay. Imran Bhai, tell me one thing... ...you run a boat that takes tourists to and fro from the fort. Yes! According to the information that I've gathered so far...

...about 500 years ago, a local resident Raja Ram Patil... ...went to live on this island. There was no fort here at that time. After living here for a few years, he managed to erect a... ...wooden boundary wall around this island. That made him feel like he was the king of this island. Even the locals started treating him as such.

At that time, Ahmed Nagar used to be under the suzerainty of the Nizam. The Nizam thought that he was facing a rebellion. He sent a Siddhi General to capture the island. But it was almost impossible to capture the island.

Since the fort was located in the middle of the sea... ...it wasn't possible to plan the entry from afar. One needed to come closer and find out an entrance point. Anyways, the General sought permission to enter the fort... ...on the pretext of a celebration. Once inside, they dropped the ruse and took out their swords...

...to capture the fort. Thus, this fort became occupied by Siddhis. In due time, Siddhis made an alliance with Adil Shah, Mughals,... ...Portuguese and Dutch, according to their own preferences. However, they were clearly in conflict with the Marathas... ...who were the past owners of this land. The Maratha strategy required complete control of the coastal areas. Thus, the Marathas tried to gain control of the fort several times... ...but due to its unique design, they just couldn't. A few years later, the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj...

...Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj constructed another fort... ...Padma Durg that you can see in the distance. He used the fort to keep an eye on Siddhis. Siddhis' main job was to collect revenue from the ships that came from outside into India. That was the main source of their earning. Another highlight feature of this fort is that it has... ...reservoirs full of fresh water. Though these reservoirs also receive rainwater but..

...if that wasn't the case, the reservoirs still supply fresh water... ...because it is spring water. So, all one needs to do is fill up on the foodgrains and... ...life could go on uninterrupted inside the fort. That is how the fort remained unconquered for so long. I want to see the fort at close quarters. Now, since we cannot go right upto the fort because of the rainfall... ...can we go down the hill and do that? Yes, you can. How far is that point? A km away? Less than a km.

Okay, let us go. We will try to show you the land view as closely as possible. What is the population of this village? About 750 villagers, all of them from Muslim community.

Wow! We've come so close to the fort. This is the close-up view of the Janjira Fort. How far is the fort right now? About a km or so! A km or so! Yes! This view is amazing.

I am watching, for the first time in my life... ...a fort that is bang in the middle of the sea. The special feature that I am able to gauge from this view is that... ...when Siddhis constructed a proper boundary wall of this fort... ...they didn't leave any land area outside the wall. They designed the boundary in a way that nothing of the island... ...was left beyond that wall. Therefore, anyone wanting to enter the fort had to use the main entrance. Another thing is that when the Portoguese or Dutch came here...

...they were allowed entry only after they had paid revenue to the Siddhis. Thus, no large sea vessels could ever reach close to this fort. Anyone coming from outside had to use only smaller boats to travel upto the fort. And he has told me in case of strong wind, people use sailing boats to travel to the fort. When the wind is not so strong, they travel on other boats.

So, how deep would the fort's foundation be? 50-60 Feet deep! Okay. Although I am keen to visit the fort but due to rains... ...visitors are not allowed there. However, whenever I am in Mumbai next time, I am going to come here...

...and spend at least a day or half here. I want to feel the design of this fort from close quarters. I will also try to visit Padma Durg at that time,.. ...after taking special permission, of course. I cannot go there today, that is for sure.

Okay brother, the wind has picked up speed. The weather looks like it is about to rain in a few minutes. In fact, it seems like it is already raining somewhere nearby. Okay then, it is so beautiful! It was fun coming here.

Thank you! Thank you Sir! The village from where we saw the Janjira Fort... ...from there we've travelled about 5 km and reached... ...the Agardanda Jetty point. We will get a ferry here which will take us to Dighi. Dighi is on the other side of the ocean. If I want to undertake this journey by road... ...let me confirm from this gentleman. Bhai, if I want to go to Dighi by road, how far would it be? 80 km. 80 km! Hmmm.

So, imagine we will be able to finish this 80 km journey in 20 minutes... ...on the ferry. Since we weren't aware of the time-table of this ferry service... ...we reached here before time. The ferry leaves at 2.30 pm and it is 1.50 pm right now. No worries, we still have about 40 minutes to spare.

There is no lunch service available here owing to Covid circumstances. But I can have coconut water for sure. Please give me one coconut with lots of water.

What is its price? 40 rupees. 40 rupees. Great! The coconut water tastes good everywhere.

I can see a few cars pulling up. These must be tourists who are aware of the ferry timings. Rest, you can see the environment around here is tranquill. If you come early, you can park your vehicle and enjoy the surroundings. So, you can enjoy this view of the Arabian Sea.

I will join you after booking my ticket. I've bought my ticket. The personal ticket is for Rs. 25 per person. And there are different ticket prices for different vehicles. Since we are travelling in a Crista, we bought a ticket for Rs. 210. This is our car being parked. The weather is awesome! It is fun being on the Konkan tour.

We are enjoying our journey through multiple ways like... ...food, sightseeing, beaches, forts. Let us get on the ferry. You saw how each vehicle parked itself on the ferry. Right now, there are 6-7 cars and as many two-wheelers parked on the ferry. There is such a beautiful wind blowing that I am not at all interested...

...to go and sit there upstairs. I just want to enjoy this journey happily. In any case, this journey is not very long... ...just 15-20 minutes long. We reached Dighi and after travelling for another 15 km by road... ...we reached Diveaghar. The first thing that I observed after reaching Diveaghar was... ...that this place is really peaceful. This place is like a modern village, with decent accommodation facilities,... ...and a decent number of population, between 3500-4500.... ...but also immensely quiet. You can see there is nobody on the road.

All the locals are in their fields. I have with me Siddhesh Bhai. He runs a homestay and also works for promotion of tourism in the region. One more interesting thing that he shared with me is that...

...you can also visit here for bird-watching during November-December. He organises tours too for bird-watchers and Seagull is one migratory bird... ...that is often seen around here. How close can we get to the Seagull? About 20-30 feet! Okay! Fantastic! Tell me one thing, will we visit the sea beach first? Yes! The sea is close by, hardly 200 meters away. Shall we walk? Siddesh Bhai, I am having a different feeling here and...

...I will tell you why! If you see carefully, we have three mountains in different directions from here. And a lot of trees as well. The distance between these two mountains, Siddesh Bhai told me,... ...is about 4.5 km. So, the beach is spread over this distance. You can enjoy yourself over this beach, get into the water,...

...frolick around. You can easily spend 2 to 2.5 hours appreciating this environment. What an amazing experience and the best thing is, this is a virgin beach. I don't see any other tourist here.

That tells us that this beach is a less-visited location. People who are interested in such isolated locaations.... ...would consider this beach a haven. So beautiful! The weather is awesome as well. The sky is filled with clouds, there is no sun as well. It seems that it is low tide time because the water has receded further from the beach.

The water seems to have receded about 200 m from the beachline. You told me that Seagulls visit here only during winter season. But is there a chance that....

Well, the migratory season has just begun. Therefore, you won't be able to see many birds right now. But by November-December this place is brimming with Seagulls. Still, is there some chance that we can see the birds? Yes, sure! Let's go. Siddesh Bhai, we must have walked about a km or so from our starting point.

Yes! Isn't it! Yes. This place is lovely and it seems our hard work has been rewarded. If you look there, you can see 15-20 seagulls. Wow! We managed to watch seagull from a distance of 40 m. The seagulls are roaming on the beach while we are about 50-60 m from it because...

...we cannot get any closer as it may disturb the birds. Ohh! We've reached the strait. Yes! I am trying to understand from him the difference that the high tide and low tide... ...makes to the Diveaghar beach. Between high tide and low tide, this whole area comes up empty.

During high tide, the water level rises upto this point. The water flows in from here into the Creek During high tide, the Diveaghar village gets surrounded by water from all sides. The village gets turned into a natural island. This is a very unique phenomenon! Wow! Let us go closer to the Creek Is this where the water flows into? Yes! We've covered this distance of about one km. And after every 300-400 m, it feels like this is new side of the beach Though this wasn't visible from a distance but at close quarters...

...the whole scene has changed. So beautiful! So beautiful! Highly impressed! Let us see the Creek and then we will move on. This is where the water flows into? Wonderful! Superb Experience! Walking on this beach, we have come afar. I saw them standing with jet-ski.

You told me that you charge Rs. 300 per person. This is for a 3-minute ride at high speed. Hmm! Good! What other water sports do you have here? Banana ride? There is banana ride, sleeper ride. Alright. The young generation enjoys these rides and to be honest, I am young as well.

I mean to say that even I enjoy such rides but it is evening time. The time is almost 5 pm and we still need to cover Shrivardhan and Harihareshwar. I wanted to do sightseeing at both the places but that seems impossible now. So, it is bye-bye to you for now. We are leaving here.

Shrivardhan is what, 17 km away? Yes, 17 km away. But before we leave here, let me show you this particular view. Look at the charm of low tide in this place. Great! We are going to travel for 17 km to reach Shrivardhan. How far is Harihareshwar from Shrivardhan? 17 km.

17 plus 17! Alright! Thanks for giving us your time! I could not visit your homestay during this visit because of shortage of time. But I will mention your number in the description so that... ...anyone interested in staying here can contact you. Alright then! Bye bye! Thank you! I've reached Shrivardhan! Though we had reached here 45 minutes ago... ....but due to Ganpati Visarjan festival, we were travelling at a slow speed. And now we've reached the Shrivardhan beach at 6.20 pm. I have with me Mr. Rajendra, who also owns a homestay.

When I established contact with him, he offered to help us locally. Right now, I want to go to the beach but we cannot go any closer because of Ganpati Visarjan. As you say, let us go then. Please come.

Today is Ganpati Visarjan day and it is one of our largest festivals. People living as far as Pune and Mumbai come here for the Visarjan. This festival is celebrated here with all religious fervour.

I've heard that every residen of Konkan makes it a point to come home.... ....especially during this festival. This festival is ages old in the Konkan region. It brings people together. This festival offers people a chance to get together with their... ...relatives, neighbours and friends. It has started raining and if we stay here any longer, we will be drenched.

But I will show you the beach view of Shrivardhan before leaving here. If I hadn't done my booking for tonight in Harihareshwar,... ....I would have definitely stayed in Shrivardhan or Diveaghar. But because of advance booking, I will have to move on to Harihareshwar. Let me show you the sea beach of Shrivardhan. Since I am already drenched, let us go to your homestay and change clothes. If I don't change sooner, I might catch cold.

When I talked to him earlier today, I had planned to have lunch at his homestay. But that plan got changed because we could not shoot properly due to rains. Therefore, we had to wait longer for the rain to stop and shoot our video.

We are at Rajendra Ji's home. I've changed out of wet clothes and he was kind enough to make us a cup of tea. Thank you for that! It is still raining outside. It looks like it is going to rain for a long while.

For the past sometime I have been talking to him about.... ...what are the preferences of tourists who come to Shrivardhan. He told me that the tourists love to visit the sea beach here. That is because it is very beautiful and, we can say, a virgin beach? The whole beach is 3.5 km long and you can walk across the whole length of the beach. I saw it myself today and I liked it very much. For your inforation, Shrivardhan is also the birthplace of....

...the first Peshwa, Balaji Vishwanath Peshwa. This place is also famous for its supari (areca nut). He told me that Shrivardhan's supari is famous outside as well. The supari traders ask for Shrivardhan variety of supari while purchasing bulk orders. That should tell you about the quality of supari in this place. Shrivardhan is also known for a number of temples, out of which,... ...he told me about four such ancient temples, whose history dates back to more than 600 years ago. And those temples are dedicated to the Kul-Devta (clan god) of the Peshwa.

This is what he told me so far. And to be honest, I am really keen now to spend the night here. And visit Harihareshwar tomorrow.

But due to our time management and prior bookings,... ...I will have to travel on to Harihareshwar. Otherwise, it would've been better for me to stay here. Anyways, I also saw their homestay today when he took me there to change clothes. They charge Rs. 1000 for a room of double occpancy.

The price is suitable for customers of low or middle budget range.... ...who also want to come here and explore this place. And you serve them home-cooked food as well. Yes! Hmm! Well the name homestay in itself denotes a homely atmosphere for tourists to enjoy. One enjoys a homestay only when one is able to explore the local food. I cook Konkani food.

Yes, yes, konkani food. Rajendra Ji, today is the 3rd day of our journey and... ...I've been having very good experiences in food. We still have a long journey ahead so I am looking forward to it. I will take your leave now, in another 5-10 minutes. We will leave once the rain stops.

Our car is parked at a distance from here. Thank you! I will rejoin you once I reach Harihareshwar now. Harihareshwar is about 20 km from here. We've reached Harihareshwar. We've booked ourselves an accommodation at an MTDC resort. The first you'll notice about this property is that it is quite large.

We are sitting in the restaurant for dinner now. I've ordered myself a vegetarian thali. Let me show you what all I have in the thali. This is SolKadhi, Dal, Baingan masala, Alu, sookhi sabzi, matar sabzi, and rice. There is a lot of simplicity in this taste. Very tasty.

Super tasty! Baingan Masala is really well cooked. It has masala in its name and it is spicy as well. I have to say this is a delicious preparation.

Harihareshwar is basically a religious place. Tourists come here to visit a temple dedicated to Bhagwan Shankar. There is also a beautiful sea beach here. We will visit it tomorrow morning. The place where we are sitting right now is the last point before the Ratnagiri district begins. There is a Khaadi (Creek) around here, which I will show you tomorrow morning.

I will join you again in a short while. I will also show you the room where we are staying. After that I will also tell you about our tomorrow's programme. This is our room. Its tariff is Rs. 2800 plus taxes.

The rate varies as per season. I had asked at the reception, there starting tariff is Rs. 1500. The rates are also as per the accommodation being A.C. or non-A.C.

Maximum visitors prefer to book their rooms online. That is because at this particular MTDC property, occupancy is generally fully-occupied. Therefore, it is better to book your room in advance.

As for tomorrow's programme, we want to visit the Raigad Fort tomorrow. But before that, I will also spend some time in Harihareshwar. In the morning, we will visit the temple and the beach...

...before proceeding to the Raigad Fort. Tomorrow's nightstay we want to do in Dapoli. Dapoli is in Ratnagiri district. Tomorrow's programme depends upon whether it rains or not. So, that is our plan so far.

I am going to say bye-bye to you now. We will meet soon in the next episode. That will be a new episode, new journey. Till then bye-bye. Thanks for your time.

SolKadhi is delicious, I have to admit. Sol Kadi is famous throughout Maharashtra. Celebrity guests often ask for it when they eat here. They even pack it to take back with them. Really!

2021-11-16 19:39

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