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Journey Malvan to Devgad

Friday, February 28, 2014

Devgad was on our list when we set off from Mumbai. So we had made inquiries at the Malvan ST Depot regarding a bus to Devgad.

We were informed by one of the staff, a day before our journey that there is direct bus at 730 hours to Devgad and that it would take around 3 hours for us to reach there.

We then planned to board the bus at 730 hours to take us to Devgad.

The next day we were up at 600 hours. We headed to the beach for a morning walk and then packed our stuff to go to the ST bus stand.

We reached the bus stand at 7:15 hours. Without wasting anytime we decided to ask the Inquiry counter the pickup point of the bus, to which the person at the counter replied “Bus gele, ata dusri bus sade nau la ahai” meaning the 730 hours bus departed and the next bus is at 930 hours.

We checked up on one of the boards with bus timings and it stated a bus at 830 hours. We told the Inquiry desk about the same, to which he replied, “Toh zuna timing ahai” meaning it is the old timing.

Two hours of waiting time just to board a bus to Devgad.

What is more annoying is that the boards had the wrong timing and no one paid any heed to get the timing rectified.  And the next bus was in two hours time. I guess the bus at 730 hours would have been full so they let if off even before we arrived :(

Rickshaws are a very expensive affair here as they don’t charge via the meter and it would cost us more cash and time so we decided to wait for the 930 hours bus. Just hoped that the bus is on time.

Finally at 925 hours the bus arrived at the stop, we immediately boarded the bus and got a place to sit in it. Luckily the bus was less crowded.

We got ourselves a ticket at a cost of Rs. 91 each. For a three hour journey.

The view from the bus was simply amazing.

Plenty of jackfruit and mango farms on the way. Hithakshi wanted to reach out her hand and pluck mangoes and jackfruits. They were that close to us.

This year I guess the harvest is going to be real good.

The roads were very narrow and used to go up and down the terrain in the jungle, giving us different views of the land. Shades of green all around us. The tree sporting different shades of green leaves and the green waters of the lake nearby was amazing. The color green was so soothing to our eyes.

Suddenly the view changed to barren lands as far as my eye could see. In a distance I could see houses made of mud with tiled roofs which were around 100 years old but they looked beautiful in a distance.
The view from the bus, on our way to Devgad was beautiful. As the bus was racing at high speed, I was having a tough time taking photos.

After 3 ½ hours we reached Devgad ST Bus Depot. This was a fun filled rollercoaster ride for us and now we had to find ourselves a place for the night.

There are not many stay options in Devgad. It is not as well developed as Malvan in regards to tourism. But we managed to get a place to rest for the night behind the bus stand.

Pacific Safari charged us Rs. 500 as rent for a twin sharing room (Non AC) and Rs.1000 for a twin sharing room (AC). The rooms weren’t that great, but for travelers who are out exploring the entire day it isn’t going to be much of an issue.

We then set off the explore Devgad Fort in the afternoon.  

Sindhudurg Fort

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sindhudurg Fort 
Standing nautical miles away from Malvan Jetty on the Malvan Beach, this fort looks so massive, Imagine if I was near it how massive it would be. The walls of this fort are made of stone.

A few coconut trees grew in its premises, it looked like hair on the face of the fort. Hehe.

A few rocky patches too were near the fort and a few sand patches which made my photos desktop material. 
Boat plying to Sindhudurg Fort from Malvan Jetty

We got ourselves a ticket to fort on the Malvan Jetty at a cost of Rs.37 each and the boat was our mode of transport to take us there.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving sessions are also conducted here. The rates differ from season to season, so it’s better to check out the rates before venturing into it. Hithakshi wanted to try both of them but the cost worked out to Rs.1700 for just 30 minutes, which I guess is highly priced. The boat in which you travel doesn’t look appealing at all.

It takes around 20 minutes to reach to the fort. The boat is small but can accommodate 20 people along with two crew members. The boat has got a side car placed; it helps in turning the boat so that the boat does not capsize. 
HIthakshi and Me on the fort premises

For Example, when you learning to ride a cycle, you have two additional small wheels attached to the back wheel so that you don’t fall while trying to balance. Something similar.

Be prepared to get drenched in water when the waves are high at sea the way I did. There are no life jackets provided and I don’t know how to swim. There are many who don’t know how to swim. God alone knows how they will manage if the boat capsizes. Hope it doesn’t happen.

There is no jetty near the fort so have to alight on the rocky patches and from there we need to proceed to view the fort. The crew said “you have an hour’s time to view the fort. You should be back here at 1305 hours as the time now is 1205 hours.” The crew said the above in Marathi, I just translated in English.  And an hour is not enough to view this fort looking at the size of this fort. 

We started off to see the fort to make the best use of it. As we had loads to explore and capture on camera and we were short on time.

Sindhudurg Fort is built on Kurte Island. In 1664 – 67 AD Shivaji Maharaj had constructed this fort on the 48 acre island. The fort has 42 bastions. 
Print of the Palm of Shivaji

The walls made of stone were cold in the hot weather. Like the heat has no effect on the stone. Felt cooler when we entered the fort premises. The stone used to build the walls were big and huge, wondering how they might have put them together as no adhesive is used to join them and the stones were places in such a peculiar way that they interlocked each other.

At the entrance of the fort there is a broken cannon placed. Near the door is placed the Hanuman Mandir painted bright orange. Which catches your eye?

There are many broken down structures in the fort premises. Imaging how bustling this place would be in its hay days. Now it lies in a state of despair. 
One of the many steep stairways 

There are many temples on this fort, what caught my eye is the temple dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj. Even at Panhala there is a temple dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj. The temples though old are still in use. 

There are a few water bodies here which supply fresh drinking water on the fort.

We decided to explore the fort by walking on the walls of the fort. As from the walls we can see both the inside and outside of the fort. The walls of the fort were very broad, six people could walk easily on it, side by side. 
View of the green waters of the sea from the walls of Sindhudurg

This fort has got the footprints and print of the palm of Shivaji, placed in a small temple like structure on the walls.

A team of individuals dressed in white shirts and blue pants look after the fort, as in the caretakers of the fort. It’s good to see that some parts of the fort are being restored. This bought a smile across my face.

The fort offers a beautiful view of the sea, green waters a few rocky patches and a breath taking view of the Malvan Beach. 
Shivaji's Temple

The water near the fort was so clear that from the walls I could see the small rocks placed at the bottom of it.

Another unusual thing I noticed is these multiple staircases that I noticed all over the inside of the fort.  These were narrow and huge steps and were extremely steep.

A few broken down walls made of stone with no roofs appearing like houses too were placed on the walls.
This fort has many bastions which offer a good view of the sea and the land around it. 
Ruins in the fort premises
A part of the wall was broken; I guess this was the impact of cannon being fired on the walls of the fort when it was attached was taken into custody.

There is a small rock patch in it which has got bullet marks on it. Maybe the soldiers used it for firing practice.

I enjoyed exploring this fort with Hithakshi. It bought back memories of my exploration of Murud Janjira.  

Please do visit this fort whenever you pay Malvan a visit. A must for all history lovers. 

Malvan Beach in Malvan

Monday, February 24, 2014

Standing on the Malvan Jetty gave me an amazing view of the land and the sea.

The Sindhudurg Fort parked itself in a distance clearly visible to my naked eye. The Front of the fort was so wide; I could gauge how big the fort actually was standing at the Jetty.

Malvan Beach was very colorful. Photos shot here are good enough to be kept as desktop wallpapers. 
Beautiful view of Malvan Beach. 
 The beach had white sand with green waters lashing on it. I missed the heavy rush of water gushing on the shores here. This place was like a haven for fishing boats. They were parked both on the white sands and the green waters of the sea . The white sands were covered with coconut trees so dense that I could hardly see through it.

The seas were very clear as I managed to see the bottom of the sea. A few rocky patches too could be seen in the sea. What I liked most is the color of the water in the sea. The green colored water was very refreshing to my eyes. It was basically because of the vegetation.  
Another view of Malvan Beach
There is a jetty erected on the Malvan Beach, boats plying to Sindhudurg Fort ply from here.

In the evening this place is packed with people, who come to see the sun setting in the waters, boys playing volleyball on the beach and the local fishermen pulling their boats out of the water after a hard day’s work. 
View of the massive Sindhudurg Fort from Malvan
Standing at the jetty gave me a commanding view of the sea and the land. I almost thought as if I was a General here looking after the territory I had. Imagining I had the fort, the sea and the land in my kitty.

But that was my imagination but the reality is that this place is truly beautiful. Do come here in the evening to spend it with the sea.

Kolamb Beach in Malvan

Friday, February 21, 2014

It’s an amazing feeling, to walk barefoot on the clean white sands of the beach. The water lashing against the shore, the strong winds blowing, I could feel it in my short crop haircut. The sound of the waters mixed with the wind though loud was very pleasing to my ears.

This is Kolamb Beach a beautiful beach very near to the hustle and bustle of Malvan City on the way to Devgad

As we rented rooms in Hotel Samudra, which is located on the shores of Kolamb Beach at a cost of Rs. 600 per room. Have to stay that these are the best rooms I have stayed in ever since I have been travelling. The rooms and the glamour rooms are clean and well kept.

Hotel Samudra located on the shores of Kolamb Beach

There is no mineral water available here so have to make do with the local well water or you need to fetch water from the city. The hotel provides homemade food for a price. The food is good to it.
There are no power trips here, which is good.

The room rates are negotiable but depend on the season. This place is more or less like a homestay, but we enjoyed it a lot.

As our room was sea facing, when we opened the glass window we could clearly hear the sound of the waves mixed with the wind gushing to the shores.

I enjoyed myself chilling on the hammocks placed outside the hotel. This was the first time I ever sat on the hammock and I enjoyed it, though initially I had a tough time getting myself onto one.

The beach has clean white sand and grayish water and no garbage or thrash but seaweeds that made its way ashore. A few fishing boats were parked on the shores a few metres away from the hotel where we were. A few metres ahead there was a rocky cliff.

Evening at Kolamb Beach

Having the beach entirely to yourself, the feeling that you got, we had the same feeling in us as it was just the two of us on the lovely beach.

In the evening a few locals gave us company, the sum of us all totaled to 8. 8 that’s it.
I usually prefer staying in the city area as it is well connected in terms of lodging, food and travel in comparison to and isolated place like this.

But for the moment I enjoyed my stay here thoroughly, being disconnected with the city.

God alone knows whether I will get an accommodation like this ever, but I have my fingers crossed.

Malvan - Journey Mumbai to Malvan

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Blue waters of the Arabian Sea lashing against the clean white sands of Maharashtra with light blue skies above makes a photo truly beautiful.  Fishing boats parked on the white sands waiting to be sailed in the blue sea and a few fishing boats out for a good catch makes our photos even more interesting. Yes this is Malvan.

I always wanted to visit the Konkan stretch so had planned the same with Hithakshi, remember Hithakshi, she accompanied me to Chinchotiwaterfalls.

We decided to do Malvan, Devgad and if possible Vengurla in the eight day trip, considering two days for travelling we had six days for sightseeing.

I inquired with the Sandeep the bus agent and he told me that there are no Volvo’s, AC buses and Sleeper buses plying to Malvan. The only mode of transport is a 2 X 2 seater bus or a private vehicle or ST bus. The later cannot be booked there.

He also told me that it would take around 14 hours to reach Malvan. “14 hours, I takes 12 hours to reach Goa, then why 14 hours to Malvan?” on this replied that for 4 hours the bus keeps moving in Mumbai city itself in order to collect commuters and then heads out of the city.

I got our tickets for a 2 X 2 seater bus. These buses are slightly smaller than the regular buses. Why are these buses smaller, is what I was wondering, never the less we had a place to sit in the bus and that is what matters.

The bus took off at 15:30 hours from Gokul near Borivali and I boarded the bus at 16:30 hours at Andheri. One hour just to travel from Borivali to Andheri. And to make it worse at 18:30 hours we were still in Bhandup in Mumbai. I lost my cool as it was three hours and we were still circulating in Mumbai picking up commuters.

And to top it, it took 4 halts on the way, ranging from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Which made me very uneasy.

No wonder it takes 14 hours. These private buses are a pain up the a**. Next time I’ll take the services of the ST bus as they will at least save me time commuting.

Finally next morning, when my eyes opened I saw small narrow tar roads cutting through the fields. The red tiled roofs of the beautiful colored houses of various shapes and sizes and the temples adorning the land. The private farms growing mango and jackfruit. “I am in Malvan” is what I said to myself.

Now I know why the size of the buses is smaller than the regular ones, because to the roads.

I finally alighted on the Malvan soil.

The roads throughout the city are narrow, wondering what a tough time the vehicle drivers will have trying to drive on these roads with the people and cattle for company.

Soon we were a part of the roads either walking on them or travelling by ST buses and rickshaws.

Malvan is famous for Sindhudurg Fort which can be accessed from the Malvan Jetty, The beaches of Malvan and the historic temples of Malvan.

We boarded a rickshaw from the market at a cost of Rs.50 to take us to Samudra Hotel on the frontiers of Kolamb Beach. The rickshaws here don’t work on the meter; the prices are expensive in comparison to the ST bus but better than walking it out at least.

Finally in around 30 minutes time we were at the Hotel, Samudra Hotel.

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