Trip Report - Tarkarli Beach-Malvan-Sindhudurg Fort

#1 Feb 9th, 2012, 16:01
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  • Sadanand Kamath is offline
#1
My trip to Tarkarli beach was long overdue and in an attempt to reduce the backlog in my long pending list of Ďmust see places, I planned the trip during mid-December 2011 with my family. To save time in travelling, we decided to travel by an overnight train to Kudal, which is the nearest railway station for reaching Tarkarli beach.

Day-1 : Rajya Rani Express reached Kudal on the scheduled time at 10.00 am. There were plenty of autos in queue outside the railway station but cars/ SUVs were conspicuous by their absence. We engaged two autos for a 30 kms drive to Tarkarli via Malvan (Rs.400/-) The road was fairly good. There were some minor ghat section requiring some gradual climbs which were covered with dense forest. It took about one hour to reach Malvan. A left turn immediately after Malvan Bus Stand took us on Malvan-Tarkarli road and in about 10 minutes, we reached MTDC Resort.

Later, I was told by MTDC Manager that cars/SUVs can be hired from Kudal Bus Stand which is about 2 kms from railway station. Alternatively, there are regular bus services from Kudal Bus Stand for Tarkarli and beyond.

We checked in MTDCís Tarkarli Beach Resort (Konkani Houses - Rs.1500/- non-AC, and Rs.2000/- for AC). The rooms were large and clean. The AC rooms were just opposite the beach. We took lunch at MTDCís restaurant (Rs.100/- for vegetarian thali and Rs.180/- for non-vegetarian thali). The evening was spent on the beach which was just a few steps away from our rooms. Surprisingly, even at 5.00 p.m., there were hardly any visitors. The beach slope was gentle and sea water was clean enough to see the snails floating on the sea bed. We even saw a live star fish which seems to have washed ashore. We spent time on the beach until we watched a spectacular sun set, thanks to the clear sky. We had dinner at the restaurant for which we had placed order in advance out of their ala carte menu.

There are many home stays and eating options on Malvan-Tarkarli Road, some of which are beach facing but not as close to the beach as MTDC Resort. I understand that they are cheaper than MTDC Resort.

Day-2: We had fixed up with a boat man in the previous day for a boat ride which included dolphin sightings and other sight-seeing places such as Nivati Beach, confluence of Karli river with Arabian Sea and Sunami Island (Rs.1700/- for a four hour ride). Normally, boats are available from Tarkarli village which is about 1 km walk on the beach. But the boatman offered to bring his boat on the beach in front of our Konkani House.
The boatman came with his boat sharp at 7.00 a.m as promised. The boat sailed towards southern (Devbag beach) side. In one hour of boat ride passing Tarkarli village, Devbag village and beach and Niwati beach, we did not spot any dolphin activities. The explanation given by our boatman was that due to high wind velocity, dolphins did not venture to come out above the sea water level. We got down at a secluded Niwati beach which is nestled between two hillocks one of which is called the golden hill as it glows in the golden colour when sun rays fall on it. In fact this beach was not visible until we passed by the golden hillock. There was no one on the beach except 4 dogs who welcomed us by wagging their tails expecting some eatables from us which we obliged. The location of this small beach is superb with its north and south side concealed by two hillocks and eastern side surrounded by back water. Beyond the backwater was a hamlet which was partly hidden by the dense coconut and areca nut plantations.

After spending about 30 minutes on the beach, we boarded the boat for our next destination, the Sunami Island beach. This island has emerged in 2004 after Sunami waves hit the coast. The lagoon type island is not more than 500m long and 200m wide (my guess). A local villager told us that prior to 2004, this place used to be under water at least by 3-4 feet even during the low tide. After the sunami wave hit the coast, it has turned into an island during low tide but gets submerged by 2-3 feet of water during high tide. Location of Sunami Island beach is superb surrounded by Karli river on its west and south sides and back water of Karli river on its east and north side.

There is a tea/snacks stall set up by an enterprising person from a nearby village located on the other side of the back water. The food items are prepared in the village house and brought here in casseroles by boat. There are water sports facility like water scooter, mechanised boating, rowing boats and Liquid Force boats. We spent about one hour on this beach doing water-scooter and Liquid Force boating. While walking on this beach, one gets a feeling as if he are walking on a form.

On our return trip to MTDC, we passed through the confluence of Karli river with Arabian Sea. At this point, a part of Devbag beach looks like a ledge moving into the sea. To me, Devbag beach looked to be the most beautiful of all the adjunct beaches in this area.

As we were returning to MTDC, we saw some movements of dolphins opposite Devbag village. Our boatman stopped the boat for some time so as not to disturb the dolphins. After spending about 15 minutes, we saw no further movements from dolphins. So we started our boat to move on. Suddenly, we saw to our left, two giant brown colour dolphins jumping above the sea water. They did that twice but thereafter it was quite for long time. It was so sudden that there was no time to shot the event. We returned to MTDC by 11.00 a.m.

We had not planned for snorkelling while in Tarkarli as none of us had attempted it so far but the way our boatman explained how it would be conducted for novices like us, we agreed. He said that his brother who was an accredited guide for snorkelling would take us in his snorkelling boat to the snorkelling point which was about 5-6 kms from the beach.

The charge was Rs.300/- per person with a minimum of 4 persons. After about one hour of rest in our room, we boarded the snorkelling boat which was docked at Tarkarli beach. The snorkelling point was nothing but a group of small hillocks in the sea around which snorkelling was conducted. It took about 20 minutes to reach the point. By the time we reached, one group had already completed their snorkelling and we were the only persons at that point to do snorkelling. The guide took us one by one for 15-20 minutes round with in the vicinity of rocky patches. The entire snorkelling route was not more than 6-7 feet deep where we could see some rocky and reef like bases on which many colourful fishes and other marine lives could be seen swimming. For me, 15-20 minutes of snorkelling was the limit after which I felt tired. It was a good experience though I donít think that I will do it again. We return to MTDC resort by 2.00 p.m. and after bath we had late lunch at the MTDC restaurant. In the evening, we spent our time at the beach witnessing once again the sunset in a clear sky.

Some pictures of Tarkarli beach and around below :


MTDC's boat shaped Reception Office in Tarkarli



Beach walk in solitude in front of MTDC's Konkani House.



Fishermen push a boat into the sea off Tarkarli beach.



Sunset view with a crow on the foreground at Tarkarli beach.



Silhouette of children against the background of the sunset at Tarkarli beach.



All boats have wooden balancing log fixed parallel to the boat which prevents boats swinging in a rough weather.



As sun rises, a fishing boat proceeds toward mid sea off Tarkarli village.



Nivati Beach.



Devbag Beach.



Sand design on Sunami Island beach created by shallow waves of Karli river during high tide.



Confluence of Karli river with Arabian Sea. Note the diffference in colour of the water.



A giant wave captured in the sea off Tarkarli beach during high tide.



Seagulls off Tarkarli Beach.



Snorkelling Point off Tarakrli Beach.

Day-3 : The MTDC check out timing was 9.30 a.m. and we were booked for Rajya Rani Express arriving at Kudal in the evening. In effect, we had one full day to spend without any accommodation. So we hired a Maruti Ecco (Rs.1600/- for full day) from one of the two local drivers recommended by MTDC to take us for some local sight-seeing places around Malvan including Sindhudurg Fort.

After checking out, we left MTDC Resort around 10.00 a.m. for Malvan Jetty which was 8 kms from Tarkarli. After passing through the congested Malvan bazaar road, we reached the Jetty. Since it was Saturday, there was a lot of rush mainly of school children. After buying ferry tickets (@Rs.37/- to and fro) we waited for about 30 minutes before our turn came for boarding the ferry. It took about 15 minutes to reach the Sindhudurg Fort jetty. We were given one hour to take the tour inside the Fort as the same boat was to drop us back to Malvan jetty.

Sindhudurg Fort was Chatarpati Shivajiís answer to the growing threat from the marine forces (Navy) of Portuguese and Siddis. It is said that the selection of the place and the Fort layout was done by Shivaji himself and he personally supervised the three years of its construction phase which was completed in 1667. From the outside view, it looks like a simple Fort, but once inside, one realises that it is almost like a mini township spread over 50 acres of land.

The east facing main gate of the Fort is not visible as it is hidden between two bastions. It is only after getting down from the boat and walking towards the wall that one can see the gate. Inside the fort, there are water supply wells, residence quarters, godowns for storing grains, provisions and some temples. The 40 odd circular bastions constructed over the 10-15 feet wide outer wall were the watch towers which also served a repository of guns and cannons. Most of the bastions and other places are in ruins now. At some places, outer wall has crumbled. The only places which are still intact are a dozen or so residential houses, sweet (fresh) water wells and temples. The thick vegetation inside the Fort is stated to be partly responsible for decaying walls and other remaining structures. We could not see the famous two branch coconut tree as it was damaged in a lightning strike few years back. Refreshments and cold drinks/mineral water are available at 2-3 places inside
the Fort. It is advisable to use head caps as even in December, the day time was very warm.

After finishing our one hour of ramblings inside the Fort, I felt great about Chatrapati Shivaji who had farsightedness in constructing such Forts at various part of Maharashtra. Shivajiís professional approach is evident in one of his letters to the Construction Engineer in charge of constructing Sindhudurg Fort. The instructions and guidelines were very clear - from the'how' and 'why' of specifications of foundation and outer walls, to checking the raw materials and how to negotiate for the materials with Englishman traders who, in his view, were very smart. Finally, his dictate was that the labourers must be paid their wages daily without fail.

While returning from Sindhudurg Fort to Malvan, we stopped at Salgaonkarís Ganesh temple where the Ganesh idol is made up of pure gold. After lunch at Bamboo Hotel, we proceeded to Rock Garden. The garden is so named because of its close proximity to the rocky shores of Arabian Sea. We spent more time on the rocky patch than in the garden. The Rock Garden is a good place for spending evenings.

On our way to Kudal railway station, we visited Bhagwati temple at Dhamapur which has been constructed in a Konkani style house with Mangalore tiles. The temple has got a big lake with some water sport facilities. We reached Kudal railway station well before our trainís arrival thus ending our 3 days of trip to one of the less touristy beaches of Maharashtra.

Some pictures of Malvan and Sindhudurg Fort below:


Fishing boats in Malvan Jetty.



Malvan beach with fishing village.



Sindhudurg Fort seen from Malvan Jetty.



A fishing boat and a protruding rock in the mid sea off Malvan.



South-east wall of the Fort. A small beach below the wall is called Ranichi Vela (Queen's beach).



There are about a dozen residential houses inside the Fort.



View from eastern bastion of the Fort of Malvan beach. In the foreground is Sindhudurg Jetty.



The gold idol of Lord Ganesh in Salgaonkar's Ganesh Mandir, Malvan.



A couple on a rocky ledge into the Arabian Sea off Malvan for a photo shoot.



An unidentified bird on a rocky patch of Arabian Sea off Malvan.

More pictures here.
#2 Feb 9th, 2012, 16:15
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#2
As usual great trip report with great pictures. Your report also brings back memories of my trip to Tarkarli some 3 years back.

Ronak.
#3 Feb 9th, 2012, 16:23
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#3
Great trip report with amazing snap ...... great
#4 Feb 9th, 2012, 16:26
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#4
Nice report! The Picasaweb photos are lovely.
#5 Feb 9th, 2012, 16:39
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#5
@SK: Nice report (must be; still to read all) and great pictures!

PS: Loved the pic of the crow caught in the sunset reflection on the beach

.
Last edited by ks_bluechip; Feb 9th, 2012 at 16:56.. Reason: added PS:
#6 Feb 9th, 2012, 16:41
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#6
Detailed trip report covering all aspects (specially your observations of the historical facts abour Shivaji ) accompanied by some awesome pictures....this is making me even more eager now to visit Tarakali/Malvan which I've been planning since last year...
Best Regards,

Sabya

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#7 Feb 9th, 2012, 18:37
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Great great pictures and the narrative. In the nick of time for me too as I was just thinking of this trip

Will april first week be a good time to visit or would it be really hot during the day? Does the Rajya Rani Express stop at Pune?
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#8 Feb 9th, 2012, 20:43
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#8
Thanks all of you for appreciating the report and pictures.

@saugata41
We found even the month of December warm during the day time in Tarkarli and very warm in Malvan/Sindhudurg. With higher humiduty in April than in December, April will be very warm during the day time but still tolerable than the places in interior Maharashtra.

Rajya Rani train goes through Konkan Railway line via Panvel-Roha-Ratnagiri.
#9 Feb 10th, 2012, 10:13
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#9
Another lovely report from you and I say again, you are a master of composition.

Good that you got to see the dolphins.

I love the MTDC boat style office! Rather aesthetic compared to their usual boring PWD style of architecture.

You should have taken some of the chilly BOM weather with you!!!
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#10 Feb 10th, 2012, 10:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadanand Kamath View Post Thanks all of you for appreciating the report and pictures.

@saugata41
We found even the month of December warm during the day time in Tarkarli and very warm in Malvan/Sindhudurg. With higher humiduty in April than in December, April will be very warm during the day time but still tolerable than the places in interior Maharashtra.

Rajya Rani train goes through Konkan Railway line via Panvel-Roha-Ratnagiri.
Thanks SK for the inputs. Apparently there is no direct train from Pune
Looks like April may not be the right time, MTDC also is unreserved
#11 Feb 13th, 2012, 10:19
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#11
beautiful report....i love my maharashtra!
in fact i had been to Malvan in 91 and had visited Tarakarli then... it was an awesome beach with hardly a soul and only thing to drink was fresh coconut water, though now i imagine it will be fairly populated.... another neat beach was AZRA or soemthing like that which ahd some huge waves...

best was the food thali..veg- 10, n. veg 12 and eat all the fish you can
Last edited by lordkunal; Feb 14th, 2012 at 13:00..
#12 Apr 18th, 2012, 12:40
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#12
CA Note: This thread has been moved to the "Travel Photologues" section.
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#13 May 20th, 2012, 18:28
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#13
After reading and viewing the excellent report, we're also planning to go in month of October-November...will it be the right time to go there ??

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