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harshad Sep 28th, 2015 21:20

Harnai Murud on Konkan Coast
Hi Friends.

Soon (on coming Friday) i am embarking on a three day's road journey from Mumbai to Murud Harnai and back. The objectives are:-

Visit our Kuldevi Sri Durga Devi at Murud Harnai. Enjoy Murud and Harnai Beaches over the week end. Will be staying at a home stay at Harnai. The distance from Mumbai is about 250+ Km with journey vis Mumbai - Goa NH and various SHs.

My Brother and son plan to bike (cycle down) on their Focus and Fuji bikes respectively. They would start on Thursday morning from Ferry Wharf (Bhau Cha Dhakka) at Mumbai by ferry to Revas. Cycle down to Diveagar for night stay and then next day they would be cycling down to Harnai Murud.

Would post my trip details soon On last two times my blogs were partially complete. This time around I promise that I would complete it for all the days.

Stand by for the posts starting Friday the 02 Oct 15.

harshad Oct 1st, 2015 19:42

One Day to Go
Tomorrow morning is the scheduled departure for the trip. Preparing for the trip. Have put a post on Tips for Long distance Self Driven Trips here -

Preparing according to those tips.

Prakaant Oct 1st, 2015 20:29

Wish you and your team a wonderful trip, Harshad! :)

Enjoy & share!! :D

harshad Oct 15th, 2015 23:40

Day One - 02 Oct 15
Mumbai to Harnai – Murud

The Route Out Bound – The Google Map showed the route to be through Mumbai Pune Expressway till Khopoli exit (immediately after first tool booth but before the food break on E way)) and then Khopoli Pen Road, Goa highway till Tol Phata (Tol is name of the place) and then to SH 100 till Harihareshwar Phata, SH 272 to Mandangad, then SH 102 to Kadavali Phata finally by SH 103 to Harnai where we had booked our Home Stay. Murud is further down the road at about 5 – 6 km. We had a doubt about quality of SH but once we leave Goa highway and trun right in to Konkan, we have to take one or the other state highway to get to the Coast and we though this being straight to harnai we will follow Google map provided route fully.

Out Bound Journey

The car was serviced previous Saturday (long over due) at Tata Workshop at Worli. Loading of the car for the trip was mostly done on 01 oct except personal baggage. We got ready (we had planned a visit to as Ballaleshwer at Pali, one of the Asta Vinayakas was enroute) and left at 0700.

Took fuel in Colaba and off we were via Eastern freeway, Sion Panvel highway and Mumbai – Pune Expressway. This journey was smooth one as it was morning time and second the early starters of long weekend from Mumbai were possibly not as early as we were.

From Khopoli exit we took U turn to Pali road and as we came to road proper we stopped for Breakfast at Hotel Sai Palace. We ordered South Indian food. Food was ok but the best and fast was Vada Pav. If we had ordered only Vada Pav, we would have been off in 15 minutes but as we had ordered South Indian, the stop became of 45 minutes including rest room visit. For breakfast this much time is OK.

The Journey to Pali was smooth. The drive was beautiful but the road surface was bad off and on. At Pali we were guided by temple security staff to Free parking. We parked our car and went to temple which was 5 to 7 minutes walk. However we found if we had gone straight rather then turning right to free parking, there was yet another parking very close to temple. May be they send the people to free parking to distribute the crowd.

At the moment of we reaching Pali the crowd was thin but by the time we finished the darshans (in about 30 minutes), crowd started building up. Before visiting main temple, one is expected to visit Dhundi Ganesh temple at the entrance and then to main temple. . The darshans were fabulous. We left Pali by about 1030 and joined Goa Highway at about 1100 .

Hall of Ballashwer post Darshans

The drive on Goa highway was normal. What surprised me was the work of four laning of this highway that I had seen about 3 years ago on my trip to Kolad was at that level with virtually no progress. This speed of work leaves much to be desired.

We took the right turn on to SH 100 at Tol Naka. The drive was into forested hill side and right in the beginning we had a fabulous view of the river Savitra which we were to cross after some time. We took small break to enjoy the beauty of the place.

River Savitri at the begining of SH 100

We continued on this road, crossed savitri and took SH 272 from Harihareshwar Naka (SH 100 continues to the right to harihareshwar). We once again crossed a bridge on Savitra. The beautiful views from the bridge are posted below:-

After SH 272 we shifted to SH 102 from Mandangad and then a sharp right to SH 103 from Kadvali.

SH 100 was just about driveable. SH 272 was OK. SH 102 and SH 103 were bad and for most of the time many parts of SH 102 and SH 103 fully were competing with lunar surface. There was hardly any road surface on SH 103 though the potholes were not big or deep. The width was just about one and half lane and the Maharashtra ST passes on it. The road is very isolated and that makes one wary of the road. The countryside was beautiful but I being the driver could hardly take away my eyes and the speed was just about 30 KMPH sometimes on SH 102 and most times on SH 103.

I just wondered about the quality of the SH (100, 102 and 103. SH 272 was best among them) which looked to me worst than the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana roads ( A GOI scheme to connect the villages to main roads).Finally we reached Harnai at 1530. The last few kilometres from Anjarle bridge till Harnai were sheer beauty which took us over an estuary of a river (big one but could not find its name) and then to Harnai village and through it to Home Stay called Ashiyana run by Dr Dalvi (rather his wife who runs it).

Estuary Of A River at Harnai

harshad Oct 16th, 2015 12:05

Balance posts to follow soon

harshad Oct 16th, 2015 21:45

Day One - 02 Oct 15 - Continued
Comments about the drive and the Road Conditions.

It was just a 6 hrs 30 min of drive time (with 1 hr 45 min spent for Breakfast and darshans of Ballaleshwar). E way is E way. Goa Highway was fine but the state and isolation from civilisation on SH 102 and 103 had made my wife very edgy and rightfully so. One can travel on this route once to experience the beauty of the surroundings of the drive but let your car be mechanically sound and I do not recommend this route for Solo car (like we did.) A group of two or more cars and if willing to take this road may be OK. It is recommended for safety (Konkan is very safe for individuals, it is just the breakdown that I am hinting at) and also to break the isolation by taking one odd break on the way.

Route Not Recommended

At Harnai

After reaching the Home Stay, we just enquired if car can come in (and it could) and went for lunch (as we had not asked the Home Stay to cook lunch for us) at Nisarga restaurant. We were hungry and ordered fried prawns, fish curry and dal tadka with Rice Bhakari (corse roti). We liked only fried prawns and not other items. The location of the place and the sitting is beautiful but we would not recommend this place. One more traveller staying at home stay later shared our views on this place.

Murud Beach.

Post lunch we wanted to explore Murud beach. We went to Silver Sand resort, parked our car and went to the beach. We did not realise that there is a way to beach where car can be brought. That way is next to famous Durga Devi temple. We explored the beach. There were lot of people frolicking into water and few enjoying beach quad bikes and horse carts. Very few stalls at beach were doing roaring business. It was fun to watch all these activities. After spending over one and half hour we decided to have some tea at one of those stalls. In the interim I decided to get my car to beach.

Murud Beach Photos

The Beach

Pregnant Clouds on the Beach ready to Deliver Rain

Golden Every Where

Framed Clouds

As I got my car and parked it on the beach, torrential rain (a typical Konkan phenomenon) started. Luckily we had come geared up with umbrella for all and we could save ourselves. One notable feature was that water sports had not yet started on the beach. Hence we decided to reduce our stay by one and return to Mumbai the next day.

We had already tied up for dinner at home stay. We reached Ashiyana Home Stay at about 1930 hrs and settled down in an AC room.

About Home Stay.

The whole Harnai – Murud _ Karde coast is dotted with hotels, resorts and Home Stays. We stumbled upon Ashiyana during the search on internet. Ashiyana Home Stay Run by Dr Z Dalvi, a Unani Medical Doctor and his wife Yasmin (who seemed to us the force behind this venture) is on harnai Palande main road. It is just about 20 meters from the main road. It may appear that cars can’t reach the home stay but reality is that cars can reach and considerable numbers can be accommodated in their compound.

The Doctor and his family stays on the ground floor and the guest rooms are on first floor. It has four rooms (two AC and two non AC) and a common hall which has two four seat dinning tables. All rooms have attached toilets. The rooms in this home stay are very neat and clean with good beds and clean linen. Towels are also provided if required. The bathrooms also are very clean, functional, have western seats, ample water and hot water is available. It was pleasant surprise to be in a neat and clean Home Stay with modern facilities. It was evident that the owners take pride in providing comforts to their guests.

The dinner was simple vegetarian fare with Konkani style of cooking. It was tasty, well cooked and enjoyable. The clean room, clean toilet and very nice food hooked us to this place. Problem that we faced was that Mahavitran (the Maharashtra electricity distribution co) had either switched off the supply or it had tripped due to torrential rains and thunder activity (event that is a common occurrence in this belt and faced by all resorts and home stays).

The home stay had their inverter so light and fan were available. We were worried about length of power cut and possibility of inverter batteries draining out but soon they switched on generator to feed fan, light and also to charge the inverter. The supply returned at about midnight and then we could switch on the AC.

Morning breakfast of Upama and Poha also was equally enjoyable. We found this place very good and the rates reasonable.

Home Stay Photos

shrikant borle Oct 16th, 2015 23:47

Future travellers take this route before mandangad (bhingloli phata)- kumbhale- after palgad take right turn- pisai- dapoli- murud or harnai...... it is in good condition.

Route link....!2d17.7770931

harshad Oct 17th, 2015 13:12

Thanks for the value addition. In my blog, the recommended route was to come in next parts. I think we both are talking about same routes but once I post it you would be able to comment.

harshad Oct 24th, 2015 17:45

Mumbai - Murud Harnai Road Trip - III rd and Final Part
Day 2 - 03 Oct 2015

Harnai Beach.

Morning of 03 Oct was for enjoying Harnai beach. We were well prepared with folding canvas chairs (called directors chair in film industry), beach umbrella and dresses for taking dip in water of Arabian Sea. We took the car on to the beach (it gave us scare for few minutes at a location where we got a feeling that the Tyre were sinking however we remained safe).

Normally we like to walk down the beach and that is possibly the best that can be done on a beach but we had an issue with one of the member in the family who could not walk long distance hence the car on the beach.

This beach is a long one starting from Harnai and going through Murud and then to Karde. It cannot be called a white sand beach but Harnai side was clean and also less crowded. We set up our camp with chairs and beach umbrella opened and then took the plunge in to the clean water of the beach.

All Set to Storm the Beach

Our Beach Camp

Next one hour and half was pure fun. It is difficult to resist the lure of a beach and my wife who did not want to venture in to the water was also in to it soon and enjoying waves lashing onto her face.

The Plunge

Photographing marine animals and insects activity on the beach also had its fun. Very tiny crabs making such wonderful symmetrical patterns to star fish, it was a nice experience.

Star Fish with Star Feet

Tiny Carbs and their Artwork

Another marine Life

Finally we reluctantly came out of the water. Dried ourselves as much as we could and reached the Home Stay. After a quick bath and breakfast, we checked out and went to Shri Durga Devi Temple. Our Kuldevi (family deity) and prime reason for us to be at Murud. But before that we spent sometime at the View Point (Sunset point) on Harnai bypass (road between Anjarle and Murud over the hill).

Views from the View Point

Shri Durga Devi Temple.

It is an old temple with wooden columns and beams. There are beautiful and colourful carving on these columns and beams. The serenity and peace of this temple is unparalleled. The Pandit of the temple shares our family name (after all it is our family deity). We had darshans, did Oaty (Goad Bharai) of the Devi Maa (again a family tradition) and asked for her blessing.

Coming to this temple built with lot of wooden columns and beams in original Konkan style has been a source of peace and tranquility to my mind. Spending some time here has always been something that I am ready to do any day.

The Lunch.

The lunch was at Sudhir Shinde’s homely hotel where it is better to give prior order for your food. The place is called Sai Krupa and it is two lanes short of Shri Durga Devi Temple on the left as one faces. He is so well known that any body and every body in Murud can direct you there. His specialty is sea food and very tasty one at that, though veg food too is available. And the rates, very moderate, 170 odd rupees for a thali with Curry or fried fish or prawns.

Return Journey and Discovery of Better Route.

Post lunch, it was time to head back to Mumbai. This time we took conscious decision to head for Dapoli. From Dapoli we took SH 102 to Mandangad. Sh 272 from Mandangad to Malikondavani and then SH 99 to Goregaon and to Goa Highway. Balance journey was on the same route as onward journey ie Goa Highway to Pali - Khopoli Road and then to Pune Mumbai Expressway till Mumbai. Eastern freeway after that and finally home.

The SH 102, Sh 272 and SH 99 combination really turned out to be good and are recommended instead of SH 103, SH 102, SH 272 and SH 100 combo that take one to Goa highway at Tol Phata.

The landscape of Konkan is sheer beauty. The beaches are fabulous and the food very enjoyable. Move out of your house and make a part adventure part fun and part religious Journey to Konkan. It is going to be very rewarding.

Recommended Route

And finally, the beauty of a Bullock Cart on a beach is still an object to behold

PS - I am happy that as committed in the beginning of this travelogue I have been able to post the complete journey. What I have not posted is about return journey through Goa Highway and Super expressway, uneventful but performed under torrential rain on both these roads and night time of SE way.

shrikant borle Oct 26th, 2015 00:23

@ harshad .... Nice report.

shrikant borle Oct 27th, 2015 14:07

Now it is time to comment on the route as it is helps for future indiamikers & travellers.

Your route - harnai to dapoli (msh 4), dapoli to devrai (kherdi) on sh 96. i think you turned left from devrai to mandangad on sh 102, after mandangad upto mhapral on sh 272, then ambet - nandvi -after purar right turned to goregaon on sh 99- goregaon -lonere phata - then nh 66- mumbai.
(future travellers dont turned left at devrai on sh 102 instead go palgad on sh 96).

My route - harnai to dapoli (msh 4), dapoli - pisai- palgad (sh 96)- kumbhale- mandangad (bhingloli petrol pump phata) - shenale- mhapral (sh 272)- ambet- toll phata (sh 100)- mumbai.

Every year after monsoon toll phata - ambet -mhapral - shenale- mandangad (bhingloli petrol pump phata) - kumbhale- palgad- then turned left khed / turned right dapoli road stretches repaired by government & mentain in a good condition as if kashedi ghat closed due to land slides & other reasons then Nh 66 traffic diverted to this route upto khed.

state transport buses (st) also uses my recommended route to reach dapoli & it is the main road to reach dapoli. state transport buses go to the mandangad city st bus stop & returned to the main bhingloli phata route & then go to the dapoli.

confusion happened at mandangad as all mentioned name "mandangad" in all routes. Then those who dont know the route go to the mandangad city (st bus stop) route & take sh 102 to dapoli/ anjarle/harnai. it is old route & now used only for village connectivity. Future travellers no need to go to the mandangad city st bus stop route instead take left turned at bhingloli petrol pump phata to rech dapoli.

From ambet left road goes to the nandvi - after purar right turned - goregaon - lonere phata & right turned road goes to the toll phata. Difference between two roads are ambet-nandvi road is a ghat section road & toll phata road is a plain road (no ghat section). Both roads ok for travellers & safe also. Toll phata road stretches damaged due to sand mining (savitri river) transportation through trucks on that road.

Petrol pumps :
one can get mangaon city petrol pump then another petrol pump on that route is mandangad bhingloli phata petrol pump. Between bhingloli phata - kumbhale - palgad- dapoli also one petrol pump there. Dapoli city two petrol pumps there. some travellers take dapoli - khed - nh 66 long route also & it is in a good condition. for those travellers khed bharne naka petrol pump. Punekars take dapoli -pisai- palgad -mahad route for those travellers opposite mahad city petrol pump.
Hope it helps for future travellers......

harshad Oct 27th, 2015 21:16

Thanks Shrikant for value addition to route info and also thanks for appreciating the write up.

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