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Old 31st December 2011, 17:10   #1
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Thumbs up Trip report - Shrivardhan, Diveagar, Harihareshwar (Konkan coast) in Dec 2011

Shrivardhan, Diveagar, Harihareshwar (Dakshin Kashi) trip report

There are many informative sites on these places in Konkan, so my intention is not to re-iterate the excellent information provided elsewhere, but to give some insights/perspective what it means to travel to places in Konkan, and how should one choose a place to stay (in addition to some hidden gems that we discovered, and new route information). Hope this reports does justice to the nature's beauty that is abundant in Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar and Diveagar. Travel was done in the last week of December 2011 in my trusted Palio SLX 1.1. Total distance covered was about 450 kms.

Accomodation hunt
The first task for us was to select a place to stay. The criteria were simple - rooms should be clean, food should be good, and the property must not be grossly overpriced. No expectations about professional ism, since in Konkan it is a slow, village life, and professional courtesy is an exception, but not the norm (for those who come from large metros and new cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, etc.). People are rustic, and straightforward - this makes them actually a pleasure to deal with. They won't fool you with wrong directions, nor will talk the "classy talk" to make you feel comfortable. Okay, so I called up a few resorts (Suvarna Shree, Lambe, etc.), but was not convinced with their information. Then called up a smallish place (with little information available) called "Niwara", owned and operated by a Mr. and Mrs. Mahadkar. In the first tele-call I had the comfort of talking with someone who knew the business, and who was candid (this is a trait that one needs to pick up with experience, and by asking prop er questions, and cannot be taught). Booked at Niwara, non-AC rooms. Mr. Mahadkar informed me that charges were Rs. 1500 due to peak season, but off-season charges were Rs. 1000 per night. Check-in time was 12pm, and check-out around 10am-11am. Niwara is in Shirvardhan, which is situated between Dive Agar (North), and Harihareshwar (South). This makes it an ideal place, as traveling distance to both these places is roughly the same.

Pune to Shrivardhan
Started around 8am, and reached Shrivardhan at 1pm. This included a 30 minute stop in Tamhini Ghat, enjoying the valley and clicking photos. Route was Pune - Chandani Chowk - Pirangut - Paud - Mulshi - Tamhi ni Ghat - pass Orchard Cafe at the base of Tamhini (more on this later) - take a left at Vile MIDC and pass a straight road of about 3 kms and then again a left to Nizampur - continue on the same road to reach Mangaon where it meets the NH17 (Mumbai-Goa Highway). Take a left on NH17 and travel for about 800 mtrs, and take a right towards Diveagar (the stretch you travel on NH17 is basically the Mangaon market, so it is easy to miss this right, no milestone was present indicating this turn, so keep looking and asking around). This road goes to Mhasala, and then forks out for Diveagar, and Shrivardhan/Harihareshwar - continue on this road till you hit a T-juntion with left going to Harihareshwar and take right to Shrivardhan. Niwara is opp. Shiv Shanti Holiday Home, and it is easy to reach this place as all locals know it as "Mahadkar's resort".

Somewhere in Tamhini


A typical Kokani village/town


Niwara resort
The property has three bunglows, with one housing the two AC rooms, the other having two non-AC rooms, and the third one where the owners reside. It has several trees planted in and around the property, and a nicely maintained lawn at the front. The rooms were spotless (and I actually mean it), and they have made everything that a family would require. For eg., each room has a capacity for 4 people with two on the queen bed, while two on soft-cum-bed, there are 3 fans, hot water for 24 hrs. via solar and boilers, very clean bedsheets, and pillows, as well as a facility to dry your clothes. Each room has mosquito nets, a TV with satellite connection, and a wardrobe for hanging/keeping clothes. Towels, blankets, soaps are provided, and rooms are cleaned daily. All the housekeeping staff is very friendly, and are prompt at service (okay, you may have to call for them, and it may take 5-10 minutes, but I consider is very prompt service in Konkan). Niwara can be reached on 02147 222298, 98504 81067.

They serve breakfast, tea/coffee/bournvita/milk, and dinner. Dinner orders are taken in the morning itself, since vegetables are procured in the morning. Both veg and non-veg food is prepared. I tried veg., and the food is simply amazing - almost as if cooked in your home. They set b'fast/dinner table in the lawn, and it is a fantastic experience. The Mahadkar family has paid attention to details as well, the cutlery used is of top-notch quality (all Corelle, and high quality spoons an forks). Morning tea is served from 7am, breakfast from 8am, and dinner from 8pm onwards.

One can probably just laze around in the campus, doing nothing, and still feel as if they are at home. The Mahadkar family has a fantastic plantation all around with chikoo, betelnut, champa, and other trees and shrubs. They also have a small personal temple (housed in their bunglow). Both Mr. and Mrs. Mahadkar are very warm and courteous, and it was a pleasure chatting with them.

Resort (left is the AC rooms, center is the non-AC rooms - total 4 rooms)




Room interior (clean, and tidy)


Day 1 - Shrivardhan beach
The beach is about 10 minute walk from Niwara (and merely 2 minutes if you have a car). It is crescent sized, with both ends having small hills. We visited this beach on the first day evening after a refreshing cup of tea at the resort. As expected, the water is clear, and the beach is clean.

Day 2 - Diveagar (Ganesh temple, Mr. Suhas Bapat's lunch, beach, and coastal highway)
Diveagar is about 18 kms from Shrivardhan, and there is a new coastal road that takes you from Shrivardhan to Diveagar and back. This is a very scenic route, and will surely rival the world famous beach highways/roads. The Ganesh temple at Diveagar is famous for the gold mask of Lord Ganesh, which was found by a local. After visiting the temple, we headed to Mr. Bapat's lunch home (which is besides Marathi school). The lunch is typical Maharashtrian Brahmin style, served with "ukadichey modak". Yummy!. Lunch is unlimited, and modak are on demand. One needs to call up Mr. Bapat around 9am for placing the lunch order (or a day before during rush hour/peak season). You won't get lunch if you make an unscheduled visit. Also, if you are 4 people, and intend to eat 2 modak's each, please place an order for 12 modak's (this way you won't regret for having "just one more"). :-) Mr. Bapat can be reached on 94238 37967, and 92711 27337.

After a heavy lunch, we headed for the beach. The Diveagar beach is fantastic stretch of about 6kms straight, and is lovely. Next time, we intend to spend more time here. The return was via the same coastal highway/road, with terrific scenery (remember seeing the Australian coastal road?). While returning back we visited the Jivana Bandar, a small fishing port near Diveagar. This is a fishing village, and is a must visit if you eat fish. I hear locals can take you on fishing expeditions if you ask politely. Wanted to do that, but was short on time. Spent rest of the evening at the resort having fantastic bhaakri-vangyaachi bhaaji for dinner.

Diveagar Ganesh Temple


Diveagar beach


The coastal route between Diveagar and Shrivardhan




View from the route




Peshwe Smarak (could not capture the statue due to low-light condition)


Day 3 - Harihareshwar (Kalbhairav and Shiv temple, Pradakshina, and Bagmandala ferry ride)
Harihareshwar is famous for its ancient Shiv temple, as well as the Kalbhairavnath temple housed in the same complex. These temples are on the beach, at the base of a small hill. Marvel at the architecture of the temples, and then head for the "pradakshina" route behind. This is where the beauty is! Starting behind the temple, this route climbs the hill, and then opens at a khind. The view from here is terrific and so is the sunset. Climb down the stairs to reach the rocky shore, and appreciate the design patterns created on the rocks by the beating waves. We then continued the pradakshina around this hill and then joined back the temple - essentially circling the small hill. NOTE: During high tides there is water on the narrow part of the route, and hence the pradakshina cannot be completed. So watch the tides when visiting the temple.

Near the temple, we had lunch at Gurugeeta hotel (on the left while going towards the temple, you can't miss it), which served us veg. lunch, and then headed towards Bagmandla to take the ferry ride crossing the Savitri river (this is the sangam). The ferry operates every 30 minutes, and can take you and your car from one end to the other and back. We did a roundtrip. Bagmandala is about 4 kms from Hareshwar, and the route is very scenic as well. We were exhausted by this time, and decided to head back to the resort.

In the evening, we visited the Peshwe Smarak in Shrivardhan. This is the original home of the Bhat family - the great Peshwe (or Prime Minister) without whom Pune has little to no history. There is nothing to see here, except for a statue of Balaji Vishwanath Bhat (or Pahilaa Bajirao/Bajirao I). Opposite the Peshwe Smarak, you have Mahesh Vaidya's "Kokan Mewaa" where one can get all the goodies from Konkan (mango pulp, supari, mango/jackfruit poli, kokam, etc.). Purchased a lot of stuff here, and I do recommend Mahesh if you visit Shrivardhan. He can be reached on 02147 223628.

Hareshwar beach (not suitable for beaching activities as it gets flooded during high-tide, other parts are rocky terrain)


Pradakshina route




Nature's rock sculptures...


Musical waves


Splendid scene


Bagmandala Ferry ride


Day 4 - Back to Pune
We started back around 12pm for the same route, and had our pit stop at Orchard Resort at the base of Tamhini Ghat (this is where the ghat starts, and is after the Vile MIDC road). Recognizable by the clock tower on the road. I highly recommend this place, for the neat and clean washrooms, as well as excellent and economical food (lunch buffet was Rs. 160 veg, and Rs. 180 non-veg, which included icecream as well). This place has good children play area as well, and is very nicely maintained. Reached Pune by 5.30pm (which included about 45 minutes at the Orchard Resort).

Orchard Resort at the base of Tamhini (Vile)


All in all, it was an energizing and refreshing vacation. The icing on the cake was the fantastic hospitality at the Niwara resort. Brought back a few very good cherishable memories. If you happen to travel to these towns, I wholeheartedly recommend Niwara.

-Amarendra

Last edited by choombak : 31st December 2011 at 17:26. Reason: Added Bagmandala ferry boat image
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Old 31st December 2011, 21:07   #2
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Default Re: Trip report - Shrivardhan, Diveagar, Harihareshwar (Konkan coast) in Dec 2011

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Originally Posted by choombak View Post
There is nothing to see here, except for a statue of Balaji Vishwanath Bhat (or Pahilaa Bajirao/Bajirao I).
Nice review. Will be useful to many.

A tiny correction. Balaji Vishwanath was father of Pahila Bajirao. Balaji was first peshwa, though. I think that might have caused confusion.
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Old 31st December 2011, 21:35   #3
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Default Re: Trip report - Shrivardhan, Diveagar, Harihareshwar (Konkan coast) in Dec 2011

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Originally Posted by choombak View Post
Shrivardhan, Diveagar, Harihareshwar (Dakshin Kashi) trip report

There are many informative sites on these places in Konkan, so my intention is not to re-iterate the excellent information provided elsewhere, but to give some insights/perspective what it means to travel to places in Konkan, and how should one choose a place to stay (in addition to some hidden gems that we discovered, and new route information). Hope this reports does justice to the nature's beauty that is abundant in Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar and Diveagar. Travel was done in the last week of December 2011 in my trusted Palio SLX 1.1. Total distance covered was about 450 kms.
.
.
.
All in all, it was an energizing and refreshing vacation. The icing on the cake was the fantastic hospitality at the Niwara resort. Brought back a few very good cherishable memories. If you happen to travel to these towns, I wholeheartedly recommend Niwara.

-Amarendra
Thanks Amarendra for sharing. Nice, short and crisp, detailed information you provided here.

Just checking - I guess, I spotted your beautifully maintained Palio few months ago in Pune, attached below link for your reference, was it you ?

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...ml#post2520734 (Team-BHP Stickers are here! Post sightings & pics of them on your car)
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Old 1st January 2012, 08:58   #4
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Default Re: Trip report - Shrivardhan, Diveagar, Harihareshwar (Konkan coast) in Dec 2011

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Originally Posted by AvonA7 View Post
Thanks Amarendra for sharing. Nice, short and crisp, detailed information you provided here.

Just checking - I guess, I spotted your beautifully maintained Palio few months ago in Pune, attached below link for your reference, was it you ?

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...ml#post2520734 (Team-BHP Stickers are here! Post sightings & pics of them on your car)
Yes, that's the car.
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Old 1st January 2012, 11:33   #5
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Default Re: Trip report - Shrivardhan, Diveagar, Harihareshwar (Konkan coast) in Dec 2011

@choombak,
nice travestory.

Harihareshwar have proper beach. The beach near temple is not suitable for any activity.
There is another beach , can be reached through MTDC premises.
Its black beach[ black sand].
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Old 1st January 2012, 13:20   #6
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Default Re: Trip report - Shrivardhan, Diveagar, Harihareshwar (Konkan coast) in Dec 2011

Thanks for the Travelogue choombak, nice pictures. And a special thanks for bringing places like Niwara to our notice.

I think I have spotted your car too :

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...ml#post2465128 (Team-BHP Stickers are here! Post sightings & pics of them on your car)
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Old 1st January 2012, 14:18   #7
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Default Re: Trip report - Shrivardhan, Diveagar, Harihareshwar (Konkan coast) in Dec 2011

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All in all, it was an energizing and refreshing vacation. The icing on the cake was the fantastic hospitality at the Niwara resort. Brought back a few very good cherishable memories. If you happen to travel to these towns, I wholeheartedly recommend
Lovely narration and even better photos! I felt refreshed just reading it, so I can imagine how much you must have enjoyed this trip.

How is the road condition in Tamhini Ghat? I'm guessing it's not very bad, since you reached Shrivardhan in just 4.5 hours excluding the 30 mins stop in the ghat.

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 1st January 2012, 17:32   #8
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Default Re: Trip report - Shrivardhan, Diveagar, Harihareshwar (Konkan coast) in Dec 2011

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Lovely narration and even better photos! I felt refreshed just reading it, so I can imagine how much you must have enjoyed this trip.

How is the road condition in Tamhini Ghat? I'm guessing it's not very bad, since you reached Shrivardhan in just 4.5 hours excluding the 30 mins stop in the ghat.

Cheers,
Vikram
"Not bad" is about right. No potholes, but a large number of uneven patches make a bumpy and slow ride. Some portions are nicely done, but these are far and few. The road from NH17 to Shrivardhan is in a much better shape with very rare and small bad patches.
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Old 19th September 2013, 11:00   #9
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Default Re: Trip report - Shrivardhan, Diveagar, Harihareshwar (Konkan coast) in Dec 2011

We executed a smaller version of pretty much the same itinerary last week. We stayed at Niwara and every word mentioned about it above is spot-on. The place is very neat and clean; the service is awesome and customer friendly. The food is very hygienic and quite tasty; though we missed the feel of authentic Konkani homely food. But that can be easily corrected by many home-stays in Dive-agar (Bapat, Avalaskar or any other. There are plenty). We didnít get to talk Mr. Mahadkar because of Ganesh Chaturthi festival but his staff is approachable.

We spent day1 evening just lazing around the place. Visited the Shriwardhan beach in day2 morning. The beach is clean and very safe. After coming back from the beach, we had nice breakfast at Niwara itself and headed towards Harihareshwar. Visited the temple, had lunch and we were back to Shriwardhan by 4 PM.

Since we didnít have much time in hand for day3 and we had experience of the particular road based on prior trips, we decided to cover Dive-agar on day2 itself. We left for Dive-agar at around 5:30 PM. Had a truly mesmerizing experience at Shekhadi beach watching sunset standing on clean silvery sand. Visited Dive-agar temple, had good dinner at Exotica resort and were back to Shriwardhan via the Shekhadi route by 10 PM.

The road travel to and from Shriwardhan was a horrible experience though. Because of lack of time, we had to use Tamhini ghat both the times. It is in truly horrible condition. You cannot go over 30 KMPH on most of the ghat section in a non-SUV vehicle. It took us 5.5 hours each (including small breaks).

Cheers,
Rishikesh
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