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Old 11th May 2012, 19:50   #1
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Default Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan

Itinerary

Day 1:
Pune - Tamhini - Mangao - Mhasala - Diveagar
Road condition: mostly good. Paud - Tamhini route has bad patches as usual.

Day 2:
Diveagar - Srivardhan via "Marine Drive" - Diveagar

Day 3:
Diveagar - Mhasala - Mangao - Pali (Ganapati temple) - Khopoli - eway - Pune

Mulshi - Tamhini route has a spot where there is a small by-lane to an old
bridge structure which re-joins the main road. It's very pleasant here with a
hill on one side and Mulshi back water on the other. This is a customary
breakfast spot for all our trips to Kokan via Tamhini.

Safari with "dining area" door opened to have a go at hot home made breakfast:
Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-breakfastspotmulshi.jpg


A must read book

Strongly recommend the series "Sad Sagarachi" by Parag Pimple, Bookmark
Publications, for anyone interested in not only logistic information, but also
historical and cultural background of Kokan region.

It reflects painstaking amount of research and hard work by the author. The
books are in Marathi. Not sure whether translations are available.

The one for Srivardhan-Harihareshwar-Diveagar in the series
(ISBN-978-81-906372-1-3) had a lot of details that helped visiting several
interesting places in the region.

The book is so good that some folks we came across at a temple suggested they
wanted this copy of ours. We diplomatically averted their attempt to seek this
favor!


Stay

We chose a homestay at Mr Prasad Kelkar's property.

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-board.jpg

This is exactly opposite to Limaye High School. Following is a link to map to
reach their place from entry to Diveagar.
DiveagarPO_KelkarHomeStay in Shrivardhan | Bike Map | MapMyRIDE

The place is very clean and well maintained. The atmosphere is quite homely and
conservative. No non veg or drinks/smoking/noise making etc. is allowed. Food
is authentic Kokani vegeterian food.

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-frontyard.jpg

The rooms:

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-rooms.jpg

The hot water arrangement is very eco-friendly. Water is stored in a big
boiler-like pot covered in a thermally insulated structure. This is heated by
burning the fallen leaves, small sticks etc from the big garden (wadi) of the
property.

Anticipating the needs of guests returning from the beach, there is a seprate
wash area before entering the rooms to wash away the sand, which at most places
otherwise carries with you all the way to your rooms.

Baths are not attached and are very basic. Only wish the taps released water at
not so miserly rate! Barring that, the overall stay arrangement was very
satisfactory.

There is sufficient parking space for 4-5 vehicles.

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-parking.jpg

Tariff was 500/- for a couple. They didn't charge separately for the kid,
though provided an extra bed.

Just a stroll into the wadi is very pleasing. A paragraph below are some snaps
of the wadi.


A special word about our hosts

Mr and Mrs Kelkar were very cordial hosts. Had special affection for kids, as
they said our son was nearly of the same age as their grandson. They pampered
him like anything, served some special delicacies in every lunch/dinner.

We realized this much late, after coming home when we glanced through the bills
that they had not charged anything for our son's food!

An unusual thing happened after our return. We had forgotten a couple of water
bottles over there. Big deal? They arranged to drop those bottles at our
relatives' place (who were accompanying us), who stay close to their son's
place in Mumbai! I was quite amazed with this gesture - something rare to see
these days.


Some snaps from the wadi of our homestay

Running out of allowable limit on the photos ... Collaging a few of them (and I
am not good at it as you can see :-( ) to get an idea. Most items are easy to
make out. The brooms shown are a product of this wadi itself!

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-wadicollage.jpg


Diveagar highlights:


Interactions with locals, theft incidence from their perspective

This trip happened within a few days (I think within a week) of theft of the
Suvarna Ganesh (Golden Ganesh idol or idol mask to be precise) which was a key
attraction in Diveagar for many tourists and a matter of pride for the
villagers.

The agnoy caused by the incidence could be clearly felt on people's faces and
the way they expressed themselves.

Besides the emotional aspects, the village that thrives on tourist business is
also worried about financial implications to them as the tourist inflow would
possibly reduce due to loss of the key attraction.

My personal opinion is, Diveagar is still not any less of a tourist attraction
and things should return to normal over time for them.

Besides, wherever we went and asked for directions, people not only explained
at length, on one occasion one of them came on a bicycle to correct me when he
thought I am missing a turn. At one more place a young boy was standing
directing us, till he was sure that we have reached the place. Overall, for
someone living in cities all the time this was a heartening experience.


Seashore

Contrary to most travelogues' claim that this is a very clean beach, we found
it in quite littered state. The sight of plastic and bottles all over was sad.
When asked a tea staller at the beach about this, he said it is cleaned once in
a week, which was due a couple of days after the day we visited.

It is otherwise a safe beach to get into water.

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-seaentry.jpg


Shilalekh

Close to the entry to Diveagar, there lies this historic "Shilalekh".
Unfortunately, unless someone mentions to you, you won't even notice it. It is
in a bad shape, not even covered properly, and barely readable. Weather is
going to continue to act and reduce it to just another stone unless some
precautionary measures are taken.

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-shilalekh1.jpg

There is yet another Shilalekh in Diveagar, which is inside private property of
Mr Bal Joshi. Being a small village, anyone can tell the directions to reach
here, besides above mentioned book has detailed maps.

We met Mr Joshi, who very kindly, helped us see this structure. Like above one,
there is barely anything readable now. However, Mr Joshi has maintained a hand
written version of what is written on this. He, very kindly, allowed us to
photograph the same.

This Shilalekh dates back to 1254 AD.

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-shilalekh2.jpg

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-shilalekh2a.jpg


Suvarna Ganesh and surrounding temples

The famous Suvarna Ganesh temple and a number of others are all nearby, on the
entry route to the village.

There is also the "Prakat Sthan" where Mrs Draupadi Patil had discovered the
famous golden Ganesh mask burried in their wadi in 1997.

Following picture is of the main temple. Photography inside is not allowed.
Inset is an idol of (I think) Shani, which is not covered by any temple,
located opposite Ganesh temple.
Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-suvarnaganesh.jpg

Kedar Bhairavnath temple:
Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-kedarbhairavnath.jpg

Siddhanath / Siddha Bhairavnath temple:
Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-siddhanath.jpg


Other temples

If you have time you can also visit some of the other temples:

Gautameshwar:

This was just close to the back exit of our home stay. There are only remains
of some temple. There is a small pond behind this.
Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-gautameshwar.jpg


Panchamukhi mandir:

It is basically a Shiva mandir, though there is a structure carved in stone
near it - suspected to be a part of a column of some larger ancient temple,
with all 4 sides and top of it having carvings on it (see bottom right of the
collaged picture below). Hence probably the name Panchamukhi.

The place was very lonely. We ourselves opened the latch to enter this temple.

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-panchamukhi.jpg


Roop Narayan and Sundar Narayan twin temples

If there is anything that can restore the glory of this village, if one thinks
any of it is lost due to the theft of iconic golden idol, it is this twin
temple, which is still under heavy renovation work.

As the name suggests, the idols here are really beautiful. There are
"Dashavtars" carved on the Roop Narayn idol.

Also had a chance to meet the artist (Murtikar) who created the idols here.
(Forgot the name, though was keen to mention. Alas.. I should write the
travelogues quickly on return.) He was originally from Pune and had his shop in
Kasba Peth area.

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-roopnarayan4.jpg

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-roopnarayan1.jpg

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-roopnarayan3.jpg

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-roopnarayan5.jpg

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-roopnarayan7.jpg

There are also the remains of old Sundar Narayan temple just behind the new
ones.

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-roopnarayanorig1.jpg

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-roopnarayanorig2.jpg


Srivardhan highlights:

Our main destination was Diveagar and we did not have much time to spend at
Srivardhan. Main attraction to go there was to have a ride on the marine
drive
between Diveagar and Srivardhan, besides getting fuel! Also visited,
Balaji Vishwanath's memorial and Laxminarayan temple which were on the way to
fuel station.


Views along the Marine Drive:

The marine drive ride was very pleasant and refreshing. The road is in good
shape. You should roll down the windows and feel the breeze. I realize, I
haven't taken photographs of the road itself. Following are a few snaps along
the road.

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-marinedriveview1.jpg

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-marinedriveview2.jpg

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-marinedriveview3.jpg

Balaji Vishwanath Memorial

Balaji Vishwanath was the first Peshwa (prime minister) appointed by Shahu
Maharaj (grandson of Shivaji). His contribution to the history of the region
has been immense. The memorial of someone like him should be much better
maintained. There is really nothing besides the statue here. We found kids
playing cricket around here, who "politely" requested not to park our car near
the memorial as the ball may hit our car. Obliging them we took our car to an
otherwise walkable spot from here - Laxminarayan temple.

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-balaji1.jpg

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-balaji2.jpg

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-balaji3.jpg


A break at the beach till sunset

We stopped at a beach along the drive and let our son play in the water. But
slowly the wind started getting stronger and the waves a little erratic. A
local lady passing by just about mumbled, with a concerned face, something like
"It's on the rise, why did you let him in?" in Marathi and walked away
mysteriously. Her talking like that skipped a heart bit or two and we
immediately got our son out of the water. The roar of the waves was just
getting louder and winds stronger at this time. We closed the windows and
watched the sun setting from the car itself.

Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan-marinedrivesunset.jpg

Last edited by mayuresh : 12th May 2012 at 20:36.
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Old 14th May 2012, 14:08   #2
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Default Re: Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th May 2012, 15:04   #3
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Default Re: Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan

Thanks for the travelogue coupled with excellent pictures. I am planning a trip to Diveagar and would love to stay at Mr. Kelkar's homestay. Could you share their contact details please?
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Old 16th May 2012, 16:00   #4
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Default Re: Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan

Mayuresh, Nice T'log with cool pics. Diveagar is very good destination for weekend plans.

moralfibre, The contact no of the homestay is available in the second pic, if this will help.
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Old 16th May 2012, 16:11   #5
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Default Re: Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan

Nice writeup mayuresh! I'd ridden down to Diveagar in December, but was quite disappointed with the trash on the beach. I'm planning to continue down to Srivardhan next time, so I'm quite eager to see your pics of the place. Some details on accomodation and rates too

Cheers,
Rahul
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Old 16th May 2012, 16:24   #6
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Default Re: Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan

Nice writeup. I have been to Dive agar many times, but didn't know about the Shila lekhs! The Rupnarayan temple is coming up really nicely.

Thanks for the headsup on the book. Ordered total 5 books from him for various sea beaches.
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Old 16th May 2012, 16:27   #7
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Default Re: Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan

mayuresh,

How was the weather at Dive agar? Was it too hot? Did you feel the need of A/C at all? I am travelling to Murud next week which should have more or less similar weather, hence asking.

Btw, the pics are nice!!
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Old 16th May 2012, 18:15   #8
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Default Re: Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Figopian View Post
How was the weather at Dive agar? Was it too hot? Did you feel the need of A/C
at all? I am travelling to Murud next week which should have more or less
similar weather, hence asking.

Btw, the pics are nice!!
Thanks! The trip was in April. It might be a little hotter than that now. We
didn't feel the need of a/c. Also there are frequent power outages and most
places that offer a/c do not have generator backup for a/c (although they have
generator for other things, ask specifically if you are booking a/c
accommodation).

Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoochild View Post
Nice writeup mayuresh! I'd ridden down to Diveagar
in December, but was quite disappointed with the trash on the beach. I'm
planning to continue down to Srivardhan next time, so I'm quite eager to see
your pics of the place. Some details on accomodation and rates too
Rahul
So trash has been there before, too. Yes that's disappointing for such a nice
place. I do not have much pics or stay information of Srivardhan. I think some
bhp travelogues on Srivardhan do provide review of home stays in Srivardhan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
Thanks for the travelogue coupled with excellent
pictures. I am planning a trip to Diveagar and would love to stay at Mr.
Kelkar's homestay. Could you share their contact details please?
Land line no is in the picture. Mobile: 9423234128.

Please feel free to mention the travelogue if you do visit this homestay.
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Old 4th August 2012, 02:30   #9
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Default Re: Weekend Trip : Pune - Diveagar - Srivardhan

Nice travelogue and great pictures too. I did a Pune - diveagar - srivardhan - harihareshwar road trip with friends sometime back. All Royal enfields and we carried tents along to stay and had food at the local hotels. It was an awesome ride!
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