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Old 17th January 2016, 15:58   #1
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Default A weekend getaway to Coastal Konkan - Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar and Diveagar

Discovering the joys of sharing travel experiences and pictures after reading the awesome travelogues on this forum, has lead me to narrate my Jan ’09 trip to Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar and Diveagar. Initially planned on New Years eve, but later postponed to next weekend simply to avoid the crowd, inflated rates and insane drivers on the road.

It feels exhilarating remembering each and every moment spent during the trip.

It was a short trip, lasting about 40 hours from start to back home. We had booked an XUV500 through Zoom car a week before the scheduled date. The booking was done for 40 hours (Sat 6 AM to Sun 10 PM). Though, the pick-up was at 6 AM in the morning but, in my mind, the trip fantasies were constantly lingering and even deprived me of sleep for the previous night. In fact, same is the case with my friends. Somehow, we all managed to get some sleep. Woke up early in the morning, got ready and reached the Zoom car pick-up venue 45 minutes before the scheduled time. Paper formality got completed in 15 minutes and we were all set to go.

I really wanted to have an early morning 4 am start to beat traffic, but it wasn't possible. Since, Zoom car pick-up starts from 6 AM onward only. Albeit, we were lucky to get the car half an hour before the scheduled time.

The route taken was Kothrud -> Chandni Chowk -> Pirangut -> Tamhini ghat -> Nizampur -> Mangaon -> Shrivardhan.

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We had a quick break for some tea and breakfast before Tamhini. Afterward, the ghat section begins, all my friends were fast asleep. My drive through the Ghats was a memorable one I can say. I had traveled earlier through this route somewhere in the end of 2011, being aware of the fact that roads were in bad condition that time, still we decided to take this route, but it was indeed good beyond recognition.

Since we were ahead of our calculated timing, even after crossing Tamhini ghat due to early start and absolutely no traffic, we decided to take a spur-of-the-moment break.

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We were a group of 7.5 people, 6.5 in the above frame including junior & one behind the lenses.

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We spotted few children playing cricket, soon we join them, since they were struggling to create the team, being less in number.

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Break time in pavilion after the match.

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We then headed straight to our destination Shrivardhan, Where we have booked a resort “Savali Village Resort” for night stay. Reached Shrivardhan around 11 AM, The rooms were pretty decent for the given affordable price.

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Plan was to enjoy the Shrivardhan beach in the evening. So we headed straight to Harihareshwar, which is just a 20 km drive from Shrivardhan, had lunch in between and reached Harihareshwar at around 12.30 PM. At Harihareshwar, there is a famous temple of Lord Harihareshwar, said to have been blessed by Lord Shiva. It is also referred as Dev-Ghar i.e. House of Lord, also known as ‘Kashi of the South’. A lot of devotees come here to worship at the Kalbhirav temple, do a one and a half circumambulation around the shrines also called as “Pradikshina Marg”. It is one of the most interesting parts of the temple. The 'pradakshina marg' starts off right behind the temple with about sixty to seventy steps before the 140 – 150 narrow steps cut in the cliff down to the sea. The trail goes around the cliff over a natural rock platform with the roaring sea just by the side and comes back in front of the temple.

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The thousand year’s affair, they must be telling each other the stories.

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Wandering around the temple and its surrounding.

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After the sightseeing, we headed back to our resort in Shrivardhan. It’s time for the beach.

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We couldn’t resist the expanse of the greenish blue waters and dived straight in.

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After having fun on the beach, we were back in our resort. Had a quick shower and then had our dinner at Moon-Shine hotel. It’s like a home stay, where you have to order the food and they will start preparing the same once the order is confirmed. Though, we have to wait a lot, but it was worth, since the food was super delicious. After a beefy dinner, we again went to the beach to feel the evening breeze. Actually, none of us have never been to a seashore at night, It was indeed a terrific experience. Few of us tried their hands on the beast over the vacant beach.

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On returning to the resort, we played cards till everyone felt really sleepy, and we hit the bed.

Next morning, had late start. Got everything wound up and was ready to leave for the next destination i.e. Diveagar. Completed the checkout formalities and left the resort.

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Went to the same hotel for breakfast, where we had our dinner last night. Again as expected, it was awesome.
On the way to Diveagar, we spotted a place (again it was beach), and surprisingly it was almost empty. Only a group of 8-10 people playing football, Soon they too left the place. It’s not like the beach was not clean. It was indeed a clean beach.

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Few body stretching moments in SRK Style….

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After looking at the long sight of ocean it feels like, the ocean is probably something that the Almighty commissioned when he was really angry. Whitecaps and surging waves that make your bloodless knuckles seize at the railing while your eyes scorch through the distance and anchor onto the shore. Also, could explode with its stormy tempers, flinging people around, wanting them out, attacking coastlines, and breaking down islands. But then again he politely ensured that it is a little more bearable for everyone. There is a magic about the sea. People were drawn to it. People wanted to love by it, swim in it, play in it, and look at it. It was a living thing that was as unpredictable. It could be calm and welcoming, opening its arms to embrace its audience. Gentle waves that cuddle your body as you float along, enjoying the warmth of the sun on your face and the relative cold of the salt spray.

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After bagging few moments at the anonymous enthralling place, we headed for Diveagar. Diveagar is also popular for its beaches and Ganesh temple i.e. Suvarna Ganesh. There used to be a Golden Ganesh idol at this place which was allegedly stolen in 2012. The idol has since then been replaced by one made with Silver.

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At Diveagar beach….

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I strongly believe, the ocean exists to remind us how very small we are, how vast the world is!

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We were all done with Diveagar beach at around 2 PM and there was quite a lot of time left with us for return trip to Pune. So we decided to en-route an unplanned destination i.e. Raigad Fort.

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Raigad Fort – This fort was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1674, he was crowned as a King of the Maratha Kingdom in the same fort. It is one of the best fort for trekking. There also exist a rope-way, an Aerial tramway to reach the top of the fort.

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Unfortunately, there was a long waiting queue for the rope-way, we asked the person at the rope-way ticket counter about the waiting time, he told us it will take around 3 hours for to and fro journey including waiting time and excluding the time spent on fort.

It was already half past 3 in the afternoon and we anyhow need to reach Pune, max by 10 PM which is again 4 hours’ drive excluding traffic condition. After realizing that rope-way won’t be possible for us, we decided to skip the same (Bad luck). Everybody was super hungry, since we haven’t ate anything after the morning breakfast. Almost at every fort in Maharashtra, you get Pithla-bhakri-Thecha in lunch/dinner. Raigad was no exception. Plenty of locals who were providing tasty pithla-bhakri. Had our lunch at one of the local home cum hotel.

After lunch, it was time to head back to origin. Descended the ghat of Raigad fort and reached Mahad. Many people inform us about the possible jam on Mahad-Mangoan highway,
And the nightmare come true. It was serious traffic jam and cars were moving by inches.
We wasted a good one hour in the traffic and reached Mangoan about 7.30 PM. Still 110 km drive was required to reach pune in 150 minutes that too in evening and Tamhini ghat.

Exactly at 9.30 PM, we reached Chandani Chowk, went to the same place from where we have picked up the car early morning on previous day. Handed over the car to the Zoom-car executive, he has done some inspection, completed the final paper formality and we then left for our places.

Finally, I conclude hoping you enjoyed the photos, as much as we enjoyed taking them.

Last edited by GTO : 29th January 2016 at 08:38. Reason: Typo
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Old 29th January 2016, 08:43   #2
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Default Re: A weekend getaway to Coastal Konkan - Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar and Diveagar

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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