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Old 15th March 2010, 23:21   #1
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Default Beach vacation : Maharastra - Goa - Karnataka.

Discovering the joys of sharing travel experiences and pictures in my earlier log of my trip to Rajasthan has lead me to narrate my Dec ’08 coastal Konkan and Goa / Karwar trip on this forum. Planned this year end trip as a surprise to my wife, turned out well!! This travelogue was compiled as a dairy log when I transferred the pictures after the trip.

Day 1 : Ganapatipule!!

As always, had an early morning 4am start to beat traffic. Once you make it past Panvel, Konkan starts unraveling itself. Buildings give way to thatched clusters of villages, slums are replaced by lush green fields, roadside dhaba’s lure you for piping hot chai and batata vada’s and watching the sun rise from behind a small hill amidst a mild fog is something words cant describe…

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The roads though not wide have improved quite a bit and it’s a smooth drive. It was quite foggy and just before Chiplun we saw this sea of clouds covering an entire area. It was like being in an airplane and looking down at clouds.

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Reached Ganaptipule by around 11am and checked into the Konkani Huts at the MTDC resort. These are literally on the beach with good split a/c’s and even a bathtub with a window looking out to the sea. It was quite clean and neat but I hope they keep it that way. MTDC resorts have the best locations in every place in Maharashtra just that the upkeep some places leaves a lot to be desired.

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We couldn’t resist the expanse of the greenish blue waters and dived straight in. Am quite a water baby and can loll around the beach all day.

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Didn’t want to have a lunch before visiting the Ganapati Temple which is a short walk from the resort. It’s an ancient temple renovated recently and is right on the beach. Had a quick darshan since it was not crowded. The prasad at the temple is delicious. They have a ‘bhandara’ where khichdi and sweet boondi is distributed to all devotees.

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Hunger pangs set in once we reached back at around 3pm and we ordered some fried fish and prawns with some of Dr Mallya’s barley brew from the in-house restaurant which too has tables laid out on the sands. Food in Konkan is amazing at any place be it a big restaurant or a small “khanaval” (basically tables laid out in somebody’s house where you get food cooked by the lady of that house).

After lunch, we decided to explore around a bit and drove up the cliff ( ask the way to Abhishek hotel for reference). The views from the cliff are beautiful, the enormous expanse of the ocean shimmering in the afternoon sun. We also went over the Prachin Konkan Museum, nothing great but that’s my personal opinion.They had a preserved specimen of a seahorse though; seahorses never fail to amaze me, wonder how they evolved!

The resort seen in the picture is Krishnali..over hyped and expensive.
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View from near Abhishek Hotel
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"Pickled" Sea-horse!!
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Coming back to the resort, we settled down on the beach to watch the sunset. God is one amazing artiste!!
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On beach vacations in Konkan, there is not much to do in the evening. We lazed around outside the rooms on hammocks listening to the waves. Had another round of fish, prawns and beer and dozed off.
Off to Karwar tomorrow!!

Last edited by nix1976in : 15th March 2010 at 23:24. Reason: reattaching pics
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Old 15th March 2010, 23:41   #2
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What's that poor seahorse doing in a jar? Poor thing is a deep sea creature and can't survive low pressures for anything over 5 - 10 mins.
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Old 15th March 2010, 23:51   #3
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I think the sea horse is already dead.

Where was pic 1 & 2 taken? And what about 5 & 6? How far is this place from Mumbai (or from Panaji)?
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Old 16th March 2010, 06:45   #4
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Man the sea horse looks like a specimen for a biology class; in jar of Formaldehyde !

Sorry if I attacked upon your culinary delight!

I have one more fundamental question: Why is Ganapatiphule become so famous? Are'nt there places like Ratnagiri etc. which are equally good? But I hear folks going more to this place mostly. Is it because its closer to Mumbai?
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Old 16th March 2010, 08:47   #5
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@smartcat : The first 2 pics were taken somewhere on the Mumbai Goa highway before Chiplun from within the moving car by my wife and the 5th and 6th pic of the clouds were taken at Chiplun. At first sight I thought I am looking at a lake but was amazed to see the clouds all over the place.

@ Ampere : Ganapatipule is around 375 kms from Mumbai and about 50 kms from Ratnagiri. Guess the main reason for its popularity is the Ganesh Temple by the sea, the views from the cliff and the food. The sea here is very clean with greenish blue water and the beach is not crowded even on weekends.
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Old 16th March 2010, 14:59   #6
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Nice write up and pictures mate keep them coming , Even I had been goa last year and it was a very awesome experience (My travelogue is in pipeline)...
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Old 16th March 2010, 15:27   #7
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Great pics of the sunset Nikhil.

Even I was wondering the same, lots of folks heading to Ganapatipule.
But its nice that MTDC is maintaing the resort well and hope they do this good job for long
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Old 16th March 2010, 17:51   #8
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nice pics.. looking fwd for the road pics on the bom-goa highway.. doing a trip on 14-20th April..
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Old 17th March 2010, 23:00   #9
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Default Day 2 and 3 : Devbagh Isaland, Karwar

Day 2 : Devbagh, Karwar.

As planned, I left from Ganapatipule at around 4am and raced through the countryside into Goa. We had to cross the length of Goa to get into Karwar but luckily the highway bypasses congested towns and threw us straight out to the Goa border.

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Reached Karwar at around 11am. Had booked 2 nights at the Devbagh Island Beach Resort. It is essentially an extension of the creek that juts out to sea so you have backwaters on one side and the sea in front. There is a fishing village behind the resort at some distance which we discovered while taking a walk across the beach so its not an island in strict terms!

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The car needs to parked at their office on the mainland and we are transferred by a speed boat to the island. An electric car takes you from the small jetty and drops you off at the resort. It’s a cluster of log houses and cottages amid a casuarina forest. Very tranquil and beautiful setting. The sea opens up to small islands visible on the horizon.
Had booked a a/c log hut, it was a bit different than the other log huts made of wood and was neat and clean.

The cottage on the Island
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Again, nothing to do except chill on the beach in the shade of the trees with a beer! There was a buffet for lunch and I remember having the time of my life hogging on fish and chicken.

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The island in view is called "Turtle Island"
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They had a barbeque on the beach at night with an open bar…boy did I have fun!!

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After dinner as we lay in the hammocks outside the log hut, we could hear someone laughing away to glory… like a sinister howling laugh…was quite a scary sound ( I guess it must have been laughing hyenas…at least that what I convince myself with)

Day 3 : Devbagh

The resort has planned a nature walk for their guests early in the morning. We went around the forest on the island with a guide, watched the sunrise, saw some small wildlife like wild cats, crabs, wild ant homes ( these are real unique) and pugmarks of foxes (maybe they shared a joke yesterday night).

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This an Ant nest made from the bark of the host tree
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Were told that these are pug marks of a fox
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Devbagh Backwaters
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Then we were also taken out to sea on a dolphin watching trip. We moved around a few islands for about an hour and spotted a few glimpses but it was too sudden to click pics. We couldn’t spot a dolphin herd.
Back on the beach, we lazed around after lunch in the hammocks. The sunset that evening was beautiful and I had never seen the sky in as many hues. Let the pics do the talking here!

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Old 18th March 2010, 06:09   #10
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Wow! reminds me of my times ! Did you try snorkeling? I used to stay very close to this place. Hence we used to do many day visits to this resort. Thats is to go there have a blast and be back by evening. Never spent a night at this place.
Looks very nice!

At the base of the Kali bridge, from where they take you by the boat, you get a feeling that you are travelling to a secret base ! Once you reach, its an amazing panorama !

Last edited by ampere : 18th March 2010 at 06:10.
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Old 18th March 2010, 17:54   #11
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@Ampere - There were some water sports like banana boat ride etc in Devbagh but no snorkelling. We did that in Sindhudurg, an really amazing experience.
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Old 18th March 2010, 20:28   #12
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wow, this place is awsome. I love the combo of water, sand, rocks and hills.
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Old 19th March 2010, 18:08   #13
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Amazing Pics.

Guess its time to pay karwar a visit.

Just 1 question though. Is this the best time to visit Karwar?
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Old 24th March 2010, 14:03   #14
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Default On reading this...

Sitting in the office, looking athe pics you posted...I made up my mind...I have just applied for leave and am going on a roadtrip.
I have driven down NH17 in May, 2009 Mumbai - Goa, (the wife and daughter as passengers), one stop at Mahad in my Feb 2007 Santro Xing. Total 14 hrs on road drive-time.
Unforgettable experience.
I am doing the Mumbai - Ganpatipule - Goa - Mumbai again soon...Will post on that once done.
Thanks to your post. BTW, which camera do you use?
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Old 24th March 2010, 22:50   #15
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Default popularity of ganapatipule

Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Man the sea horse looks like a specimen for a biology class; in jar of Formaldehyde !

Sorry if I attacked upon your culinary delight!

I have one more fundamental question: Why is Ganapatiphule become so famous? Are'nt there places like Ratnagiri etc. which are equally good? But I hear folks going more to this place mostly. Is it because its closer to Mumbai?
apart from the temple. its the popular mtdc resort with just the right price which keeps it going.initially liquor and meat was not allowed in this town which is sacred but things have changed now.
there now has been a flurry of resorts the most recent being the blue ocean resort and spa at malgund just a few kms down the beach along a beautiful sea front road.
malgund is the hometown of famous marathi poet "keshavsut" there is a small musuem cum home attached where you can know more about his life and literary feats.
there is nothing much to do in ganapatipule just laze around and really relax
the ganpati temple was revered by the peshwas and renovated by them the ancient temple was very old. the renovated temple had a mangalorean roof tiles.the new temple is a modern version.
the pradakshina or circumambulation around the hill was built by the peshwas and the old pathway still is present in places.there are two old temples on the top of the hillock and a "sweet water tank" amazingly lies on the very edge of the beach.
in my childhood when i used to visit ganpatipule jackals and foxes were frequently sighted on the hilltops above the seafront.
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