With the onset of monsoon in Mumbai from last weekend, we have already started making plans for trips. For many, enjoying in monsoon translates to curling up in bed and having hot coffee, I and Paresh belongs to the other category! We head out on our bike to get drenched in the rains and have Chai and bhajiya on roadside tapri. Biketrip in monsoon is something any traveler should not miss!
Last year we went on a three day biketrip along Konkan beaches of Maharashtra which was an unforgettable bitter-sweet experience. With roaring sea on one side and lush greenery on the other, and it was pure bliss! The trip is still fresh in our memories, and I felt like sharing with you all about the beautiful experience.
As I remember, it was three day extended weekend holiday due to famous Ganesh Chaturthi festival, which is celebrated with so much passion and devotion in all over Maharashtra ( I’ll write about it some other day). We were eyeing on that particular weekend since long time as we were craving for holidays( every office goer story). But on that very day we cracked fight in morning, exact reason I am not able to recall now, most probably it must be on who will make tea? Anyways, the result of the fight? we were not talking to each other. Both of us wanted to go on trip but who will speak first?? As the morning turned into afternoon, my ego took back seat and at 3:00 p.m I asked “Are we going or what?’
Paresh was waiting for this only, and in next half an hour we hurriedly packed our bags and left our place to spend next three days on roads 😛
The route we followed was Vashi-Pen-Alibag-Kashid-Agardanda jetty-Dighi port- Diveagar-Shrivardhan-Harihareshwar and than back to our place by Harihareshwar-Shrivardhan-Manegaon-Pen-Vashi. It was in total 377 K.M. distance we covered as per Google maps.
Day 1 of biketrip: Vashi-Pen-Alibag-Kashid
As we were already late for few hours thanks to our kiddish fights, we planned to reach Kashid by evening and take a night stay there.
It takes around 3 hours to reach Kashid via Vashi-Khopoli-Pen-Alibaug-Kashid route, a 120 K.M. drive. We have droved many times on this route hence the whole ride was hassle-free despite of heavy rains. We left our place by 3.30 p.m, and drove without break to Pen, where we stopped to have tea and snacks at a local motel. As soon as we left the motel, it started raining heavily. We were ready for rains, as we were in our raincoats with our bags sealed and cellphone carefully covered in transparent cover.
We reached Alibag by 6 p.m, Alibag is a small coastal town in Raigad district. It also boasts beach front, but we prefer Kashid beach more which is relatively clean and less crowded. Kashid was still 30 K.M. away and once we derailed from national highways to state highways from Alibag, there was stark difference in the road’s condition. The roads were in bad shape with water logged everywhere. We somehow reached Kashid by 7p.m and started searching for home stays. We have visited Kashid many times and hence finding home stay was not a problem, we booked a decent room in 1000 Rs. and had dinner in nearby restaurant.
We called off the night with plans of waking up early to visit Kashid beach before hitting up the road again.
Day 2 of biketrip: Kashid-Murud-Dighi-Diveagar-Shrivardhan-Harihareshwar
We woke up early and by early we mean 7A.M. 😛 We went on the kashid beach which was just 2 K.M. away from the stay. Due to monsoon the beach was empty, with only three four odd people (including us). The small shops beside beach were closed due to off season.
However the view was beautiful with sea breeze, waves roaring, clean sand and no crowd. We walked on sands and reached one rocky end to the left of the beach to click few pictures. We went across the road in opposite side of beach ,as the other side which is otherwise looks blah was lively and lush green.
After spending good time on beach we headed back to our stay.We packed our bags, had breakfast in nearby restaurant and left Kashid. The roads were in bad shape to be honest, but it was scenic beauty along roads that kept us happy and motivated.
With roaring sea on one side and lush green landscape on the other, we were talking with winds. 🙂
Our next stop was Diveagar beach by taking ferry to Dighi from Agardanda jetty. Going by this route saved our time, the otherwise road route which was 80 k.m shortened to 40 k.m. and a first time experience to load your bike on ferry made it a win win situation 🙂
The ferry service is well on time with a reasonable fare you can check details on timings and rate here. It took half an hour by ferry to reach Dighi.
We reached Diveagar beach by afternoon, and to be honest it was nothing like what we read on internet, just bland! nothing special, or may be we were expecting too much. Disappointed we left for our next destination which was Suvarna Ganesh Mandir. Suvarna Ganesha Mandir (Golden Ganesha Temple) is a very old and popular temple in konkan. Temple used to have Ganesh murti made of gold. It is completely made of red old bricks. This rustic beauty was standing more prominently in the monsoon.
Finding this beautiful temple boosted our plan to visit next temple Roop Narayan temple. It was again an old temple with similar features placed in narrow lanes of Diveagar.
By this time we were hungry (remember I didn’t mention lunch till now?), so we left for Shrivardhan instead which was still 20 k.m away. It was a good bet as it was equidistant to Diveagar and Harihareshwar. We reached Shrivardhan by 2 p.m and found a stay for two in a decent resort. We had lunch in our room and took rest till 5 p.m.
The next place on our list was Ganesh gully near Harihareshwar beach, the internet had plenty pictures of this narrow passage between two huge rocks opening to the sea. We were mesmerized and wanted to visit , we searched the place on Google maps and it was found nowhere. We were having none of it, we decide to first reach Harihareshwar beach and then will ask some locals, which was just 19 K.M. away. Sounds like a plan?? No! we reached Harihareshwar, but it seemed nobody have heard the name forget about the directions, some locals told us to instead go to MTDC resorts they will guide better. We went MTDC resort which was located at sea front, a beautiful property. We enquired about the Ganesh gully, the staff said its just few meters away from MTDC back side facing sea. We hurriedly parked our bike and ran towards the back side i.e sea front, huge sea roaring from all directions?? which way? we asked ourselves, we again went back and asked the staff, they said right side. We ran again, this time towards right! we continued walking on rocks beside sea. We walked for half an kilometer, still no glimpse of Ganesh gully, we spotted one group of elderly men,and guess what they too were searching for the same. We had a good laugh on our fate, cursed the staff and left with alternate plan of visiting Harihareshwar temple instead which was just 2 k.m away!
We reached the temple it is placed on beach and offered prayers but in mind we were still stuck on Ganesh gully, while doing the rounds(holy chakkars) of temple we saw a stairway behind the temple named Pradakshina marg. Due to monsoon it was inaccessible as some trees were fallen on the narrow step-way. Still don’t know what came in our mind and we sneaked through the stairway before some one stop us, and any guess what was beyond it??
The Ganesh gully .. 🙂 we felt like Columbus (Haha IKR ;P)
Due to monsoon, the three feet narrow step-way were even narrower with green bushes blocking the way. It was very different than the pictures we saw on Internet but even more beautiful. And it was just us two on the whole passage..talk about perks of visiting in off season. The trail goes around the cliff over a natural rock platform with the roaring sea by the side and comes back in front of the temple.We were finally happy that the moment when we thought we missed one beautiful place, it came to us instead 🙂
We left the place as it started getting dark, Our bike was making weird noises since morning so we stopped at a mechanic shop to get it fixed. I was feeling hungry so while Paresh was busy in discussing the problem with the mechanic, I went to check adjacent shop for some food. The shop looked shabby, with few young boys and an elderly man sitting in white kurta pyjama. I anyway asked about the food, it was off time and they were going to have lunch, just when I was leaving they stopped me and cooked hakka noodles for us. Paresh joined me, as he saw me conversing with weird bunch of people through distance. On the contrary those were the most friendly people I came across in full trip, the young staff even arranged table for us beneath a tree. We had a full plate of lip-smacking spicy noodles for just Rs. 80, we tipped 20 Rs for which the owner was declining, he was happy that we metro people liked their food. As we finished the food, it started raining heavily and hence no photo 🙁 It’s funny how best moments even not captured in photographs, are etched in our memories for forever<3
We stopped in market to pick some (much-needed) booze, reached our resort by 8 p.m. and called off the night with content heart.
Day 3 of biketrip: Shrivardhan-Mangaon-Nagothane-Pen-Vashi
This was last day of our nomad life, as we were headed back to concrete jungle we came from. Before hitting off the road for a long journey ahead, for last time we craved for sea. Thus, in morning we went to explore nearby Shrivardhan beach which was few k.ms away from our resort. Learning from our last not so worthy experience of Diveagar beach, we kept our expectations low.
But clean and well maintained Shrivardhan beach was a delight, and we were happy that we made a right decision. The beach was less crowded, and had 3 k.m stretched promenade all along the beach with benches and huts where visitors can relax.
We played with waves for a while and suddenly black clouds started covering the sky. We returned back to cemented beachfront and relished on kanda bhajiya(onion fritters) and chai while watching a group of local boys dancing in rains. Nostalgia of our childhood hit us and for a moment we felt like dancing with them, but time! Time is villain, we had to hurry back to resort to pack our bags.
We left our resort by 10 A.M., it was in total 180k.m drive via Mangaon-Nagothane-Pen to reach finally Vashi. estimated time was 4.30-5 hours. But as it was raining heavily, and considering the condition of state highways we were positive to reach our home by 5p.m.
Riding for hours on broken roads in heavy rain is painful, but how many times you get to chase the clouds? How many times you feel the fresh wind on your face? How many times you get to see lush green landscapes with seasonal flowers decorating it? How many times you interact with strangers and get to see their lives from close?
In the last we were left with back pain and exertion but also with our souls drenched in rains and heart filled with memories 🙂
So go on a biketrip this monsoon to the roads less traveled 🙂
Happy monsoons 🙂