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Escape to crystal-clear waters
Himanshu Singh |
April 26, 2006
Love to travel? We continue our reader-driven getaway series.
Himanshu Singh, who works with an IT firm in Bangalore, recommends Kashid Beach. He loves to ride there from Mumbai on his Suzuki Samurai any chance he gets. Here's why.
White sand, blue seas, green mountains, paddy fields and rivulets -- that's Kashid for you, one of THE best beaches on the Konkan coastal belt.
It has the cleanest sand and casuarina (a type of shrub) groves that provide the perfect setting for a beach holiday.
You also have Murud, an old fisherman's town with a nice beach, and Janjira, a famous fort in the middle of the sea, in the vicinity.
How to get there
Kashid is about 140 km from Mumbai, 135 km from Thane and 110 km from New Bombay (Vashi) and should take you about five hours by bus, whether you travel from Mumbai or Pune. There are buses plying regularly between Mumbai Central and Murud, and Thane and Murud, with halts at Kashid. There is also a frequent bus service for Alibaug from Mumbai and Thane. From there, you could take a bus to Murud that also halts at Kashid.
The trip is a rejuvenating experience. The road is in pretty good condition except for a few patches. I love to do this route on my Suzuki Samurai and have done it four times already. It takes four hours from Mumbai to reach Kashid, if you are driving at a decent speed of 50 kmph. The road up to Panvel (50 km from Mumbai/Thane) is a well laid out six-lane highway, with plenty of traffic.
After Panvel, take the Mumbai-Goa highway. The road is pretty well-laid, with a lot of thick forest patches around it for 10-12 km. Beware of blind turns and speeding vehicles though, especially State Transport buses.
You will pass the famous Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Then, from Vadkhal, the road deviates from the Mumbai-Goa highway and makes its way to Alibaug. Traffic becomes non-existent from this place on, except for a few vehicles and ST buses that move really fast. Be careful of them as they approach without warning; none seem to have a horn installed (state transport departments should think seriously about this).
Once you take a right turn after crossing Alibaug for Revdanda, the Konkan coast unfurls. You have beaches (yes a number of beach fronts) on the right, about 200-300 metres from the road, and thick coconut tree groves on the left. The villages are quite picturesque, with concrete roads and beautiful landscapes.
After crossing the Vikram Ispat, take a right turn for Kashid. It is another 10 km drive with forest covered hills on one side and a vibrant sea on the other.
Where to stay
You have many 4-star options like the Kashid Beach Resort and Prakruti. There are also good options for low budget travellers, like holiday cottages that charge Rs 200 to Rs 500 per day. Try to bargain for better rates at these places. You can have a double bed, a clean toilet and food on demand. Seafood is a bit costly, but the ingredients are fresh.
What to do
Nothing! This place is meant for relaxation. Head for the beach in the morning, noon and evening. Take a walk on the sand under the moonlight; I bet you can never get a beach of this kind with almost no crowds.
When you get bored, hit the road and move towards Murud, which also has a good beach. The sea at Murud is crystal clear and greenish in colour, whereas, at Kashid, it is blue. As Murud is a town, there are plenty of holiday homes and you are sure to find one that suits your budget. Six kilometres ahead is Rajapuri village, from where you can take a ferry to Janjira fort.
As you reach the hilltop, on the way to Rajapuri, you will see the magnificent fort of Janjira standing tall in the sea. Boats are available to take you to the fort. The return fare is about Rs 250 per boat, which can accommodate about 10-15 people. Bargain for a guide. Rs 100 per group of 15 is a decent amount as the fort is not too big and there is nothing much to see inside.
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