The Mesmerizing Magic Of The Konkan coast
Mumbai – Kolhapur – Malvan – Ganapatipule – Guhagar – Mahabaleshwar – Mumbai
04 nights / 05 days
Approx. 1200 kms
The Konkan Coast of Maharashtra has fortuitously managed to escape the onslaught of mass tourism till now and hence has been able to preserve its pristine charm to a great extent. This stretch of Maharashtra in the Western Ghats is a paradise for those seeking solitude, fresh air, unspoiled nature and a peek into an interesting culture.
Due to its rich bio-diversity, The Western Ghats also wears the crown of being one of the UNESCO Word Heritage Natural Sites. On this drive you shall pass through spectacular natural beauty characterized by lush green mountains on one side and quiet beaches on the other. A truly rare combination that you can experience only on this drive in India!
Konkan is also known for its unique and delectable cuisine which you shall get to savour all along. You shall also be having an overnight stay at Kolhapur, a town known for its cultural richness and a distinct cuisine. Incidentally, the Western Ghats are even older than the Himalayas!
THE PIT STOPS
Being one of the oldest cities in India, going back to the Satvahana period of 2nd and 3rd century CE, it naturally has a rich historical and cultural legacy. This town was once the seat of power of the great Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj. Situated on the banks of Panchganga river at an altitude of 1900 feet, Kolhapur enjoys a pleasant climate for large part of the year.
The Mahalaxmi temple of Kolhapur which is one of the Shatipeeths of the Hindu pantheon is one of the most visited temples of India. Thanks to the lavangi mirchi that grows in and around this town, the cuisine of Kolhapur is one of the hottest in the country. You shall get to see the craftsmanship of the famous Kolhapuri footwear for which this town is famous all arcorr the country!
A small coastal town in the Sindhudurg region of Maharashtra state, Malwan is a popular getaway for beach lovers and foodies. It is from here that you shall get to experience the charm of a drive along the coast of the Arabian Sea.
During your stay at Malvan, apart from enjoying the lip-smacking cuisine you shall be visiting one of the grandest forts of Maharashtra- the Sindhudurg Fort. It is a sea fort of amazing beauty and grandeur. Reached by a short ferry ride, this fort was built by the great Maratha king – Chhatrapati Shivali Maharaj in the late 17th century. The Tarkarli Beach located close by to Malvan is rated as one of the best beaches on the Arabian Sea coast and is also a popular adventure destination!
A small coastal town in the Sindhudurg The drive from Malvan to Ganapatipule shall be pretty much along the coast and you shall drive through some typical Konkan villages which would also include Devgad, famous the world over for its Alphonso mangoes. Apart from the ancient Swayambhu Ganapati Temple this small town is extremely famous for its silver sand beach. A visit to Jaigad fort shall also be part of your itinerary during your stay at Ganapatipule.
Our next stop shall be Mahabaleshwar- an extremely popular hill station of the Western Ghats and the source of river Krishna. On the way there shall be a short halt at the serene Guhagar beach, which has remained a hidden treasure of the coastal Konkan.
Perched at a height of about 4500 feet Mahabaleshwar is an all-season hill station famous for its green hills and strawberry farms. It was the summer capital of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency and remnants can still be seen at this beautiful hill stations in the form of old bungalows and mansions. Shopping for strawberry products and boating on Venna lake situated close to the town are some of the added attractions of this hill station.
In the 1800s Mahabaleshwar served as a jail for Chinese and Malay criminals for three decades. It is said that the strawberries that Mahabaleshwar is so renowned for now, owes it to these prisoners who initiated its farming among other different things like weaving bamboo containers and cultivating red potatoes!