Saturday, January 3, 2009

24 to 28-Dec-2008 Kokan Trip

I have always heard that Kokan is beautiful. Prior to this trip, I visited Ratnagiri and Ganapatipule. (Leaving Mumbai aside). Giridarshan Trekking Club had arranged a trip of sea forts in South Kokan. Since all the forts were almost at ground level, we decided to take children with us. Aditi and Omkar Wagh were also joining the trip. Hence the four kids formed their own team.

11:00 PM Started from Pune
We started from Pune by a 17 seater van. Both the families were sitting on the last two rows. It was cold in the night.

3:00 AM Reached Kolhapur
The bus stopped at a couple of places and reached Kolhapur.

7:00 AM Malvan via Gaganbanda
From Kolhapur, the bus proceeded to Malvan via Gaganbanda. We reached Malvan at 7:00 AM. Since the bus was not not comfortable to sleep, many of us were deprived of sleep. Some of us could sleep for an hour or so at the hotel where we had our breakfast.

10:00 AM Sindhudurg fort
After breakfast, we went straight to see the famous Sindhudurg fort. The fort is off the coast of Malvan. This is one of the most famous sea forts.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Malvan coastline

We took a trawler (motor boat) for 2 hours. Most of the fortification is intact. There are 2-3 temples inside the fort. There is hand and palm impressions of Shivaji Maharaj. A temple is also dedicated to him. Inside the fort, there is a coconut tree which has two branches forked.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Entrance of Sindhudurg fort

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Forked palm tree

There is one small doorway which opens in the sea. A small beach is formed in front of this door. The fort is quite big. No building has survived.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

After spending nearly 2 hours inside the fort, we came back to Malvan.

Between Malvan beach and Sindhudurg fort, there is one small rock cluster. It is called Padmagad. There is some fortification visible. A flag is also posted on the fort.

1:00 PM Lunch at the same hotel
Had our lunch in the same hotel where we stopped in the morning.

3:00 PM Kunakeshwar temple
We immediately proceeded to Kunakeshwar (Lord Shiva) temple. This temple is adjacent to Kunakeshwar beach. The beach is on the back side of the temple. The temple has been renovated. The hillock behind the temple and before beach offers magnificent view.

5:00 PM Devgad fort
Our next stop was Devgad fort. Devgad is very famous for hapus mangoes. On the way to the fort, there were several windmills. At one particular place, the road had sharp turns to climb a hillock. A lot of fishes were thrown on the ground. Several flamingos were came to eat the fish. The entire area was stinking. However, the scene was very nice.

Inside the fort, there is a temple. After spending some time in temple, we realized that the light house will close soon. Hence we rushed to light house. The view from the lighthouse was very nice. We could see the creek. The guard on the lighthouse explained us the mechanics of lighthouse. The mirror rotates with some specific frequency. This frequency is different for each lighthouse. By knowing the frequency, the fishermen can know where they are. Since the mirror starts rotating from dusk to dawn, no one is allowed on top of lighthouse during this time. There are few quarters inside the fort. There is nothing significant except the fortifications. Only a couple of structures are remaining in a dilepid condition. We saw some birds. For the first time, I know that there is something call Bramhiny Kite, Fish Eagle. We could click a photo of a fish eagle holding a fish in the claws.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Devgad fort from the Lighthouse

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Lighthouse in Devgad fort

7:30 PM Night halt at Padel near Devgad
After dusk, we went to Padel near Devgad. We stayed in a hotel in the night. The hotel was good as compared to the location it was in. There were 3-4 mango trees in the front yard. We had our dinner and slept. Most of us were deprived of sleep in the previous night.

One would imagine that Devgad has mango trees all over. But that is not true. It has some fields.

10:00 AM Vijaydurg fort
The next day morning, after having our breakfast, we visited Vijaydurg fort. The fort was seat of Kanhoji Angre during early 18th century. He had built a fleet of navy which checked foreign intrusions in the Arabian sea and Bay of Bengal. Due to him Andaman and Nicobar islands are in India.

Just before entering the fort, there is a very small temple on a small rock in the sea. The temple is tilted.

The bastions of the fort are very strong. One can see the bottom of the sea at some places. Such is the clarity of the water. There are lot of dolphins in the area. We spent some time watching the dolphins. There are lot of cannon balls kept inside the fort. At some sections, the rampart of the fort are collapsed recently. It pains a lot to see such historic monuments crumbling due to neglect and want of proper care. We can see how lime used to be prepared in the ancient times. The same lime which used to hold the walls for centuries.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Vijaydurg fort

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Tilted temple

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Entrance of Vijaydurg

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Entrance of Vijaydurg fort

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Beautiful hamlet outside Vijaydurg

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Canon balls

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Fortification

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Lime grinder

Vijaydurg is also the historic place from where Helium was discovered on 18-Aug-1868 by a French scientist Johnson. The spectrometer readings on this solar eclipse day confirmed a new element on the sun - Helium.

The fort has a covered place for the ships to dock. It also has an underground tunnel to Dhulap's palatial home. However, we did not see either of these.

12:00 PM Rameshwar temple
Rameshwar temple is very old. Most of the construction is wooden. From the road, we can see only one arch and no temple. However when we actually enter through the arch, there is a gradual descent cut through the rocks. On each side of the rock, several small holes are carved out to put lamps. At the end of this descent, the main arch of the temple is present. The temple has beautiful wooden carvings all centuries old and urgent need of repair/ conservation. There are many old articles like lamps, etc still in use.

The grove surrounding the temple is very nice with lot of green trees. The valley transports us to a totally different atmosphere.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Rameshwar temple

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Rameshwar temple

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Rameshwar temple

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Rameshwar temple

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Rameshwar temple

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Rameshwar temple

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08 Rameshwar temple

We came back to Padel. Had our lunch and proceeded for the next stop.

4:30 PM Mahakali temple at Adiware Wadapeth
This is Mahakali temple at Adiware. The temple has very beautiful wooden carvings. Pictures are also painted on the ceiling. It has a peculiar pot to lift water from the well.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

5:30 PM Kanakaditya temple at Kasheli
This temple is constructed in stone as well as wood. The main temple faces the opposite side that of the entrance. Actually we enter the temple complex from behind. The main sanctum has paintings from mythology.

The temple complex has two other smaller temples.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

6:30 PM Purnagad and temple
The next stop was Purnagad fort. This fort has nothing except the ramparts. We climbed ramparts and saw the view. It was a very nice view. The fort stood as a guard to a creek. The sun was setting by the time. The darkness increased. Finally we had to come out of the fort within half an hour.

At the base of the fort, there are two temples. We took darshan and sat there for some time. A news reached us from Pune that there was some trouble in Ratnagiri. Some people were seen in suspicion at railway station. Hence police are inspecting all vehicles carefully.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

8:00 PM Dinner at Ratnagiri
Naverthless, we decide to have dinner at Ratnagiri. The restaurant was small and crowded. We had ordered rice plate. However, there was nothing special Kokani in the rice plate food.

11:00 PM Halt at Ganapatipule
After having dinner, we proceeded to Ganapatipule. Since this was a long weekend, everything was full in Ganapatipule. We had booked a makeshift hall which did not have walls. It was cold in the night. I was surprised to experience such cold near the sea.

7:00 AM Ganapatipule beach
Woke up early in the morning. Somehow got ready to go to beach. I have visited Ganapatipule before. This is one of the best beaches in India. We spent nearly more than an hour on the beach. Some of us bathed in the sea. Women and children enjoyed the waves crashing on their feet.

We returned to the place where we slept in the night. Had a bath. Had breakfast in another hotel.

11:00 AM Ganapatipule temple
Ganapatipule temple is very famous amongst devotees. The temple is renovated. It is clean. The crowd management is effecient.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

12:00 PM Ratnadurg fort (Ratnagiri)
After having a nice darshan, we proceeded to Ratnagiri to see Ratnadurg fort (Bhagirathi fort). The city derives the name from the fort.

The bastion has a temple and a statue of Kanhoji Angre. One can see Ratnagiri harbour from the fort.

4:30 PM Kolisare temple
Laxmi Keshav temple in Kolisare is one of the best renovated temple one can see. It is situated at a very nice location in a green valley. The old temple was pulled down. A new temple was put in place with exact similar structure similar design. This made the temple very attractive.

This is how a renovation shoud be. Keep the original spirit intact. But reinforce it from time to time so that the place does not look crumbling.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

5:00 PM Karhateshwar temple at Nandiwade
The next destination was Karhateshwar temple at Nandiwade. This is Shiva temple. Immediately after seeing renovated Kolisare temple, this temple does not inspire. The location of this temple is also very good. But the temple itself is very old and crumbling.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

6:00 PM Jaigad fort
Our next destination was Jaigad fort. This fort has only walls and one temple inside.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

9:30 PM Reach Velneshwar
After seeing Jaigad fort, we went to Velneshwar. This is the place we halted for night. We had dinner.

11:00 PM Velneshwar beach
Some of us decided to visit the beach in the night. Others slept in the rooms. In the pitch dark night 7-8 of us took out our torches and went to the beach. We talked till well past 12 in the midnight. Finally we came back and slept.

9:30 AM Velneshwar temple
In the morning, we watched the sun rise. And visited the Velneshwar temple. This is an ancient Shiva temple.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

10:30 AM Hedvi beach
Next destination was Hedvi beach. There is a rock pach on the beach. Due to erosion, the water from wave has formed a channel across the rock. When a high wave crashes, the water rises through the narrow channel and rises like a jet.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

12:00 PM Ganesh temple at Hedvi
The Ganesh temple in Hedvi is very famous. The idol has ten hands. Hence the name Dashabhuja ganapati. The stone of the idol is found in Kashmir. This is also very nice and clean temple. It is situated in a valley with lot of green trees.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

1:30 PM Gopalgad (Anjanwel) fort
The last fort in our itenary was Anjanwel fort near Guhagar. While going inside the fort, we had placed order for lunch in Guhagar.

This fort has been sold out to some private party! The walls of the fort are crumbling. But it has an iron gate. A lot of mango trees are planted inside the fort. Security guards are placed. There is nothing much to be seen inside the fort except a couple of tanks.

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

From Trips - Konkan Dec 08

3:00 PM Lunch at Guhagar
We came back to Guhagar and had our lunch.

3:30 PM Vyadeshwar temple in Guhagar
After lunch, we saw Vyadeshwar temple in Guhagar. This temple is also neat and clean. The temple complex has 5-6 smaller temples apart from the main temple.

4:00 PM Start journey to Pune via Chiplun, Kumbharli ghat
We started our journey back to Pune via Chiplun through Kumbharli ghat. By 10:00 PM we reached Pune.

Kokan is very beautiful. However, the beauty is not exploited by the human. Kokan remains one of the poor regions.

The temples in Kokan are very nice, neat and clean. One would fall in love with the temple first and then with the god. This aspect should be taken across all the temples.

The temples are renovated in a nice manner. The renvation retains the basic essence of the structure.

The forts all over the country are in dilepid condition. They need to be restored.

1 comment:

  1. We have a travel website which is a Maharashtra travel Guide in which we have a page for Malvan with lot of information regarding the place including Malvan Hotels. Other than this we also have a website exclusively for Malvan -

    We also have a page for blogs on Malvan. Do let us know if you would like to feature your blog in the Malvan Blogs page.
    Please write to puneritraveller at gmail dot com