The only thing which comes in mind when we think of Konkan is beautiful sea and its beaches. But as it turns out there’s plenty to see if you look beyond sea and its beaches
Our journey started from Thane district of Maharashtra. Our first target was Guhagar, a city in Ratnagiri district which is 280 km from Thane. Guhagar is known for its virgin beaches, coconuts, betel nuts and alphanso mangoes. Apart from beaches, the place also has beautiful temples like Vyadeshwar (Lord Shiva) temple, Durga Devi temple, Hedvi Ganpati temple and Velneshwar temple. We reached Guhagar at 10 pm and took a room in Durga Devi temple’s Bhakt Niwas. Durga Devi temple and Vyadeshwar temple have facility for devotees to stay, which is known as Bhakt Niwas. The city is not at all crowded and we couldn’t find people on the streets after 9pm. The place was very pleasant, calm and peaceful with the sound of waves coming from sea, which was not visible. We completed our dinner and returned back to our room to take rest.
Next day we got up early morning and got ready to go to our clan God’s temple ‘Vyadeshwar’. It is considered to be the kuldevta of many Chitpavan families from Konkan region. All male members of family performed abhishekam, as only males are allowed in Garbagrah. After completing the rituals, we had kokam sarbat for which Konkan is famous and then went to Durga Devi’s temple. We packed our bags and moved towards the next destinations Hedevi and Velneshwar, which were approximately 45 km from Vyadeshwar. Hedevi Ganpati temple is also called Dashbhuja Ganpati. This Laxmi-Ganesh temple idol is carved in white stones and has 10 hands. Velneshwar is a village which has an old Shiva temple. By visiting these mystical temples, tranquillity prevails in mind.
After visiting temples we took rest for some time. The journey continued to next destination Harihareshwar. People usually take highway route to reach Harihareshwar from Guhagar but we chose a different path which would pass through several small villages and includes a ferry.
One of the village by which we passed was Anjarle, a beautiful small village which has several farms of betel nuts and coconuts. Trees were arranged in a matrix fashion one behind the other in rows and columns. A green Konkan region has spectacularly beautiful farms of big coconut and betel trees. The village was having a mixture of kutcha and pucca houses. Rich people have built many cottages which they give for rent as guest houses to tourists for 3-4 days. A typical village having kutcha house, buffaloes and cows roaming on streets, farmers working in farms, females carrying sticks on their heads, school children running on road with their bag packs. And on the above were clear sky, clean air and beautiful sun rays penetrating through big coconut and betel tree. Everything looks so clear and pollution free. We reached to Dabhol which has jetty. Jetty is a landing stage or small pier at which boat or ship is docked. A ferry carries 12 cars in it apart from that few 2 wheelers and also local passengers. We took a ferry from Dabhol to Dhopave. Every hour a ferry comes and leaves to the other bank. Within 10 minutes we crossed the bank and covered around 60 km of road journey. It was a new experience to take the car on ferry. Again our journey continued to Dapoli via road.
We reached Dapoli at 6pm and then halted for tea and snacks. There we got to know that the next ferry is only till 7.30pm and we can’t reach there in an hour, so decided to spend the night at Dapoli. After searching various options, we ultimately got a place to stay which was called Kisan Bhavan. A tea shop owner helped us in finding this place, thanks to him. It was an educational and research centre of agriculture. Suddenly it started raining heavily and then there was a power cut. We enjoyed the rains and darkness at the footsteps of Kisan Bhavan. Next morning, we got ready and continued to our destination for jetty. On the way, we saw magnificent view of coastal region where sea and beach were running adjacent to us. We took another ferry from Veshvi to Bagmandale. We continued to a path having very narrow streets full of puddles and digs, which was giving a feeling of riding on a camel. At 12.30pm, we reached Harihareshwar, the last destination of our tour.
Harihareshwar is a town in a Raigad district surrounded by hills. Towards north of town is the temple of Lord Harihareshwar. The speciality of this temple and Shiva pindi is that it has all three main Hindu gods: Brahma,Vishnu and Mahesh along with Parvati. All four are on the same Shivling and the pindi is Swayambhu i.e. originated of its own from earth. It’s an old temple made of big black stones. Adjacent to the temple is the beautiful sea with clean and clear beach. After offering prayers to god, we went to beach. Day was hot but the water was cold. Beaches were very clear, covered with black sand. Crabs of all sizes were running over the sand making designs on it. Matchless artistic work done by crabs will certainly amaze you. After taking a pause in nature’s serenity and its gushy environment, we started our journey back to Thane.
By Arpita Sapre