Thursday, 31 December 2015

Konkan region: Contact details

My Blog readers ask me to share contact information from Konkan Region to plan their vacation. In this Blog post, I will share the contact details where I have stayed in last 4-5 years.

Disclaimer:
1. There is no commercial bond with property owner and Few of them knows me by name.
2. Contact Details might be changed
3. I will update this information based on my trip experience.
4. Overall experience with below hotels/Restaurants/Home stay was good.

Alibag (Blog link)
Business Name: Sanman hotel and restaurant
Owner Name: Mangesh Mhatre
Contact Details: 02141-222314, 02141-225086 and 9371643324.
Place: Alibag

Nagaon (Blog link)
Business Name: Vaishnavi cottage
Owner Name: Ravindra Risbudh
Contact Details 02141-245695, 02141-681279. 9850485194.
Place/Address: Nagaon

Kashid (Blog link)
Business Name: Picnic Park home stay
Contact Details: 9226279146
Kashid Beach

Business Name: Private Villas
Contact Details: 9420648856, 8805585541
Place: Kashid

Diveagar (Blog link)
Business Name: Sawali guest house (Home stay)

Owner Name: Madhukar Dhanawde
Contact Details: 95-2147-224713
Place: Diveagar

Business Name: Suhas Bapat (Veg meal)
Contact Details: 9423837967, 9271127337.
Place: Diveagar

Business Name: Ambiance Cottage
Contact Details: 02147-224091, 02147-225334, 02147-225335.
Place: Diveghar

Phansad Forest (Blog link)
Business Name: Phansad Forest

Owner Name: Madhujar Naik (Stay arrangement)
Contact Details: 9273682692.
Place: Phansad

Business Name: Phansad Forest
Owner Name: Mahila bachat gat
Contact Details: 9225566024.
Phansad

Business Name: Phansad Forest
Owner Name: Nilam (Forest officer)
Contact Details: 9221996284, 022-25402522 (Forest tent bookings)

Velas (Blog link)
Owner Name:: Mohan Upadhe

Contact Details 952350-220304.
Place/Address: Velas

Owner Name: Milind Nijsure
Contact Details: 02350-220629, 02350-695915, 9421188487.
Velas, Mandangad

Dapoli – Karde – Kelshi (Blog Link)
Business Name: Aamba shop

Owner Name: Barve family
Contact Details: 9422444086, 8408093595.
Jalgaon, Dapoli

Owner Name: Ravi Dabake (Home stay and food)
Contact Details: 02358-234895, 02358-688448, 9421232244.
Keshavraj, Dapoli

Business Name: Sagar sawali
Owner Name: Bapu More
Contact Details: 02358-234947, 9881061947, 9271313647.
Karde beach

Business Name: Spurti Niwas (Home stay)
Owner Name: Jaihind Nagvekar
Contact Details: 02358-693763, 02358-651081.
Karde Beach

Deepak Dedhia (Stay and Boat arrangement)
Contact Details: 9763330460.
Karde Beach

Owner Name: Rahila - Boat arrangement
Contact Details: 8605228141.
Karde 

Business Name: Sea Sahyadri
Contact Details: 9923485792, 9637695539, 02358-288239.
Ladghar beach

Owner Name: Bivalkar Family (Home stay and food)
Contact Details: 02358-287312, 9604790349.
Kelshi

Business Name: Noor Mill (For Mango)
Owner Name: Majid chogale
Contact Details: 02358-287324, 9922403246.
Kelshi

Business Name: Surabhi Home stay
Owner Name: Naresh Vartak
Contact Details: 9623113162, 9820441985, 02358-287240
Kelshi

Business Name: Konkan bhojnalay
Contact Details: 02358-287379, 9604104380, 9850398893.
Kelshi

Dilip Puri (Chandika Mata Temple pujari)
Contact Details: 9423295586, 02358-248698.
Dabhol

Guhagar (Blog link)
Business Name: Sagar lodge

Owner Name: Parag Sanwant
Contact Details: 9420152272, 02359-240347, 02359-240363.
www.sagarlodge.com
Guhagar

Business Name: Hotel Annapurna
Owner Name: Shamkant Khatu
Contact Details: 9423048165, 9689063165. 02359-240512, 02359-240412.
Guhagar

Business Name: Atithi Niwas
Owner Name: Yogesh khare
Contact Details: 9273650764, 9423802208.
Guhagar

Business Name: Hotel Vaintey
Owner Name: Sanjay savarkar
Contact Details: 9420722905, 8698907905, 02359-240515.
Guhagar

Business Name: Vasudha jog
Contact Details: 02359-240875, 9158158316.
Guhagar

Business Name: The Durga pearl Niwas
Owner Name: Sneha Khare
Contact Details: 9421705351, 9822784371
Guhagar

Business Name: Ravindra Damale (Home stay)
Contact Details: 9403148865, 9420475602, 02359-240042.
Guhagar

Owner Name: Naresh Kesarkar (Car mechanic)
Contact Details: 9673353517.
Guhagar

Velneshwar (Blog link)
Business Name: Chandrankant Gokhale (Home stay and food)

Contact Details: 02359-243307, 9421143322, 9921043730, 9922254042.
Velneshwar

Kolthare (Blog link)
Business Name: Garwa beach resort

Owner Name: Bhave Family
Contact Details: 02358-285232, 9764065810.
Kolthare

Business Name: Virgin wind resort
Contact Details: 9371011187
Kolthare

Amba Ghat
Business Name: Pawankhind Resort

www.pawankhindtours.com
Owner Name: Shirgaokar Family
Contact Details: 9422002231, 9423076167, 020-5439860
Amba ghat

Business Name: Kasturi resort
Owner Name: Madhura joshi
Contact Details: 9371923039, 9422513797
Kolhapur – Ratnagiri highway, Amba ghat

Ratnagiri (Blog link)
Business Name: Ratnasagar beach resort

Bhatye beach: 9604002661
Bhatye Beach

Veg Treat Restaurant
Contact Details: 9823071188.
Ratnagiri

Business Name: Joshi family (Homemade Konkani food product)
Contact Details: 02352-220952
Ratnagiri

Ganeshgule (Blog link)
Business Name: Oceano pearl

Contact Details: www.oceanopearl.com
Contact Details: 02352-237800, 8605599789, 9405340784.
Ganeshgule

Malvan - Tarkarli (Blog Link)
Business Name: Laxmi Vishnu (Cashew nuts factory and shop)

Contact Details: 02365-252159.
Malvan

Business Name: Anapurna Niwas
Owner Name: Gosavi Family
Contact Details: 02365-253537, 9404442990
Tarkali

Business Name: Atithi Bambo khanaval
Owner Name: Sanjay Gawadi
Contact Details: 9423304327.
Malvan

Business Name: Aapa Gosavi (Home Stay)
Contact Details: 9923641879.

Business Name: Anway Prabhu (Scuba diving in Malvan)
Contact Details: 9823857576.


Bhogave
Business Name: Samant

Contact Details: 9421261718, 9970431570.
Bhogave Beach

Devbag Beach
Business Name: Devbag water sports

Contact Details: 9403181196
Devbag

Shiroda Beach
Business Name: Dolphin Hotel

Contact Details: 9423511343.
Shiroda Beach

Vengurla
Business Name: Amruta Padagoankar (Stay near Vengurla)

Contact Details: 9422374277
Vengurla

Business Name: Dhuri Homestay resort
Contact Details: 9420740901, 9604165641.
Vengurla

Raigad Fort (Blog link)
Raigad fort (Guide and lunch arrangement)

Contact Details: 9011784795.

Raigad – Pappu guide
Contact Details: 9527758601.

Diva trek
Guide for Diva trek from Konkan side

Santhosh Sutar
Contact Details: 9420966029.

Tahmini (Blog link)
Business Name: Raigad In

Contact Details: 9423926857, 9270996025
Tahmini

Thanks for reading this Blog. Happy traveling.
 Pritesh Kulkarni
Pune

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Trip to Guhagar-Hedvi-Velaneshwar-Bhudal & Kolthare

I have been to this place with wife 2 years back but wanted to visit this lovely place again with friends. We took advantage of Christmas vacation and planned a 4 day trip to Guhagar, Hedvi, Velneshwar, Bhudal and kolathare.

Guhagar Beach
Guhagar Beach

About Guhagar and surrounding: 
               Guhagar is situated on west coast of Maharashtra, India. A word GUHAGAR means cave house in local language. Guhagar is a scenic town with hilly terrain. A perfect tropical paradise. It is even called a temple town. It is famous for Durga Devi temple and Vyadeshwar temple. Guhagar beach is one of the main tourist destinations, and is a unique place to enjoy Konkani culture.

Velneshwar and Hedvi are the two places near Guhagar, famous for the natural beauty and the temples. Dashbhuj Ganapati temple (Lord Ganesh with 10 hands) is major attraction of Hedvi.

Bhidhal is small village with beautiful beach. It is untouched area by tourist.

There are 2-3 ways (via Tamhini ghat OR via Varandha ghat OR via Kumbharali ghat) to reach Guhagar. Best way to reach at Guhagar from Pune is, Catch National highway 4 (Mumbai-Bangalore highway) towards Kolhapur/Bangalore direction – take right turn at Umbraj – Paatan village – Kumbharali ghat – Koyananagar – Chipalun – Take a left on National highway 17 for Guhagar (There are different ways from Chipalun for Guhagar which meet on one route after 3-5 km drive) – Pat Panhale village – Guhagar.

Travelers for this trip were me-wife Renuka, Friends Sanat, Himanshu-Ketki, Abhijit-Manasi, Vishal-Aarya with their 2 year old son Ved, Ashutosh-Sanjana with their son Aarush.

Guhagar...

Day 1: 24th Dec 2015 – Pune - Guhagar (Total Distance traveled: 285 km):
               We woke up early morning and left home at 6 AM. We wanted to avoid highway traffic and enjoy the morning breeze. We had our first break at Wai phata. Road condition till Guhagar was good except some small patches in Kumbharali ghat. Due to less traffic and smooth road condition, we reached at Chiplun by lunch time. Considering 2 children and group of 11 people, we took few breaks. We had lovely sea food lunch at Chiplun’s famous restaurant Abhishek. Food was excellent in taste, definitely not to miss for sea food lovers. From this point, we proceeded towards Guhagar. 

Abhishek Hotel, Chipalun
Abhishek Hotel, Chipalun

               We had booked our homestay for 3 nights at Mr. Damle. 2 years back, we had stayed here. As we reached by 4 PM, soon we moved into our room. We spent some time in the backyard where there were lots of coconut tree plantations and which in Marathi is called a “wadi”. Cool breeze, roaring sound of sea waves made us feel fresh. 

Damale's Wadi

               We headed straight to the beach in the evening. Surprisingly, even at 5.30 p.m., there were hardly any visitors. Guhagar beach is one of the cleanest and less polluted beaches in Maharashtra. This beach is assumed to be very safe. The beach slope was gentle and sea water was clean enough to see the sea bed. This beach is much better than any other famous beach from Konkan area. Unfortunately we didn’t get much time to witness sun set. We walked barefoot on the soft sandy beach and then played some games. It was a perfect evening for us.
Sunset time at Guhagar
Sunset at Guhagar
Sunset at Guhagar

We had veg meal dinner at Mr. Ravindra Damle’s place. Day 1 was ended with a late night chatting with friends.

Expense:
  • Car Petrol: INR 3600/- (Appox. 52 Lit)
  • Toll on NH-4 (Khed-Shivapur): INR 80/- one way entry
  • Toll on NH-4 (Anewadi-Satara): INR 55/- one way entry
  • Breakfast: INR 80/- per person (Wada Pav, tea/coffee and Misal)
  • Lunch at Abhishek, Chipalun: INR 2800/- for 9 people (Chiken meal 300/-, Surmai wadi Thali 350/-, Prawn wadi Thali 300/-, Rice, Dal and cold drinks)
  • Tea/Coffee: INR 10/- to INR 20/-
  • Dinner at Damale’s place: INR 120/- per person (Unlimited veg meal) 
Day 2: 25th Dec 2015 – Hedvi – Velaneshwar – Bhudhal (Total Distance traveled: around 100 km):
               We woke up in the morning by 8AM and went on beach for walk. We spent some time in the “wadi” and then returned for breakfast. We left Guhagar at around 10.30 AM. When we reached at Palshet village, we got stuck in traffic due minor accident between state transport bus and a SUV. After wasting an hour and a half in traffic, finally we reached at Hedvi.

Guhagar Beach

               Hedvi is a 30 min drive from Guhagar is also known for the beach and a temple. The temple houses the idol of lord Ganesh with ten hands. That is why he is known here as the Dashbhuja Ganesh. This temple dates back to age of Peshwa. Temple area was clean. Soon we went on Hedvi beach. Baman ghal is major attraction in Hedvi during high tide. There is unmarked rock patch route behind temple (Temple which is on right side of beach). It is unique landscape in its own way. This beautiful natural wonder is a gorge in the black rock patch and is around 20 feet deep, 35 feet long and 1-2 feet wide in dimensions. During the high tide, the sea water gushes in and splashes around. We went there during low tide so missed the water splash. I have seen huge water splashes around 3 years back and believe me, it’s fun to watch this wonder.

Hedvi Temple
Deepmal from Shiva temple at Velneshwar
Deepmal from Shiva temple at Velneshwar

We moved ahead for our next destination, Velneshwar. When we reached at Velneshwar, we were hungry. This small village has a beautiful temple of Lord Shiva and a beach at its backyard. We ordered lunch at Mr. Gokhale place where they arranged a delicious veg meal in 45 minutes. After lunch, we went to Shiv temple. The Velneshwar temple is one that gives a feel of the old houses with the sloping roofs. The temple is illuminated during the Mahashivratri festival with large crowd visiting the temple.
The temple has coconut trees at the backside, which joins to the beach directly. The sacred Nandi (bull of Shiva) is at the entrance of the temple along with the lamp post structures (Deepmal).


               After visiting the temple we went on the beach. This beach is not clean and not maintained properly. There are 2 restaurants on the beach which serve snacks, veg and non-veg meal. It was 4 PM in the clock and our group split into two. One went to Guhagar to enjoy the beach with kids and others (Me-Renuka, Himanshu-Ketki and Vishal) to explore an untouched beach name Budhal.

Velneshwar Beach
Velneshwar Beach

Velneshwar

Drive till Adur phata and take right if you’re travelling from Guhagar else left if travelling from Velneshwar. Budhal is small fishermen’s village with few typical konkani houses. This place is almost untouched, unnoticed beach near Guhagar. There is no direct road to beach; you need to cross local fisherman's houses to reach there. You won't get any facility for accommodation or food in Bhudal. It is the best location to view sunset and aerial view of Budhal beach. We enjoyed sunset and left this beautiful place.

Bidhal Village and beach
Budhal Village and beach

Sunset from Budhal
Sunset from Budhal

Time to return home...At Budhal
Time to return home...At Budhal
              We had tasty dinner with Modak prepared by Damle family. After dinner, we visited Guhagar beach for campfire and to lit sky lanterns. It was perfect way to finish our hectic day.

Sky Lantern



Expense:
  • Breakfast at Damale's House: INR 50/- per person (Upama and tea/Coffee)
  • Veg Lunch at Velneshwar: INR 100/- per person
  • Modak at Damale's house: INR 14/- per pice
  • Dinner at Damle's house: INR 70/- (Dal khichadi and papad)

Day 3: 26th Dec 2015 – Guhagar - Kolthare:
              Today we decided to spend time in Guhagar and cover nearby places. In the morning, we went on beach for walk and to enjoy water waves. It was cold morning and cool breeze to make you feel fresh. After some photo shoot, we came back for breakfast. We left Guhagar at 10 AM.
            Our first destination was Anjanwel lighthouse. Lighthouse is open at 3PM for public till 5pM in the evening. We missed lighthouse, however I had seen it twice in my previous visits. There is a beautiful place near the light house where you can enjoy an amazing coastal view. Take a right just 10-15 m before the main entrance of the light house and walk down a small sloppy road, you will reach a fantastic spot that is nothing but a tip of the hill and it offers breathtaking views of sea and a high rock face entering the ocean. The tip is having a strong concrete bastion so it is very safe. We saw couple of dolphins from this point.

Our group...Manasi-Abhijit missing in Photo

Dolphins from Lighthouse point

               Our next destination was Gopalgad fort. It was built for the protection of Dabhol an ancient port city which also finds its mention by the famous geographer from ancient Greece Ptolemy. This fort is believed to be built at the start of 16th Century by the Siddi. It was captured by Shivaji Maharaj in 1660. In 1699, it was captured by Khairatkhan who was a Siddi ruler who ruled from Murud Janjira. Tulaji Angre then won this fort in 1744 and then later lost it to Peshwa in 1755. What remains today is only the ruins of this huge fort that spans 7 acres of land. Some cannon balls can be found in the fort. There is a private Mango orchard in the fort and due to ownership issues the entrance to fort was blocked. Now it is opened by owner. Food is also available inside fort but you have to place an order in advance or order a meal and visit fort till your snacks/meal is ready. 

Gopalgad fort wall
Gopalgad fort wall

Water trench at Gopalgad
Water trench at Gopalgad

               As we wanted to visit Kolthare beach which is on other side of creek, we joined the queue for jetty. Jetty route is known as Dhabol-Dhopave jetty. The Vasishthi River meets the sea here at Dabhol and there is a Jetty service available to cross the creek. It is the shortest way to reach Dapoli from Guhagar. A single jetty runs from 6 am to 10 pm at a frequency of 45 mins.

Dhabol-Dhopave Jetty
Dhabol-Dhopave Jetty

                Next destination was village Kolthare. It is a very small village and not used to for any tourist. There is 1 resort in the village name “Garva beach resort”. Their house was typically Konkani style house with lot of greenery and with huge farms of different trees (Wadi in Marathi) like Coconuts, Alphonso, jackfruit and many more. They have built few rooms very close to beach in Wadi. We ordered veg and sea food meal. It was my second visit and now this place is totally changed into commercial. Somehow they have lost the quality and charm which I experienced 2 years back.
               Kolthare beach is very small beach which gives you a feel like an own private beach. White sand all over the beach and it was very neat and clean. Water was too clear that we were unable to stop ourselves from going into the water. We liked this place and it is one of the cleanest beach in Konkan. Overall atmosphere of resort and beach really refreshed us.

Kolthare beach
Kolthare beach

After Lunch, we left for our next destination i.e. Chandika Devi temple near Dabhol. It is believed to be from the Pandav era. The idol of Goddess Chandika here, believed to be have formed naturally on its own (Swayambhu) and the temple is underground in a natural cave. To reach the deity, you have to pass through a low darkened passage. No light is allowed inside except that of oil lamps. There is a live spring of fresh water nearby which has water all around the year. This temple is very ancient and used to be frequently visited by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja. Photography was not allowed inside the cave.

Chandika Mata Devi temple
Chandika Mata Devi temple

We had planned to return Guhagar for sunset but we were running behind our schedule. We witness beautiful sunset from our jetty ride.
Sunset from Jetty

Sunset from Dhabol-Dhopave jetty
Sunset from Dhabol-Dhopave jetty
Expense:-
  • Breakfast: INR 40/- (Thalipith and tea/coffee)
  • Jetty ride for car: INR 90/- per car with driver
  • Jetty ride: INR 10/- per person
  • Lunch at Garava resort: INR 200 for fish meal + INR 100 for fry pic in Thali
  • Veg Lunch at Garava resort: INR 140/-
  • Jetty ride for car: INR 90/- per car with driver
  • Jetty ride: INR 10/- per person
  • Dinner at Damale's House: INR 120/- per person

Day 4: 27th Dec 2015 – Guhagar – Pune (Total Distance traveled: around 275 km):
               Early morning we went on beach for a walk and swimming. Clear weather and cool morning breeze from the sea made us feel fresh. We spend a lot time on beach and then came for breakfast. We left Guhagar by 10.30 AM.

iPhone photography....

               Guhagar is also famous for temples. We didn’t time to visit all. We went in Durga temple of Guhagar. There is temple pillar at the entrance of temple. Few hundreds year ago, temple was located in place of pillar. But to avoid attacks from pirates, it was moved new location where it is situated now. The temple premise is very clean and there is a medium sized man made pond next to the temple. Another temple in Guhagar is of lord Ganesh named Ufarata Ganapati temple. Lord Ganesh idol is facing the seashore i.e. towards west. Normally it should face in east direction. And hence name Ufarata (reversed) Ganpati. Vyadeshwar temple of Lord Shiva is just near the S.T. Depot, right in the middle of the bazaar. It is the Kuladaivat of a lot of Kokanastha Chitpavan Brahmins and major attraction/holy place from Guhagar.

Durga Devi temple

We decided to visit the Ancient Keshavraj temples from Dapoli during our return journey to Pune. We crossed Dabhol creek and reached to Dapoli for lunch. After lunch we reached at Ancient Keshavraj temples. The Keshavraj temple is in the midst of scenic hills. Way to Keshavraj is a small trail passing through coconut, betel nut, Mango, Jackfruit, White Jambu fruit (Jam in Marathi) and cashew trees. Keshavraj Temple is built by Pandavas meaning that it has its origin more than 1000 years ago. Temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu and its main attraction is the Goumukh from where water flows throughout the year. Origin of the fresh water is from a tree trunk. Meal is available in the village along with homemade products.

Trail to Keshavraj

Keshavraj Temple

At Keshavraj

               We left Dapoli by 4 PM. We decided to come via Mahabaleshwar. Main intention was to have dinner at Mapro garden. We reached Mapro garden by 8.30 PM. It was peak winter time and we enjoyed tasty pizza. After dinner, we came home safely by 11.30 PM.
 
Trip ends with Mapro's Ice cream

Expense:
  • Damale's Stay chargers: INR 200/- per person per day
  • Breakfast: INR 40/- per person (Poha + tea/coffee)
  • Jetty ride for car: INR 90/- per car with driver
  • Jetty ride: INR 10/- per person
  • Lunch at Dapoli: INR 120/- per person
  • Dinner at Mapro: approx INR 400/- (pizza and strawberry ice cream with cream) 
  • Toll on NH-4 (Khed-Shivapur): INR 80/- one way entry

Contact numbers for your reference:
  • Homestay at Ravindra Damle: - (02359) 240042, 9420475602.
  • Homestay at Jog: - (02359) 240875.
  • Atithi Niwas Homestay by Yogesh khare: -9273650764, 9423802208.
  • Sagar lodge: - (02359) 240347, 9420152272 (located in market area)
  • Hotel Vainateya: - (02359) 240515, 9420722905. (close to Bus Vyadeshwar temple)
  • Gokhale Family (for stay and meal), Velneshwar:- (02359) 243307, 9421143322
  • Keshavraj pratishtan:- (02357) 234895, 9028414848
  • Ravi Dabake, Keshavraj:- (02358) 234895, (02357) 688448, 9421232244 (For stay and Home products)

Group on trip

Sand art by Abhijit joshi
Sunset....

I will try to upload more and more travel blogs. Thanks for reading this Travel Blog.

Pritesh Kulkarni
Pune