Summers call for relaxed and comfortable weekends that can bring you the much needed dose of nature and natural calm.
Our choice for this week is Harihareshwar, a calming beach in the Konkan belt, that is just perfect for a quick getaway to soothing waters and the cool waves.
The pristine stretch of beaches that run across the Konkan region of Maharashtra are known as the Raigad Beaches. This majestic line up starts from Diveagar, onto Shrivardhan and finally Harihareshwar. The distance between them is around 15 kilometres.
The region is enclosed by the hill quartet, Harihar, Harshinachal, Bramhadri and Pushpadri that envelope the long stretch of peaceful beaches.
This beach is approximately 170 kilometres from Pune city, and easily accessible too.
A drive would take around 4-5 hours via the Tamhini ghats. The broad curvy and flora filled route only adds to the beauty of the driving experience. If you are travelling from Mumbai take the NH17, uptill Mangaon. Mangaon railway station is the closest to Harihareshwar at a distance of 57 kilometres.
Often referred to as Dakshin Kashi or Southern Kashi, this town in the Raigad district, has various temples built here. Also named as Devghar, it houses the temples of lord Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva dating back to the 16th century, along with the temples of Kalbhairav and Yogeshwari.
A spiritual inclined visitor will get the best of both worlds here- an ideal vacation from the concrete jungles and a chance to bow to the deities, all while enjoying a lovely beach holiday.
Harihareshwar witnesses a rise in the number of tourists pre and post the monsoons and during the summer vacations. The black sandy sea shore away from the hustle of the city offers complete solitude and peace. The nights are equally peaceful with the calm water skimming your feet while you stroll along the beach.
Like several other touristy destinations in the district, there are an ample number of accommodation option available here with affordable hotels and resorts offering varied options.
This is also the best time to catch the nesting turtles on Devghar beach, before pushing their way back into the sea. Many people visit this place especially to see these turtles that come here only from Feb to April.
The villagers of Velas beach with the help of local NGOs help in conserving the Olive Ridley Turtles by protecting their eggs till they are ready to hatch and then lead the hatchlings back to the sea.
Apart from these, the other touristy destinations near the vicinity are Bankot Fort, Dapoli, Kalbhairav – Yogeshwari Temple, Srivardhan Beach, Ganesh Gully, Bagmandala (a peaceful village, few kilometers from Harihareshwar), Somja Devi Temple, Victoria Fort and Panburduk (a historical landmark), among others.
During the trip, one can enjoy the local Konkani, and Maharashtrian cuisine, especially the fresh catch of seafood that is delectably cooked for the visitors.
Do not miss the lip smacking green mangoes (ripe mangoes are equally good) with a dash of salt and chilly to add the zing.
And yes, stargazing in the moonlight while you stroll lazily on the beach is an experience that you will enjoy thoroughly.
#All images used for representation only. All distances and details are purely for information and readers are advised to check finer details with the appropriate authorities at the destination mentioned.
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