Shrivardhan is a tiny peninsula nestled in the Western Ghats of Raigad. Splendid beaches, lush green landscape and calming desolation define this place.
How the monsoons transform the entire west coast of India is a marvel that intrigues me every time I lay eyes upon it. Gigantic masses of black are transformed into massive eyefuls of green. The roads are wet, welcoming and dangerous. The rains are unforgiving. It is the urban road tripper’s great quest.
Last Saturday, a bunch of us were feeling a little adventurous. Ten minutes on Google Maps and we knew exactly where we were headed.
Shrivardhan is a tiny peninsula nestled in the Western Ghats of Raigad, where the ghats come really close to the sea. About 180-km away from Mumbai, this happens to be one of the oldest towns of Maharashtra. Splendid beaches, lush green landscape and calming desolation define this place.
Motorbike, car, or bus – take your pick. If you’re on a tight budget, just head to the nearest State Transport Bus Depot, and within an hour, you’ll be enjoying a bumpy ride out of Mumbai. Large groups can hire cars or a private bus – simplify your itinerary. For the motorcyclists, you lot will certainly have the most fun, but make sure you’re well protected (wear a helmet, bro) and waterproofed.
The Mumbai-Goa road is hardly a challenge to navigate. We left this road at Nagothane, where we turned right for Shrivardhan. There was no more turning until Khajaniwadi, where we turned left and breezed over the Rajapuri creek. Another right at Mhasala, and we were looking straight at Shrivardhan. Almost halfway there, there was a narrow road that took us to a serene little hideout called Jaswali Dam. A perfect spot if you brought a date.
If you’re planning to stay the night, you could use one of these desi resorts. The one we used is from that list and it came complete with hammocks in the garden, some fine preparations of the local cuisine and a clean toilet to take it all out. Most of these resorts are a few minutes away from the seaside. Bring along a couple of folding chairs and a case of chilled beer, and you’re all set for a smashing private beach experience.
For those of you feeling particularly loyal to Lord Shiva, there’s Harihareshwar nearby. It is an hour’s drive and boasts of a beach of its own, with a Shiva Temple looking down on it. Take your time with the place. It is great to explore on foot, but make sure you don’t venture anywhere post sundown.
So here’s a quick sum up:
Well connected with Bombay.
Great road, fine views.
Good places to crack the night up.
Private beach. Well, mostly.
On another bright note (or depressing, for quite a few of you), you’ll hardly have any network coverage. If saying this helps, you’ve already sold your soul to Facebook. Just think of this as a day you’ve snatched back. Good luck!