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Thread: Journey to the magical land of Konkan

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    Senior Member Array mrina's Avatar
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    Journey to the magical land of Konkan

    Journey to the magical land of Konkan

    History, culture, gastronomy, the Konkan coast has it all


    In this land of Parshuram I realise, at every turn, on every visit, the simple yet pertinent truth of the sentiment: “It feels just like home!” And the wondrous impressions I gather there get so indelibly etched in my mind’s eye that I can’t help but relive the experience over and over again with pleasure!


     



  2. #2
    Senior Member Array mrina's Avatar
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    Before setting out for the Konkan I don’t have to consult calendars or gauge the weather every now and then. All I need do is determine my mode of travel: either 6 hours by the Konkan Railway or a 6 to 7 hours’ drive by car. A longish weekend of three days is just the ticket for a rejuvenating excursion.

    Along the 725 km stretch of pristine blue sea and clean white sandy shoreline I streak past Bhatye beach, Ganeshgule, Arre Ware, Ganpatipule, Jaigad, Anjarle, Hedvi — places worth stopping at, even for a short while. I am treated to a spectacle of translucent waves with fish merrily doing their acrobatics amid them.

    If I had passed by early enough I would have got the chance to be further entertained by the playful leap-and-dive of dolphins too. A barefoot stroll over the soft fine sand is so delightful I effortlessly walk miles and don’t realise it!

    As far as I can see are infinite blues, while over the deep sea, right up to sunset, flutter cheery coloured flags on a myriad of little fishing-boats. But I’ve been warned that I’m not to even think of swimming in the Arabian Sea, for it is deep, the tides are treacherous, and the rolling waves too aggressive for city-slickers like me.

    As testimony to the days of warring Indian might stand a necklace of forts dating back to the time of Shivaji, among them Jaigad, Suvarnadurg, Purnagad, Vijaygad, Gopalgad, Bhagvantgad and Ratnadurg. Of these the Ratnadurg has bravely withstood the onslaught of foreign invasions, beside the fury of the seas, and still stands today.

    A map at the entrance gate indicates the general layout of the structure and the ancient lighthouse still guides boatmen to safety. The fort’s secret passages run down to the sea, the secret door at the end is discernable only now. There’s a temple at the fort dedicated to Bhagwatidevi and a memorial to the Maratha warrior and chief of the Maratha navy, Kanhoji Angre.

    Such a vast seashore naturally spells piscine paradise to all inveterate ‘fishophiles'! And I easily procure every kind of brine-soaked/freshwater morsel here: pomfret, prawns, surmai, squid, lobster! Speaking to the fishermen I learn that despite the countless perils of the sea, they are quite content with their trade.

    After hauling the fish into trawlers they take their catch to the jetty where, in the evening, an auction that involves local fish-sellers, is held. Even tourists and visitors can participate. A number of non-veg restaurants around there serve a wide array of unique, hugely satisfying fish and shellfish dishes. And, of course, how can I forget the delicious kokum curry? All finger-lickin’ good!!

    But Ratnagiri is not only about seashores, forts and fish! I cannot but gape at the landscape! The broad spectrum of greens that serve as lush backdrop to the occasional temple or mosque is a salient, most awesome feature of the place. And boy is it a veritable relief from the concrete greys of cityscapes! Talking about temples, at Pavas, for instance, I seek out the Swami Swarupananda ‘math’ and at Sakharpa the Marleshwar shrine.

    Here too is a Shivling grotto with a waterfall near by that flows fitfully the whole year round. And then there is the renowned Ganesh temple at
    Konkan
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    Ganpatiphule amid abundant suru trees, with welcoming elephants sculpted at the entrance, Undir Mama. Facing west is the holy image of Ganesh before whom I find myself instinctively bowing in reverence.

    It’s very difficult to tear myself away from nature’s grip here. Ah! To recline in the lap of nature, although for but a little while... The MTDC has taken care of that for me! There are breezy shacks, open-air tents and sea-facing rooms provided to luxuriate in. I relax, with no others other than soothing blues and greens...

    And how could a trip to Ratnagiri becomplete without a mention (and taste) of what it is famous for? The voluptuous mango, of course! As if on cue, the next village I come across is chock full of orchards of the distinctive trees.

    Between October anyone can easily get drunk on the air charged with the heady fragrance of mango blossoms and mango fruit of every type – from the luscious hapus to the teeth-on-edge kairi! Chatting with a mango cultivator reveals much about the golden-orange fruit. And when I humour him a bit I happily end up being gifted a juicy ripe mango to relish...! Yummm!

    Now for other sites of historical significance... On the 16th of April, 1886, the British captured the then King Thiba of Bhramadesh (Burma or Myanmar today) and brought him here. Thiba’s palace — at the time, a ‘golden cage’ for the royal captive —is now an enchanting museum of sorts for tourists with active imaginations.

    Close to the palace, the City Council of Ratnagiri has created an added attraction in the form of the Jijamata garden where I — and other strollers — can unwind and in the open-air theater enjoy the panoramic view of the gorgeous sunset.

    Ratnagiri district is also the birthplace of one of our most famous freedom fighters and the Father of the Indian National Movement. Born on July 23rd, 1856, Bal Gangadhar Tilak received his primary education here. His home is something I definitely ogle at, another tourist spot, the City Council preserves with the utmost patriotic care.

    What else was left to do but shopping? And Rantagiri has no dearth of options for an inveterate retail therapist like your’s truly, with a penchant for clothes, hats, bags, souvenirs and toothsome items from local marts!

    There are many shops at Gokhale junction in central Ratnagiri, where I can purchase an enticing range of local ‘specialties’: mithai, kokum and karvanda syrups, mango pulp, aam papad, etc. During the mango season buy whole crates can be bought from the producers themselves -- fresh and cheap -- of all the local species. Of course, I also get the choicest picks of the cashew, jamun and kokum crops too.

    When I return to the city surrounded by my shopping ‘loot’, it all becomes a delicious reminder of my trip to my ‘home away from home’ where I know I’ve enjoyed a great ‘deal’ in more ways than one!




  3. #3
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    beautifulllll

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    very beautiful

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    that is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo beautifullll..... specially 2nd and 3rd pics...


    wel i didnt read anything.. can any1 tell me where it is??

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    sooo...nice

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    Awesome. Great to be a visitor of that place!

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