Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Mumbai - Murud Harnai Trip - Part 3 (Final part)

Day 2 - 03 Oct 2015

Harnai Beach.

Morning of 03 Oct was for enjoying Harnai beach. We were well prepared with folding canvas chairs (called directors chair in film industry), beach umbrella and dresses for taking dip in water of Arabian Sea. We took the car on to the beach (it gave us scare for few minutes at a location where we got a feeling that the Tyre were sinking however we remained safe).

Normally we like to walk down the beach and that is possibly the best that can be done on a beach but we had an issue with one of the member in the family who could not walk long distance hence the car on the beach.

This beach is a long one starting from Harnai and going through Murud and then to Karde. It cannot be called a white sand beach but Harnai side was clean and also less crowded. We set up our camp with chairs and beach umbrella opened and then took the plunge in to the clean water of the beach.

All Set to Storm the Beach

Our Beach Camp
Next one hour and half was pure fun. It is difficult to resist the lure of a beach and my wife who did not want to venture in to the water was also in to it soon and enjoying waves lashing onto her face.

The Plunge

Photographing marine animals and insects activity on the beach also had its fun. Very tiny crabs making such wonderful symmetrical patterns to star fish, it was a nice experience.

Star Fish with Star Feet

Star Fish
Tiny Carbs and their Artwork

Another marine Life

Finally we reluctantly came out of the water. Dried ourselves as much as we could and reached the Home Stay. After a quick bath and breakfast, we checked out and went to Shri Durga Devi Temple. Our Kuldevi (family deity) and prime reason for us to be at Murud. But before that we spent sometime at the View Point (Sunset point) on Harnai bypass (road between Anjarle and Murud over the hill).

Views  from View Point

Shri Durga Devi Temple.

It is an old temple with wooden columns and beams. There are beautiful and colourful carving on these columns and beams. The serenity and peace of this temple is unparalleled. The Pandit of the temple shares our family name (after all it is our family deity). We had darshans, did Oaty (Goad Bharai) of the Devi Maa (again a family tradition) and asked for her blessing.

Coming to this temple built with lot of wooden columns and beams in original Konkan style has been a source of peace and tranquility to my mind. Spending some time here has always been something that I am ready to do any day.

The Lunch.

The lunch was at Sudhir Shinde’s homely hotel where it is better to give prior order for your food. The place is called Sai Krupa and it is two lanes short of Shri Durga Devi Temple on the left as one faces. He is so well known that any body and every body in Murud can direct you there. His specialty is sea food and very tasty one at that, though veg food too is available. And the rates, very moderate, 170 odd rupees for a thali with Curry or fried fish or prawns.

Return Journey and Discovery of Better Route.

Post lunch, it was time to head back to Mumbai. This time we took conscious decision to head for Dapoli. From Dapoli we took SH 102 to Mandangad. Sh 272 from Mandangad to Malikondavani and then SH 99 to Goregaon and to Goa Highway. Balance journey was on the same route as onward journey ie Goa Highway to Pali - Khopoli Road and then to Pune Mumbai Expressway till Mumbai. Eastern freeway after that and finally home.

The SH 102, Sh 272 and SH 99 combination really turned out to be good and are recommended instead of SH 103, SH 102, SH 272 and SH 100 combo that take one to Goa highway at Tol Phata.

The landscape of Konkan is sheer beauty. The beaches are fabulous and the food very enjoyable. Move out of your house and make a part adventure part fun and part religious Journey to Konkan. It is going to be very rewarding.

Recommended Route

And finally, the beauty of a Bullock Cart on a beach is still an object to behold

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Mumbai - Murud Harnai Trip - Part II

Day One - 02 Oct 15 - Continued

Comments about the drive and the Road Conditions. 

It was just a 6 hrs 30 min of drive time (with 1 hr 45 min spent for Breakfast and darshans of Ballaleshwar). E way is E way. Goa Highway was fine but the state and isolation from civilisation on SH 102 and 103 had made my wife very edgy and rightfully so. One can travel on this route once to experience the beauty of the surroundings of the drive but let your car be mechanically sound and I do not recommend this route for Solo car (like we did.) A group of two or more cars and if willing to take this road may be OK. It is recommended for safety (Konkan is very safe for individuals, it is just the breakdown that I am hinting at) and also to break the isolation by taking one odd break on the way.

Route Not Recommended

At Harnai

After reaching the Home Stay, we just inquired if car can come in (and it could) and went for lunch (as we had not asked the Home Stay to cook lunch for us) at Nisarga restaurant. We were hungry and ordered fried prawns, fish curry and dal tadka with Rice Bhakari (corse roti). We liked only fried prawns and not other items. The location of the place and the sitting is beautiful but we would not recommend this place. One more traveler staying at home stay later shared our views on this place.

Murud Beach.

Post lunch we wanted to explore Murud beach. We went to Silver Sand resort, parked our car and went to the beach. We did not realise that there is a way to beach where car can be brought. That way is next to famous Durga Devi temple. We explored the beach. There were lot of people frolicking into water and few enjoying beach quad bikes and horse carts. Very few stalls at beach were doing roaring business. It was fun to watch all these activities. After spending over one and half hour we decided to have some tea at one of those stalls. In the interim I decided to get my car to beach.

Murud Beach Photos

The Beach

Pregnant Clouds on the Beach ready to Deliver Rain

Golden Every Where

Framed Clouds

As I got my car and parked it on the beach, torrential rain (a typical Konkan phenomenon) started. Luckily we had come geared up with umbrella for all and we could save ourselves. One notable feature was that water sports had not yet started on the beach. Hence we decided to reduce our stay by one and return to Mumbai the next day.

We had already tied up for dinner at home stay. We reached Ashiyana Home Stay at about 1930 hrs and settled down in an AC room.

About Home Stay.

The whole Harnai – Murud _ Karde coast is dotted with hotels, resorts and Home Stays. We stumbled upon Ashiyana during the search on internet. Ashiyana Home Stay Run by Dr Z Dalvi, a Unani Medical Doctor and his wife (who seemed to us the force behind this venture) is on Harnai - Palande main road. It is just about 20 meters from the main road. It may appear that cars can’t reach the home stay but reality is that cars can reach and considerable numbers can be accommodated in their compound.

The Doctor and his family stays on the ground floor and the guest rooms are on first floor. It has four rooms (two AC and two non AC) and a common hall which has two four seat dinning tables. All rooms have attached toilets. The rooms in this home stay are very neat and clean with good beds and clean linen. Towels are also provided if required. The bathrooms also are very clean, functional, have western seats, ample water and hot water is available. It was pleasant surprise to be in a neat and clean Home Stay with modern facilities. It was evident that the owners take pride in providing comforts to their guests.

The dinner was simple vegetarian fare with Konkani style of cooking. It was tasty, well cooked and enjoyable. The clean room, clean toilet and very nice food hooked us to this place. Problem that we faced was that Mahavitran (the Maharashtra electricity distribution co) had either switched off the supply or it had tripped due to torrential rains and thunder activity (event that is a common occurrence in this belt and faced by all resorts and home stays).

The home stay had their inverter so light and fan were available. We were worried about length of power cut and possibility of inverter batteries draining out but soon they switched on generator to feed fan, light and also to charge the inverter. The supply returned at about midnight and then we could switch on the AC.

Morning breakfast of Upama and Poha also was equally enjoyable. We found this place very good and the rates reasonable.

Home Stay Photos

Friday, October 9, 2015

What a Come Back - Jazbaa

Just watched Jazbaa. It is come back movie of Aishvarya Rai and she also is one of the producer. It has a very unusual story and gripping narrative. It has a very unpredictable kind of story line and very firm editing. The movie keeps you glued to the screen and on the edge of your seat.

I can only say, What a come back for Aishvarya Rai Bachaan. She has looked fabulous and acted extremely well. Irfan Khan is a perfect co star. he is performer par excellence is proved yet again.The movie is a beautiful one and is "don't miss"type of movie. Watch it for Irfan and his great acting as also Aishvarya's acting and beauty.

And for the suspense in the movie! I won't tell you. Go and see for yourself.