Located about 280km from Mumbai, the highlight of my visit to Chiplun was the Parshuram Temple—an 80-year-old temple that features yummy dal, rice and pickle as prasad.
Ratnagiri, which until now I thought was only popular for its mangoes, pleasantly surprised me with its abundant flora and fauna. I was especially intrigued to discover the Thibaw Palace—a bright red and white structure that was home to King Thibaw of Myanmar who the British kept under house arrest in 1910. Its architecture reflects Burmese influences and it house a museum and an educational institute.
Another interesting spot is the Ratnadurg Fort that is spread over 120 acres and offers magnificent panoramic views of Ratnagiri’s coastal stretch.
The colossal Sindhudurg Fort, built by Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1664, singularly puts Malvan on the tourism map. What makes it an architectural marvel is that it lies in the middle of the sea. The fort’s foundation was laid with almost 4,000 mounds of iron. Together with the temples of Hanuman, Jarimari, Mahapurush and Goddess Bhavani inside, the fort also houses a shrine of Shivaji, which is said to be the only one of its kind in the country.
Vengurla is one of the lesser known towns on the route. But as I discovered, it has one of the cleanest beaches on the Konkan region. Sagareshwar Beach is not only clean, it is also relatively empty. So if you truly want to escape city life and relax at a beach that feels like you own, this is it. There is also a lighthouse here offers stunning views of the sea and Vengurla’s jagged rocks that are called Burnt Islands.
A classic case of ‘enjoy the journey and not just the destination’, the Mumbai-Goa-Mumbai drive was part of a travel writing assignment given to me by Outlook Traveller Getaways. It is a part of their guidebook series called Driving Holidays in India.
NEXT: Day 7 - Mumbai-Delhi-Mumbai