Velneshwar – Dabhol – Guhagar: For the Lovers of the SEA

Located on the Western Coast of Maharashtra in the Ratnari District, Velneshwar is a beautiful seaside fishing town that is famous for its smooth clean beach.  Yet not many tourists venture here. And until recent years, Velneshwar was still a well kept secret destination.

velenshwar-village
Velneshwar Village

Simply walking on the empty beach here is a total bliss and kids too would love to play with the clean muck-free sand and make some sandcastles! It’s an ideal destination for a vacation or a quick getaway from Mumbai/Pune/Nashik.

Panoramic View of the Velneshwar Beach
Panoramic View of the Velneshwar Beach

Velneshwar is a popular seaside destination for those living in Pune & Mumbai and is now attracting people from other places as well.

Velneshwar33

Velneshwar beach is surrounded by coconut palm grooves and little hillocks nearby making it a beautiful place to simply go sun bathing or swimming. There is also a river known as ‘Shastri’ that flows nearby.

Velneshwar Shiva Temple
Velneshwar Shiva Temple

The Velneshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is about 1700 years old. The surrounding structure however was built in the year 1960-1970.

Velneshwar produces quite a lot of Beetle Nut - Used in Paan
Velneshwar produces quite a lot of Beetle Nut – Used in Paan

The area is also popular for its Beetel Nut, Mango Grooves and Cashew Plantation which can be visited.

Cashew Fruit before being plucked away from the tree!
Cashew Fruit before being plucked away from the tree!

Stay Options at Velneswar

MTDC Tourist Resort: MTDC Velneshwar offers amazing stay option with well managed Tourist Resort located right along the Beach and offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea. Visit Website

MTDC Toursit Resort at Velneshwar Beach
MTDC Toursit Resort at Velneshwar Beach

It offers a AC and Non AC rooms and all rooms offers sea views. The resort has a nice sitting area in a well spread garden and is the most recommended play to stay at Velneshwar.

A Non AC Room at MTDC Velneshwar
A Non AC Room at MTDC Velneshwar

Priviledge Resort: is spread across 7 acres of land and offers you great ambiance and is a perfect place to stay at Velneshwar. It offers a good multi-cuisine restaurant, a conference hall, a coffee shop, a snacks counter and even a Resto bar!

resort_privilege-resorts_in_guhagar_1171

Although the Privilege Resorts is run by the Nandan Group of Companies, it is also a declared Tourist Resort by MTDC. For Bookings and Tariff, please connect with Mr. Anil Giramkar : +91 9850982087 and Mr. Rutuparna : +91 9762149158  Visit Website

Kinara Beach House: is located right on the Velneshwar Beach and offers elegant accomodation and good food options.

Kinara Beach House, offers best Beach Views at Velneshwar
Kinara Beach House, offers best Beach Views at Velneshwar

Kinara Beach House is a mid sized resort but offers all the required amenities to make your stay comfortable and memorable. For Tariffs: Please Contact: Mr. Navnit Thakur – 8888770464 / 9422635151 /9763881683/9423051313 / 02359 243363 Visit Website

Atithi Beach Resort:Attithi-Velneshwar is a budget stay option offering pleasant clean rooms. The place is located on the beach front and offers amazing sea views. For Tariffs: Please Contact: Dhiraj Thakur +91 8879049888 or email: dhiraj@atithibeachresort.com Visit Website

Mangalya: is an MTDC approved budget hotel. It is located just a few minutes walk from the Velneshwar Shiva Temple and the beach.

Being the coastal land, seafood options are good but very less amount of big food places, so prepare yourself to eat at road side places that offer great food including a variety of prawn and fish dishes along with the usual Poha, Missal Pav, Kothimbir Vadi, Kharvas, Vada Pav, Sabudana Khichdi etc.

A Typical Thali
A Typical Thali

Vegetarians also would love to fill up on aamti-bhakri (a mix vegetable dish made with lots of coconut, served with steamed rice) among other Maharastrian and Konkan dishes. So food lover’s won’t be disappointed. Do also try the delicious ‘Solkadhi’ made with Kokam and fresh coconut milk. It is a great appetizer. This is also served along with any Goan, Konkan and Malvani food.

Other Tourist Attractions near Velneshwar

Dabhol

Dabhol is a small town and it is here that the River Vashishthi, that flows from Chiplun finally merges with the Arabian Sea, forming the famous ‘Dabhol Creek’.

Dabhol1

Dabhol is an active fishing town and you will see plenty of fishing boats going for their daily catch. There is a local market also held where you can catch the freshest catch and ask the local eating place to make it for you!

17080736917_a0d8b3c66d_b

You will enjoy the walk that leads you to an almost empty beach ‘Kolthare Beach‘.  The underground ‘Chandikadevi Temple’ and a fishing jetty are the major attractions in Dabhol.

You can even hire a boat and go fishing on the Vashisthi River or opt for a backwater cruise or take a boat ride on the backwaters at Modkaghar Lake. This place is also an important fishing area in Ratnari district, Maharastra.

Dabhol Village
Dabhol Village View from Backwaters

 

 

Anda Masjid, Dabhol
Anda Masjid, Dabhol

Dabhol being a historical town, has a few ancient structures including ‘Shahi Mosque’ or the  ‘Anda Masjid’ which is a Muslim Mosque that was built by sister of Adilshah, the Sultan of Vijapur during the 15th century. Although it looks depleted, I read that people still offer prayer here.

Lighthouse @ Image Copyright Musafirhuyaron.com
Lighthouse @ Image Copyright Musafirhuyaron.com

You can also take a ferry to explore the ruins of Anjanvel Fort and the lighthouse at Jaigad Fort from here, which offers great views of the vast blue Arabian Sea. The Gopalgad fort is also located nearby giving another awe-inspiring views.

Temple enroute to the Lighthouse
Temple enroute to the Lighthouse
Dabhol Power Station is located near Anjanwel village
Dabhol Power Station is located near Anjanwel village

A fascinating History of Dabhol: Dabhol was the principal port of the South Konkan during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries and many trades were done from here with the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. During 13th to 15th centuries this port was ruled by the Bahamani dynasty and was known as ‘Mustafabad’. Later it was renamed Hamjabad and finally called as ‘Dabhol’.

Another fascinating view of the Dabhol Islands
Another fascinating view of the Dabhol Islands

In the 15th and 16th centuries, as the port with most convenient access to the Bahmani sultanate’s capital at Bidar, Dabul’s fortunes ascended quickly with that dynasty. At its height, it was arguably the most important port between Chaul and Goa and it was exactly the prominence of Dabul as a Muslim trade center and port that led it to be bombarded, sacked and razed by a Portuguese expeditionary force under Francisco de Almeida in December, 1508, in a prelude to the famous Battle of Diu. Although the city’s fort was not taken, it was only the first of several times, in the course of the next few decades, that the Portuguese tried to destroy Dabul. By the time of the last recorded attack, in 1571, there was little left to sack.

Anjanvel Fort near Dabhol - Now only the Fort Walls remain
Anjanvel Fort near Dabhol – Now only the Fort Walls remain

Dabul was conquered by Chhatrapati Shivaji around 1660 and annexed to the new Maratha kingdom. The erection of the Maratha fort of Anjnavel right across the river eclipsed whatever role remained for Dabul, and the once-great port city simply evaporated and disappeared from the maps.

Guhagar

Is another beautiful village located some 22 kms from Velneshwar and 15 kms from Anjanvel. Guhagar is lush green and offers splendid views from any where you look.

Flanked by the mighty Arabian Sea on one side and the majestic Sahayadri Mountain Ranges on the other, Guhagar literally means a ‘Cave House’, in the local dialect.

View of Guhagar as Approached from Velneshwar
View of Guhagar as Approached from Velneshwar

Guhager is situated a little ahead of Anjanvel and offers a clean pristine white sand beach. Meditation, relaxation, sunbathing, and swimming are some of the many options you can choose from while you’re here.

Guhagar Beach2

The Guhagar beach is quite isolated and makes for an ideal day out on a beach all by yourself and some villagers. Once in a while there are options to take a camel ride along the beach or a tonga ride.  And there are a couple of small shops that sell delicious bhel puri!

Guhager Beach
Guhager Beach

Guhagar also has numerous Shiva temples to explore including Lord Shiva like Vyadeshwar, Talkeshwar, Udaleshwar, Balkeshwar and a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha ‘Ufratya Tondacha Ganpati’

Road Drive to Guhagar
Road Drive to Guhagar

Stay options at Guhagar: Guhagar offers plenty of Homestays to choose from so listed a few:

Nisarg Resort at Guhagar
Nisarg Resort at Guhagar

Nisarg Resort: is a peaceful vacation home located near the Guhagar Beach. Here you can enjoy personal attention with yummy home cooked meals. Tariffs: 1800-2400 INR Visit Website

Sai Meru, Guhagar
Sai Meru, Guhagar

Sai Meru: is an Agro Tourism Centre that offers an ideal place to stay and is located close to the Asgoli Beach, an isolated beach that is situated around 5 kms from Guhagar Beach.

Spread across sprawling campus, this place offers you splendid views of the vast blue sea. Its definitely a home away from home and makes for a perfect holiday experience. For Tariffs & Bookings Contact: 091 – 9422439834 & 091 – 9273929794 Visit Website

For other exotic and beautiful Home stay options at Guhagar, please visit Saffron Stays or TripAdvisor and there are some nice budget stay options mentioned HERE as well.

Hedvi

Is another little village town that has a Hedvi Beach which is quite clean and desolated. The layered rocks on the beach here are quite fascinating.

The Gorgeous Hedvi Beach Image Copyright @ Amit Sharma, Flickr
The Gorgeous Hedvi Beach Image Copyright @ Amit Sharma, Flickr

Lined with Coconut grooves this beach has few huts where you can relax and soak in the sea breeze.

ckrt_day4_27 copy

Located nearby is a place called ‘Baman Ghal’ which is a rare natural phenomenon that got created with contstant gradation of the rocks by the sea, resulting in a gorge in the black rock patch that is about 20 feet deep and 1-2 feet wide. The sea water gushes in and a water column rises through this gorge above the rocks upto 20-30ft! Its a sight especially during monsoons.

Dashbhuj Ganesh Temple, Hedvi Image by Ankur P @Flickr
Dashbhuj Ganesh Temple, Hedvi Image by Ankur P @Flickr

Visit the Dashbhuj Ganesh Temple that is dedicated to Lord Ganesh and has a Ganesh Idol with 10 hands, hence te name. It is believed that this temple was constructed during the reign of the Peshwas, and the marble that was used to make the Ganesha Idol was brought from Jammu and Kashmir.

Distance Guide

Kumbharli ghat (on the way from Umbraj to Chiplun)
Kumbharli ghat (on the way from Umbraj to Chiplun)

The journey from Pune to Velneshwar will take you to Kumbharli Ghat, situated between Umbraj to Chiplun and is a thrilling 20 minutes drive offering you beautiful scenic hill views and lush green forests.

Important Notes:

  • Recommended to fill up petrol/Diesal at a place called Shrungar Tali (near Chiplun) as there are no petrol pumps at Guhagar or at Veleneshwar.
  • Vitthal Kamat Restaurant located near Mahad makes for a quick food break, as this is a good option unlike others on this route. From Mumbai, better food places are available at Palaspe & Karnala that come before Mahad.
  • Coming from Kolhapur, do make a pit stop enroute at ‘Koyna’ to see the biggest dam of Maharastra.
  • Although there is ‘Ashish Nursing Home’ located near to the MTDC Tourist Resort, Velneshwar for emergencies (02359-24344902359-243449/243249) the nearest Medical Shop is Minakshi Medical – 94038009797 is located 7 kms from Velneshwar so please carry emergency medicines.
  • Nearest Automobile Garage is Vaidya Automobiles and it is located at Modakaghar, Guhagar (15 kms from Velneshwar)

RoadwaysLogoMumbai to Velneshwar – 290 Kms
Best Route: Mangaon – Mahad – Khed – Chiplun – Velneshwar

Pune to Velneshwar – 240 Kms

Best Route: Khed Shivapur – Bhor – Varandha Ghat – Mahad – Khed – Chiplun – Velneshwar

Kolhapur to Velneshwar – 200 Kms
Best Route: Kolhapur – Karad – Patan – Koyna – Chiplun – Velneshwar 

RailwaysLogoRailways: Velneshwar can be reached easily after reaching Chiplun, that is connected with most cities and there are direct trains from Mumbai.

From Chiplun Velneshwar is approximately 60 Kms and the 1 hour drive would take you along tiny rustic villages and lush green coconut palms.

AirwaysLogoAirways: Nearest Airport is at Mumbai.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s