Thursday, February 21, 2013

Konkan Coast Bike Ride

A bike ride along the Konkan coast had been on my mind for over a couple of years. Somehow it never got priority because it is 'so close to home'! When the trekking gang decided to meet in Goa in December, I was  again enthused about the Konkan bike ride... and this is exactly what I did :)

Konkan, as Maharashtra's west coast is called has a beautiful coastline. The pristine and relatively uncommercialised (read: not dirtied by tourism) beaches, palms and mangroves, mango and supari plantations, rivers and backwaters make a fabulous landscape. However Konkan offers travelers much more than just picture perfect landscapes

The history enthusiasts get to see many war forts. Though most of them are in ruins, a bit of imagination allows one to visualize the grandeur that these forts would have had in they hey day, the strategic thinking behind their location and architecture. The religious minded can visit the numerous temples here. Almost every village has a temple and each has an interesting anecdote about its establishment and reverence. For foodies, there is plenty of fish to enjoy to be washed down with sol kadi and kokam sherbat! The Konkani people are a hard-working class. The fishermen going about their daily routine is indeed a delight to observe.

However enjoying all this requires some sacrifices. If your idea of a holiday is flying in to your destination, minimal time on the road, nightlife and party places, luxury of 3+ star hotels, you are probably going to be disappointed. Most destinations in Konkan are little more than villages with a few hotels along the beach and few homes with signs of 'राहण्याची व जेवणाची उत्तम सोय' (literal translation: good arrangements for stay and meals). These are locals who offer some rooms in their houses on rent to tourists. Restaurants have a limited menu and most of these places require atleast 4-5 road journey to reach.

Excited at the prospect of a bike ride, I began my research. Found a few good blogs but most of them spoke about the destinations and not the journey! The 'साद सागराची' series of books were very informative. I also studied the road atlas and google maps to have a rough idea of roads to take. I decided to go to Goa via the Varandha Ghat-NH17 route. On the way back I would take the coastal highway (sagari mahamarg) and whereever possible smaller village roads running as close to the coast as possible.

A glimpse of the place

Go Go Goa!

The Trailer

The Mighty Fort

A Sense of Ennui

The Trip Ends

1 comment:

  1. I must say the once you visit Tarkarli beach It is world famous white sand beach in India