Yes! Me and my friend – two girls! Decided to take a short trip from Bombay. I know you are thinking Lonavala, or Pune, or even better Goa!! Let’s face it now. You haven’t paid attention to my bio. I like to travel more or less on the ‘road not taken’.
So, my first girls only (!!!!!) – why SHOULD boys have all the fun – trip was to the beaches of Murud & Kashid in Maharashtra, a little ahead of Alibaug. It was totally unplanned, and we had only booked a guest house the evening prior to leaving.
Murud is famous for being a fishing village (and thankfully not smelling much) and Kashid for being a cheaper version of Goa.
After eating lunch at Nutcracker in Kala Ghoda (must visit), we took a bus to reach Murud. This took us 6 hours and once we reached our guest house, we crashed.
Only to wake up next morning to the sound of wavesssss! Running out of the room, we noticed that just at the boundary of our guest house, stood the breath taking Murud Sea!! Taking in the fresh salty air, we saw this fort, literally in the middle of this huge sea.
After getting ready and asking around, we took an auto to the Janjira Fort! The autos and ‘tam-tam’ are the best mode of transportation in the area, unless you have driven there.
On reaching the pier, the Janjira boat service guys told us, that a boat will leave only once there are 30 passengers. Since a private boat costed us INR 600, we decided to wait for a few people and soon enough gangs of 5 & 8 joined us and along with them we took a semi-private boat, saving us a lot of money and time!
So, one thing that we all should realize is, budget is not always in the form of managing our money. Correct budgeting also includes managing our time! Waiting for 30 people would have helped us save, but also made us waste a good hour which could otherwise be utilized in enjoying the fort! A very desirable trade-off indeed!!
Moving on, after a total ‘Swades’ style boat ride of half an hour, we reached the fort’s entrance. And believe me, it isn’t one of those where you climb onto the pier and nicely walk. The boatmen literally had to pull each one of us to the top corner of the boat and make us jump to the first stair we could land upon.
Going inside the fort, the beautiful untampered overgrowth was in perfect harmony with the dilapidated ruins of the town it was. The well in the middle, the lion emblem everywhere, various tunnels, temples, mosques and cannons all appeared surreal and yet so realistic that one could easily imagine that once a king with his many citizens ruled over the land from this fortress right in the middle of the sea. Waging and wining wars and what not!
After clicking about a zillion pictures, we returned to the boat (jump!).
Next stop – Kashid Beach.
Oh no! Tummy needs food.
Taking an auto to the Murud beach market, we ate food at this yummy place bang opposite the beach, called Anand Vatika. Total north Indian fare with yummy cheese naan!
Then, we took another local bus from the ‘chowk’ – a roundabout that everyone will tell u to go in order to take a bus / auto to reach our next destination. This cost us INR 50 per head and about 40 minutes. The entire journey was lined with coconut trees and the sea on one side, and a huge expanse of thick evergreen trees on the other!
Kashid beach was invitingly clean and had a series of food stalls and hammocks. It was something both of us had not expected, and really went crazy about. Instead of running to the water, we lied down upon the hammocks and soaked the sun, salt-&-sand. Opened up our books, played some nice music and felt amazingly ‘Shant’ in the perfect surroundings.
Note – There are clean paid restrooms on the beach!
The villages shut down by 10-ish, so we ate our dinner and walked back to our guest house without meeting a single soul on the way.
The next morning we took a bus back to Bombay feeling all cool and fresh from our GT (Girls Trip)!
I realized that not only did we end up visiting a fortress in the middle of the sea along with the beaches, we both truly understood the value of ‘peacefulness’ that everyone keeps talking about. Believe me, after living in Bombay, sometimes you do need to be reminded of it!
My first trip without a group was one, where nothing extraordinary really happened, yet ordinary was sooo… perfect.
- Book ahead, Kashid has good but few places to stay
- Smaller places have lesser food joints and shops – Take a few basics along
- Accommodations might not always match your expectations – Carry a towel just in case.
- Go on a weekday to avoid noisy crowds
- Be money AND time wise
- Never forget to ask about what to see – we would never have gone to Janjira otherwise!