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An unexpected short trip to Malvan!

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by sandeep.12, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. sandeep.12

    sandeep.12 Amatore

    This is the first time ever I am writing a travelogue. Folks please excuse my writing style if not meeting standards ;).

    It was an unexpected opportunity to take off during the Xmas vacations. I was left out with no option to do a detailed plan for a trip to somewhere and I was not keen enough to go on a southward trip again since the recent trips to my hometown in Trivandrum made another one down south, a boaring one. A quick search on the internet helped me finalize on Malvan,a beach side town in the Konkan region. It was a friday evening when I planned for the trip and quick calls were made to the resorts with all of them saying "Sorry, you are late to get a room during Xmas week". Anyways its been a while I have been to the Konkan region and nothing was a deterrant for me to go ahead with the plan. I was thinking to reach there and look for some accomodation in Malvan. Saturday, we did some foodie shopping for my daughter who is 3.5 yrs, did the packing and set alarm at 3 AM for a 3.30 start.

    Day 1.
    It was my wife, my daughter and me who all for the first time had an on time start and we hit the NICE road at the Hosur road side exactly by 3.35 AM. Paid the toll and as expected there were less number of cars than trucks on the NICE road. It was a Sunday morning and Bangaloreans on vacation would have already left the city on Saturday itself and we expected less car traffic on the highways leading out of city. NICE road was done in 30 mins and we were at the Tumkur road exit and had a peaceful early morning drive. We were in the beautiful Tumkur-Chitradurga expressway soon and stopped at a true Punjabi Dhaba for tea and continued the onward journey.

    It was around 7 when we reached Davengere and my plans to have "Bennai dosai" highway side went in vain as there were no signs of any restaurants en route and we were not in a mood to enter the city and have that at a famous restaurant inside the city. We continued our journey and were desperate for breakfast and I knew about a BPCL Ghar Dhaba in Ranebenur. It was 9.30 AM by then and we crossed the Kamat Upachar just before the bypass start. I was more keen to have the breakfast at the Ghar Dhaba, than eating at Kamat and fill the punto tankful at the BPCL COCO. It was a great relief when we saw the huge mast saying Ghar Dhaba from a distance and we parked the car just next to the Dhaba. To our dismay, the toilets and the wash rooms had no water and the walls and the basins were having spit marks and it was stinking. There was one guy the in charge who was sleeping on the floor and he convinced us to have food there and he will arrange water soon. With our stomachs empty and the kid being annoyed after being inside the car for sometime, we decided to have food and have a break there. He gave us idlies and vadas which were not good and we quickly finished the breakfast and my daughter started refreshing herself outside the Dhaba. By the time some unfortunate souls also came in to have breakfast at the Dhaba and their faces itself showed what came to their mind seeing the Dhaba inside. Its a must avoidable place in Bangalore-Mumbai route.

    Early morning pics from Davengere bypass.



    Ghar Dhaba at Ranebennur.




    It was a peaceful drive till Hubli Byepass where the 4 lane turns into a typical Kerala highway like with trucks trying to overtake an overtaking car on a 2 Lane road. however we managed to get out of that mess and were again greeted by the beautiful 4 laned NH-4 after Dharwad. We drove into Belgaum city as we had to take the Sawantwadi road to Malvan. It was 12.30 PM when we looked for a restaurant to have good lunch after the bad experience at the Ghar Dhaba. Checked with the locals on a good eatery we went to a restaurant opposite to the Civil hospital Belgaum and after a good thali lunch we hit the road again driving towards Sawantwadi. It was a homecoming feeling for me to see the typical Maharashtra roads after 4 years when I relocated to Bangalore. The road conditions were okish but the drive was awesome on the 1.5 lane road.

    Road to Sawantwadi from Belgaum.



    I was too excited to see the Amobli ghat and we reached the ghat by 3 PM. It was a magnificent view from the top but the temperatures were unbearable at that time of afternoon. Though we stopped for few mins and started again. The truckies and the 2 wheelers drive dangerously through the ghats and you can expect a truck at a blind turn and I kept honking at all turns to be on the safer side. Then we drove through the small forest kind of region after the ghat towards Sawantwadi and the roads are pretty good after the ghat.

    Views from Amboli Ghat.




    We kept on driving and before Sawantwadi took a right turn towards Kudal after joining NH 17. The roads were awesome, though 2 laned, on the NH17. I was thinking how diverse the NH17 is after starting from Edappally in Cochin, passing through Calicut, Kannur, Kasargode where both the sides are densely populated and then to to empty stretches after crossing Udupi, Ankola, Karwar and crossing Goa, Chiplun and when it finally reaches Panvel. Thoughts still lingering in my mind we took a left turn at Kudal towards Malvan. The roads were fine and we took the right hand turn towards Malvan at a crossing in which one road goes to Vengurla, which was also on our plan. Soon we were on a plateau and saw a board saying work on the Sindhudurg airport is in progress and expect deviations. It is a grassland anyways which wore an yellowish look during December and I think it would be lush green during the monsoon. The roads were bad except for the deviation made through the boundary of the airport.

    Some pics from Chipi-Parule. This is where the greenfield airport is coming up.





    Chipi Bridge.



    Karli river.




    Time was flying by and the tough task ahead for me is to find a place to stay. We crossed the Chipi Bridge on the Karli river and took some pics of my Punto on the bridge. We quickly headed to the town area and made some calls to the same numbers which I had inquired 2 days before. I got the same answer "Sorry, no rooms available". Finally one positive response from a place and we headed to Rock Garden where we checked in to "Abhilasha Home stay". Though it did look like a proper Hotel, it was named a home stay. Anyways the hotel was new, clean and good. I was desperately looking for a beachside resort and the vacation crowd made that impossible for me. We had covered 700 Km on day one and the Punto ensured that we were not tired after a long journey. My daughter was still on high spirits to play on the Chiwla beach which we visited at 10 PM after a dinner from "Bamboo hut" restaurant. I have been hearing about Malvani food for long time and we wanted to have Malvani fish thali and locals suggested this place for diner. The place was over crowded with the touring folks and we waited for good half an hour just to get a seat. The food was awesome and the fish thali was a tasty one indeed.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
    kirenh, varunrtr, Surya and 7 others like this.
  2. sandeep.12

    sandeep.12 Amatore

    Day 2.

    We woke up late to have breakfast at a nearby restaurant and the town was still waking up. We went to Sindhudurg fort by 10 AM to find that the place was already crowded. Somehow managed to park the punto between some boats taken ashore and went to buy tickets for the boat ride to the island fort of Sindhudurg. Though its not a proper forted island like the Murud-Janjira, this was good. Like Murud the fort entrance is something which cannot be noticed until you reach the gate and everything inside was similar to Murud. We were not interested in taking a guided tour inside that as it looked same like Murud. My daughter was more interested in playing on shallow waters. She was glad that we let her free to play with sand and water. She had a nice time there and it was when the boat guys called us back for the return journey the mainland. The scorching sun made us tired soon, but i didn't waste an opportunity to take the punto to the sands and take some pics like below. I did not dare to take it more towards the water as the sand didn't make a comfortable feeling in me to drive on.

    Sindhudurg fort Parkplatz.



    The Jetty and the Fort.




    Fishing boats.




    Sindhudurg fort.







    Punto on the shore.




    After a quick lunch at one of the restaurant near the Hotel we got freshened up and started our journey towards Devbaug and Tarkarli Beach. It was by after noon 3 PM we reached Tarkarli and my plan for the rest of the day was to take a boat ride to Tsunami island, do some water sporting activities at the island and do snorkeling. Took a boat ride and he took us to some spots like the estuary, Bhogwe beach, Tsunami island. The boat guy told us that the chances of sighting dolphins at the Dolphin point is very rare at this time of the day and he discouraged us from going there. Wifey and daughter were not interested in doing water sports and we just strolled through the shallow waters of the Karli river. The view and feeling was awesome leaving all the official worries at Bangalore and spending some good time with family.

    Some pics from Tsunami island.

    Water sports corner on the Island.



    Sedge of cranes.



    Other views from Tsunami island and Tarkarli beach.

    It was getting dark and we decided to have a quick stop at the Tarkarli beach.
    Its on the way back to Malvan.

    Some shots from Devbaug Beach.



    We called it a day and had Chinese for dinner just to have a change from Malvani cuisine.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
    kirenh, shams, sakartechin and 10 others like this.
  3. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Nice details and beutiful pictures Sandeep.

    Regarding Ghar Dhaba at Ranebennur, I found that closed last year (Dec'2012). Earlier it used to be nice, I guess after re-open with different owners, it became so bad.
    Kamat is better choice there now.
  4. sandeep.12

    sandeep.12 Amatore

    Yes Ravi, Kamat is the better choice now.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2014
  5. sandeep.12

    sandeep.12 Amatore

    Day 3

    I would like to say few words about the offline maps in my Lumia without which we would have lost several hours asking for turns, routes etc. I had downloaded Maharashtra maps just before we stared the journey. Lumia gave pin point accuracy in navigating us on turns and diversions. Most of the time we were in regions where the cellular connectivity was not available but the Lumia performed very good.

    The day started on a leisurely pace. Malvan town was still asleep at 8 AM when we went for breakfast neat ST bus stand. Visited Rock garden which is at a stone throw distance from Abhilasha home stay. Rock garden is a place totally different from the surrounding beaches, which have shallow waters and clear waters. This is a rocky area and it was good that we visited before the scorching heat starts. Clicked a couple of pics. If any body plan to visit Malvan and have some contacts in Maharashtra Government, you can check in to the Government Guest house which will give an awesome view of the sea adjacent.

    Rock Garden Malvan.





    We then quickly started to Vengurla which is around 45 Km down south of Malvan, towards Goa. We were in no mood to visit Goa as it would be too crowded during the Xmas week. The drive was on the same route, in which we crossed the Sindhudurg airport construction area, the same grassland plateau and took a right turn at the junction of the Left hand road which goes to Kudal. The road after the junction was good and is very much north Kerala like with coconut trees on both sides and the red rock kind of soil. The curvy and good roads combined with the excellent body roll of the Punto, gave a nice experience to drive on.

    Some pics from Chipi-Parule again on day 3.






    We reached Vengurla within an hour and had the first birds eye view of Vengurla port from a hill top. Then we took the Vengurla Bandar road towards the port and we were there in quick time. The port is very small and has the customs office and some other government establishments. We just took some snaps of the port and turned back towards the main road where we could park the car and had an easy access to the beach. The shallow and clear waters again gave a an opportunity to my daughter to start playing on water again. This again is an estuary where the sea and a small river joins.

    Here are some of the pics from Vengurla.

    View from hill top.


    Beach adjacent to port.








    I am sure that there would be numerous beaches in and around Vengurla which would be beautiful than what we had seen. But we had a plan to reach Kolhapur the same day and thought of giving them a miss this time. We then started our journey back to Malvan where we had the Malvan fish thali for the final time and checked out from the hotel and started our journey to Kolhapur. The route was Kasal from Malvan where we joined NH17 again, north of Kudal and we continued northwards crossing Kankavali and taking a right turn at Umarat towards Phonda ghat and Radhanagari. The turns are well marked and the roads are fine and driveable. We reached Phonda ghat and there are view points en route which give a view from from the other side of Amboli ghat. Soon we had the first views of the Radhanagari dam catchment area and it looked like a huge dam. The roads and surroundings looked exactly the same like Mulshi dam in Pune. We didn't have enough time to drive the car near to the lake, as we had to reach Kolhapur before nightfall.

    Clicks from phonda Ghat





    Radhanagari dam



    We continued our journey towards Kolhapur. It was when we came across trucks being loaded with sugarcanes in the middle of the road with no indications. You will never notice an unlit tractor or a truck carrying sugarcane and we had to be extra cautious driving through that area. It was dark by that time and we had a tough time covering that area and by nightfall we were in one of the toll gates where you pay for entry to Kolhapur. I think those are the toll gates vandalized by the MNS activists recently. Anyways its daylight robbery to charge cars for entering a city. We had a relative in Kolhapur where we stayed for the night.
    kirenh, shams, pdash and 6 others like this.
  6. bins

    bins Amatore

    Nice travelogue and pictures. The itch to go somewhere has doubled for me now.
    1 person likes this.
  7. mchanna

    mchanna Superiore

    Wow what a trip! Very nice photos Sandeep.

    Can you please share the route?

    Hows punto performed overall? whats the mileage?
  8. Ganges

    Ganges Esperto

    Driver Seat _/
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Nice photos Sandeep/

    Punto is highway Car and in ghats you will enjoy the torque and pull of our beast.
    Konkan is always bliss to drive.
    if you are coming from pune.
    then Pune-Kolhapur-gaganbavda-kankavli-malvan.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  9. rishike007

    rishike007 Esperto

    Pune- Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.2
    Sandeep your pix are awesome.

    I had a imaginary trip to malavan with your pix :)

    Keep traveling keep posting your travelogues and happy puntoing................
  10. Surya

    Surya Superiore

    Namma Bengaluru
    Hi Sandeep, you have made a wonderful trip i didn't knew this place much your pics speak a lot of things.. nice travelogue.

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