Sun, sand and beach – who wouldn’t want such a getaway to be in if possible for the rest of his/her life? Given the constraints of modern working day life, such an idea of spending life in a fairy-tale destination is not exactly very feasible. However, what one can actually dare think about is venturing into such a destination once in a while. A weekend holiday in a sea-side resort is a tempting idea for many working professionals. With cheap flight tickets available, such retreats can be easily undertaken in a matter of hours.
In India, when one speaks of a beach, the immediate name which flashes across minds is that of Goa. Kerala, Andamans and Lakshadweep are also turning out to be great favourites with images of pristine blue waters, sunlight and coconut trees dominating minds.
The thought of exploring relatively unknown, yet beautiful and picturesque beaches often gives the scare of ‘not willing to try surprises and ruin the holiday in pursuit of adventure’. There is one destination which will not make you regret trying out. It is the village of Tarkarli (Sindhudurg district) in the westernmost Indian state of Maharashtra. The coast on which the village lies is known as the Konkan Coast. The area is getting quite famous amongst surfers and beach-lovers for its crystal clear blue waters and water sports. The major town nearby is Malvan at a distance of 5 km north of the village.
What to see in Tarkli?
The very first sight to visit is the beach known as the Tarkarli Beach, which makes the village so famous in the region. It is said that on a clear, sunny day one is vividly able to see the sea-bed upto a depth of 20 feet. The Karli backwater adjacent to the Arabian Sea is one of the most beautiful in the country. You can take a boat ride at any point of time during the day and feel the strong breeze from the sea and enjoy the adjoining lush and green vegetative forest cover on the banks. Not to forget the sunset view too!
Devbagh Sangam is a beautiful village midway as one heads down to the Arabian Sea from the Karli river. Sands are white and you can simultaneously enjoy the tunes of the quiet river assimilating with the sea waters as well as the roaring waves of the sea. The literal meaning of Devbagh is “God’s Garden”. Scuba Diving Thought scuba diving did not exist in India? If you did, you are dead wrong. In Tarkarli, you can meet the underwater friends with trained divers accompanying you for safety and emergency situations. What to eat? Fish-lovers and other sea-foodies will find this place extremely thrilling with almost all eateries – affordable as well as expensive – offering a wide variety of eatables cooked in the traditional Malvan style. The most popular dishes are the Kombdi-Vade, Mori masala and Malvani mutton curry. The best and probably the safest place to eat in the area is the government-run MTDC restaurant.
Air – The nearest major airport is the Dabolim Airport (also known as the Goa International Airport) in Goa at a distance of 132 km.
Rail – The nearby railway stations in the area are the Sindhudurg Railway Station (31 km east of the village), Kudal Railway Station (33 km east of the village) and the Kankavli Railway Station (49 km north-east of the village).
Road – State-run Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses from the cities of Mumbai, Pune and Panjim ply regularly to Malvan, from where you can take a bus or an autorickshaw to Tarkarli.
The best possible option to stay while in Tarkarli is the MTDC Resort (tariff – Rs. 4,100 onwards). There are a wide variety of options with private homes letting out rooms on rent as well as affordable homestays (tariff – Rs. 400 onwards). Some of the budget hotels you can consider are Siddhivinayak Beach Resort (tariff – Rs. 500 onwards), Soham Resorts (tariff – Rs. 900 onwards), Tarkarli Niwas (tariff – Rs. 500 onwards), Visava (tariff – Rs. 500 onwards) among others.
Festivals and Events: Tarkali
The most popular holiday and event of the coastal area is Ram Navami Utsav celebrated usually in the month of April. It is a celebration marking the birth of the legendary prince Rama of Ayodhya and his subsequent marriage with Sita. Some of the other important festivals of the area are are Holi in March, Ganesh Chathurthi in August-September and Diwali in October-November.
In short, it is a place which you would definitely love to see before you die. You will be forced to admit that with destinations like these, it is useless to spend money on tours abroad. For those in Maharashtra and southern India, Tarkarli is a definite go-go.