The sun peeked through the clouds. As the evening inched closer, a swarm of black butterflies fluttered over us and did a mid-air dance of sorts, before scattering away.
We can’t promise you the butterflies, but once the monsoon hits the Konkan coast, the beaches of Diveagar and Harihareshwar are spectacular by themselves. They are also the safest, compared to a few others on the southern Konkan stretch, as these beaches slope gradually into the sea without sharp drops.
DAY 1: DIVEAGAR
7 AM: The drive to Diveagar (195 km) takes five hours from Mumbai. So, it’s best to leave early, and reach Diveagar by lunch. The beaches are at their best during late afternoons; the water is warm and the sand cools down, courtesy the cloud cover. Hit the NH17 (a spectacularly good road), then take the Mumbai-Goa Highway up to Mangaon, followed by the diversion towards Shrivardhan and Harihareshwar.
12 AM: Having made it to Diveagar by noon, right in time for a Konkani lunch, we headed straight to the restaurant at Anandyatri, our resort. The lunch is made by locals and often features the catch of the day as part of a large spread — for us, it was a mouth-watering Pomfret Fry and Kajuchi Usal (a cashew nut gravy) with a side of Aamras and a variety of papad, followed by Ukdiche Modak (steamed Modak) for dessert.
1 PM: After a satiating lunch, we drove to Dighi Port, a small bay and a wooden pier that extends into the sea. A 20-minute ferry ride from this point took us to Janjira Fort. While this sea fort isn’t in the best of the conditions, it still manages to evoke the glory of the time gone by with its mighty bastions and cannons.
3 PM: We took the ferry back to the beach and explored water sports at Diveagar. Priced reasonably between rS 600-700 for a ride, the camp offers banana boat rides and water rafting. The light starts diminishing early during monsoon in this region. We found a quiet spot and watched the sun go down.
DAY 2: Harihareshwar
10 AM: After a healthy breakfast of Poha and ginger tea, we were on the road again towards Harihareshwar, known for its scenic cliffs overlooking the sea. One of the best features of this two-hour drive was the winding road flanked by the grand Sahyadris on one side and the vast ocean on the other.
For most people, heading to Harihareshwar means a visit to the popular Lord Shiva Temple. Since we had some spare time and the beautiful beach was inviting, we walked the length of the beach — about 3 km — right up to the cliffs.
3 PM:We left for Mumbai mid-afternoon so that we’d be home by night. Two days of Konkani food and warm hospitality, coupled with picturesque beaches was our ideal break from the city. What better way to prepare yourself for a Monday?
The best way to reach Diveagar is by road. State Transport buses to Ratnagiri also stop at Diveagar. Alternatively, you can take a train to Mangaon and then a State Transport bus to Diveagar.
Though Diveagar has fancy hotels like Exotica (099695 72239), we picked a local shack called Anandyatri (94204 23533). It was affordable and homely.
(Photos: Pallavi Shivalkar)