BENGALURU: Without visiting the beaches and various sea resorts in and around Greater Mumbai and Thane or Raigad district, one feels desolate, as if you have missed seeing something really precious. On the mainland itself, there are the well-known beaches of Chowpatty, and Juhu, but one feels that they are too chaotic and crowded. However, if we go a little away from the city, we can take a peek at Thane Creek, Madh islands, or the pristine beaches of Alibag.
If one wants to relax and forget the stresses and strains of a hectic job, it is ideal to go on a weekend getaway to Alibag, just about 100 kilometers south of Mumbai in Raigad district. This verdant and serene town with sparkling white beaches has a few homestays and beach resorts. We stayed in one of these resorts and had a fantastic time, especially enjoying the view of the sea from our cottage which was surrounded by trees and a garden in between.
The Sanman Beach Resort is a cozy place on the Varsoli beach and ideal for a weekend stay as it is not only spacious but also well furnished. We had our meals out in the open amid the constant chirping of birds and the gentle sound of the waves. A morning walk is a must from the resort as the beachfront with its sparkling white sands is less than 100 metres away. As we took a leisurely stroll in the evening hours, around the pristine waterfront, the amazing view of the sunset left us wonderstruck. If you are interested and a little bit adventurous, you can try out some water sports like a ride on the water scooter, but it is better to avoid as safety and security measures are almost absent.
Night time is the best at Varsoli as you can relax and gaze away at the foamy tides rising in the eerie darkness to your heart’s content. As it is situated about a mile from the main Alibag beach, the Varsoli beach is less frequented. Surrounded by dense green coconut and casuarina vegetation, the beachfront looks very different from other seaside spots. If you have time and are planning to spend two or three days more, you can visit other beaches like the Kihim beach which is rich in biodiversity or the white sandy beach of Kashid on the Murud highway.
Apart from its scenic beaches, there are many other tourist attractions at Alibag as it is a historical place with forts, temples, Buddhist caves, synagogues, towers, Portuguese ruins and a even a magnetic observatory.
From Mumbai, one can reach this place on the Konkan coast by traveling on the Mumbai-Goa highway (NH-17) till Vadkhal and from there proceed on the road towards Goa. Otherwise, you can avail the ferry service from Gateway of India which will drop you at Mandwa Jetty and from there, a bus takes you all the way to Alibag in two hours.