Sunday, February 5, 2012

Diveagar and Srivardhan

If you want to enjoy the beach, head to Diveagar. The beach is safe, beautiful, and vast. The waters are comparatively cleaner.

Map
Routes to Diveagar

1. Via Tamhini Ghat
This is the commonest and probably shortest route to go to the Kokan area from Pune. From Chandani Chowk, take the road towards Paud, Mulshi, and follow it up to the Tamhini ghat. After crossing the ghat, you have to join the National Highway 17, the Mumbai-Goa Road at Kolad.

2. Via Khopoli-Pali Road
From Pune, you take the Mumbai Expressway. Take the Khopoli exit. From Khopoli, take the Khopoli-Pali road. I don't know much about this route. We did not take this route. With this route, you get out on the NH 17 somewhere near Kolad.

3. Via Khopoli-Pen Road

From Pune, you take the Mumbai Expressway. Take the Khalapur exit (go past the Khopoli exit), and take the Khalapur-Pen road. This is a beautiful drive, though a bit lonely. It's a stretch of 25 kms and takes approximately half an hour. There aren't any shops or garages on this road. So, make sure you have an extra tyre with you, and also get to know how to change a punctured tyre, just in case. This route goes directly in the Pen city right through the market. Cross the town and join the Pen-Alibaug road at the other end of the town. After around 5 kms, take a left at the Wadkhal naka. That's where you join NH 17.

Eventually, all roads lead to NH 17. :)

On NH 17, you will pass all small and large villages and towns. The important towns on the way are Nagothane, Kolad, Indapur, and Mangaon.

To go to Diveagar, you must take a right at Mangaon. Just after crossing the ST stand on the right hand, a small road is seen on the right. It can easily be missed, so keep a watch on it. Interestingly, the road points to only Morba, the next village on that route. But that really is the turn that you need to take to go to Diveagar, Harihareshwar, and further down south.

From the Morba road, you must cross the Morba-Sai ghat. After Sai (a village), comes Mhasla. At Mhasla, you need to take the right turn to go to Diveagar and Srivardhan.

4. From Harihareshwar
Marine Drive: Harihareshwar-Diveagar
If you have visited Harihareshwar first and are coming to Diveagar, the route that you take is through Srivardhan. This road is called the Marine Drive. It's no comparison to Mumbai's Marine Drive. Initially, you might just feel that why the hell is it called Marine Drive. But patience and you are appropriately rewarded. The road at one point goes on to become parallel to the coastline and it definitely deserves to be called Marine Drive.

Srivardhan

Shreemant Balaji Vishwanath Peshwe
Srivardhan has a great historical background. Unfortunately, nothing of this great history is now visible in Srivardhan. It's the birthplace of Shreemant Balaji Vishwanath Peshwe, the Prime Minister of Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj. But what remains now of the house in which he was born is nothing but a statue.

We had hoped for at least some sort of museum or some relics that would help relive history. But nothing at all.

Srivardhan beach
I guess, Srivardhan is now more known because it is a Taluka place. It was bustling with activity even in the afternoon when we reached there. The traffic was pretty heavy and had to be monitored by traffic police.

Again, the beach at Srivardhan is beautiful and quite long. We were there in the afternoon and did not find anyone else on the beach. Perhaps it's busy in the morning and evenings. But, it's better to check with the locals about how safe it is.

We did not stay at Srivardhan. So, I cannot provide much information about the places to stay and eat at Srivardhan. However, I am sure you will be able to find homemade food and rooms that are let for staying.

Diveagar

Diveagar main road
Diveagar has recently, rather, since 1997 suddenly appeared on the tourist map. Earlier, it must have been the same old sleepy coastal town, that not many knew about. In fact, Borli-a town around a kilometer away from Diveagar has been the market center.

What has made Diveagar famous is a golden idol of Lord Ganesha that was found buried in a trunk in a field. The story goes that in 1997, a peasant was digging in a field and he stuck gold. Literally! He found the buried trunk containing the idol of Shree Ganesh. The trunk also contained some ornaments for the idol. Diveagar suddenly warmed up to the blessings of the Lord, and lo behold, it is now a much sought after place!

The gold idol is placed in a Ganesh temple not far from the site it was found. The temple is very much in the center of the town and there's a parking lot just opposite the temple, where all tourist buses are parked.

Diveagar Beach

The beach in Diveagar is beautiful. It is long, calm, and clean. In the evenings, a vehicle is available that aids you para-sailing. I cannot give it a name. You are tied to the para-sailing equipment and a jeep takes you till a certain point, with you are in the sky around 35 feet above the ground. People assist you with the equipment and also help when you touch down. It might be fun. I didn't try it out.

Diveagar beach
In the mornings too, the beach is beautiful. You can take long walks on the beach and enjoy the cool waters. Of course, be it in the morning or evening, do keep a watch on the tides. As always, the high tide waters rise drastically and might be dangerous.

You can have nice coconut water, bhel, kadak chai, or also buy a few toys at a couple of hathgadis available there. You can also enjoy a water ride in the boats available. Do make sure that they provide you with life jackets before you go for the ride.

Where to eat at Diveagar?

Two places really...Bapat Khanawal and Paarkar Khanawal.

For vegetarians, you just cannot miss Bapat Khanawal. The food is awesome. And the most important part is that you get to have modaks that you just cannot miss.

To go to Bapat Khanawal, you have to cross the Ganesh temple, and keep going straight ahead. The lane is full of Bapats. There you will see a small board explaining that the Bapat Khanawal is the 5th gate on the right. It's damn easy to miss the gate. So, better count them correctly! Because, if you miss that, you are going to miss an awesome food offering.

Mind you, you need to tell at the Bapat Khanawal in advance before you go for lunch or dinner. You cannot just barge in and sit down to eat. Also, when you are asked to come before a certain time, do make sure you go before that time. The Bapat Khanawal can take only around 100-150 people to eat at a time and you should not miss it. They close down at the decided time. Don't miss the right time.

If you want to have modaks, you must also place an order for that. Place an order of how many per head you will have. They make it in that much quantity and you cannot have more than that. But, seriously, do NOT miss the modaks.

For non-vegetarians, Paarkar Khanawal is the best place we thought. Awesome fish you get there. Pompfret, surmai, chicken is all available there. At Paarkar Khanawal too, if you are going in a large group, it's better to inform them in advance. Otherwise, it really gets crowded and there's a big waiting list then. Vegetarian thali is also available here. So, for groups that have people who are vegetarians and non-vegetarians, this is a really good place.

All in all, other than eating and visiting the beach, there's not much to do in Diveagar. So, relaxing is best done here.

Staying at Diveagar

Innumerable bed-and-breakfast places are available. You should find a place to stay easily. However, if you are going for a weekend that is kind of a long weekend, it is better to book rooms before you go. After noon on a weekend, you might find it difficult to find a place.

Tips for Visiting Diveagar
  • Keep first aid, sunscreen lotion, caps, old newspapers handy. All these are useful at times.
  • Keep a torch handy as night falls.
  • Depending on how much time you want to spend on the beach, a day and half is more than enough for Diveagar.

Happy vacation!

4 comments:

  1. the beach looks gorgeous. So, do you live in Mumbai? I've heard it's really beautiful there!

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  2. MariaSelf: No, I don't live in Mumbai. I have not even been to the Marine Drive there. But I believe it's beautiful. The Srivardhan-Diveagar Marine Drive beach is more pristine and untouched. But each has its own beauty.

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  3. hi prajakta, i am planning to visit tomorrow can u tell me is it safe to get into the water during noon in diveagar? and i've lalready got d info of non veg food thanx for that.. as i was finding d same. Also i was trying to know about rooms in diveagar as i am confused where to stay whether in shrivardhan or diveagar :P can u help me..

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    Replies
    1. Hello Bhumi, Diveagar beach is very safe and you can go into the waters even at noon. Just take care of the tides. At low tide, you need to go right inside in the sea. So be careful about that. You can check the tide timings on http://www.swellwatch.com. The timings on this site fairly match with the tide timings in Diveagar with a difference of around 30-40 mins.

      For staying, Diveagar is better than Srivardhan. There are several resorts very near to the beach in Diveagar. Some rooms that are let (by families) may be around a kilometer or two from the beach. So, you need your car to go the beach and back. So, it's better that you look for a resort or rooms near the beach if you do not have your own vehicle to commute.

      Wishing you a great time at Diveagar! Have fun!

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