Thursday, 31 March 2011

March 31, 2011

Shiroda Beach

Featuring natural beauty, privacy, sparkling blue waters, long stretch of silver sands, cool sea breeze whispering through towering cajuring plantations on the beach, amenities and salt depots around the village, Shiroda is feast for the eyes of visitors.

Everyone in Maharashtra and its neighbouring state is aware of great Marathi author Shri V. S. Khandekar. It is a place where he worked from 1920 to 1938 as a primary and secondary school teacher. So this place has got its own identity.

Other Attractions :
Redi Ganesh Temple
Sagareshwar Beach
Mochemad Beach
Shiroda Mithagar
Terekhol Fort
March 31, 2011

Shrivardhan Beach

Gentle winds, soft sands and inviting waters make Shriwardhan Bay irresistible to beach lovers. And if one relishes seafood, there is no dearth of delicacies to sample here. Adventurers can even take a small boat to the north side of the bay and explore a land where the Peshwas or prime ministers of the Maratha kingdom, originally resided. The Peshwa Smarak is of interest to most people who visit Shriwardhan.The town of Harihareshwar is known for its tranquil and picturesque beach and is also famous for the temple of Harihareshwar.
Since Shrivardhan has a lot of historical significance, there are good places to see around. The beach is clean and beautiful. The climate is very pleasant and windy. The biggest advantage is that if you want to escape from the monotony of Mumbai, Shrivardhan is just a drive away. 

Getting there : The nearest railhead is Mangaon on the Konkan Railway. Mumbai by road is nearly 200 kms away. The nearest Mumbai-Goa highway point is about 60 kms at Goregaon, which is about 170 kms from Mumbai (via Vashi Creek Bridge). 

Accommodation: The MTDC resort is available. 

Attractions around Shrivardhan include the Baghmandla Beach (white sands and boat ride to the Bankot fort); Harihareshwar—known as the Kasi of the South, this pilgrimage town features a beach and a number of famous temples; Diveagar—a gold Ganesh idol discovered in 1997 in a field is housed in a temple here, and the place also has a beach; and the Kuda Caves near Tale town. 
Shankar Temple - The route to spiritualism goes through many doors and as we leave the Somaja Devi Temple we encounter the Shankar Temple. This ancient Mahadev (Shankar) Mandir is devoted to Lord Shiva and his Goddess wife Parvati. The temple bores an ancient look and is believed to be as old as Srivardhan. The royal Bull Nandi guards his master inside by blocking the entrance to the temple. The idols of the Lord, his wife Parvati and Nandi the bull are wonderfully lifelike. It is believed that anybody fasting and praying for all the 4 consecutive Mondays during Shravan Month (Hindu Calendar Month) would be blessed by the Godly couple and would have the fortune of even witnessing them in flesh and blood. The temple is primeval of Pandavera.

Somaja Devi Temple - If we talk about Gods and Temples can miracles be left behind. Enter the exceptional Somaja Devi Mandir (Temple) where despite of the unbelievable claim of Venom Neutralisation. it is pretty common to see serpentine queues of snake bite victims requesting the Goddess to extract the venom from them body and heal them. Tall claims, one may think but the confidence, faith and conviction with which the victims pray and undertake the arduous Pradakshinaas/ Dandvat (Circumventing the temple lying flat on stomach) is to be seen to be believed. There are stories abound of how patients rejected by pronounced Doctors have been miraculously cured by the blessings of Goddess Somaja.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

March 30, 2011

Nivati Beach

Situated at distance of approximately 25 km from Vengurla lays this amazing stretch of Golden sand. The place is known as the Nivati Beach. The vast sea face available at the villages of Bhogva, Kochra & Nivati are inviting.

The Nivati village location is amidst the greenery of plantations and ocean roars form the west. The air is sweet, moist and clean and the seawater is crystal clear, in its natural form. The Nivati fort located nearby provides historical significance to this place. The atmosphere is serene and the calmness of the sea and shores alike are reassuring in these hectic days of today.. Offers peace and serenity to independent travellers. Fishermen seen launching their traditional boats and nets daily into the sea is an interesting feature to watch on this beach. Adjoining the beach is a twin village Kochra, which offers wonderful view of small tropical oasis on Nivati's shore.
March 30, 2011

Murud Janjira

Murud-Janjira is the local name for a fort situated on an island just off the coastal village of Murud, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India.It was occupied by the Siddis and is famous for being the only fort along India's Western coast that remained undefeated despite Dutch, Maratha and English East India Company attacks. The word Janjira is not native to India, and may have originated after the Arabic word Jazeera, which means an island. Murud was once known in Marathi as Habsan ("of Habshi" or Abyssinian). The name of the fort is a concatenation of the Konkani and Arabic words for Island, "morod" and "jazeera". The word "morod" is peculiar to Konkani and is absent in Marathi. Murud-Janjira Fort is situated on an oval-shaped rock off the Arabian Sea coast near the port town of Murud, 165km south of Mumbai. Janjira is considered one of the strongest marine forts in India. The fort is approached by sailboats from Rajapuri jetty. The main gate of the fort faces Rajapuri on the shore and can be seen only when one is quite close to it. It has a small postern gate towards the open sea for escape.

The fort has 19 rounded bastions, still intact. There are many canons of native and European make rusting on the bastions. Now in ruins, the fort in its heyday was a full-fledged living fort with all the necessary facilities, e.g., palaces, quarters for officers, mosque, a big fresh water tank, etc. On the outer wall flanking the main gate, there is a sculpture depicting a tiger-like beast clasping elephants in its claws. This sculpture, its meaning difficult to interpret, appears on many fort-gates of Maharashtra. The palace of the Nawabs of Janjira at Murud is still in good shape.

Originally the fort was a small wooden structure built by a Koli chief in the late 15th century. It was captured by Pir Khan, a general of Nizamshah of Ahmednagar. Later the fort was strengthened by Malik Ambar, the Abyssinian-origin Siddi regent of Ahmednagar kings. From then onward Siddis became independent, owing allegiance to Adilshah and the Mughals as dictated by the times.

How to Reach :
By Train : Roha railway station on the Konkan line is the nearest one which is connected by rail to Mumbai. Murud Janjira is connected to all major railheads through Mumbai. Roha to Murud Janjira takes about an hour by taxi service.

By Road : State owned buses connect nearest cities with Murud Janjira. Buses are available from Pune, Thane, Borivli, Mumbai central and Dadar. State owned public buses charge less than Rs 1 per km.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

March 29, 2011

Marve Manori Gorai

The beautiful Manori beach positions itself 40 kms away from the clamorous atmosphere of Mumbai. It is placed at the North of Mumbai, located about 20 minutes away from Madh Island.

Manori beach nearest to Mumbai and its bustling crowds. These tiny beaches lie, north of city, untouched by expansion and industrialization., The sunrises and sunsets here are enchanced by the hill ranges that frame the beach. Marve is the closest and quietest. This lovely fishing village has beautiful bunglows and wide clean beaches. A little furthur away are the more popular beaches of Gorai and Manori. A favourite of picnickers.
If your agenda for the weekend calls for nothing more energy-consuming than some sunbathing at a beach, Manori, located about 20 minutes away from Madh Island, is the place to hit. Manori and the nearby Gorai are quaint hamlets that faintly remind one of Goa. The population of East Indians -- a particular group of Catholics native to the Mumbai area -- is high in these villages and hence high visibility of roadside chapels and churches and women in 'frocks'.

Both these are excellent, safe suburban beaches, linked by a rocky headland and accessed across a small creek from mainland Mumbai. The Gorai creek barge looks like a jalopy but is sturdy and serviceable. On the other side, Manori beach is a ten minute rickshaw ride away, fringed with swaying palm trees and a row of beachside cottage hotels. The most famous of these is Manori Bel, a cluster of white washed spanish-style villas with clean bright rooms and charming wicker furniture. Some of the houses in Manori village also double as hotels where you can dump your belongings and order lunch before heading for the beach. Nearby Gorai is more downmarket but less expensive. The shacks for rent here are usually occupied by illicit couples or rowdy picnic groups and the beach is full of dodging balls and flying frisbees. Still, the sand is relatively clean and the water inviting.

North of Mumbai, and away from its busting crowds and pollution, are these three gems that have become popular havens for Mumbai's beleaguered fun lovers.

Manori - Marve, the closest and the quietest are a lovely little fishing village. It has some beautiful bungalows owned by Mumbai's elite for weekend gateways.

Low hills along the beach offer you extraordinary views of sunrise and sunset. Gorai and Manori, a little further away, are more crowded with revelers and are famous for all night beach parties.A fifteen-minute ferry ride from Marve or Borivali takes you to Gorai and Manori.

How to Reach :
Malad, a station on the suburban section of WR, is the nearest railhead.
By road, Marve is 40 kames. From Mumbai via Malad.
The longer route, via Bhayander, is 85 kms.
March 29, 2011

Marine Drive

Marine Drive is a 3-kilometre-long boulevard in South Mumbai in the city of Mumbai. It is a 'C'-shaped six-lane concrete road along the coast, which is a natural bay. The road links Nariman Point to Babulnath and Malabar Hill. Marine Drive is situated over reclaimed land facing west-south-west. The bay is part of the Arabian Sea.

The Promenade
The official name for this road, though rarely used, is: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road. It was earlier known as Sonapur to local Marathi people. The highlight of Marine drive is the beautiful promenade along the road where many of the citizens take in a breath of fresh air and view the setting sun. The promenade is lined with palm trees. At the northern end of Marine Drive is Chowpatty Beach. This is a popular beach famed for its Bhel puri (local fast food). Many restaurants also line this stretch of the road. Further down this road lies Walkeshwar, a wealthy neighbourhood of the city, also home to the Governor of Maharashtra.

Most of the buildings which were built by wealthy Parsis sport an art deco look that was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Miami in the United States is the only city in the world that has more art deco buildings along the seafront than Mumbai.

Many hotels dot the drive, most prominent among them being the 5-star Oberoi (formerly the Oberoi Hilton Tower however reverted to the original name as of early 2008), The Intercontinental, Hotel Marine Plaza and a few other smaller hotels. Marine Drive is the preferred connecting road between the central business district located at Nariman Point and the rest of the city.

Marine Drive is also known as the Queen's Necklace because if viewed at night from an elevated point anywhere along the drive, the street lights resemble a string of pearls,forming a necklace. It is also the world's largest viewing gallery and hence has been a host to a number of events that take place along the promenade.

Monday, 28 March 2011

March 28, 2011

Malvan Beaches

This is one of the most commercially active beaches in the Konkan. It is buzzing with life at the jetty where most of the fishermen anchor their boats of various dimensions and colors. There are a few bars and restaurants on the beach unlike most other seashores on the Sindhudurg coast. It is one of the friendliest atmospheres alive with banter among the locals.

This beach is not a place for relaxation; however, it is close to the city centre and perhaps the most accessible beach in the area. Another promising forthcoming attraction here is a one of its kind marine park in Asia. The government has proposed the marine park since 2000, but there has not been any action on it yet. The area of Malvan is a fortified island on the coastal reef. Coral patches have been recorded in the interstitial regions around the Sindhudurg fort. Most of these marine flora and fauna from the inter-tidal area is exposed during any low tide. So keep an eye out for a great opportunity for scuba diving. However, for now the best attraction on this beach remains to be the Sindhudurga fort.

How to Reach :
By Train :
Malvan does not have a railway station of its own, and the nearest station is in the town of Sawantwadi, which lies 648 kilometres away. The town of Kudal also has a railway station, but not a major one like the one in Sawantwadi. Trains will ply to Mumbai, New Delhi and Vasco Da Gama and fares will range around Rs 200 to 600 for sleeper class.

By Bus :
You can take buses to the town of Malvan from the nearby major cities of Mumbai and Pune. Malvan is well connected through road travel, and buses to Malvan will be available from all major cities and towns including Panaji (in Goa), Nandgaon, Devgad, Vagade, Amboli, Achara and Kudal. These are the nearby local towns that have frequent buses to the town of Malvan. Bus fares may range between Rs 100 to 150 from the nearby towns. Bus fares from Mumbai, which lies 514 km away, will range around Rs 300 for a deluxe non air conditioned bus. Air conditioned coaches can also be availed.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

March 27, 2011

Madh Island

Madh Island is a group of several quaint fishing villages and farmlands in northern Mumbai. Madh Island barely escapes being called a peninsula since only a small creek, bounded by mangroves, cuts it off from the mainland near Aksa. At low tide, one can almost walk across the beach sands from Dana Paani beach in Erangal to Aksa beach.

The very scenic Erangal village is one of the prominent villages in Madh Island. The villagers of Erangal are mostly traditional farmers who cultivate the adjoining farmlands. Today, Erangal is dotted with several holiday cottages and bungalows too.

Madh Island's proximity to the sea and its secluded nature has resulted in several hotels being set up there. Many of the city's rich have bungalows here. The area is also known for its rave parties. Many movies as well as TV serials are also filmed here. There are two old forts situated in this area. By about 1-2 kilometres away is MAdh Island where the Local Kolis, Farmers, are being. The Ancient church of Our Lady Of Sea Church is located just 100 metres above the sea from where you can see plenty of kolis going for fishing. The Local farmers doing the agricultural activities & the vegetable which are commonly known as local Bhaji's being sold in the Market which is also called the Madh Market. The ICE factory which is just away from the Church where in Sea fish being stored & supplied in the market. The Famous known Temple of Harbadevi is located on top hill which shows a significant view to watch. In the midst of the Sea there is a Temple, Cross & the Muslim Darga where in all the believers visit 

Other Attraction :
The famous church of St. Bonaventure, a 16th century Portuguese church is situated on the beach in Erangal. The annual Erangal Feast held on second Sunday of January, celebrating the Feast day of St. Bonaventure, attracts thousands of people of all faiths to this scenic spot.
Hotels: The Retreat The Resort

How to Reach :
The area is accessible by bus service (#271 to Malad and #269 to Borivili) or autorickshaw from Malad or a ferry service from Versova. The Bus Service from Andheri is 249,251 & 221 which are easliy accessed.

Friday, 25 March 2011

March 25, 2011

Mandwa - Kihim Beach

You will find these two beach fronts 12 miles north of Alibag on the north coast and easily accessible from Mumbai. Mandwa is a beautiful, untrodden beach. On a clear day one can enjoy a long, breathtaking view across the bay, up to the Gateway of India. Mandwa village too, has a charm of its own -- with its beautiful groves of coconut palms.

You can plan an unusual tent holiday nearby at Kihim. Unspoilt and isolated, this beautiful place has a soothing effect on all city dwellers. For the nature lover, Kihim has a lot to offer: woods brimming with wild flowers and rare butterflies and birds.

Worth visiting is the Kolaba Fort, just a furlong away from the shore. 15 kms from Alibag is Chaul, an historic place with Portuguese ruins, Buddhist Caves, the Hamam Khana, a church, a temple and even a synagogue.

How to Reach :
Nearest airport is Mumbai, 136kms.
Nearest railhead is Panvel, 85 kms on Konkan Railway.
Mumbai-Pen-Alibag-Kihim, 136kms. Alibag-Kihim,12 kms,Panvel-Kihim 85kms. State Transport buses ply form mumbai to Alibag, and Alibag, Rewas to Kihim.
By Sea: Nearest port is Rewas, 6 kms from Kihim. Regular ferry service between Mumbai Rewas (except during monosoon)

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

March 23, 2011

Juhu Beach

Juhu is a suburban neighbourhood of North Mumbai. It is famous for its sprawling beach Juhu Beach. It is surrounded by Arabian Sea in the west, Santacruz and Vile Parle in the east. Juhu is one of the most affluent areas of Mumbai and many Bollywood celebrities live here too. J. R. D. Tata, the father of civil aviation in India made his maiden voyage to Juhu airport located in Juhu from Drigh Road airstrip, Karachi, via Ahmedabad, on 15 October 1932 carrying mail in a Puss Moth aircraft. The nearest railway stations are Santacruz, Andheri and Vile Parle.

The open beaches of Juhu have attracted the well-heeled & the most affluent among Mumbai's population for almost a century. In the 1890s, Jamsetji Tata purchased land in Juhu and built a bungalow there. He planned to develop 1200 acres (5 km²) in Juhu Tara. This was to yield 500 plots of one acre (4,000 m²) each and a seaside resort. Simultaneously he wanted to extend the Mahim causeway to Santacruz, in order to access to this area. After his death in the same year, the scheme was abandoned. With the dawn of aviation in the 20th century, the Bombay Flying Club commenced operations in 1929 at what eventually became the present Juhu aerodrome. One will also find the Juhu Tara Road & Juhu Koliwada close by, the latter which is the house to fishermen.

Juhu Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Mumbai. The beach may be accessed from the suburbs of Vile Parle,Santacruz and Andheri. Many tourists make it a point to visit the beach when they come to Mumbai, as it is a relatively uncrowded free space in the city, although it does get crowded in the evenings and weekends. The beach is polluted, and it is generally advised to not go in the water.

It is famous for its Mumbai street food, notably bhelpuri, pani puri, chaats, and of course pav bhaji. The food stands are relatively hygienic. Italian food is also very popular in Juhu with many restaurants like Little Italy, Penne, Don Giovanni, Mangi Ferra. On the southern end of Juhu beach there are many luxury hotels and apartments. Juhu beach is also a very popular place for watching aircraft as planes from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport usually takeoff directly over the beach towards the sea.

At the north end of Juhu Beach there is a place called Gandhi Gram. During the summer vacations, children often go and play games such as cricket, football, basketball at the Juhu Beach. The ship MV Wisdom was stranded on the Juhu beach in Mumbai in June 2011.

Attractions Nearby :
ISKCON temple
Mukteshwar Devalaya (Gandhigram Road)
Chandra Prabhu Jain Temple
Mahalaxmi Temple
St. Joseph's Church, Juhu Church Road
Holy Cross Church, Juhu Koliwada
Vittal Rukmani Temple, Juhu Koliwada
March 23, 2011

Harnai Beach

A weekend getaway for Mumbai and Pune, Harnai Beach is an isolated stretch that is lined with a fort on its northern end. You can also visit Murud, the beach south to Harnai.

Other Attractions :
The Goa Killa or Harnai Fort.
Panhale Kazi, the famous rock-cut monument, 30 km From Murud-Harnai.

Attractions of Beach
At the beach there are statues of Lokmanya Tilak and Vithalbhai Patel. Other attractions at the beach are shooting galleries, snake charmers, monkey trainers, balloon sellers and masseurs. Recently, a "Nana-Nani Park" has been added to the beach, specially for elderly people.

A very secluded beach site of Maharashtra, situated at a distance of about 200-km from Mumbai. Harnai is gaining tourist importance day by day and is usually the most visited hotspot for the people of Mumbai and Pune.

Monday, 21 March 2011

March 21, 2011


Ganapatipule is a small town located in Ratnagiri district on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra. The town of Chiplun is to its north.

According to a local folklore, the Hindu god, Ganapati, taking umbrage by a remark made by a native lady, moved to Pulé (a few km ahead of the town) from his original abode of Gulé. Thus the region was named Ganpati-pulé. 400 years old Ganpati image at Ganpatipule is said to have sprung up from the soil. This deity faces the West, so as to guard the western gates, unlike deities in other Indian temples who face the east. The temple is at the base of a hill, and pilgrims walk around (pradakshina) the hill as a mark of respect .

Geography and History
Ganpati temple
Ganapatipule is approximately 375 km. south of Mumbai, along the Konkan Coast. Ganapatipule is a very small town with about 100 houses, having one of the most spectacular beaches along the Konkan Coast – an idyllic getaway that attracts peace-seekers, beach lovers, and pilgrims alike. The temple of Swayambhu (self-originated) Ganesh is much frequented by thousands every year. The God is considered to be the Paschim Dwardevta (Western Sentinel God of India), and those who visit Ganapatipule, make it a point to pay their respects to this great deity. Aside from its clean beach and clear waters, Ganapatipule is rich in flora, including mangroves and coconut palms.

With the development of tourism, a number of resorts and hotels came up in this small town, most significant of them is the Maharastra Tourism Development Corporation resort near the beach. The Best Western Blue Ocean hotel, 4 km away from the heart of the town near Malgund is also near the beach. There are a few smaller hotels in this town, which include Atharva Residency Abhishek Resorts and Tranquility.

Nearby places
The beautiful village of Veineshwar, situated north of the Shastri River, has its own peaceful, coconut-fringed beach, where one can relax in tranquility. The village comes alive each year during the Maha Shivaratri fari , when pilgrims in large numbers visit the Old Shiva Temple.

About 25 km away from Ganapatipule lies the district headquarter town, Ratnagiri. The region has a long illustrious past and is even mentioned in Indian mythology.

Malgund, a small village, 1 km away, is known as the birthplace of famous marathi poet Keshavasuta. He was born here in 1866. He is termed as a poet who heralded the dawn of modern Marathi poetry. There is a very beautiful monument at Malgund dedicated to his work and also a museum where you can find information on most of the modern day poets of Marathi language. The Memorial is a real treat for people who are interested in Marathi literature.

Jaigad Fort
Resting on a cliff, at the entrance of the Sangameshwar river just 35 km away from Ganapatipule, is Jaigad Fort. This 17th century fort offers a commanding view of the sea and an almost unique view of Konkan village life. Take the backroad from Ganpatipule via Malgund to Jaigad. This is about 15 km - but is extremely scenic.

Besides its scenic natural beauty and serenity. Pawas is well-known for the Ashram of Swami Swaroopanand (a spiritual leader who influenced an entire generation of Maharshtrians). A visit to this place is truly a journey through time.

The town is easily accessible from the port city of Ratnagiri, which also has a railway station and an airport.

By Road
Ganapatipule is 32 km from Nivali, a small village on Mumbai Goa Road (NH 17). From Nivali, one has to take right turn for Ganapatipule. Nivali to Ratnagiri is around 20 km. Nivali to Hatkhamba is around 4 km. From Hatkhamba one has to take right turn for Ratnagiri, which is 16 km from here. Sangameshwar is about 25 km from Nivali and Chiplun is 45 km. From Ganapatipule one can directly approach Ratnagiri without coming to Nivali and going through Hatkhamba. The direct road is full of turns and little narrow compared to NH-17. But the journey is full of natural beauty and sea view. That distance is around 30km. Mumbai is 375 km away via Mahad and Pune is 331 km away via Satara.

State Transport buses
Ample number of State Transport buses are available from Ratnagiri bus depot. Frequency is good for fast journeys. Ganapatipule is also connected with other cities by state transport buses. Buses are available from major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur to Ratnagiri. From Ratnagiri, private cabs also ply to the town.

By Rail
There is no railway station at Ganapatipule. The nearest Railway stations are at Ratnagiri and Karbude. All the express and local trains stops at Ratnagiri, being a city. Karbude is a small village and only passenger trains will stop. Bus services are available from Sangameshwar Railway station. Nearest rail junctions are: Pune Junction (Central Railway), Miraj Junction (Central Railway) and Madgaon Junction (Konkan Railway).

Sunday, 20 March 2011

March 20, 2011

Bhogwe Beach

Exquisitely secluded on  Exotic western shores of Sindhudurg. This beach offers to the tourist wonderful view of Karli's estuary which mingles secretly with sea waters from behind Devbaug's Famous Mobar Point. The beach lures to the tourists by its stunning white sand and beautiful blue water lagoon, thus an idealist spot for swimming , sunbathing and pick nicking. Flock of local sea birds add to the beauty of serene surroundings by playing with the sea waters. You can explore much more here. A hill in the back drop offers panoramic view of Arabian sea and light house situated on the rocky island. Sunset is the peak time to watch this natures expression.

Location :
29 k.m. from Kudal & 36 k.m. from Vengurla 

Saturday, 19 March 2011

March 19, 2011

Beaches in Maharashtra

Maharashtra is blessed with a vast coastline on its western borders right from northern tip to the southern tip. Some beaches are crowded while others are sleepy serene beacehs, while some others are places of marine adventure. Here are some of the popular beaches of Maharashtra.

Bassein Beach
Bhogwe Beach
Juhu Beach
Mandwa Kihim
Madh Island Beach
Malvan Beach
Marine Drive
Marve Manori Gorai
Murud Janjira
Nivati Beach
Shiroda Beach

Friday, 18 March 2011

March 18, 2011

Bassein Beach (Vasai Beach)

Famous Bassein Beach is situated in Bassein, which is somewhere around 50 to 60 km from the Mumbai city of Maharashtra. The splendid beach has, infact, become one of the major tourist attractions of the town today. The beautiful fusion of natural beauty with historical and religious significance that Bassein town offers could never ever get complete without the splendid beach, which has been attracting tourists from far and wide. 

Once upon a time a Portuguese fortified city. the Marathas beseiged it in 1739. The ruins of the city walls can be still seen, amidst the brushwood and palmgroves. The wide beaches of Bassein used to be a place for ship building in the beginning of the 17th century. About 10 km to the northwest lies Nalasopara village, the capital of Konkan from 1500 BC - 1300 AD. Nalasopara is believed to have been Gautama Buddha's birthplace in a previous life. There are some extremely beautiful; churches in Bassein. 

The white sandy shore provided by the Baseein Beach is just perfect for lazing around or strolling aimlessly. The palm trees encircling the beach undoubtedly add to its scenic grandeur. Being located close to the Mumbai city of India, the beach has turned out to be one of the popular picnic spots for its residents. A day at the beach serves as the perfect way for them to forget the tensions of daily life and spend sometime with family. 

As far as the history of Baseein town is concerned, it was used as a shipbuilding destination by the Portuguese, in the early seventeenth century. It was here only that they lost power to the Marathas, in the year 1739. The fort that was built by the Portuguese, at the time of their power over the beach, can still be seen today. Thus, apart from the beach, there are a number of other worth-visiting places at Bassein, including the fort and a number of marvelous churches.

Getting There : Vasai  Road on the western railway suburban route is the nearest railhead.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

March 17, 2011

Taraporewala Aquarium

Taraporewala Aquarium is known for India’s tourist attraction, Educational & Entertainment centre since the last 58 years. India’s Honourable President Dr. Rajendra Prasad inaugurated Taraporewala Aquarium on 27th May, 1951.

Mr. Milra then administraitor of Bombay Natural History Society sent a proposal to government in 1923 for seting up a marine biology research station for Mumbai. In 1926, the government appointed expert committee under the leadership of Director of Fisheries to study the proposal. Construction of Aquarium was expedited after the end of the 2nd World War. Construction of Aquarium was possible only due to generous donation of Rs.2,00,000 made by nature lover Mr. D.B.Taraporewala in 1945 and a sanction of large piece of land near coast by state government. On 9th May, 1947 foundation for the Aquarium was laid by Honourable Chief Minister Mr. Balasaheb Kher of then Mumbai State. It took around 3 years to complete the complicated structure of 2 Floored Buidling of total 108 feet length and 94 feet width structure. Construction took place under the guidance of Dr. C.C.John -Trivandrum Aquarium, Dr. V.Prasad – Fisheries Development Consultant, Mr. C.W.Kotak, Dr. L.S.Herald – San Francisco Aquarium, Dr. S.L.Hora - Director , Zoological Survey of India. Building consists of Aquarium on the ground floor and the Commissionerate of Fisheries, Mahashtra State, Mumbai office on the 2nd Floor. The cost incurred to build the aquarium was Rs.8,90,904/-.

Aquarium consists of Marine organisms exhibits, fresh water organisms exhibits and Ornamental fish exhibits in various sizes of tanks. A large number of Mumbaites, travelers from out of Mumbai and foregin countries, educational tours visit the aquarium. High revenue is earned by Aquarium through reasonable entry fees.

Marine and Inland varieties of fishes are exhibited at a reasonable exhibit cost. Since 1st April,2003 Entry fee for the adults is Rs.15/- and for children (3 to 16 years) it is Rs.10/-. Educational Tours by the educational Institutes and group of students are given concession and they are charged at Rs.5/- per person. Handicapped persons are allowed at free of cost.

Aquarium is open from Tuesday to Saturday from Morning 10.00a.m. to evening 7.00.p.m. .On Sundays and Public Holidays it is open from Morning 10.00 a.m. to evening 8.00.p.m.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

March 16, 2011

Shri Bhavani Museum

Shri Bhavani Museum located in Aundh, 48 Kms. from Satara, is perhaps the only museum in the country that has the largest individual collection in the world to have a mix of 500 miniature paintings of all major schools -Jaiput, Kangra, Mughal, Punjab, Bijapur, Pahadi and Maratha schools-of the period between the 15th and the 19th century. 

The Raja of Aundh, the late Bhawanrao Pantpratinidhi in 1938, built the Museum. It is now being looked after by the State Government and is the only museum out of the 13 state museums in Maharashtra, which is housed in a building that was constructed for the purpose of displaying art, and not in a palace.
It's Location

The museum's inconvenient location, atop a 100m high hill at the end of a motorable road inaccessible by public transport has been responsible for it's fading away from the public eye. Yet, the museum records show that about 100 persons visit the museum every day, mostly rural folk from the neighborhood. 

For the rest of the world Shri Bhavani museum remains undiscovered. It is said that the hilltop that keeps people away from the sight of art was, in fact, deliberately chosen by Bhawanrao so that the dust in Aundh and smoke from the village would not affect the preservation of his paintings.
Museum Exhibits

The great collection that the museum exhibits is actually the life's work of Bhawanrao, who during the first four decades of this century spent his time and fortune picking up these masterpieces. The 12 display rooms inside have glass panes on the ceilings for enough sunlight to flow in. Shri Bhavani museum carries a special section devoted entirely to paintings by Bhawanrao himself. And his family carried forward the tradition. 

The museum has a big department of stone created structures including the famous 'Mother and Child' by Henry Moore. Moore's creation was last seen in Delhi nearly 10 years ago when the British Council organised an exhibition of Moore's sculptures. At the time, the Mother and Child sculpture, which was listed in Moore's list as having been sold to the Raja of Aundh, was transported to Delhi. The estimated value was then put at 1.25 lakh and the insurance charges for transportation from Aundh to Delhi and back was a whopping 85,000. The overawed caretakers as well as the descendants of the princely family realised its importance and quickly tucked it away to utmost safety-the strong room. 

The museum has four sections entirely devoted to Western paintings, of which about 150 have been displayed- many of them originals. The works adorning the walls are that of the leading contemporary European masters of the early half of the 20th century, mostly between 1900 and 1938.
The Amazing Original Works

Some of the outstanding original works include the Madonna of the Book by Andrea Del Sarto; a Rembrandt self-portrait, In The Prison Of Aurangzeb by A.H. Muller, Beggar Boy by Bartona Morilla, Franciso by L. Goya, Boy Volunteer by G.G. Hierice, Game of Draughts by F. Morelli, Pairs by Cornil. 

The bronze and marble sculpture section in the courtyard has several miniature marble statues of Greek mythological figures, where Apollo, David and Mercury jostle with Dyna and Venus for space.
Painting Section

The Indian paintings sections too are adorned by stalwarts, including three originals by Raja Ravi Varma-his renowned Sairandhree and the other two are Damayanti and Malyali Lady. Thakur Singh's famous painting of a bathing damsel too adorns the walls of this museum. The works of leading artists of Maharashtra like Baburao Painter, D.L. Haldankar and Rao Bahadur Dhurandhar also find place here. 

The Bengali paintings section includes works of Jamini Roy, Nandlal Bose, Bhuvan Verma and Sadhana Ukil, amongst others. 

In addition the museum houses 4,000 articles of jewellery and other priceless items, including a rare walking stick supposed to have belonged to Emperor Jehangir, made of ivory and studded with 208 rubies, and a 50 paisa coin-sized emerald. 

The handle and the corner of the stick is of pure gold. The Tibetan wall hanging depicting Vishnu is studded with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and crystal and decorated with gold threads.
Tourist Information

Timings: 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm 
Closed On: Mondays

How to Reach :
Satara Road is the nearest railway station. There are regular buses from Swargate to Satara and buses from Satara to Aundh

Other Museums :
Aga Khan Palace | Bhau Daji Lad Museum  | Coin Museum Nashik | Jehangir Art Gallery | Joshi's Rail Museum  | Kesari Wada | Mahatma Gandhi Museum  | National Maritime Museum  | Prince of Wales Museum  | Raja Dinkar Museum  | Shri Bhavani Museum  | Taraporewala Aquarium 
March 16, 2011

The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is in Pune, Maharashtra, India. It contains the collection of Dr Dinkar G. Kelkar (1896–1990), dedicated to the memory of his only son, Raja, who died an untimely tragic death. The three storey building houses various sculptures dating back to the 14th century. There are also ornaments made of ivory, silver and gold, musical instruments, war weapons and vessels, etc.

The collection was started around 1920 and by 1960 it contained around 15,000 objects. In 1962, Dr Kelkar handed his collection to the Department of Archaeology within the Government of Maharashtra.

The museum now holds over 20,000 objects of which 2,500 are on display. These consist of mainly Indian decorative items from everyday life and other art objects, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries. There is a particularly fine collection of musical instruments.

The museum's collection depicts the superb skills of the Indian artists of the time. The door frames, vessels, ornaments, musical instruments, paintings and carvings represent outstanding examples of their art.

One interesting part of the museum is the "Mastani Mahal". Raja Kelkar made a marvellous attempt at depicting the palace of Mastani, (wife of the Peshwa Baji Rao I) with its remnants. The most beautiful piece among in the collection is the carving of lord Ganesha on the seed. The idol of lord Ganesha is shown with his trunk towards the left, which is quite rare and difficult to build or draw.

Address : 
Bajirao Road,
Shukawar Peth,

Timings: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Other Museums :
March 16, 2011

Prince of Wales Museum

Prince of Wales Museum is now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. The Museum is a Grade I Heritage Building of the city. It has been awarded first place for Heritage Building Maintenance by the Indian Heritage Society

The Key Gallery, located in the central foyer, showcases a representative collection from the various sections of the Museum such as Archaeology, Indian Miniature Paintings, Indian Decorative Arts and the Chinese and Japanese collection. It thus gives an overview of the Museum’s rich collection.

Built at the beginning of 20th century, the Prince of Wales Museum is located at MG Road. Built in Indo-Saracen architectural style, the museum has three major parts - Natural History section, Archeology section and Art section. All three sections display many valuable artifacts like rare displays of Buddhist Tankhas and specimens of Nepali and Tibetan art and many more.

Other Museums :

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

March 15, 2011

Joshi's Rail Museum

In the Kothrud area of Pune, India, is located a small factory: Soudamini Instruments, where a special hall 26' x 26' has been built to house the Joshi's Museum of Miniature Railways. 

Mr. B. S. Joshi, known to all as Bhau Joshi, was the originator and founder of the Museum. Collecting train models was his hobby, or rather his obsession, from childhood. In India during the festival of Diwali, it is a popular pass time among children to build "Killas" or small layouts depicting the fortress strongholds of Shivaji, the King of the Marathas. Mostly these are extremely crude attempts with no knowledge or attempt at proportion. 

Monday, 14 March 2011

March 14, 2011

Kesari Wada

Kesari Wada-previously known as Gaikwad Wada- has become a historical monument in Pune hallowed by a long stay there of the Father of Indian Unrest and a great leader Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The site has witnessed many important events in the Indian Freedom Struggle and hence boasts of history and culture. Kesari Wada is located in the Narayan Peth area of the city. Distance from the Swargate Station to Keasari Wada is about 5 km while that from Deccan Bus Stop is about 2 km. The Omkareshwar Temple and the Modi Ganesh Temple can be given as nearby famous landmarks.

Historical Background :
Lokmanya Tilak purchased this estate from Shrimant Sayajirao Gaikwad Sarkar in 1905. Gaikwad Sarkar had built this Wada for his own stay there: but having heard about Tilak’s future plans in the freedom struggle, sold it with pleasure. Tilak stayed here in Gaikwad Wada from 1905 till he breathed his last in 1920. Tilak also housed the offices of his newspapers Kesari and Maratha in this place and renamed Gaikwad Wada as Kesari Wada. Kesari Wada holds its own importance in the history of Indian freedom struggle. This used to be the place for nightlong discussions of the eminent national leaders concerned about overthrowing tyrannical British Rule over India. It was in the courtyard of the Kesari Wada itself that Tilak strategically started the annual Ganesh festival as a means to unite people and prepare them for the freedom struggle.

Kesari Wada at Present:
The building that we see today is not the Kesari Wada in its original form but has undergone many renovations. The huge wooden main entrance to the building however, is still the original one. Roaring lions have been carved out on both the doors of the entrance as ‘Kesari’ in Sanskrit means ‘Lion’ in English. As you enter in, a couple of beautiful carvings on both the sides in the wall catch your eye. These carvings show Tilak initiating the celebrations of the Ganesh festival and Shivjayanti Festival. Tilak’s expanding the frontiers of these two festivals and giving them a public form was a major contribution to the Indian freedom struggle.

As you move on, you see plenty of open space all around. This used to be the place for social gatherings, lectures and meetings during the Ganesh festival in pre independence era. Even today, many cultural programmes like music concerts, lectures and competitions are organized here during the Ganesh festival. This open ground can accommodate around three thousand people at a time.

To your immediate left, you see the building housing many offices including a couple of branch offices of the Bank of Maharashtra on the first and second floors and Kesari-maratha Trust Office on the third one. On the right side, you can see the spacious Lokmanya Sabhagriha (Hall) which has been a popular venue for many programmes.

As you move across the open ground of the Wada, a beautiful gold plated Ganesh idol catches your attention. Bronze statue of Lokmanya Tilak at the back of the Ganesh idol, too is a good piece of work. Kesari-Maratha Library. Lokmanya Tilak founded a separate library for his newspapers Kesari and Maratha on 1st of August 1912 here in Kesari Wada. The library contains many books written by Professor Jinsiwale, Lokhitwadi and other contemporary intellectuals. There are more than 50,000 books in the library. The collection of cuttings useful for the newspapers, too, can be seen here. The library is on the second floor of the building.

Tilak Museum:
This can be called the main attraction of the Kesari Wada. The Tilak Museum was inaugurated on 22nd of January, 1999 by the then Congress President Shrimati Soniya Gandhi.

The museum displays the legendary career of Tilak right from his genealogical table and horoscope to his holy remains. The replica of Tilak’s study room and that of his cell in Mandalay Jail are awesome. Moreover most of Tilak’s personal items like his clothes, books, watch and the like have been kept here in the museum.

How to Reach :
Reaching Kesari Wada is pretty easy. Hiring the auto rickshaw is the best option. As mentioned earlier, the site is close from the Swargate Station and even closer from the Deccan Bus Stop.

The library and the Museum in Kesari Wada are open on all seven days of the week from 10 A.M. to 01 P.M. and again from 03 P.M. to 06 P.M. No entry fee is charged for going in the Museum.

Other Museums :
March 14, 2011

National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum is located in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The museum preserves the historical treasures of India obtained from other countries and models of ships built in Mumbai. The Indian Navy set up the museum for this purpose. 

Mumbai port is one of the busiest ports of India, handling approximately 40% of India's maritime trade. British developed this natural harbour port. Mumbai is well connected by air, rail and road with any part of India.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

March 13, 2011

Aga Khan Palace

On Nagar Road, this Palace is also recognized as Kasturba Gandhi Memorial or Kasturba Samadhi. This palace was built in 1892 by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah Agakhan III and was donated to India in 1969 by Aga Khan IV. It was here itself where Kasturba Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi's long time aide Mahadeobhai Desai passed away. 

This palace that once belonged to the Agha Khan, served as quarters for imprisonment of Gandhi and his wife Kasturba towards the tail end of the British rule in India. Situated near the River Mula the palace is a simple memorial to Gandhi and his life and times. A special cenotaph honours Kasturba who died here. A shop attached sells khadi or cotton handloomed garments and textiles.

How to Reach :
By Air
Pune airport is located about 10 km away from the heart of the city, in the Lohagaon area. Taxi charge from airport to city is only Rs 200. Regular, direct flights are available from Pune to many cities in India. The cities Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai are all air connected to Pune. International travelers can get connecting flight from Mumbai International Airport.

By Train
Pune is an important railway junction in Indian railway. Good rail networks connect Pune with all other rail junctions in India.

By Bus
Pune is well connected with many of the major cities in Maharashtra by state owned bus services. Private luxury deluxe buses are operated from Pune to many cities in India, including Goa, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Regular frequent bus services are connecting Pune with Mumbai, nearly a distance of 200 km.  
March 13, 2011

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum is the oldest museum in Mumbai. The Museum's collection showcases the Industrial Arts and life in nineteenth century Mumbai. The year 2007 marked the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Museum Collection. Public funds were raised to house the collection in a grand Palladian building with high Victorian interiors that was completed and opened to the public on May 2, 1872 as the Victoria & Albert Museum. The museum was renamed the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in 1975 in honour of the man whose vision and dedication ensured its establishment. 

The Museum's collection is made up of a fine and decorative arts collection which showcases the importance of craftsmanship skills nurtured by various communities. It also has an extraordinary collection of clay models and dioramas that document the different communities who contributed to the development of Mumbai and their culture and lifestyle in the 19th and early 20th century.

Address & Other Details :
91 A, Rani Baug,
Veer Mata Jijbai Bhonsle Udyan,
Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Marg,
Byculla East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400027.

Visiting Hours
10.00 am to 5.30 pm (Tickets sold upto 5:00 pm)
Closed on Wednesdays and certain public holidays

Adults Rs. 10
Children (5 to 15 years) Rs. 5
Students Rs. 2
Children (Under 5years & accompanied by parents) Free

Foreign Citizens Rs. 100
Children (5 to 15 years) Rs. 50
Children (Under 5years) Free

Other Museums :

Saturday, 12 March 2011

March 12, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi Museum

Mani Bhavan is a simple old-style, two storied building on Laburnum Road, Mumbai. Whenever Gandhiji was in Mumbai between 1917 to 1934, he stayed here.It is now converted into a museum and research centre.

Mumbai and its inhabitants have played a very prominent part in India's unique struggle for freedom. Gandhiji was rightly proud of its patriotic and cosmopolitan citizens. Mani Bhavan is one of the few important places hallowed by Mahatma Gandhi's close association. 

Mani Bhavan, a modest two-storied building on the Laburnum Road in the comparatively quiet locality called Gamdevi, served as Gandhiji's Bombay head-quarters for about seventeen long and eventful years (1917-1934). It belonged to Shri Revashankar Jagjeevan Jhaveri, who was Gandhi's friend and a host during that period. It was from Mani Bhavan that Gandhi initiated  Civil Disobedience, Satyagraha, Swadeshi, Khadi and Khilafat movements. In 1955 the building was dedicated as a memorial to Gandhiji and to the very important activities of great significance he initiated from that place.

Mani Bhavan has a story to tell as it housed Gandhiji occasionally during the times when he grew in stature and strength, from a queer type of an agitator to a world figure by successfully introducing satyagraha (individual as well as mass) as a new and effective weapon to fight all evil and injustice.

It is obviously impossible to draw the full picture or tell the whole story here.  This is an humble attempt  to give the reader a few glimpses of the great drama enacted in this small corner of Bombay by Gandhiji and his illustrious colleagues. For those who have at one time or other visited Mani Bhavan during Gandhiji's stay there, will get a precious flash-back. To a biographer and historian, this would indicate the lines along which to go for gathering invaluable material. To the younger generation, it will give an idea of the dynamism of the great Mahatma even while he was shaping himself and the nation, along the uncharted path of non-violent resistance to foreign rule and to all evil.

The visitors from all over the world come to  Mani Bhavan, to see the Room that Gandhiji occupied,  its  Picture Gallery, the Library Hall and the Terrace where he was arrested on January 4, 1932.

Gandhiji was a dynamic person and he kept on evolving. Even a change in his outward dress indicated an inner change. Soon after his return from South Africa, he flung away the European style of dressing and took to the Indian style. Then again his original Kathiawadi turban was replaced by a Kashmiri cap which in its turn was discarded in favour of a white-cap popularly known as the Gandhi cap. The change ultimately culminated in a bare loin cloth- a significant symbol representing the Indian peasantry and its poverty. Perhaps Mani Bhavan is the only place besides the Sabarmati Ashram, where he donned all these dresses in their sequence.

Visiting Hours
The Museum is open on all the days of the week from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Inside the museum
Library consists of around 50,000 books & periodicals in reference and lending sections. It contains books on and by Gandhi, Gandhian thoughts, freedom movements and allied subjects. Our Library boasts of many out of print books. The Library is open on all weekdays, from 9.30 am to 6.00 pm. and on Saturdays, 9.30 am to 2.00 pm. It remains closed on public holidays.

On the first floor is the auditorium where films on Gandhiji are shown from time to time and recordings of his speeches are played on request. It is also used for holding meetings, seminars, discussions and various competitions for school and college students arranged by the Gandhi Study' Circle.

Gandhiji's Room
The room on the second floor which used to be the living room and working place of Gandhiji has been preserved as far as possible in its original setting.

Glimpses of Gandhi In Mini Figures
Adjoining Gandhiji's Room is the exhibition depicting Gandhiji's life through mini figures in about twenty-eight tableaux, prepared by Smt. Sushila Gokhale-Patel.

Picture Gallery
The rooms on either side of the exhibition have been turned into a Picture Gallery which gives glimpses of Gandhiji in Mani Bhavan and important events in his life. It displays photographic posters depicting important events and Photostats of some significant letters, articles and documents written by and about Gandhiji with appropriate captions in Hindi and English. A few replicas of Gandhiji's belongings and models of his birth place, Sabarmati Ashram, Sevagram Kutir, Phoenix Ashram and his prison cell are also on display.

The Terrace
A bronze plaque with an inscription now marks the place of the tent in which Gandhiji was arrested in January, 1932. He used to sleep and hold his prayers on this terrace.

Research Institute
Mani Bhavan is recognised as a Research Institute preparing students for Ph.D. degree in Gandhian Thought and Rural Development by University of Bombay.

March 12, 2011

Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

The Jehangir Art Gallery is Mumbai (India)’s most famous art gallery and a tourist attraction. It was founded by Sir Cowasji Jehangir at the urging of K. K. Hebbar and Homi Bhabha. It was built in 1952. Managed by the Bombay Art Society, the entire cost of this mansion was donated by Cowasji Jehangir.

This gallery is situated at Kala Ghoda, behind the Prince of Wales Museum, in South Mumbai near the Gateway of India. and has four exhibition halls. The gallery was designed by G.M.Bhuta for G.M. Bhuta & Associates. A mammoth institution in itself, its history is linked with the renaissance of Indian art. The complex also has the popular cafe of Samovar, which is reminiscent of the 70's socialist culture. It also houses Natesans, the country's oldest licensed antique dealers. Entry is free.

Visiting Hours: 11.00 am to 7.00 pm 
Open: On all Days