Alibag is a town in the Raigarh district of Maharashtra which is popular for its virgin and serene sea beach.This trip was a sudden plan and we could not book the MTDC beach resort located at Kihim 1.5 kms from Alibagh. Our friend has managed to get a decent discount from MakemyTrip to book a decent three star hotel Ravi kiran.
The journey: We started the trip at around 10.30 a.m from Mumbai Kandivili. Couldn’t make it earlier as it was 26th January morning ,a holiday morning and we had to attend the program in our apartment.Dressing up and preparing for the journey with fussy toddler early in the morning is always a daunty task.We took the Panvel—Penn route to Alibagh,a 3 to 4 hour drive.
Breakfast break: For family breakfast and some fun with three enthusiastic kids ,we halted at the McDonalds Panvel. Generally I prefer local healthy breakfast on the go like Poha(flattened rice seasoned with spices and veggies) or upma ..(a semolina and veggies combo) but to make the kids happy nothing better than fast food like chicken nuggets(crispy non spicy chicken soft inside and crispy outside),Mc Spicy chicken burger(this one’s my favourite boneless chicken chunks fried in crispy coating and sandwiched between soft buns with mayo ,lettuce and spices),totally divine.I ate saucy Aloo wraps(Spicy potato patties wrapped with a tortilla,filled with sauce and mayo).Each and every one of us was hungry and enjoyed talking about the calories and gym while gobbling the food voraciously.
Murud: We crossed Alibagh around 3.30 pm and headed towards the beach at Murud.The beach was beautiful with the black sticky sand embedded with the footprints of the people and animals walking on it.There were animal rides on the beach like horse,horse carts and camel..a paradise for the kids.The animals looked healthy and well taken care of by the owners.My friend and myself enjoyed splashing through the waves while our hubbies enjoyed shooting.I am grateful to our friend Mr Debabrata Sorkar for his brilliant photography.
It was a usual coastal scenery bordered with green coconut trees,some speed boats rushing through the bluish black waters of the Arabian sea.Some fisher men boats were busy in the distant with their regular catches.The weather was pleasant and breezy on the beach .It was difficult to hold our hats in place while posing for photographs.There were not a lot of vendors crowding the beach but I saw a local ice cream seller selling my favorite golas which are crushed ice balls soaked in flavored sweet syrup which you can just sip or lick causing a divine cooling and explosion of flavours inside the mouth.
Janjeera: When we headed towards Janjira ,it was almost 5.00 pm and when we reached there it was just the time for the last boat to the historical fort.The fort was constructed by Siddi Malik Ambar, an Abssynian(from Abssynia now known as Ethiopia in Africa) minister and later on occupied by ,Siddi Jauhar who came to India to trade for spices .We had 15 minutes of rustic boat ride shaking through the angry waves to reach there.The fort was surrounded on all sides by water ,the word have originated after the word Jazeera, which means an island.The fort built in the 17th century is intact even today ..is a symbol of marvelous engineering.The Marathas led by Shivaji attempted to invade the fort repeatedly but failed in all his attempts.It has the third largest cannon in India called kalak Bangadi made of panchdhatu (gold,silver,copper,iron and zinc) which does not get hot in spite of continuous firing.The fort also has a fresh water lake which was used by all its inhabitants.
Hotel in Alibagh: The hotel was clean and confortable with adjoining gym,swimming pool and garden to play for the kids.The menu was cosmopolitan with Chinese,Tandoori and continental dishes included.The food I found excellent in taste though the breakfast did not have that much variety.We had a complimentary breakfast which included :-
- Medu Vada
- Misal pav
- bread toast
- Boiled eggs
- Scrambled eggs
- kellog’s chocos
- Mango juice
- Orange juice
Lunch: We did the lunch at the “Sanman” restaurant in Alibagh .It was located in the hub of the town and we got a good review as the best restaurant for local food.The food served here is of Gomantak style which is a Konkan speaking community in Goa.The sea food was excellent here .We loved prawn koliwada and surmai fry and sol curry(A kokum based drink).The chicken curry was also lip smaking.You will also get small mementos for gifting to your friends near the restaurant counter which were attractive.Besides local spices,kokum juice and varieties of chikkis can be found(sweets make of caramellzed nuts and jaggery).
Alibaug beach and the Kulaba fort: The Alibaug beach is a peaceful and beautiful beach with yellow loose sand worth visiting ,during the low tide the water recedes and you have to walk along a long way to get a touch of it.During the monsoon you can see the waves roaring and hitting the walls surrounding the beach.You can’t even get a glimpse of the beach that time.The most interesting part of the beach is that you can walk or splash your way on a horse ride to the Kolaba fort right through the waters and the rocky terrain.But this can happen only during the low tide,other times you have to rely on a 5 minute boat ride.The Kolaba fort wascaptured by Shivaji Maharaj and the fort was completed by Sambhaji Maharaj after the death of Shivaji Maharaj in June 1681.The fort is not well maintained and in dilapidated condition but till now people reside in the fort.There is a fresh water lake and temple too to support the inhabitants.
Alibag is a place where people will love to relax away from their stressed work life.It is a place to travel on weekends for those who love to spend time for their friends and families at peace.The forts have historical importance and it is a reflection of the culture of the rulers who have captured and constructed it.If you get time prepare yourself to get amazed by the mesmerizing beauty of nature here.