Thursday, January 14, 2010

Unwind Karde :)

Wanted to begin the new year by indulging in my passions of travel and photography and did just that this new year. Drove down to Karde from Mumbai for a rejuvenating beginning to the new year! Spent a couple of days gorging on sea food and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets!
We set out from home at 0630hrs on the first day of 2010 and got on to NH17.
We had the moon for company all along.
The first dawn of the year was an awesome sight from the Panvel bypass.
Had an idli dosa breakfast at Kamaths in Mahad and moved on to Khed from where we take the turn for Dapoli and onwards to Karde where we had booked a room in Hotel Kinara.
Reached the Hotel at 1230hrs after covering a distance of 290kms. Our lunch order was confirmed on the phone by the Hotel a day earlier. This is the practice followed by all the Hotels in the area hence you cannot just walk in and expect to be served. The meal order has to be placed at least a couple of hours in advance.
Had an excellent fish Thali and a delicious veg Thali and followed it by getting back to the room and resting for a while before proceeding to Harnai beach to witness the fish auction.
Harnai beach is around 8kms away and we reached there via a treacherous path by car.
The boats had come in and the auction was on in full swing.
What struck us was the way the fish was transported from the boats to the shore.
The boats cannot come in right up to the shore due to shallow waters and hence bullock carts, yes bullock carts, take sacks of ice to the boats, offload the fish onto the ice in plastic crates and cart it back to the shore!
It was fun watching and clicking all the activity on the beach. Spent nearly an hour there, after
which we returned back to our Hotel that was all decked up in celebration of 2010.
On our way back spotted this cannon at Harnai.
Watched the sun go down which created a magical ambiance with paragliding activity on the beach.
Had an awesome dinner of, yes, fish! Retired early for the day as had to get up early to go for the ‘dolphin viewing’ boat ride at dawn.
Saw this heavenly sight from the balcony at 0600hrs.
The boat was scheduled to arrive at the hotel to pick us up at 0700hrs.
And sure enough, saw the motor boat puttering in on time, and we, along with 8 other tourists,
were helped aboard by the crew. And on we went in search of the elusive dolphins.
Managed to spot a few in the half hour ride that cost us only Rs.100/- per head.
The sunrise witnessed from the ocean was awesome!
Revelling in the beauty we returned to the hotel had ‘kanda pohey’ for breakfast and got ready to visit the ‘Kadyavarcha Ganapati’ which is around 20kms from the hotel at Anjarle.
Had a peaceful darshan of this legendary idol. This idol is believed to have come ashore Anjarle from the sea and was installed on the cliff using wooden pillars in around 1150. Later it was renovated during 1768 to 1780.
The Ganesh idol’s trunk is curved towards the right, which is very rare. Kadyavarcha Ganapati is also considered as the live deity (a jagrut daiwat) who responds to distress calls of common people (nawsala pavnara Ganapati).
The dome of this temple has the ‘Ashtavinayak’ embedded on it.
There is a small Shiva Mandir adjacent to this temple.
Sat there awhile and returned back to the hotel for yet another excellent meal of fish and ‘vaalaach beerd’.
Spent the evening walking along the beach, watching a glorious sunset.
For dinner that night had an unusual prawn biryani. It was a Malwani flavoured biryani and absolutely yummy! And of course every meal was accompanied by delicious solkadi.
Got up early as it was the final morning at Karde for us and wanted to take in as much as possible of the ambiance of a lovely morning on the beach.
Went for long walk on the beach and around 0930hrs set out on the return journey to Mumbai. But had a stop scheduled on the way.
There was this beautiful old temple at Murud Harnai which is just about 2kms from Karde.
Murud is also the hometown of our great freedom fighter Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondu Karve whose bust is erected opposite the Durga Devi temple.
This Durga Devi temple was built almost 300yrs back and the pujari affirmed that his was the 6th generation looking after the temple.
The carved wooden pillars in the temple are beautiful.
A Ganesha temple in the premises
There is a large bell at the entrance of the temple. The temple poojary told us that it was brought by Chimaji Appa after winning over the Vasai fort, from one of the churches there.
Had our breakfast at Dapoli and returned to Mumbai via Mandangad covering a distance of 249kms.
The roads were largely good and the traffic minimal. Only in certain patches the road was rough – untarred.
Reached Mumbai at 1630hrs after a magical holiday at Karde.
Getting there
By Train
Mumbai - Karde
• Mumbai - Khed Station (via Konkan Railway)
• Khed Station - Dapoli (29 km) (via private transport – jeeps, etc. / state transport - ST buses)
Dapoli – Karde (20kms) (via private transport – jeeps, etc. / state transport - ST buses)
By Road
Mumbai – Karde
290kms Route Mumbai - Panvel – Mahad –Khed – Dapoli – Karde (Mumbai –Khed NH17)
250kms Route Mumbai – Panvel – Mangaon – Mandangad – Dapoli - Karde (Mumbai – Mangaon NH17)