What is more exhilarant than a visit to a beach on a hot or sunny day? The sand, the surf, cool breeze and some fun, ah the pleasures of lazing under the sun!
India is in the temperate zone, and summers are hot! So, visitors coming to India tag on to the heritage and culture line and ignore the beautiful coastal beaches.
Though the climate is hot, there is a small fact not understood by many. Only insiders know that Mother Nature has bestowed on this country with a lengthy coastline. This geographic formation is a refreshing respite that combats the unrelenting and scorching heat.
The Indian Coast is flanked by the Bay of Bengal in the west and the Arabian Sea in the East. Most of the beaches on both coastlines are calm, serene and number one stress busters. It is tough to decide to go west or East.
So, when the unbearable heat and the holiday season came together, hand-in-hand, somebody took a firm decision to visit the Konkan coast in the East. I joined the idea and was not for a moment, disappointed by this decision.
This is what I found, and I have put it as a summary under the Konkan coast list….
The length of Konkan coast is 700 kms running from south Mumbai along Goa ending at the Goa-Karnataka border. Numerous big and small beaches dot this coast. Most of the beaches of Maharashtra come under this list
The Konkan coast, to my amazement, were less crowded than any other beaches in India. Some of them are off the civilization radar and are silent spectators of the waves that hit their sands. They are all scenic, peaceful and windswept with eye-capturing vegetation around.
Some of them are on or near pilgrimage sites hence revered. Few of these, especially beaches in Maharashtra, are located bang next to a historical fort or building.
The famous ones are Alibaug, Ganapatipule, and Harihareshwar. I bet you must have never heard of others. They remain hidden in a small rustic setting, away from the maddening crowd.
A word about how to access these beaches – You can enjoy the trip best on a two-wheeler with sea breeze brushing your cheek. More than 80% of beaches are near Mumbai and Pune weekends may be the best to explore these beaches.
You can also plan trips to some beaches in the off-season when the crowds are busy working. I mean that you can consider Beach trips between February and April just as summer closes in.
- Alibaug Beach
Alibaug Beach, with its black sand and rocky terrain, is one of the most popular beaches in Maharashtra. Indulge in water sport like kayaking, Jet skiing, and motorboat rides or just go on horse rides. Be there at sunrise or sunset for an out of the world experience.
- Guhagar Beach
Guhagar Beach from black sand to white sands! It is family time at this beach, near Ratnagiri. Enjoy camel rides, ATV rides, Banana rides and more. If you are hungry, just walk towards the small food stalls for tasty snacks and refreshing beverages.
- Kashid Beach
Try the 3 km long Kashid Beach if you find Alibaug beach crowded or chaotic. Non-vegetarians will love the food here. Kashid village has a lot of hotels just in case you want to redo the beach stroll later.
- Achara Beach
If you love watching dolphins head to the Achara beach, situated 15 kms from Malvan. These fantastic animals appear in large numbers during the months of October and February here. The book-lovers among you can try the 115-year-old library situated very near the beach
- Anjarle Beach
If you love exploring undiscovered beaches, this one is for you. Take refreshing long walks or jogs on this beach with palm trees swaying in the background. Complete this Ratnagiri district beach trip with a visit to a Ganesh temple and small port at Anjarle beach.
- Aravali Beach
Combine leisure with pilgrimage at Aravali beach that lies close to Sindhudurg. Pleasant Mango, jackfruit, palm trees and coconut groves thrive close to this shiny sand beach.
- Awas Beach
Awas beach, very near Mumbai, is a total contrast to the Alibaug beach. The only sounds heard here emanate crashing waves and whistling Casuarina and Suru trees.
- Bagmandla Beach
If you have set out with your partner for some time alone, just head to the Bagmandla Beach. Glorious sunrise and sunsets beckon you here.
History-lovers can take a trip to Bankot fort while animal lovers can seek out jetties to reach the creek nearby.
- Bhandarpule Beach
Bordered by two hillocks, this pristine beach with the bluish green sea is a sight to see. My advice to you is to enjoy the view but keep the swimming part to another beach.
The beach is very near Ganpatipule Bus stand.
- Bhatye Beach
Welcome to the velvety Bhatye Beach. Collect shells, stroll or play on this 1.5 long clear beach very near the Ratnagiri City.
- Diveagar Beach
Just 4 hrs from the Navi Mumbai is the Divegar Beach. Relish the serenity on the beach. Stay back at a homestay in the nearby village for a slice of rural life in the Konkan.
- Ganpatipule Beach
Ganpatipule is a famous pilgrimage destination in Ratnagiri district Maharashtra. People come from far and near to seek blessings at the shrine of the 400-year-old Ganapathipule temple.
The beach here is rocky but is for sunbathing. One can take pleasure in water sports during the peak season.
- Harihareshwar Beach
Harihareshwar Beach is divided into two parts by the famous Harihareshwar temple. One beach is 2.4 kms longer, and pilgrims can take a holy dip there. You can access the second 2 km beach located opposite to the MTDC Resort.
- Harnai Beach
Head to harnai beach if you are a fish-lover! There is a famous market here every evening where a variety of local fish is auctioned.
- Hedvi Beach
Hedvi Beach, with its black sand, is sandwiched between two white beaches – Velneshwar and Ganpatipule. A small stretch of secluded land where a twosome can have quality time together! Of course, stay away from water due to the rocky terrain.
- Kelshi Beach
My best childhood memories of a beach are collecting shells and cowries. As I grew older, sunrises and sunsets were preferable beach activity. At Kelshi, you can do both and as it is just 240 kms away from Mumbai.
- Kihim Beach
Kihim beach is tranquility personified, most times of the year. During the monsoons, however, the sea is rough, and the hard stones make it worse.
There are lots of resorts around that you can stay back and enjoy beach strolls all day. This picturesque beach is some 140kms from Pune.
- Kunkeshwar Beach
Clean beach, beautiful scenery, picture perfect for your selfies. That is Kunkeshwar Beach for you. Options abound for private homestays at this beach located close to Sindurdurgh, Ratnagiri.
- Malvan Beach
Malvan is a popular Beach destination just under 2 hours on the road from Mumbai.
You can go snorkeling and Scuba diving here. Dolphin watching boat rides is another activity which most visitors indulge in.
Try out the unique Malvani cuisine, which is a combination of Maharashtrian and Goan non-vegetarian food traditions.
- Dahanu Beach
If you seek respite from the hustle bustle of life, visit Dahanu beach. This small town is located some 150 kms away from Mumbai. The beach has jet black sand to dig your feet into. Beware! The rough sea is not an ideal location for a dip.
Fact tip: The world-famous Warli painting originated in the tribal areas nearby.
- Mithbav Beach
There is something magical about the sunset at the windswept Mithbav Beach. This and the rhythmic sound of waves attract people who tend to stay back more at some friendly resorts nearby.
- Murud Beach
Murud is known for its Scenic waterfront. This beach is a part of Dapoli. It is the most happening place in town.
The adventurous can take to water sports like parasailing, banana boat ride. Food stalls on the beach dole out mouthwatering dishes. One can also visit the Murud Janjira Fort and pilgrim sites during their trip here.
- Ratnagiri Beach
Ratnagiri is a spectacular beach perfect for a weekend getaway. Your visit to this place will be complete with a trip to a fish museum, the lighthouse, and Ratnadurg Fort.
- Revdanda Beach
Revdanda beach, near Alibaug, is one unexplored beach that is perfect for you and your family. Have the clean beach for yourself for as long as you want.
A children’s play area, some water sports, and few food stalls are some attractions here.
- Sasawane Beach
Come to this tropical beach through the Mumbai Goa Highway. A hidden gem explored only by a lucky few. While here, visit the famous Karmakar Sculpture museum.
- Shiroda Beach
Shiroda beach is located in Vengurla. It is bordered by a river creek on one side and Redi beach on another.
The golden sand is pleasing to the eye. Another sense organ, the tongue can be pleased with the Vad Pavas, Omelets, and burfis(sweetmeats) sold at food stalls here.
Sunsets are glorious, but you may encounter a small crowd here.
- Shrivardhan Beach
This beach is the cleanest one around Konkan, thanks to the local government. It has a beautiful Promenade with small benches. You can also swim here during low tide.
Be ready to pay a small token of gratitude for the maintenance of this clean beach.
- Tarkarli beach
This is one of the beaches in Maharashtra to discover little new born turtles. The sea water at tarkarli beach is crystal clear and the beach as smooth as can be.
Try out the snorkeling and scuba diving facilities here.
- Velas Beach
Plan a trip to Velas beach in the months from February to April so that you are in time for the Velas Turtle Festival.
Enjoy the incredible sight of the turtle eggs hatching and working their way to their second home, the sea. The sea is calm here so, enjoy your morning walk and head straight for a full menu coastal lunch here. This place is easily accessible by road from Pune.
- Velneshwar Beach
This is how I describe the Velneshwar beach – clean, isolate, broad, serene, shallow, pristine, relaxing and amazing. Food is average; boarding facilities near the seafront are above average.
Sink your feet in any of these 30 beaches this weekend and watch your stress disappear just like the retreating waves. Also, share your experiences of the discovery of beaches not featured in my Konkan coast list.