There are so many places to visit in Konkan, the divine and beauteous land created by Lord Parshuram. If you are looking for perfect serenity to escape the daily grind, try Chiplun.
Chiplun City My Hometown
I belong to this town
Now back after ten years, I see it is still beautiful and serene like it was ten years back. Yet it is a major city, an economic hub with important educational and commercial centers. Intrigued? Come let’s explore the city…
The place to visit in Chiplun
The name of the city itself means the abode of Parshuram. According to mythology, the whole area of Konkan area was claimed from the sea by his divine actions. He then stayed back to do penance in the area called Mahendragiri Peak. Since he created Konkan, this Lord is the presiding deity the whole area.
This city is popular getaway from bustling cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Goa. Located between Western Ghats and Arabian Sea it is easily accessible from these metropolitan cities by Train.Just 3 or 4 days trip is enough to experience life here.The best time to visit here is during winters and monsoons when Mother Nature has waved her magic wand across these parts.
Most travelers coming to this city are spell bound as the trains on this division swing in and out of eerie tunnels and speeding across bridges even while being surrounded by the nature-blessed Western Ghats.
When entry to our town itself is breathtaking, just look at what the city has to offer to stressed souls…
The Parshuram temple isdedicated to this 6th Avatar of Lord Vishnu. The temple is located on the very peak the Lord mediated.
The temple is 300 years old. It was built by Swami Pramhans Brahmendra utilizing grants from various rulers of the era.You can get glimpses of European, Hindu and Muslim style elements of Architecture in the temple structure.
Inside the same complex you can also notice the following…
- Idols of Brahma Vishnu and Shiv
- Ganga Devi Mandir
- Renuka Devi mandir
- Siddi Vinayak temple
- A tall Deep tower for lighting lamps
- Bandganga Lake
The important festivals of this temple are Akshaya Tritiya, Maha Shivratri, and Ram Navami.
This is one of the biggest rivers in Konkan. It originates in the WesternGhats and flows through this city.
It is an identity of my city and anybody brought uphere will have at least one childhood story attached to Vashishti.
I remember my slow buffalo rides and regular fishing completions here. I learnt to ride a cycle on its banks and would cycle back home from here. I was a bit on the plump side and have lost balance main times.But I never created a traffic scene even if I fell in the middle of the road, then. Now, a mere buffalo can hold on the traffic for more than an hour!!
I even remember the 2005 floods when this good-natured driver drowned the city. It was so bad that my cousins living close to the river had to stay with us for a few days.
Nowadays, visitors can undertake interesting boat trips in the beautiful backwaters of this river. Cruises on river take you past pretty villages full of palm trees and smiling faces. There are many small isles on the banks where different bird species are roosting. Avoid fishing or getting off on small islands without seeking boat owner’s permission as it may be home to many Mugger crocodiles.
Marleshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Locals believe the foundation stone for this temple was laid by Lord Parshuram. This temple can be reached after climbing 400-500 steps.Of course there are refreshment stallsalong the way to keep you hydrated and energetic.
Also, since it is near the Sahayadri mountain range, the scenery around is breath taking; reason why, adventure lovers love the hike to the top as well.
Once on the top, you have to enter a cave to have darshan of the Lord. The grooves and cuts inside the cave are also considered holy. Mahashivratri and Makar Sankranti are the main festivals celebrated by devotees who come from various parts of Maharashtra. Some perform ablutions in the Bav River nearby. A raised platform in the temple premises will give you glimpses of the splendid Dhareshwar falls. Do not miss a divine bath under the falls during the monsoon seen.
Walavalkar Shivaji Museum
This museum is situated at Dervan, nearly 25kms from Chiplun. It is on the Mumbai –Go highway going towards Devrukh.This credit of building this museum goes to Sitambuva Walvalkar. It took him 15 years and expenditure of one crore to collect or make all related exhibits for this museum.
Dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj, this museum is built in the form of Fort of the great Maratha.
Exhibits displaying Chatrapathi Shivaji’s exploits and other life changing incidents of his time are present here. Life sized statues portray:
- Child Shivaji’s naming ceremony,
- his oath-taking as a child with friends in Rohideshwar,
- meeting with Afzal Khan,
- praying to a Goddess,
- Sacrifice of Baji Prabu’s Despande, etc. in minute detail.
Another exhibit is a small temple-like structure with life-size statues of Shivaji Maharaj along with three Sants – Sant Tukaram, Sant Ramdas, and Sant Namdev. Both curious tourists and researching Historians can benefit from a visit to this amazing museum.
One of the largest dam in the State of Maharashtrais built on the Koyna River.It was completed in the year 1963. The capacity of the dam is1920 MW so it is an important source of water and power for the whole State.
The catchment area blocks the Konya River to create the 50 km long Shivsagar Lake.The dam has resisted several earthquakes. In 1967 itself, there was a massive earthquake but the cracks developed were repaired immediately. More re-strengthening work done was done in 2006.
The distance from Chiplun to Koyna Dam is 47 km and you can reach there in 56 minutes. Check out the amazing Dam and the views of the surroundings from the dam. There is a garden nearby that you can view. Visitors to this dam can also enjoy boating here.
Waterfalls are always attractive. Most waterfalls in the country go full swing in the monsoons. Sawatsada waterfall is a must-visit spot near the Parshuram temple on the Sahyadri hills.
Its flow is grandiose….makes your heart beat faster. Photographer just love this waterfall! Visit here during the monsoon season to see its true colors. To get a chance to view this waterfall up close, you have a walk through a narrow path upstream.
On the banks of Vashishti Riveryou will find the Gowalkot Fort. This small fort is about 10kms from Chiplun. It is surrounded by water. On one side there is a trench.
At one stage in history, it was won by Shivaji Maharaja who named it Govindgad.Later, this fort changed hands from Sambhaji Maharaj to Siddi to Chimaji Appa to Tulaji Angre to Peshwa and finally East India Company. This is the reason why people of three religions – Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims populate this place now.
Spread across 2 acres of land, you have to climb342 steps to reach this fort. There are two routes to reach top. Needless to say, views from the top are overwhelming.
Presently, it lies in a dilapidated state. Earlier there were 22 UK made cannons here, the longest being 7.5 feet in length. But few have been shifted towards the Port area by the archeological department. Allocate at least one hour to this place if you are a history enthusiast.
Donavali Village in Chiplun
It is located in Chiplun Taluka Ratnagiri district. A small village, the spoken languages here are Marathi and Daldi.Though small, this place is on the radar of most people visiting Chiplun.
The village is surrounded by green mountains and the blue sea. People of all religion live here – Hindus, Muslims and Buddhistsand others.
It is the site to the Siddhi Vinayak temple built in the 17th century. The temple structure was raised by Shri Madhav Rao Peshave in 1774.
There is a pretty lake behind the temple which has a lovely semi-circular bridge popular among tourists. Festivals celebrated with pomp and gaiety here are Ganesh Chaturthi and Holi. The village fair attracts huge crowds.
Nehru Smriti Udyan
Nehru Smriti Udyan a beautiful garden in Koyna nagar. It is best visited in winter between months November to February, timings 3 pm to 5 pm. Koynanagar is not far from Chiplun and is easily accessible by road.
Ozarde Waterfall is also nearby. It is a massive waterfall thatyou can reach after an arduous climb.The gushing water could be a grand spectacle especially in the monsoon season. Have also panoramic view of Shivasagar Lake and the Koyna dam from this garden.
Freshwater fish is available in plenty here. It is also a Botanists’ delight with a large variety of plants Check out the science museum and some video footage without fail.
Shree Kulswamini Temple
This Temple dedicated to Bhawani Waghjai. It is situated in a Village called Terav in Chiplun. Said to have been built in 1860, it was rebuilt in 1839.
The Maharashtra Government declared this temple of great tourist importance. There are hordes of devotes and visitors to this temple all through the year.
The height of this temple is 123 feet. The temple is divided into four sections each housing different deities and having domes, in the South Indian style. The statue of the main deity Goddess Bhawani is 9ftin height and the dome above this statue is 55 feet above the ground.
Other deities in this temple include Lord Shiv Shankar, Shree Hanumanth, Goddess Nav Durgas (nine forms of Goddess Parvathi) and Goddess Kalkai. The hall in the temple can accommodate 2000 people at a time and is filled to the brim especially during festivals. Two large doors at a height of 40ft have beautiful statues around them.
Goddess Bhawani is made of black stone and seen in the position of slaying the demon called Mahishasura. Each of her 10 hands holds on special weapon each as she looks ferociously at the vanquished demon.
Best Konkani Sea Food at Hotel Abhishek
After food for the eyes, you will want food for your stomach….If you are in Konkan, then never leave without eating our traditional sea-food.Head straight, for sea food cooked in Konkani style, to Hotel Abhishek located in Markandi.
The service here is quick. The fare is yummy. Spice is perfect and oil minimum. The top sellers are Kehkda rassa, Kolimbi Oil and Chicken sukha with Rassa
Nearby Chiplun Beach – Guhagar beach
The long beach here is less crowded than other Konkan beaches. One can enjoy solitude with white sand, swaying Suru trees and mouth-watering seafood.
There are water bodies, Gardens, Forests, ancient temples, and forts…. a huge picnic spot area to enjoy with your family or friends in this city. Biking, cycling, trekking, boating….you can to explore this quaint modern but peaceful city in any and every way.
Lodging is never an issue, what with best hotels around. Locals are friendly and easy to converse with. The last but not least the food here is out of this world. So, what is stopping you from visiting? Welcome to Chiplun!
Leave your comments below.