I live in a landlocked city. Both of us, husband and wife are working. So, when unforeseen holidays approached, our kids wanted to spend them at a seaside Resort.
This was when I saw an article highlight the 30 popular beaches in Konkan, and…I was hooked. We immediately decided to visit the beaches bordering the Arabian Sea
How we zeroed in on Harihareshwar beach
Harihareshwar beach is a place where tourists claim to have experienced unmatched silence and peace on the quiet, unpolluted beach bed. The beauty of the beach is enhanced by the Harhar hill, which forms a part of the shore.
Lord Shiva Temple named as ‘Kalbhairav Temple’, which is one of the most ancient temples of Maharashtra, is a major attraction here. Its architectural work stuns tourists even today.
Ganesh Galli is yet another popular attraction, which is a 3-feet narrow path between two of the rocky mountains that surround Harihareshwar. The highlight is the huge idol of Lord Ganesh, which is said to emerge during low tides.
We considered all the 30 options on the Konkan Coastline. Some criteria we had in mind were…
First and foremost, we did not want to visit Mumbai and Goa beaches, which were always chockfull of crowds.
Second, we wanted good accommodation facilities since even my parents wanted to join us.
Third, with parents were coming we wanted to a beach trip combined with a Pilgrimage option.
Fourth, we wanted to visit beaches in proximity to Mumbai or Pune to avoid travel hassles to remote areas.
Finally, we wanted to go to a place which could be visited at any time of the year.
The best beach we zeroed on ticking all the checkboxes was Harihareshwar beach. We also discovered a few more wonders when we reached the place.
7 reasons why Tourists Love Harihareshwar Beach
This beach is located in the town of Harihareshwar, district Raigad, some 200kms from Mumbai. It is only 1km away from the city center.
This place is called DevGarh (house of God) and sometimes referred to as Dakshin Kashi.
We reached the place in the morning. At first glance itself, we fell in love with this place.
At the end of our tour, these are the factors that made the trip most satisfying…
- Magnificent beach views
Calm beach, azure skies, and clean and secluded beach…what else do stressed human beings require?!!
There is more… four scenic hills – Pushpadri, Harihareshwar, Harshinachal, Bramhadri adding to the beautiful scenery; the river Savitri flowing nearby and dense woods that add drama to the picture. Seems God, the painter, used all his paints to create this incredible beach.
Actually, there are two beaches here,both equally amazing…
- one in front of Harihareshwar temple about
- another is beside the MTDC resort about 2.4 km
My parents just did not want to leave the beach even for dinner on the first day!
- Harihareshwar temple
After enjoying the beach on the first day, we planned a trip to the famous Harihareshwar temple the next day.
Locals advised us to visit the temple early in the morning if we wished to do the Parikrama of the temple. So, off we went as early as 5 O’ clock to have darshan of the Lord.
There are 2 temples in the same complex – one is the above-mentioned shrine and another is dedicated to Lord Kalabhairav.
The priests advised us to visit Kalbhairav temple first before entering the main shrine, which we did.
Kalbhairav is a fierce manifestation of Shiva. TheKalabhairav Jayanti is celebrated every year in November with great pomp and show.
Later, we visited the main shrine and received the Lords blessings.
The temple premises also has a shrine dedicated to Hanuman.
The Pradakshina or parikrama of this important temple in Maharashtra passes along the seashore. I would advise everyone who visits this place to attempt the Parikrama at least once. It could be an adventure of your life doing so. But remember the rocky area is inaccessible at high tide.
The route for this passes through the woods, where you have to climb, descend and walk through slippery rocks. There are numerous crevices and caves with idols such as Gayatri Tirth and rock carvings, such as Vishnu pad, on the big rocks jotting on this route.
Another place we visited during low tide was the Ganesh Gully (Shukla Tirth). Here a small statue of Lord Ganesh is wedged in the niche between two mountains. This statue is submerged 30 feet in the water during high tide.
The temple has ample parking space. It is surrounded by small shops that sell beautiful souvenirs that we purchased ending our visit to this amazing destination on this enchanting beach.
- Good for families
There are no maddening crowds in this prime location of Konkan. The area is neat and virtually unknown to beach crowds. Even my old parents could have peace of mind at the beach adjacent the temple.
We did not have a problem with accommodation at all. There are lots of resorts with facilities of free parking, Restaurant facility, Children facilities, Air conditioning, and other services in this area.
We put up at the MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) Resort (MTDC resort) in the locality. There are different options to suit your budget here.
Our stay was pleasant and the service there was adequate for our needs.
- Water sports
Beach walking and enjoying the scenery itself is an exhilarating activity. Added to this, adventure enthusiasts have a whole range of water sports to invest their time on now our favorite beach.
Some options are Banana rides, Parachute gliding, boating and horse riding here.
My younger daughter really enjoyed the whole affair here. In spite of slipping from the horseback on the soft sand, she shed not a tear (which she usually does) and climbed right back on the horse to go further.
Though we did not attempt it, most tourists take a jetty to the Bankot creek where the river Savitri meets the Sea.
- Good sea food
Since it is a temple town most hotels offer Vegetarian food. Few offer both vegetarian and seafood.
Our search for good food Konkani style ended here. The restaurant, we entered, was tidy with basic furniture. They offered all kinds of Konkan seafood. A woman cook prepared home-style Konkani Surmai food for us with fewer spices as per our order. The prices were also economical.
I would highly recommend you taste Kokam sharbat when visiting this area.
- Proximity to other Tourist attractions
Most of the tourists who visit Harihareshwar beach also combine Shrivardhan Beach in their tour itinerary. We did the same and found more interesting options to explore on the remaining days of our Holidays…
• Shrivardhan Beach
It is a very popular beach in the state. It lies some 20 km from Harihareshwar. Explore the beautiful 3kms sandy beach among swaying palm trees and mango plantations nearby.
Children and youngsters will love adventure sports such as Water surfing, Paragliding and others this place has to offer. Swimming is also an option due to shallow waters here.
The boat rides are pleasant. Even my parents did not feel any discomfort when gliding on the mild waves moved by gentle winds
One of the main scenes that should not be given a miss on this beach is its glorious sunsets.
• Somjai Devi Mandir
This temple dedicated to a Goddess is located in the city of Shrivardhan. The deity is a manifestation of four gods Lord Shiva, Bhavani, Vasuki, and Nandi.
People come here to pray to the deity and seek solace from snake bite and other ailments. Tourists seeking spiritual experiences can explore this shrine and its environs.
The temple is bounded on all its sides by nature. There is ample car parking space for travelers who have come to town in the car.
• Kusuma Devi Temple
Continuing with our temple pursuits, we went to another temple near Shrivardhan beach dedicated to Ma Kusuma Devi. The temple is right in the middle of nature and visiting it uplifted our hearts spiritually. Truly invigorating experience
• Aaravi Beach
In Aaravi, you will have the whole beach for yourself. Do you want to go there immediately? Aaravi Beach is just 5 km from Shrivardhan.
Captivating views with hillocks around the area mesmerize you. If you have come in a car, take a cool drive along the beach which goes up the hill. The beach is good for walks. The water is clear here but makes it a point to consult the villagers before swimming.
Nearby, you can visit Kassav Mitra Mandal to watch nests of Olive Ridley during the season.
Aquatic sports are also available in this area during the season between March to August.
- Lord Shiva Temple
The Jivaneshwar temple is another temple that is very near the beach
We explored all the above options during our work-break. Overall a nice experience for all of us; a holiday well-spent according to children… A highly recommended tourist spot on the West Coast of India.
The nearest airport to reach this place is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.
The nearest railhead some 57 km away is Mangoan Railway Station. This station is well connected to main cities in Maharashtra and cities of India
There are plenty of Road route options to Harihareshwar. Numerous bus and cab operators ply on roads between this holy place and Mahabaleshwar (about 130kms away), Pune (about 208kms away) and Mumbai (about 188kms away)