For the sea lover, Tarkarli is one perfect destination. This village lies on the Arabian shores of the Konkan area of Maharashtra, not very far from Goa. The white sandy beaches, Tarkarli is famous for, call for slow and long romantic walks. It is the time to be in the ‘now’, away from your daily routines. This moment is only yours and with the sea, sand and the sky at such close quarters, not enjoying would be nothing short of a sin!
It is something that one does not get to do every day in the hustle of our lives. The wet sand below your feet and the cool waves kissing your ankles each time they come to you, are reason enough to venture on to Tarkarli Beach, Nivati beach or any one of the many beaches lined up. Wade into the shallow waters and you are sure to be greeted with a sight you could never have enough of! Crystal clear water through which you can see your feet, the floor, shells and snails slowly crawling, you wonder where they are off to?
Simply being witness to this can calm down nerves frayed from urban life. Take a moment, bend down to lift a shell – reminisce the delights of shell collection as a child. Let yourself relive all those carefree moments. If you have kids with you, there is nothing more pleasurable than a splash in the water with them. Enjoy them crackling up as you chase them in the water and fall trying to catch them!
There is plenty to be experienced on the water playground. Not just on it, below and above as well. Parasailing is a must do at Tsunami island. Take in the gorgeous landscape as the speed boat speeds away, letting you rise up into the sky. Scream out loud, it helps increase the thrill factor of what you are doing! And this is not something one does every day.
Water Sport Haven
Feel like a James Bond moment – Hop on to a jetski to zoom on the waters. Chasing the bad guy or being chased, let loose your imagination. As the wind whizzes through your hair – this is your 007 moment!
With family or friends, bond together as you experience the see-saw effects on the sea aboard the Banana Boat Ride and the bumper rides. Hold on tight to remain on the ride, or let go to know what it feels like, getting thrown into the sea!
Once into the sea, it is unfair to leave without witnessing the beautiful undersea world. Yes! There is one! And scuba diving and snorkelling at Tarkarli are sure to have you wanting more! As you get trained to breathe underwater and strap on your oxygen cylinder, you will be sure to find your heart racing as you put your foot into the water, ready to jump in. Don’t hesitate, just take the plunge! It will be a worthwhile one!
As you enter the water, get transported to a world so fascinating, it seems unreal! Feel the cool water on your skin and the occasional nibble of the fish as you feed them. Watch them all rapidly dart towards the crumbs dropped into the water. With yourself inside the cool water surrounded by a plethora of marine life above and below, corals in varying shapes and sizes, colors so vibrant – it indeed is magical!
Your trip to Tarkarli is not complete without visiting the Sindhudurg Fort! With the sea on one side, the waves crashing on its mammoth walls on the other, a walk through the structure is sure to take you back in time and leave you in awe. This fort, built over a 3 year period in 1964, was made with an objective to counter the foreign invaders and fortify the coastal regions during Chhatrapati Shivaji’s regime. Your 5 minute boat ride from the shore to the fort will give you an idea of the immense planning that Hirojee Indulkar and his men would have done before undertaking the construction of this fort. With a circumference of 3 km, this fort is built on 43 acres of land which was chosen by Shivaji Maharaj and known as Kurte Island. Strategically placed entrances and hideaways are an indication of their futuristic thinking and understanding of the enemy.
Be sure to visit the sweet water wells in the fort, an astounding thing for an island surrounded by sea water. The view of the sea from the fort makes for photo moments and wonderful memoirs. Make the most of the one hour given to you before you board your same boat back! Or if it is too difficult to leave so early, stay longer. This option is available on making an extra payment so that you can return back by another boat.
For a sea-food lover, Malvani cuisine at Tarkarli is something you must indulge in! The salty breeze carrying the smells of Murgh Malvani, Mori Masala and Bangada fry could get you salivating within no time. With Malvani Malpua for your sweet tooth, followed by Solkadhi, a local drink made with kokum and coconut milk, there would be nothing better to follow your meal with, than a boat ride along the Karli backwaters.
These backwaters that meet the Arabian Sea are the only one of its kind in Maharashtra. As your boatman rows you, sit back and take in the peaceful view – the tiny villages dotting the backwaters, coconut trees standing tall amongst the greenery along the banks, birds taking off now and then from tree to tree, the never ending sky! The serenity of the experience is just right to probably doze off! This, you could even do in one of the many hammocks at the sea shore resorts. It isn’t often that one takes an afternoon siesta besides the sea under the sky between two coconut trees.
The sun, the sea, the backwaters, the thrills of adventure and history – Tarkarli has it all on the platter. So what are you waiting for?
Getting to Tarkarli
AIR: The closest Airport is Dabolim in Goa. Tarkarli is 80 km from here. A private cab will reach you there in 2 hours. Kolhapur Airport in Maharashtra is 115 km from Tarkarli. Dabolim airport is better connected to various metro cities thank Kolhapur.
RAIL: Kudal(KUDL) on the Konkan Railway is the nearest railway station at a 45 kms distance from Tarkarli. Other nearby stations are Sindhudurg(SNDD), Kankavali(KKW) and Sawantwadi Road(SWV). Many trains that connect Goa from Mumbai on the Konkan line, stop at Kudal. From Mumbai, the convenient trains we recommend are
Recommended Trains from Mumbai
- OVERNIGHT Konkan Kanya Express (10111) that leaves Dadar at 23:17 and reached Kudal 07:53 next morning. This is a good overnight train
- DAY TRAINS
- Dadar – Madgaon Jan Shatabdi Express (12051) is a good day train option, that leaves Dadar at 05:25 and reached Kudal at 12:20
- Mumbai LTT – Madgaon AC Double Decker Express (11085) is a less expensive day train option, that leaves Mumbai LTT at 05:33 and reaches Kankavali at 14:20
ROAD: The nearest bus service is from Malvan, 6 km from Tarkarli. Malvan is well connected by roads with the other cities of Maharashtra.
Once you have reached Tarkarli and unloaded your baggages, get those sunglasses and cap on and you are ready to go.
What to do if you have 3 days?
If you have three days to spare and are looking to slowly and gradually soak in the sights and sounds of Tarkarli and close by Malvan there is enough to see and do.
Day 1 – It would be a good idea to start off with the undersea world. You could go scuba diving or snorkelling at various locations in Tarkarli – Chivala beach, Devbag. Follow this up with a lunch and a short siesta. And you are energised for the evening to delve into history with a visit to the Sindhudurg Fort. Enjoy an evening sunset on the Tarkarli beach. Head to one of the many eating places for a coastal dinner before you crash out for the night.
Day 2 – Indulge in the water sports at the Tsunami Island. Post lunch, you could head out to Malvan and visit the Ganesh temple there. A walk through the Rock Garden at Malvan and a wonderful sunset would ensure an evening well spent. Book yourself on to a houseboat stay for the night to experience living on one at the Karli backwaters.
Day 3 – Say good morning to a new day from your houseboat. It isn’t often that one has the privilege of doing so! Walk through the shops in the city market as you take in the local essence through all your senses. It wouldn’t hurt to buy some ambawadi (mango sweet) and cashew bars. Before you head back, take the opportunity to spend some time at any of the numerous beaches – Bhogwe beach at Kudal, Devbagh beach, Talashil Tondavali beach, Sagareshwar, Nivati beaches.
What to do if you have 5 days?
If you have five days at hand you can plan to visit Tarkarli as well as Amboli, a hill station within two and a half hours from Tarkarli. This way, you would have covered ‘sea and mountains’!
Day 1, 2, 3 – See 3 day Itinerary.
Amboli, at an altitude of 690 m (2260 Feet) lies in the Sahyadri Hills.
Day 4 – Head off early morning to Amboli. Enjoy the early morning scenic drive through the Sahyadri hills towards Amboli. Once there, head off to the Hiranyakeshwar Temple and sink into the beauty of the Hiranyakeshi River that originates from the cave at the temple where the temple is located. Amboli waterfall is another natural beauty not to be missed especially if one is travelling during the monsoon. Visit the Shirgaonkar point, famous for its view of the beautiful valley. If you are a heritage enthusiast, a must visit is the Summer Palace of the Bhonsles of Sawantwadi from where the views of the hills are breath-taking.
Day 5 – This day is for the nature enthusiast! Famous for its biodiversity, a jungle trail will ensure that you experience the flora and the fauna first stand. Appreciate the plethora of habitats as you walk along the most popular walk along Chakul Road. Head to the forest part where natural and man-modified surroundings stand besides each other. You can also spot wildlife at other trails to Mahadevgadh point or the Hiranyakeshi temple.
Visit the Madhavgarh fort. Though now in ruins, it was once known for its massive structure. The view of the Arabian Sea from the fort is truly amazing.
Head back to Dabolim or Kudal as per your mode of travel, taking back with you memories of the sea and hills and the satisfaction of spending a holiday in the lap of nature.
(Abhinav_Varshney [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)])