We had 3days family trip (wife and 3 year old daughter) from Pune to Tarkarli by car. It was great time and memorable outing. Here is details of how to?, when?, where?
26th January'15 Thursday to 1st March'15 Sunday.
How to reach?
We started on 26th early morning 5am from Pune. Took Mumbai-Banglore express way. Reached Kolhapur via Satara-Karad around 9am. Decided to go for Mahalaxmi temple for blessings. It was quick 1hr trip to find temple and parking. I took one of wrong turn and it added another 20min more to reach temple. There are multiple ways to reach Malvan from Kolhapur.
I preferred 1. Gaganbawada as it's scenic route and famous ghat. Road from Kolhapur till 20km is not good. It's Ok type, once can go with 40-50 km/hr speed. After that, patch of 20-30km is good. Ghat area is ok type. Be careful of rock/land slide if you are going in rainy season. via Rangala-Gaganbawada-Vaibhavwadi-Kankawli-Malwan is good start.
You will joing NH17 at small joint called Tarele. Take left on highway and go to Kasal via Nandgav, Kankawli. Reach Malwan ST bus stand via Kudal-Malvan road. It's good road for konkan city.
Where to stay?
We checked for multiple home stay on the spot. I had not booked place to stay in advance as I wasn't aware of quality being offered and off-season availability wouldn't be problem.
Here are some of resort/home stay names and rates:
Chintamani - near MTDC - rate 1000/- Nice rooms on 1st flor but no private beach.
Gajanan - Nice resort - rate 1500/- Nice view from room and good rooms. They had booking full. We wanted to for 3 days but they had only 2 days availability.
Visawa - Nice location. 1000/- but was already full.
Soham - Nice location, on private beach and large play area. 1000/- . We stayed here.
If you want MTDC, please book 2-3 months in advance. You can still go to MTDC canteen for food. Food is awesome here.
What to do and when?
day 1 :
1. Dolphin school: Feb-March is odd season to find Dolphins. However, we were lucky to find them. They weren't so close but found schools of Dolphins. It's suggested to go early in morning around 7-8pm for Dolphin sites. Guy took us to Devbaug. Took a boat from small jetty and got us to Karli river creak joint. One can see different color of water in Arabian sea and Karli river. Dolphins likes to hunt river water fish and come to eat them at river delta. They hunt in group so you often see school of Dolphins at a time. Smaller the Dolphin, they will jump higher. We couldn't catch pic of them but got few in video shoots.
2. Tsunami Island:
It's place for all water sport rides like banana ride, sofa ride, speed boat, jet scooter, para gliding and swimming. Place is in low tide zone formed after Tsunami.
We had nice time swimming around. My daughter enjoyed the place, saw crabs, sand forts. Little one wanted to swim in sea. Well, she raise question, who put all salt in this water? It tastes salty!
You need to reach at Malvan jetty beach area to catch Scuba guys. Charges are normally season based. Guy told us 1500/- for cylinder dive, 1200/- for commercial (with long underwater pipe). We bargained same easily for 1200/- and 800/- . If you stick there for a while, they could agree to reduce another 100/-. We got video shoot and photo included in deal.
You don't need to know swimming, just don't fear water. You will get a guide who will take your hand and show underwater world. You will see all those colorful fishes - yellow, stripe, black, bluish. Just don't try to catch them in hands, you won't get them :P .
Age limit is 10years. Generally, snorkeling is not suggested as you might not see anything at that depth. Your ears will feel water pressure after going down to 20-30 feet.
4. Sindhudurg fort:
Go to Malvan jetty. Take 50/- ticket to go by ferry. Boat guy will give you 1 hr to explore the fort. It's nice place memory of great Maratha king Chchatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He had foresight to build such a strong and beautiful fort.
5. Enjoy sea food wherever you are eating.
Where to eat?
I and my 3year old daughter enjoyed sea food. Specially, king fish/Surmai and Prowns.
- Hotel Chintamani - at Market road in Malvan. Near Naka on conjusted one way road.
- Hotel OnlyFish - Near Malvan Jetty. They have lot of special sea food items like Prowns, Tisra, and variety of sea food.
- MTDC resort - If you are home sick and want something in Panjabi/North Indian type. MTDC offers variety of food. They are best in area. Another advantage is, you get a table right on beach to eat food. It's awesome view, place and food and right fit to wallet.
- Ask locals to suggest good hotels. You 'll surely get good suggestions.
Look out for special made cashew shops in Malwan market area. There are plenty of local made brands and varieties. I got salted, masala and normal double drun roasted cashew. It's nice in taste.
One can buy fish and carry it in thermocol box to preserve for few days. We didn't opted for it as I had enough of it in Malwan.
On way back, we left Tarkarli at 8am Sunday. It had rained on Saturday evening. It was pretty odd for season to rain. Weather was beautiful to drive. Had breakfast break at Kankawli. We reached Kolhapur around 1pm. Moved straight ahead on Banglore-Mumbai highway. Had lunch at Sai internation fast food hotel. It's on other side of road. We reached Pune around 6pm.
Fuel : 3000/- WagonR petrol
Tolls: 600/- To and fro.
Food: 4000/- for 2 of us.
Tsunami Island and watersport rides: 1000/-
Shopping cashew: 400/-
Total : 15000/-
Scuba dive with cylinder on back
Scuba with commercial pipe to breath.
To Dolphin ride. Me and my cutie daughter
At Tsunami Island
At Rock garden
At Rock garden sunset