Sunday, 16 January 2011

Alibag-Janjira - 12 / 13 Jan 2011

journey starts
after a long planning and many cancellations (12 had confirmed; finally 7 of us went) our trip happened last weekend. myself, nitin, vishal, sharad, aditya, tushar & sourabh.

we left from company at 5.30 pm for Alibag. we took the Express Highway through Somatane Phata. after a brief stop at the food-mall (Vada-Paav) and taking Khopoli Exit we got connected to the Khopoli-Pen road.

we reached Nagao at around 9.30 pm. we had booked our stay at one Mr. Apte, reference i got from one of the company colleagues.
we had an awesome dinner. After a brief walk around, we fell on our beds by about 12.30.

Sunrise at Nagao Beach
Early morning we went on the seashore (Nagao Beach). Its a nice place with "Suru" trees at the shore and a clean beach. We did't find any Para-sailing, Motor-boats, etc those we saw at the Kashid Beach in the afternoon. It may be because of odd day or morning timings.

Revdanda - Salav Bridge
We played a game of cricket after really long time. By about 9.30 am we were ready for breakfast after a session of Cricket & Photography on the Nagao Beach. We had Poha (typical breakfast available in Konkan any day) and set ourselves towards Janjira at 10.00 am.

We stopped for a while on Revdanda-Salav Bridge for a brief photography. Just ahead we came across a way to Salav Birla Temple (The Vikram-Vinayak Temple).

Patil Khanawal @ Murud Beach

With a stop of about 20 minutes we moved ahead towards Murud. We had lunch at Murud (@ Patil Khanawal - nice konkani food), a Soul-Curry and then went to Rajpuri (about 9 kms from Murud) from here one get the boats for Janjira. Ticket is 20 Rs per person. The same boat-wallah acts as a guide and shows the important points with brief history in 45 minutes for 20 more

Janjira is awesome. One can feel its magnanimity; and can understand why it stands unconquerable (Ajinkya). The only impregneable fort on 720 kms Maharashtra Coastline. Portueguese, British, Dutch, not even Marathas & Peshwas were able to win it from

Siddhis. Shivaji Maharaj made 6 unsuccessfull attempts to conquer Janjira. Sambhaji Maharaj built Padma-Durga (can be seen from Janjira & Murud beach) to capture Janjira. It was named on his wife Rani Padmabai & is also known as Kasa Fort (it looks like a tortoise during a full moon night). Finally sometime in 1970s the Nawab of Janjira handed over the fort to Indian Govt and he settled in his palace in Murud (which is still there and his generations are living there). Other people from the fort also vacated and left for living in nearby villages like Rajpuri.


There are 19 or 22 bastions (buruj) all around; 3 storeyed from inside. Each well equipped with cannons. We can see some of them still lying there. Just above the main entrance is the "Kalaal-Bangadi" - a cannon with 18 tonne weight, 6 kms firing range; made on the fort itself by welding number of metal rings. Other two cannons are "Chavari" & "Laanda Kaasam".
It has about 2 large sweet water lakes, Palace, some destructed buildings where people used to live, a secret passage cut from below the sea bottom which opens somewhere in Rajpuri (now closed).

After 45 minutes we went back in the same boat for Rajpuri. From reaching Rajpuri, waiting in a queue for boats, seeing Janjira & back took us about 2 - 2 1/2 hours.
At around 5.20 in the evening we left for Roha. Our plan was to do Pali & Mahad (two of the Ashtavinayakas) on our back trip to Pune. But Sourabh asked us to drop at his uncle’s place at Roha for 15 minutes on our way.

We took some road from Rajpuri to Roha as shown by one of the villager there. It was via Agardanda-Bhalgaon. Road condition was pathetic. At one point it took us 45 minutes to pass 20 kms distance. I would recommend trying another road via Murud to Roha. Even if distance is bit more still it would be ok if road condition is gud.
On the way we came across a large construction activity going on. It was actually the Agardanda-Dighi Port which is being built by DPL (Dighi Port Ltd). Continuously we were coming across those large dumpers carrying sand and stones.
By 6.45 we reached at Roha (Sourabh’s uncle’s home). After some snacks & tea we left for Pali at about 7.30. In between we missed the route to Wakan and went ahead till Nagothane. This cost us about 10 kms extra. Finally at Nagothane we met one person who wanted to go near Pali. He showed us the way and we reached Pali at 8.30.

Being late, the town seemed very quiet; no rush or crowd. Free car parking is available, about 10 minutes walking distance. We also saw the paid car parking board.

We were able to take the darshan easily. Here some of us purchased the Konkan-Mewa, as it is called & famous (Pohyache papad, kokam sarbat, etc). At about 9 we left for Mahad. Firstly we were apprehensive about the timings. Whether mandir would be open so late.

My drive from Pali to Mahad was tensed. Because I was running short of gas. Pointer had already touched end of Red Zone and we had about 22 kms to reach Khopoli (next big town). Pali-Mahad is 40 kms by the way. There is not a single petrol pump in between. One which we found is the HP petrol pump just before Khopoli.

Finding the road to Mahad from here is bit difficult. Road is straight, but there are no signboards. Need to look for the NP Dhaba (LHS or RHS will depend from where you are traveling). There is a road exactly opposite this Dhaba. There’s a large banyan tree at this turn. Need to go about 4 kms on this road. Here also there are no signboards of the ashtavinayak mandir (or atleast we were not able to see in the dark).

It was 10 in the night and the whole village was sleepy. Doors of the houses were closed; almost all of them had their light also switched off; not a single human being on roads. We felt as if we have lost and there was no one around to ask. In one house we saw the door partially opened and lights inside were on. We enquired & confirmed that we are going right. Another worry was whether we could find the mandir open at 10. That too we confirmed. It was positive. Inside the mandir we enquired that it is open till 12 in the midnight.

Please note that there is no car parking space available (or maybe we were not able to locate because of darkness). We parked our cars next to the mandir (actually inside the premises). Space for only our two cars is available. Our darshan was gr8. We were able to get inside the Gabhara (Sanctum Sanctorum). We came to know that it is the only mandir in all ashtavinayakas where entry inside Gabhara is allowed.

Finally we left for Pune at 10.30 pm. Here need to take care while joining the Expressway at Khopoli. We come to the Khalapur Toll Naka towards Mumbai. One needs to take a U turn at the Toll Naka before actual pay-windows. There is a provision for U turn and the small toll booth is also placed for issuing the toll receipts of 105 rs.

Journey on E-way during this time was awry. There was no traffic sense. Heavy trucks and long trailors were plying through all the 3 lanes. Small cars were zig-zagging around them. Concepts of Heavy Vehicles Lane,

All in all, a nice trip. Feels even more nicer when at one point we were thinking of cancelling when about 5 of the group of 12 backed out in the last moment.

Cars Lane
Overtaking Lane
as if didn’t exist. Situation was much better after Lonavla.

We crossed the E-way at 11.30 and stopped for dinner at a hotel just after the old highway toll naka (pune side).

All of us had dal-rice only. We reached home by 1.30 after a brief stop at Sharad’s house for leaving the guys staying at PCMC. Myself & Sourabh in my car & Nitin & Tushar in Nitin’s car went ahead towards Pune.

Our route

Coordinates are:
Alibag:     18 - 40' - 36" N ; 72 - 55' - 8" E
Janjira:     18 - 18' - 00" N ; 72 - 57' - 51" E

trip-meter readings are:-

Day 1

0 kms - KSB Chowk, Pimpri (near Tata Motors)
21 kms - E-way toll
37 kms - Foodmall
66 kms - Khopoli Exit
77 kms - Vadval Toll
82 kms - Bawoshi
84 kms - ISPAT Plant (on the left)
100 kms - Pen
110 kms - Dharamtar toll
130 kms - Alibag
140 kms - Nagao - Kalpa-vruksha

Day 2
via Nandgaon
150 kms - Revdanda
154 kms - Revdanda-Saalav Bridge
156 kms - Birla Temple - Saalav
173 kms - Kaashid Beach
191 kms - Murud Beach
198 kms - Rajpuri
200 kms - Agardanda
215 kms - Bhalgaon
221 kms - Chirjoli
224 kms - Ghosale
238 kms - Roha
via Wakan
264 kms - Nagothane (we lost our way here; need to take exit from Wakan to Pali)
274 kms - Pali (Ashtavinayak)
285 kms - Bridge on Aamba river
291 kms - Jambhulpada
311 kms - NP Dhaba
315 kms - Mahad (Ashtavinayak)
378 kms - Expressway ends (Pune)
414 kms - Narayan Peth

Mileage given by my Indica Vista Safire (Petrol) - 13.11 kms/lit (mostly AC ON)

few contact nos for stay in Alibag are:
           Ranade             02141 232127
           Jadhav              02141 232325
           Neha Varik       02141 245458

          Vikas Gurav       02141 245184

Aakshi / Nagao:
         Shintre (Pune Office)               020 25360626 / 9820333892

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