Published on March 14th, 20140
Sun and surf – just a few hours away
Bored of Gorai, Juhu, Alibaug or other beaches in and around Mumbai? There’s a perfect weekend getaway waiting for you.
by Deepa Mistry | @MissTipsytoes on Twitter
It’s Friday and I’m ready with my backpack for the weekend I’ve been eagerly waiting after the hectic week. A weekend is all about spending some peaceful time, either at home with your family or with friends. The best way to rejuvenate your mind and body would be by heading to the peaceful beaches around Alibaug.
Kashid is a lesser known town which is now turning into a popular tourist location. It is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, at the North Konkan region of Maharashtra. An offbeat destination once upon a time, it has gained popularity among tourists because it is one of the safest beaches in India. The 3 km long beach combines all the elements of nature in their truest forms, making it a perfect beach holiday spot. The white sand, lush green mountains and valleys, the blue sea… everything here makes one feel like one’s in heaven. Another plus point is its soothing weather due to the presence of casuarina groves all around the sea shore.
Best time to visit
Kashid is a paradise for surfers, although it is not recommended in the months of June to September as the waves are dangerously high and can prove fatal. The best time to visit is during summer, and the temperatures range from 28 to 30 Degrees Celsius – not very hot and not very cold. A span of not more than 2 to 3 days is more than enough for a holiday at Kashid – any longer and you might be bored; this place doesn’t offer much to do. During the holiday period, the town boasts of many people, so it is always advisable to book a place to stay in advance.
A good time to visit is any time during the year, between November and April. The monsoon season can also be a good time to visit, but depending on the rains, a rainy weekend could keep you locked inside your room with nothing to do. Winters can be extremely comforting, but the nights get very cold.
Things to do
Kashid offers many beach activities for water sports, like banana boat rides, jet boats, bumper rides, parasailing, horse cart rides, rides on the ATV, and a lot more. Many resorts also offer tents and one-day activities like bonfire, group activities, and games. Food is mainly served in a thali system – chicken, fish and vegetarian fare. This place is a paradise for seafood lovers. If you are a non-vegetarian, opt for a fish thali: you will be served bhakri, fried fish, fish curry and rice along with a side of chutney and a typical dried fish pickle. A refreshing glass of sol kadhi shouldn’t be missed. For the vegetarians, the thali is good but you might find less variety of items. Enjoy sizzling hot modaks, which you need to order a day prior.
Where to stay
This place offers a couple of resorts, but we recommend you stay at one the rooms or cottages that have been built by locals residing there. They serve awesome Konkan food as well. Most locals have made extra rooms and huge cottages for sharing basis for bigger groups. These rooms are clean and provide all facilities. Prices range from Rs 500 to Rs 5000, and can be negotiated depending on the seasonal period as well.
Kashid is about 135 km from Mumbai, a distance of approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes in terms of time. A good option is to leave on a Friday evening or early Saturday morning and return on Sunday evening.
The fastest and convenient way to travel from Mumbai to Kashid is by a ferry. With regular A/C and non A/C ferries plying from Gate Way of India, one can easily reach Kashid from Mumbai. They drop the ferry passengers to Alibaug bus depot and there are regular buses run by the ferry operator from all the Alibaug beaches to Kashid. Taxis are also available from there. There are two routes: you can head to Alibaug via Panvel, then take the road to Pen and drive towards Alibaug. Once you reach there, Kashid is about 30 km from Alibaug.
The second route is the Mumbai- Goa expressway. In case you don’t know the route, I suggest you keep Google Maps on, as they are very handy. Buses ply regularly between Mumbai Central – Murud, Thane-Murud, both halt at Kashid. While the train connectivity is not very good, the Konkan Railway has ensured that this area is now more accessible. If you plan to travel by train, make sure you book train tickets well in advance.
This weekend has a holiday for Holi on a Monday. I’m hinting you might want to take a trip and make the most of it.
(Pictures courtesy Deepa Mistry)