Konkan is the name given to a portion of the western coastline of India which stretches around a length of 720 km. The Konkan coastline meanders through the western Indian states of Maharashtra, Goa, and, Karnataka. Some of the most exciting and beautiful spots of the country that lies along the Konkan coast.
The Konkan coast derives its name from, ‘Saptakonkana’, which finds mention in Indian mythology. As per legend, Parashurama, an incarnation of Vishnu shot an arrow into the sea and ordered the waters to recede till the spot where his arrow landed. The sea immediately did his bidding, and the coastline was extended. This land recovered from the sea came to be known as Saptakonkana or “corner of the earth”.
The Konkan Coast begins from Maharashtra, and the largest city on the Konkan coast is Mumbai. There are many exotic beaches that dot the Konkan Coast in Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka. Places like Mumbai, beaches of Goa and Gokarna, Karwar, and other places along the Konkan coast are well known, but there are many places along the coast that are relatively lesser known and are enchanting spots which charm with their beauty and seclusion. Quaint fishing villages, intriguing ruins of forts, and stretches of untouched beaches embellish the coast of Konkan with their charm. A few of them are listed below.
The Gems of the Konkan Coast
Ganapatipule is a picturesque town on the Konkan Coast and situated in Maharashtra. The small town of Ganapatipule which has just about a hundred odd houses is located in the Ratnagiri district. The main attraction of Ganapatipule is, of course, its gorgeous beaches. The beaches include Ganapatipule beach as well as the twin beaches of Aare-Ware. The town affords some spectacular views of the Arabian Sea. Another landmark of Ganapatipule is a temple of Lord Ganesha which is said to be more than 400 years old. The idol of Ganesha is said to have emerged from the land on its own, and hence the temple is known as Swayambhu. The unique fact of the temple is that the idol faces west, unlike other temples where the deities face east. For those interested in adventure on the waters of the Arabian Sea, Gaiwadi, a beach located about 2.5 km from Ganapatipule offers water sports activities.
A small town lies about 500 km southwards from Mumbai on the Konkan Coast. This town with a population of about 20,000 is known for the famed Alphonso mangoes. But apart from the temptation luscious mangoes, Malvan has various other attractions that are enticing and promise an amazing experience to travellers. Its beaches offer serenity and adventure. The clear waters of the Arabian Sea near the Malvan coast render it perfect for Scuba Diving and snorkelling. The oddly named Tsunami Island is situated on the delta of the Tarkarli river is an epicentre for water sports. Kayaking, Jet Skiing, and riding Banana Boats can be done here.
Another unique attraction of Malvan is the Sindhudurg Fort. Have you ever heard of a fort surrounded by sea on all sides? Well, Sindhudurg is that fort. Sindhudurg or Ocean Fort was built by the great Maratha king Shivaji, and the fort is surrounded by sea on all sides. The only way to reach the fort is by boat. The fort was built in 1664 and stands as a silent testimony in water to the herculean efforts of its builders who built a fort in water. The Sindhudurg Fort stands strong and resolute on a foundation of lead.
Ankola is a delightful little town in Karnataka that lies on the Konkan Coast. With the turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea on one side and emerald mango groves on the other, Ankola presents a picture postcard setting. The town is known for its unique breed of mangoes known as Ishaad. Cashew is another ubiquitous cash crop of Ankola. Beautiful beaches serenade the town of Ankola with their charm. The beaches include Honey beach, Belekeri beach, Nadibag beach, Keni beach and others. When in Ankola one must not miss seeing an authentic performance of Yakshagana, a famous folk dance of the region.
These are just three of the gems that are strewn all across the 750 km stretch of the Konkan Coast. Sterling Karwar is strategically located on the Konkan coast to help you unearth and admire more of these gems.