Monday, May 13, 2013

Murud - a travelogue

If you like the kind of vacation that is packed choc-a-bloc with things-to-do and sights to see, if you carry lists where you tick off what you've done and what you are yet to do, stop reading right now. This post is not for you. This is for the relaxed traveller - the one who lets a holiday play out as it will, the one who is not in a tearing hurry to get to the next tourist destination that is marked out in the guide, the one who is willing to live in and savour in its entirety, every moment that presents itself.
If you are still reading this, despite that rather lengthy warning, allow me to tell you about this beautiful slice of paradise right here on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra. Located in the Raigadh district of Maharashtra, Murud is roughly 160 km from Mumbai.
Getting there:
We drove down from Navi Mumbai and took the Panvel-Karnala-Pen-Alibaug-Revdanda-Kashid-Murud route. The Alibaug-Kashid-Murud stretch offers stunning views of the coast and you will be tempted to stop at quite a few place just to take in the beauty of the sea. Trust me, give in to that temptation and stop as many times as you want to. You will not regret it. It took us close to 5 hours to reach Murud, mostly because there was road work going on in several stretches along the route and traffic moved very slowly at these places.
One of the things that can make or break a good holiday is the place that you choose to stay in. The Golden Swan Beach Resort which we stayed in at Murud made our vacation absolutely delightful. One of the major plus points of this resort is that it is located right on the beach. There is a little gate that opens out from the property on to the vast expanse of water. At high tide, the water comes right up to the steps that lead down from this gate, leaving behind a beautiful expanse of patterned sand and shells of various hues at low tide.
Our private gateway to paradise

The resort offers water sports in the form of jet skiing and a banana boat. There is also a horse and buggy ride available during the low tide.
 AC and non-Ac rooms as well as small cottages are available at the resort for a reasonable price. For the three of us, with all three meals included, it cost a little over 6000 Rs inclusive of taxes, for a stay of 2 days and 1 night.

Food was decent, though not exceptional. It would have helped if the fare had offered more variety. Also, the rooms were a tad small for my liking. Considering that we live in space starved Mumbai, we like to have a little more space to move around in when we go out on a vacation. That said, the resort has made effective use of the space it had by providing a loft bed in the room which the little girl enjoyed immensely. Service is impeccable and the staff were very helpful and cordial.

What to see:
Disclaimer : We didn't see any of the 'sights' listed below. The beach was so beautiful and so close and so tempting, that we spent all our time being total beach bums.

The beach itself - Unlike the crowded, touristy beaches of Kashid and Alibaug which are close by, this one, especially the part of the beach you enter from the resort, has very few people in it. The beaches of Kashid look cleaner because of the white sand, but once you decide to look past the colour of the sand, you will realize that the Murud beach is beautiful. It is not very deep in most places, the water is clear and the sea is calm enough for you to sit/stand/jump around in it for as long as you please.The little girl has a decent collection of shells now, including a small, perfectly shaped conch shell.

The main beach is about a kilometre by walk from the private entrance that our resort offered, but it is not as clean. So, other than taking a walk to the main beach early in the morning, we decided to stick to our private expanse of the water for the duration of our stay. Fishing boats can be seen in the distance, as can the silhouette of the invincible Padmadurg fort. We were told that at present, people are not being allowed into the Padmadurg fort as parts of it had broken off and it wasn't safe.
The Padmadurg fort can be seen in the distance in this pic
Idgah - About 2.5 kms from the resort, this is the highest point in Murud and offers a spectacular view of the entire town.

Janjira fort - The name Murud is closely associated with the Janjira fort which can be reached from the Rajpuri jetty which is about 5 kms from Murud. Very often the town itslef is called Murud-Janjira. We were told that old fashioned sail boats take you to the once-invincible fort.

The return journey took less time as the traffic was much better. We stopped at a store selling Konkani foods and bought coconut chikki, mango wadis, different kinds of papads, kokum agal, some konkani spice powders which I need to google to find out the uses of  and lots of farm fresh mangoes.
If at all you plan to visit Murud, I would highly recommend staying at the Golden Swan beach Resort. This is not a paid promotion or advertisement, but a highly satisfied customer opinion.
This goes to Patricia's Weekly story - Week #15 at her beautiful blog Colours Dekor.


Swati Sapna said...

We went to Murud-Janjira a few years ago with another couple of friends and had a fabulous time! But yes, the food and rooms even we found lacking. I remember staying up all night chatting and then driving down to the beach at sunrise :)

Anonymous said...

ha ha.. Thats what I would do.. just be at the gorgeous beach.. What a lovely break away from everyday city life.. :)