August 3, 2017

Harnai- Murud and Surrounding Beaches


I took a lungful of the salty sea air and cruised along the shoreline of central Maharashtra. The ride along the isolated beaches near Harnai Murud was an absolute delight, with the waves thrashing on to the sands, the colourful fishing boats bobbing and sandy beaches stretching over kilometers. However, what caught my attention were numerous white spots near the shoreline at a distance. When I stopped to have a closer look, I found the spots were sea gulls, a huge fleet of them enjoying the morning breeze. As I went closer, some walked away while a few flew off. They formed a picturesque frame against the white sands and the blue sea. I least expected sea gulls to be loitering around those isolated beaches and probably that made it seem absolutely surreal.

Harnai Murud are a set of twin beaches in Dapoli where winding roads through the hills lead down to this coastal stretch. Separated by 4 Kms, both the beaches have a stark difference in their characteristics. Murud to the south is a serene white sandy beach with a quiet shoreline, ideal for solitude seekers. A few colourful boats, hustling crabs and camels were all that I could find on my early morning walk on this palm fringed beach. Known for dolphin sighting off this stretch, visitors were seen heading out on the colourful boats to catch a glimpse. The beach comes alive in the evenings and weekends when there are water sport activities on offer. Evenings too are beautiful as the sun goes down the horizon splashes colours all over and the silvery moon slowly rises up as you stroll around.





Just before Harnai while coming from Murud is the not so popular Palande beach. I would have rode past the secluded beach if not for the numerous sea gulls along its shoreline. Enjoying the sea breeze and fluttering around, they stared in one direction and looked gorgeous against the backdrop. There wasn’t another human soul in the vicinity and that probably was the reason why the birds were happily enjoying the beach.



To the right of Murud and further north of Palande beach is Harnai, which offers a totally different frame. Harnai is a typical fishing hamlet and what greets you here is the strong fish smell that wafts around. The beach is always crowded and chaotic with the people hustling around, dried fish hung at many places, fishermen’s paraphernalia spread all over and fishing boats trawling the waters for the day’s haul. Auctions for the day’s catch are always in full swing as buyers come in autorickshaws, scooters and bullock carts to get the best buy. The beach isn’t clean and it is not recommended to venture into the waters. Also, there are numerous boats moored along the shore. Harnai is best visited to experience how the day starts at a fishing dockyard and progresses into the evening with the return of the fishermen.




Near the beach is the Harnai fort with just the outer walls remaining. In a dilapidated state, the fort walls offer nice views of the surrounding sea, the black sandy beach next to it and the Suvarnagad fort deep in the waters. Entry to Suvarnagad fort is restricted and it is believed that it is home to wild animals.




I rode past the fishing village of Harnai to Anjarle bund which offers spectacular aerial views of the estuary of Jog river, Anjarle beach and swaying palm trees. It was a gorgeous sight as the breeze blew across my face and I gazed at it in oblivion for a while.


The vistas get better as you ride further up over the hills and cross creeks to Kelshi beach. Lined with numerous casuarinas, the beach seemed deserted with the whole sandy stretch to myself. After loitering around for a while, I headed to Anjarle along the sea, instead of the hill loop. En-route, a few cricket playing kids helped me locate Palade beach, another secluded one. The road ahead to Anjarle meanders along the sea for a long time. It is a beautiful winding road with sea on one side and hills on the other. At Savane beach here, I spotted many sea gulls, more gorgeous than the earlier ones. Devoid of crowd, the gulls were at their chirpy best and posed happily for my camera, only to fly away when I moved closer.






As I hit the hills again, stopped by a few vantage points that offers nice views of the Anjarle beach, the fishing hamlet of Harnai and the Suvarnadurg fort in the distance.


Crossing over Anjarle and Harnai, I headed south of Murud to Karde beach, probably the longest beach in this region. The road runs parallel to Karde beach for a long distance. The white sandy beach was quite inviting as the sun was all set to retire for the day. Despite a few resorts located on the hills facing the sea, there was hardly a crowd here except for a few walkers and a lone camel. The sea had encroached into the beach at many places and the shallow waters were ideal for an evening stroll. Though the cloudy evening made sure I missed the sunset, the long lone walk along the beach made it a serene one.



I ended the beach hopping day in Harnai Murud with a spread of the coastal cuisine at my guest house.


Navigator:

Harnai Murud is located 237 Kms south of Mumbai and 157 Kms north of Ratnagiri. The closest airport is in Mumbai and the nearest rail head is at Khed (28 Kms). Buses ply from Khed and Dapoli to Murud.

Food and Accommodation:

There are numerous eateries and restaurants near Murud beach. Explore the coastal or Malvani cuisine at these places. The other beaches have very minimal or no options at all. Murud beach has budget home stays and hotels. I stayed at Aviraj Nivas at Murud, a nice budget option. There are a few hotels and resorts facing the beach at Karde beach.

10 comments:

  1. Have to get to beach one of these days. Lovely captures.

    ReplyDelete
  2. मुरुड में शानदार बीच मुरुड के पास स्थित जंजीरा किला देखने का विचार है तो एक साथ दोनों काम हो जायेंगे मुरुड बीच भी और जंजीरा किला भी आपके ब्लॉग से मिली जानकारी मददगार रहेगी।

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This Murud isn't the one you are talking about. Harnai Murud and Murud Janjira are totally different places. You can read about Murud Janjira here- http://www.talesofanomad.com/2013/06/murud-janjira-impregnable-fort.html

      Delete
  3. It is very glad a post, Thank you so much.
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    ReplyDelete

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