Harihareshwar Beach Resort

Service with an Elegance and Class

Harihareshwar Beach

29Jul

Harihareshwar beach is the main attraction in Harihareshwar. The beach is extremely good for an elegant stay enjoying the natural beauty in a happy vacation holidays. Soft clean sands and soothe breeze make this beach in the lap of Arabian Sea a much sought place in Harihareshwar. The beach is unpolluted and mostly unspoiled.

The Harihar hill on the sea shore add to the attraction of the beach. Solitude seeking tourists can make the visit to Harihareshwar beach a unique experience. The enthusiastic tourists can have a water journey by small boats available in the beach.

Harihareshwar Beach

Ganesh Gully

10Jun

Ganesh gully as the name suggest is a culvert which is very narrow of about 3 feet wide in between two hard Rocky Mountains. It is believed that at the end of the culvert, there is a holy niche, a place where Lord Ganesh Idol is placed. The niche is about 30 feet under water and it is assumed that during the tidal periods one can observe the Ganesh idol placed perfectly at the niche.

Many tourists visit this place to have a glimpse of the Ganesh Idol. The place Ganesh gully itself is in the backdrop of natural beauty and calm smoothening winds

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Kalbhairav Temple (Shiva Temple)

12May

Kalbhairav Temple in Harihareshwar is one of the ancient renowned temples in Maharashtra. The main deity enshrines the temple is Lord Shiva. Kalabhairava, a lord of all manthrasastras, is also placed as one of the idols. Legends associated with the temple say that Lord Shiva created Kalabhairava and blessed him with all manthras.

The architectural style of the temple is attractive. Temple Yogeshwari known as Dakshin Kashi is located in the premises. In most of the special occasions like Mahashivarathri, one can view long queues for Darshan. Cool breeze from the Harihareshwar beach makes the temple premises a nice place to relax as well.

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Temple Pradakshina

10May

Parikrama around the Harihareshwar temple is considered a sacred duty by devotees visiting the holy site. The walk encircles around the temple and traverses alongside its four attendant hills

The temple is located at the top of a hill, and the parikrama path descends right down to the Arabian Sea, traversing the rocky shore at places. As you enter the pradakshina area, there is a Gayatri Tirth on the right side. Some 70 steps cut into the laterite rock lead down to the shore, below. Walking down the section of the hill known as Vishnugiri, one comes to the Shuklateertha, which is nearby a number of other teerthas (ponds) that are named in the Puranas. These include Gayatri, Shool, Chakra, Naag, Gautam, Kamandalu, Kaamdhenu, Gauri and Pandavteertha. Pandav Teertha is where the Pandavas performed the Pind Daan rite in honour of their father. Thousands of devotees come to this place each year to offer Pind Daan to their departed family members.

The parikrama path first goes around the temple, then climbs the hill directly behind it, proceeding down to the sea, along the shoreline, then back up to the temple. The pathway winds up and down some 200 feet.

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The waves have cut small caves and niches into the rocks here. At one such cove, sweet water flows back out of one of the crevices each night. Just above this spot, there is a natural ‘Aum’ formed in the rock. There are many beautifully carved sculptures carved into the rock along the route, and in one of the ancient caves resides a Shivaling.

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Other Area Temples

10Apr

There are a number of notable temples in and around Harihareshwar, including the twin temples of Shri Kalbhairav and Shri Yogeshwari temples. Next to a water well called Brahma Koop there are temples dedicated to Ganesh and Hanuman.

Many other temples are found in the local villages of Bagmandala, Agar and Kolmandla, which all sit along the Bankot creek. The Jeevaneshwar, Swayambhu Shivpind, Laxmi Narayan, Rameshwar, and Bharadhkol Vitthal temples are nearby. Many were built in the Peshwa style, and there are a number of beautiful wooden pillars found here.

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Bagmandala

08Apr

Bagmandala is a lovely small village a few miles away from the holy city of Harihareshwar. This is the place where the Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the Maratha Kingdom lived for many years. Bagmandala carries the legacy of Peshawa in a Peshwa Smarak as well as in an ancient fort named as Bankot fort.

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The prime attraction of the Bagmandala is the jungle jetty (sea harbor in the forest). This small port ferries the local people across the Bagmandala creek. Those who like for a ferry travel can cross over Bankot fort and enter the nearby Ratnagiri fort.

 

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Coconut trees, Beetle nut trees and Mango trees can be seen at Bagmandala.

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Bankot Fort

29Mar

Further ahead from Velas Beach, a short walk and one reaches the Bankot fort. Bankot fort now doesn’t have any source of potable water and it is best to carry your stock of water on visit. There is a well trodden cart track leading to the Bankot fort from the village within 30 minutes. Near the entrance there is a Gajanan Temple and a dry well.

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Bankot is a square shaped fort. On the sides of Bankot fort, there is a dry moat (Revni) dug out in the Jambha stone. Jambha stone is peculiar type of stone adorning a purple shade and peculiarly it is incapable of storing water as the water invariable percolates through it owing to its much porous nature.

The main entrance (Mahadarwaja) of the fort is north-facing with a well sculpted arch and carvings. Watch guards dug out (Devdya) align on both sides of the Mahadarwaja with some pits being dug out in the right Devdi. On the left, there are steps leading towards Nagarkhana while there is an underground storey and a tunnel on the right. A Maruti idol in the centre stands deserted now. On the west, there is a small entrance (Darwaja) leading to a Bastion on the exterior of the fortifications. A deep well (now dry and filled) occupied the centre of this bastion earlier and the adjacent water tanks too are dry and obsolete now. One can leave the Buruj via a small exit that leads to the surrounding moat and a beautiful “Revni” lying nearby.

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Bankot fort has an interesting connection with Sir Arthur Mallet of the Arthur seat point fame at Mahabaleshwar. On a marine expedition that he undertook from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar via Bankot in His wife Ms. Sophia and his young daughter Elena drowned in the Savitri river creek near Bankot. Their graves, marked by a platform and vertical pillars with marble inscriptions are near this fort and can be seen just as one exits the bastion. However, these are in ruins now. Post this tragic event. Sir Arthur Mallet would often spend his time recollecting the memories of his wife and daughter sitting at the edge of the Savitri river valley atop Mahabaleshwar. This point gradually became famous and is now known as Arthur’s seat point.

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A brief history about the fort: Although a consistent history about Bankot fort is still eluding us and the origin of this fort is still speculative, a brief history can still be traced about this fort. There is a mention of this fort being called as Man Gor or Mandargiri in the 1st century A.D. The fort was known to be under the control of Adilshahi and later in 1548, the Portuguese took control over it. Later, Marathas, under the able leadership of the great Kanhoji Angre took control over Bankot. They rechristened the fort as Himmatgad.

A misunderstanding between Tulaji Angre, who over took the charge of Himmatgad after Kanhoji’s death, and the Peshwas led to the latter seeking help of the British army to gain control over Himmatgad. It is around the same time that the joint forces of Peshwa and British also charged over Suvarnadurga which was a stronghold of the Angre’s. After gaining control of Himmatgad, the British renamed it as Fort Victoria.

However, the British motive of seeing Bankot emerge as a profitable and major business port did not realize and owing to the same they handed the fort back to the Peshwas.

Nothing much of significance ever took place on Bankot and neither does it bear witness to any epoch making battle or strategies in the history. Maybe owing to this, the fort is now standing in seclusion. Also lack of awareness about it see Bankot hidden somewhere in the shadows of Harihareshwar, Shreevardhan, Mandangad, Dapoli and other such more popular tourist destinations.

Velas beach

02Mar

Velas beach – You can watch turtle eggs hatch on Velas beach.

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Ever wondered how it would be to watch turtles hatch on a beach and make their way into a sea. Nature enthusiasts can actually experience a ‘National-Geographic moment’ on the Velas beach at Mandangad taluk in Ratnagiri district, where the Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, an NGO engaged in conservation of marine turtles, have counted 21 nests.

One turtle lay about 100-150 eggs in a nest. The eggs take about 60 days to hatch. From each nest, there are about 60% chances of emergence of hatchlings.

Distance: 30 Minutes away via Ferry

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Nearby Points to see: Pan Buruj, Bankot fort, Velas village, Olive Riddle Turtle breeding beach, Kelshi village (Mahalaxmi temple and Aade beach). The ruins of Nana Phadnis house in Velas is still dictating the tales of the yesteryears while a newly erected museum near the same caters more information regarding the same.

More info on Velas:  Although a very beautiful fort dotting the coastline of the Konkan strip, the fort of Himmatgad, now popularly known as Bankot (from the name of nearby village) is not a destination thronged by the tourists. There are couple of reasons attributable to its secluded status. One is that there is very little awareness and historical significance associated with Bankot and other is absence of any major township in the nearby areas contributing to lack of quality accommodation facilities. However, there is no denying that Bankot is a very beautiful fort and surely worth a visit. Bankot, the base village, is a well to do township with a predominantly Muslim population.

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From Bankot village, proceed towards Velas village along the road which runs parallel to the coastline. Velas, the birth place of very diplomatic Nana Phadnis of the Peshwa is a very tranquil village merely two km from Bankot. The residence of Nana Phadnis, even though now in ruins, still bears testimony to the great person that Nana was. Calm beach and the perfect village setting make it surely worth a visit.
There is an old temple of Shri Bhairi-Rameshwar and in this temple all twelve months water is made available taking the benefit of favorable geographical conditions. A statue of Nana Phadnis is present outside his house. In Velas Mahalakshmi temple and Nana Phadnis house are the places to visit.
Velas, now also is a breeding place for the endangered species of turtle: The Olive Riddle turtles. The beach of Velas sees a nice haven for breeding of these endangered species and once can really have a close look at these beautiful little creatures and learn more about these. Also the wind scooping off rocks on the shores of the Arabian Sea is a peculiarity in itself and a treat to eye.
One the way towards Velas from Bankot village, one comes across a small dilapidated fortification (Bastion like structure). This is not be mistaken as Bankot fort. This is known as Pan Buruj and was built by the Siddis of the Janjire Mehroob (Janjira) fame. Pan Buruj is merely an extension of Bankot fort serving as a watch guard.

Jeevnabander & Bharadkhol

04Feb

Jeevnabander (22 km), Bharadkhol (29 KM): Auction grounds of the local Fishers. An unique experience for the people who love eating fishes. Auctions are held twice per day.

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Every morning about 8 am, the boats ported near a small village where the vibrant energy has already filled the air. The women sat with their fresh displays of prawn, king mackerel, pomfret and other variety of gorgeous fishJeevnabander & Bharadkhol (2).

Shrivardhan

03Feb

Shriwardhan is a taluka, and city and a municipal council in Raigad district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. (20km)

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Shriwardhan (taluka) is an ancient place of historical importance and is mentioned as being visited by Arjuna Pandav in his pilgrimage. It is well known place for traders in the past. In sixteenth and seventeenth centuries under Ahmadnagar and afterwards under Bijapur shriwardhan was a port of consequence. It appears in the accounts of leading European travellers as Ziffardan. In 1538 Dom Joao de Castro described it as with little water in the pier at low tide but inside large and roomy. It is notable as the birthplace of Balaji Visvanath (attached monument in Shriwardhan), the first Pesva (1713–1720) who was the Desmukh of the town. In 1713 Shriwardhan was one of the sixteen fortified places in the Konkan ceded by Balaji Visvanath Pesva to Kanhoji Angre of Kolaba. Balaji was the first Peshwa of Maratha Empire appointed by Chattrapati Shahu, grandson of Chhatrapati Shivaji.