Tarkarli – The hidden treasure of nature:
Tarkarli is a village in Malvan Taluka, district Sindhudurg. It is a tourist destination in coastal Maharashtra, and comprises of a picturesque beach. From the beach we can see the famous historical fort Sindhudurg built by Shivaji Maharaj. This place has gained prominence because of its long and narrow stretch of beach with pristine waters, white sand, golden rocks, and water sports. On a clear day, one can see the bed unto a depth of 20 ft. It presents a panoramic view with tall ‘Shuru’ trees in the background. The wide river, the beautiful sailboats and the tiny hamlets situated on the riverbank, add to the picturesque beauty of Tarkarli. Sighting dolphins adds a feather to its beauty.
This place fishes throughout the year, the sea during summer and winter and back-waters during the monsoon since the sea water enters this area and also due to safety reasons. The cuisine of this region is popularly known as Malvani cuisine. Coconut, Rice and fish are of prime significance in the Malavani cuisine. Tarkarli is 8 km south of Malvan and 546 km from Mumbai on the west coast of India, at the confluence of the Karli River and the Arabian Sea.
Tarkarli was long overdue in our wish list and we were looking forward for the best time to explore this place. This time we planned our holiday in advance and had booked our stay in Tarkarli Niwas Nyahari (Zantye Hotels) for four days. The entire checklists were done and we were ready for our long awaited excursion. We followed the below route to reach our destination:
Navi Mumbai – Pune (Via Expressway) – Kolhapur – Gaganbavda – Talere – Kasal – Malvan – Tarkarli
Finally, we started our journey at 7.00 a.m. two hours late from our planned departure time but that did not bother us. We straight away headed towards Pune and were cruising at a decent speed on the highway. After crossing Pune, we took a halt for breakfast and immediately left after having it. Once again the journey was surrounded by greenery and hills which were so mesmerising. The sugarcane fields on both sides of highway gave us an indication that we are nearing Kolhapur as this is the prominent cultivation in the region.
We took the exit from Kolhapur and while crossing the narrow lanes of the city we saw numerous shops in a row especially for Kolhapuri Chappals. While crossing the city we saw some old structures that reminded us about the historical presence of the city. After crossing the city we took a halt for lunch and visited a jaggery making unit nearby (Click here for details).
The stretch after Kolhapur till Gaganbavda was very rough and it took a lot of time to cover the distance of 51 Kilometres. On the stretch from Kolhapur to Gaganbavda, after every five minutes we spotted tractors and bullock cart loaded with sugarcanes.
The ghat region begins after Gaganbavda and we did not anticipate such a beautiful site while entering the section. The view from the ghat was beautiful and a temple on top of the hill was an icing on the cake.
We merged into the Mumbai – Goa highway at Talere. We reached Tarkarli at 6.00 p.m. thereby covering 530 Kilometres and checked in to our hotel. The moment we ventured out of our vehicle we felt the freshness of the place. It was a simple hotel but the room was very well maintained. We must say that our overall experience with the hotel was very good.
We collected information about the places of interest from the hotel manager and booked our boat ride for early morning on next day. After having our dinner we slept in anticipation of “What is in for us?”.
We were ready in the morning by 7.15 a.m. and our boatman for the boat ride was waiting for us. In fifteen minutes we reached the Backwaters at Karli river and believe us it was the most amazing morning that we could have imagined. The drive through the green cover and village of Tarkarli was equally amazing.
The still backwater with banks covered by verdant forests on a pleasant morning was vindicating the pure natural beauty of the place. The flock of seagulls enjoying the early morning at the backwaters welcomed us for the ride on the river which was full of beauty and surprising moments.
The ride on the river was amazingly swift and our boatman was equally good. He thoroughly guided us at every juncture of our boat ride. You can also enjoy the houseboat facility provided by MTDC on the backwaters of Karli river.
Slowly we headed towards sangam i.e. the confluence of Karli river with the Arabian sea known as Devbaug Sangam. Devbaug is a small village between Karli river and Arabian sea. The Devbaug beach is adjacent to tarkarli beach and ends at a beautiful place Devbaug Sangam. It is an extremely beautiful and stunning place which provides one of the most picturesque scenes in the area.
At Devbaug Sangam we felt the silence of the Karli River Backwaters on one side and the roaring high waves of the Arabian Sea on the other side. On the other side of Devbaug Sangam is the Bhogwe beach another very secluded and untouched beach which can be visited by boat from Tarkarli. Also, a small island at the confluence of Karli River and Arabian Sea adds up to the beauty of the place.
After crossing sangam our boat ventured into the sea and we started feeling the waves of the sea. We can clearly hear the sound of waves hitting our boat thereby making a statement to us. Our boatman took the boat to the dolphin point and we were lucky enough to spot lot of dolphins during that time. We stayed there for a while watching the dolphins jumping to the surface and going back into the sea.
Watch the video of Dolphins below:
After watching dolphin for quite some time we moved ahead to unfold further mysteries of the place. The place lived up to our expectations and we saw rocky terrains at some distance. We requested our boatman to take us near those rocks and he obliged us. We reached near the rocks and due to the morning sunlight they glow in golden colour and hence they are known as Golden Rocks. Near the golden rocks was a virgin beach known as Nivati Beach which is nestled between two hillocks. We were spellbound by the beauty of the place. The golden rocks, white sand, and the virgin beaches on a single sight were unbelievable.
We started our return journey of our boat ride. We adored the beauty of the place and again we spotted dolphins on our way back. We took a small halt at the small island at the sangam and it felt like we were in heaven. Our boatman was very particular about safety and we followed his advice. It is always better to follow the advice of natives. We enjoyed our time at the island enjoying the panoramic view of the sangam. Our boatman informed us that they arrange for a camp fire and dinner at this Island at reasonable rates.
We left from the island and were headed for our last stop “Tsunami Island”. Tsunami Island is in the back waters. It’s a small cute little island with clear waters. The boatman informed us that it was created overnight because of the Tsunami. Hence it is named as Tsunami Island. This was an altogether a different experience. We landed on the island and the whole island was merged into the water with around knee deep water.
It was an amazing site where you can roam around the area in crystal clear water with electrifying effects of sunlight in the water. Small food stalls were developed on the island on wooden structure without disturbing the nature. The food items are prepared in the village house and brought here in casseroles by boat. We took our breakfast and tea amidst a tranquil environment at Tsunami Island. Having a breakfast on an island with knee deep crystal clear water was an unforgettable experience.
Tsunami Island is also a joint for water sport activities. You can enjoy water sports activity like jet skiing, banana boat, parasailing, and kayaking at this island. We left Tsunami Island and reached the point from where we started this awesome journey. The boat ride was of three hours and it felt like we were on a fairy tale ride. We enjoyed every bit of boat ride and were back to our room.
We planned our evening to relax at Tarkarli beach and the expectation had also gone up. We headed towards the beach in the evening and it was just five minutes’ walk from our hotel. The moment we entered the beach it was like awe. We asked ourselves a question: Why have we not been to this place earlier? We must say this is the most beautiful beach in Maharashtra.
Tarkarli has been bestowed with a long coastline with white silk smooth sand and clear blue water. This is ideal for those long romantic walks. The feeling of soft sand under our toes and the presence of clear water and sky along with the cleanest of breathing air provides a heady feeling. God has been very generous to us on this tour. It felt like nature was serving it’s best to us. We have witnessed one of the spectacular sunset and moonrise on the beach. We have never experienced such a lovely sight before.
We were mesmerised by the purity of the place and went for sleep with much more to be explored. Read our further experience here Tarkarli- The hidden treasure part-II