Beaches in Maharashtra

The 720 km long coastline of Maharashtra, sprawls from Dahani and Bordi in the north, to Goa proceeding southwards. Exciting water sports, sunbathing on golden sands, exploring grand fortresses, temples, and churches, discovering tiny, remote villages, savouring the exotic Konkan cuisine, or just feeling one with the immense sea Maharashtra has all this to offer and more. 

Marve - Manori - Gorai

Lying to the north of Mumbai, are three beautiful and serene getaways, virtual havens, for those sick of the dreary monotony of the big city. Marve, a quaint little fishing village, is the nearest and the quietest of the three. Low - lying hills make for a breathtaking canvas, for the glorious scenes of sunrise and sunset. Gorai and Manori, a little further away, though a trifle crowded with revellers, are popular for their wonderful all night beach parties. A 15 minute ferry ride from Marve or Borivili takes you to Gorai and Manori.  

Bassein

In the early 17th century, Bassein served as an important ship - building centre. In 1739, this was the site of the Portugeuse defeat at the hands of the Marathas. The ruins of the Portugeuse Fort still stand solemnly, amidst dense brushwood and palm groves. To the northwest, about 10 kms away, lies the Nalasopara village, the erstwhile Konkan capital from about 1500 BC to 1300 AD. Nalasopara is believed to have been the birthplace of the Buddha in a previous incarnation. Many Buddhist relics have also been found here. The Vajreshwari temple, the Akloli hot springs, the Sadguru Nityanand Maharaj Samadhi Mandir at Ganeshpuri, the Bhimeshwar temple and other ashrams are at a short distance away from Bassein. There are quite a few interesting churches, too, in Bassein, poignant reminders of the Portugeuse past.  

Murud - Janjira

The former capital of the Sidis of Janjira, Murud is famous today, for its enchanting beach, huge stretches of coconut and palmgroves, and a fascinating fort.The three centuries - old fort of Janjira, once considered impregnable, is a marvellous piece of architecture. On a hill to the north, is the Lord Dattatraya shrine, the three - headed image, representing the holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. A few kilometres away are two alluring, little - known beaches, Nandgaon and Kashid. Nandgaon is renown for its magnificent Ganpati temple, and the annual fair held in the god's honour, every February. Other sites of interest in this area, are the palace of the Nawab and the Janjira caves.  

Mandwa - Kihim

Twelve miles north of Alibag, on the north coast, easily accessible from Mumbai, is the untouched, divine beach of Mandwa. The little Mandwa village leaves the visitor enchanted, with its neverending coconut palm groves, and overwhelming tranquillity. For a slightly unusual yet exciting holiday, the Kihim beach near Mandwa, is the ideal site. Remote and unspoilt, Kihim is a virtual treasure - trove for the avid nature - lover : deep woods, wild, and rare flowers, equally uncommon species of butterflies and a variety of birds, not surprisingly, Kihim was one of the popular haunts of Dr. Salim Ali, the famous ornithologist. The other places of interest are the Kolaba Fort, near the shore, and Chaul ( 15 kms from Alibagh) which is a site of historical importance, boasting an assortment of Portugeuse ruins, Buddhist caves, the Hamam Khana, a church, a synagogue and a temple. 

Dahanu - Bordi

Thane District is home to the serene seaside town of Dahanu, that is notable for its vast stretch of unspoilt beach. The coastline, stretching from Dahanu to Bordi, is 17 kms long. Once the stronghold of Irani settlers, Dahanu is famous for its 'chickoos', and is teeming with fruit orchards. Udwada, 'the Mecca of the Zoroastrians' is accessible from Dahanu. The magnificent temple, which houses the sacred fire of the Zoroastrians, is the prime attraction of the region. This fire has been kept alive for almost a thousand years, an incredible, nevertheless, true fact. 

Shriwardhan - Harihareshwar

The Shriwardhan Bay is the popular haunt, for those craving for some real sun, sand and sea. For the more adventurous in spirit, small boats are available to be taken out to the north side of the bay, and indulge in some exploration, going deep into the land, where the Peshwas, the prime ministers of the Maratha kingdom, originally dwelt. The 'Peshwa Smarak' is a local landmark, of much tourist interest. The town of Harihareshwar, is primarily known for its beautiful beach, and the grand Harihareshwar temple. 

Velneshwar

To the north of the Shastri river, lies the little village of Velneshwar. Its tranquil, coconut - fringed beach is perfect for swimming, or just lolling around. It also boasts of an ancient Shiva temple, which is an important pilgrimage site. The great Maha Shivratri fair, held in honour of Lord Shiva, that comes once a year in March, makes Velneshwar the cynosure of attention, throughout the country. 

Ganapatipule

Ganapatipule is a popular tourist haunt, not only for its soothing greenery, and its golden beach, but also for its 400 year old temple, which is dedicated to Swayambhoo Ganapati. Some places of interest around the area are Malgund, the birthplace of Keshavsoot, the famous Marathi poet; Ratnagiri, the birthplace of Lokmanya Tilak; and the Thebaw Palace, where the deposed King of Burma was confined. Jaigad Fort and Swami Swarupanand's ashram in Pawas, are also worth a visit. 

Vijaydurg - Sindhudurg

Vijaydurg and Sindhudurg were once naval bases, giving testimony to the Maratha martial supremacy, under the great Chattrapati Shivaji. Vijaydurg, or Fort of Victory, was strengthened in the 17th century by Shivaji, who added impressive features to it like, the triple row of huge walls, the umpteen towers and the spacious inner buildings. Sprawled over an area of 48 acres, once seized by the British, and renamed Fort Augustus, the Sindhudurg or Ocean Fort at the Malvan port, is a historically vital monument. Within its premises are temples dedicated to Bhavani, Mahadeo, Jarimai, Mahapurush and Shivaji, the last being, the only shrine of its kind in India. Both these places also boast of picturesque beaches. 

Vengurla - Malvan

Further south down the Maharashtra coastline lies Vengurla, with its immense stretch of shimmering sands, and thick cashew, coconut, jackfruit and mango groves. It also has two famous temples, the Shri Devi Sateri temple and the Rameshwar temple, to its credit. Vengurla was an important trade settlement in ancient times. Twice razed to the ground, it has been the target of quite a few attacks and plunders between 1664 and 1812. A short distance away lie the Vengurla Rocks, also known as the Burnt Islands. The old township of Malvan, houses two old forts : the Sindhudurg and Padmagad. It is believed that there was once an underground tunnel joining the two forts. An erstwhile trading centre, Malvan is now famous for its salt pans, Chinese clay pottery and its mouth - watering Malvani cuisine, which is quite different from Konkan delicacies. 

Some of the famous beaches in India are 
Beaches in Orissa
Beaches in Kerala
Vagator, Goa
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
Beaches in Maharashtra
Beaches in Karnataka
Kovalam, Kerala