It was a two days’ trip. We, three girls, decided to go for a short trip somewhere in Konkan. One of them shared a Picture of Kasheli beach also called as Devghali Beach in FB and we all desired to go there. After some co-ordination booked the to & fro Sleeper Bus from Mumbai. Booked the Hotel at Ratnagiri called Hotel Swaroop for a night’s stay, found it clean and decent.
Kasheli is a coastal village in the Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra, with a secluded, unexplored Devghali beach with an amazing view. I decided to club some spots of Ratnagiri city too with the Beach. So, a plan was drafted with Thibaw Palace, Mandvi Beach, Ratnadurg, Thibaw Point, Aquarium, Ganpatighule Beach and finally Kasheli / Devghali Beach.
We left Mumbai on Friday evening and reached Ratnagiri Bus Depot in the Morning by 07:00 am. After Breakfast, we got into ST Bus, because the Auto drivers were charging around 1000 for return trip to Kasheli. Bus was way cheaper with Rs. 45 as one-way ticket. Once, we landed in Kasheli, we hired an auto to take us to the beach, since, it was already noon, it was prickly hot.
For a round trip, he charged Rs. 200 for a temple and Beach. There is a famous Kanakaditya Temple at top. I couldn’t in because of Grandma’s death few days back, had waiting period of 13 days to visit temples or eat non-vegetarian food. This place is Fish lover’s paradise, unfortunately, I was on vegetarian diet for whole trip. Although, I had my share in next weekend trip to Alibaug.
We were alone initially, there is a tiled stairs which takes you down to the beach, also, there is a newly constructed View point for Photo-ops. We left the place by 03:00 pm, on the way back saw an Ancient Well, came back to Kasheli Bus Stand, got down at Pawas (Rs. 25/-) to go to Ganeshghule beach.
We hired an auto to go directly to the Ganeshghule Beach for Rs. 200/- (one way). This beach too was secluded, with barely anyone in sight. Beach had white sand and clean waters.
We came back to the Bus Stop by 05:00 PM, because that would be the last bus for that Village. We got into Bus (Rs. 10/-) and came back to Pawas.Again, took an ST for Ratnagiri (Rs. 25/-). We went directly to Mandvi beach for Sunset. It was crowded. We had Dinner and came back to the hotel.
Next day, we decided to tour the Ratnagiri City, After Breakfast, we walked towards Lokmanya Gangadhar Tilak’s Birthplace, it was closed from outside, we decided to check it again later. We walked further 2 kms towards Aquarium. It had better collection and was maintained very well.
We hired an auto for Thibaw Palace (Entry fees – Rs. 10/-). Thibaw Palace was built in 1910 by British Government to Keep the former king Thabba Min of Burma (Brahmadesh) now Myanmar. There is a museum in this Palace with all the details of the family and their life in Ratnagiri alongwith some of the things used by the King. The Palace is a three storied structure with sloping roofs, semi-circular wooden windows with beautiful carvings, wooden staircases, which creaks when you walk on it.
Poignant story of King Thibaw and his family can be read here: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blink/know/the-last-king-of-burma-in-ratnagiri/article9440400.ece
There is a Buddha idol at the back side of the Palace. Later, visited the Thibaw Point (Rs. 5) from here, one can view the Arabian Sea, Someshwar creek and Bhatye Bridge.
It is a good place for Photography. On the way back to the city, we again visited Lokmanya Tilak’s Home. This time it was open, we spent some time. He was an Indian Nationalist, Journalist, Teacher, Social Reformer, Lawyer and Lopular Leader of the Indian Independence Movement. Lokmanya Tilak was born here and stayed here till the age of 10.
The house has been converted into a Museum, with his old photos, press clipings and various items used by him are kept on display. We sat for some time in the backyard under the shade of huge trees to escape the heat of sun. After Lunch, we hired an auto (Rs. 100 – one way) to visit the Ratnadurg Fort or Bhagwati Fort.
It is a huge fort. There is a beautiful Bhagwati Temple inside the Fort, hence, it gets it’s fair share of crowd other than Fort explorers. The fort is surrounded by Arabian Sea on three sides and is shaped like a Horse shoe. It is spread over 120 acres. This Fort was once a stronghold of Maratha Empire. Ratnadurg was constructed during the Bahmani period, later ruled by Adilshah and then by Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the year 1670 AD. It was controlled by Kanoji Angre and later by Pehwas. British captured the Fort in the year 1818 AD from Peshwas. Main purpose of the Fort was to keep watch over the sea for pirates. At the entrance there are some shops and restaurant selling ice-creams and snacks. The fortifications is still strong.
The Fort is divided into Balekilla (Upper Fort), Peth (Middle Fort) and the Parkot. The far-off lighthouse in the Parkot can be seen from the Bhagwati Temple end. The bastions are marked with their names as Ganesh, Markya, Baskya, Vetal, Khamakya Rede, and Vagha. There is an old abandoned jetty on the left side and a huge cliff on the other side. We descended to the Peth area, sunset view is amazing from this area.
As the sun set down, we realised, there was no auto available to go back, we started walking back. On the way, a generous local agreed to drop us to the Hotel (Rs. 100). In the evening, we picked our bags and caught the bus back to Mumbai.
Our total expense was Rs. 3500/- per head