There are several offbeat destinations near Mumbai and I have explored many of them in the last few years. Infect I explored more weekend getaway near Mumbai in comparison to Delhi where I live. During one of my trip to Maharashtra, I decided to explore offbeat beaches in Malvan.
I traveled from Mumbai to Malvan in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra to explored its peaceful beaches. Malvan is 480 Km from Mumbai and only 110 Km from Goa. Fortunately, beaches in Malvan are still not a popular holiday destination despite having many nice beaches. The beaches are clean and there are no crowds.
Malvan is one of the best holiday destinations for people, who love beaches but don’t like crowded beaches. In Malvan beaches scuba diving is a popular activity. Historical fort of Sindhudurg fort is a great place to visit when you want to do something different after spending time on beach and scuba diving in Malvan.
How to travel from Mumbai to Malvan in Sindhudurg
By Train from Mumbai to Malvan
There are many trains from Mumbai to Sindhudurg. I prefer to travel by overnight trains if the journey is more than 7-8 hours. My favorite is Konkan Kanya, which starts from Mumbai Central at 23.05 PM and reach Kudal at 7.54 AM next morning. Get down at Sindhudurg or Kundal depending upon the place you will be staying.
If you have time then take a day train because the landscape is beautiful once you enter the Konkan region. The day trains I recommend are Mandovi express from Mumbai Central and Dadar Sawantwadi Road Special from Dadar.
By Bus from Mumbai to Malvan
There are several buses between Mumbai and Malvan. These buses start in the evening or at night from Mumbai and reach Malvan next morning. Get down at Kundal bus stop and take an autorickshaw or taxi to your hotel.
Self-drive trip to Malvan
The road conditions are good and its an easy driving destination from Mumbai and Pune. Take highway number 66 after exiting Mumbai, then take Rajapur Pandva road/MDR61 after Donger village bus stop and this road goes to Malvan.
From Goa to Malvan/Sindhudurg
If you are traveling from other parts of India then Dabolim airport in Goa is closest from Malvan. It takes about 2.5 hours by train from Goa to Malvan and 3.15 hours by road.
Best time to visit Malvan
Winter months from November to February is best to visit Malvan.
Between March to May, it gets very hot.
Between June to Early October is the monsoon season and it rains heavily. The sea becomes choppy and scuba diving in Malvan is stopped due to muddy water & rough sea.
Must visit places to visit in Malvan and Things to do in Malvan
Popular Beaches in Malvan
There are several beaches on Malvan coast in a straight stretch of 20-25 Km. The long shoreline of western Indian and more specifically the beaches in Malvan has white or golden sand.
These are some of the most popular beaches where you can stay in a hotel/resort/home-stay or in tent accommodation.
This is the first beach on the stretch when coming from Mumbai. Next to the beach is Kolamb creek and water is choppy as we go close to the creek. There is a high viewpoint near the creek, which is a good point to watch the sunset. This is a rustic beach with a couple of resorts and guesthouses.
This crescent-shaped beach has golden sandy beaches which are backed by palm trees. There is a water sports center on the beach and it’s quite popular for water sports activities. There are few resorts and guesthouses on the beach front.
Like other beaches in Malvan area, this is also not crowded with tourists. The scuba diving trips go from this beach and other water sports facilities are available on this beach. This is a good place to do paragliding.
There is a dolphin point from where Dolphin watching trips go to the sea.
Malvan Dandi beach
The Malvan Dandi beach is a part of Malvan beach. The atmosphere here is laid-back though all water sports activities are also available here like Malvan beach.
This beach is also popular to watch fisherman getting fresh catch from the sea and selling these to local vendors. There are several resorts and homestays in this area. The fresh seafood is available here in all big or small restaurants.
This is another clean beach on Malvan coastline and it extends to the Tarkarli beach.
The beach is a clean beach and Sindhudurg fort can be seen from the beach. Water sports are also available here like other beaches. There are resorts & home-stays near the beach.
This the most popular beach in Malvan region. The clean sandy beaches, reasonably priced home-stays & resorts, restaurants serving fresh seafood, water sports, and scuba diving & snorkeling are the most popular things to do on Tarkarli beach.
Devbagh beach & Devbagh beach Sangam
This is one of the most beautiful beaches with white sand.
At Devbagh beach’s Sangam point, the Karli river meets the Arabian sea. There is no delta formation here and Karli river slowly fades into the Arabian sea.
There are no shacks on the beach and that’s why this area is still virgin and clean.
We saw many sea crabs crawling on the rocks near the sea.
This garden is walking distance from Chiwla beach and located next to the Police station. This is a good place for people traveling with kids.
There is a garden with swings and play area. The washrooms here can be used for changing clothes if in case you took a dip in the sea.
There are restaurants and stalls in this area which provide different food options.
Jai Ganesh Mandir is another popular place near Rock garden Malvan.
Go for Scuba diving in Malvan
Malvan region is most popular for scuba diving in Maharashtra. The clear underwater of Malvan offers excellent visibility for scuba diving.
The best scuba diving spots are near Sindhudurg fort and Tsunami Island near Tarkarli.
If you have not done scuba diving anywhere then it is a great experience to watch beautiful aquatic life and colorful corals.
If you don’t know diving or swimming then there is no problem because the instructor’s hand hold you underwater.
Only trained and certified divers are allowed for deep sea diving and untrained people like us are taken only a few meters under the water.
Unlike places like Andaman where oxygen tank is attached on the back of diver, here they keep the tank in the boat and a pipe attached to it goes to the diver.
There are some companies in Goa and they provide one day package to Malvan from Goa for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Scuba diving costs approximately 1500 INR per person for a dive.
Snorkeling in Tarkali
If you feel claustrophobic underwater and not sure about diving then snorkeling is the next best thing for you. If you don’t know swimming then they provide a life jacket and an inflated tube for snorkeling. Mostly a guide does the hand holding and takes you to the best places where you can see some corals and colorful fishes.
Snorkeling cost 300 INR for a trip of 20 to 25 minutes, cost of snorkeling gear is usually extra.
Take a trip to Tsunami Island
As the name suggests, this island appeared after the Tsunami of 2004. Earlier it was underwater even during the low tide but after the Tsunami, the island surface during the low tide.
There are few shacks on the island, these shacks are constructed on raised platforms of thick bamboo poles.
During high tide water covers the island and it goes up 2 to 3 feet. Walking on the island at that time or just sitting on a chair with feet in the water is so much fun experience.
The area around Tsunami island is best for watching aquatic life and Dolphin spotting.
Boat ride to Tsunami island in the backwater is available from Devbagh beach and it cost 300 INR.
Visit Sindhudurg Fort in the Arabian sea
This fort is one of the excellent examples of the architect and workmanship. The fort was built by Shivaji to counter the European colonizers and Siddis of Murud Janjira in Alibaug.
Sindhudurg fort was built on a small island known as the Khurte bet/island. More than 4000 pounds of lead was used for the casting and foundation stones of the fort. It is spread in over 48 acres, its walls are 30 feet high and 12 feet thick.
Sindhudurg fort was completed in 1667 after 3 years of construction. The main entrance to the fort is concealed in such a way that it is not possible to detect from some distance in the sea.
There is a temple devoted to Shivaji which houses his sword, his fingerprints, and footprints. There are 3 fresh water wells, a Bhavani Devi temple and several other structures in the fort complex. It is believed that there is an underground escape tunnel which opens in a village 6 km away from the coast.
Most people abandoned this fort due to lack of employment and nowadays only 14 families are living in the fort.
The fort can be reached by boat which cost 90 INR per person for to & fro trip.
Try Malvani cuisine
The Malvani cuisine is also known as Konkani cuisine as it belongs to the southern region of Konkan coast. Almost all Malvani dishes are seasoned with a unique powder masala which is known as Malvani masala. This masala is prepared with 15-16 different dried spices. Coconut is another important ingredient of Malvani cuisine and it is used fresh grated, dry roasted, mixed in curry masala and as coconut milk. The Kokam and tamarind are important flavoring agents used to make the dishes tangy.
Seafood and fish dishes along with different vegetarian dishes dominate the Malvani cuisine.
In this region, fish is coated with dry semolina and masala before frying.
Bhakari, which is a type of roti (Flatbread) made with rice flour is a most popular form of roti and available everywhere.
Solkadhi is an essential accomplishment of every meal. This pink-colored drink is made from the Kokam fruit and coconut milk. It is served at room temperature.
In most places, you can get thali option as well as ala-carte.
The thali meal will cost between 150 to 250 INR with fish fry & curry dishes. A garlic fried crab curry will cost 100 to 150 INR. The seafood is very fresh and economical in this area.
Stay next to the beach
There are so many clean beaches in Malvan area of Sindhudurg. Stay in a beach resort or homestay. There are plenty of options for every budget on every beach.
Things to know before you travel to Malvan in Sindhudurg
* There are several beaches in a row and all of them are spread with in 20 to 25 Km.
* Most of the restaurants and shops close by 8.00 to 8.30 PM.
* There are no party areas and things are quiet, some beaches get very secluded at night. If you are looking for party places then don’t go to beaches in Malvan.
* There are no alcohol or beer shops in the close by villages and you have to drive 5 to 7 Km for an alcohol shop.
* The beaches are clean and beautiful but there are very few food shacks on the beaches.
* If you are planning to take boat rides then coordinate with other travelers and it will cut the boat ride cost.
* If you wanted to do scuba diving or snorkeling then go in December and January when water visibility is best.
* You will get the best seafood here so don’t miss a chance to try things. Inform them in advance about how much spice you want.
* There are several small temples in the area.
* Autorickshaws are the most popular mode of transport but you can also hire a taxi on a daily basis as it won’t cost much.
* If you want to see fisherman at work and live catch then visit the beach early morning.