Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to spend a weekend in a rustic inn, bang on the beach, with the waves crashing right onto your courtyard? If the idea sparked a fire into your world of imagination than a trip to Shrivardhan Beach should definitely be your next weekend escape.
Located about 180 km from Mumbai, a sleepy coastal town surrounded by small fishing hamlets, Shrivardhan is one of the most popular weekend getaways for the cubicle travelers from Mumbai and Pune. But surprisingly only a few know the secret to spend a splendid night right on the Shrivardhan Beach. A night amidst the smell of the wet sand, the soothing lullaby of rustling palm trees swaying in the cool night breeze and the ocean crashing on your feet.
A trip to Shrivardhan – Planning
After yet another hectic week in the office, both of us decided to spend our weekend on a beach close to Mumbai. For accommodation, we wanted something right on the beach and not the usual 5 to 10 minutes walking distance (which usually turns out to be more). Now beach accommodations that are literally on the beach are fairly uncommon near Mumbai. But after few hours of scanning the internet for every possible location, we finally found one. Although the reviews were not that amazing the location was simply too awesome to let go. Just to be sure we called the resort. Luckily rooms were available and we quickly booked a one night stay.
A trip to Shrivardhan: Day 1
We started around 8 am the following morning. The distance from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai to Shrivardhan is about 150 km and takes around 4 hours by car. You can take the Mumbai-Goa Highway (SH66) via Pen, Kolad etc. before taking a right to SH97 near Mangaon. Or skip all the above and as I said before and use google maps on your smart phone to navigate the entire way. Just make sure you have enough battery life on your phone.
We reached Shrivardhan at around 12 pm and then began our resort hunting. Google maps just gave up once we were within a kilometer range from the resort. Twice it guided us to wrong resorts. We were actually doing a conventional search from the land side driving along the narrow alleys all around while we should have been on the beach.
Finally, it took a call to the resort to clear things up. You’ve to actually drive on the beach to get to the resort. Mind it, the resort is on the beach unlike other resorts nearby so the entrance is right through the beach. Awesome. Driving on loose sand is an adventure as I had done it before. The car sways sideways as you press on the gas and that’s adrenaline for free 🙂
We stopped by a group of old ladies working on a fishing net and asked them for directions to access the beach. This time our location was bang on. I crossed the paved road and stopped for a moment right where the beach started. We had about 300-400 meters of loose sand between us and the resort. I saw a red sedan stuck in the sand about 100 yards ahead. Felt like a moment from Fast & Furious as I revved up for the terrain ahead 😉 .
If you slow down or stop midway there’s a fair chance your tires would sink in the loose sand like the red sedan.
Trip to Shrivardhan – the resort
The front yard had such a rustic appearance. Felt wonderful to stand there under the thick canopy of coconut trees with the cool sea breeze blowing on our face. There’re a few half walled tree house near the entrance. So basically that’s not for a family night stay but perfect for bachelors. There’re a few concrete cottage homes towards the back and a restaurant. We booked one of those rooms.
The rooms were clean with minimal amenities. Please don’t expect any 5-star amenities here or to be honest any star at all 🙂 . It’s rustic in the literal sense. For us, it didn’t matter because we knew we would be outdoors for most of the time. The beds were only for when we couldn’t hold ourselves up anymore. What mattered to us was the location, the pristine beach, and the bohemian front yard.
Around 4 pm we couldn’t hold ourselves any longer and strayed on to the beach. Shrivardhan Beach is a fantastic crescent shaped white sand beach, approximately 3 km in length and bordered by hills on both sides. The landscape is amazing, both for the eyes and the camera.
As the sun started to go down we slowly returned to our conscious selves. Now was the perfect time for photography. I dried myself for few minutes and picked up my DSLR while Stuti was still playing with the waves.
And that’s when the accident happened.
Beware of this! During your trip to Shrivardhan
Shrivardhan beach is pristine as I said before. But there’s a danger here lurking beneath the blue waves that no one told us or warned about. I’m not sure if it’s still there but decided to write about it anyway so that our readers would be safe in future.
I was taking pictures and constantly moving around in knee deep water to search for the perfect angles. Stuti was the subject as always. Everything was fine until I stepped on something that instantly dragged my feet inside. From knee deep, I was up to my waist in water in the fraction of a second with a stinging pain in my left leg as if something bit me. I lost my balance completely and by the time I realized my right hand was in water to balance myself. It was a reflex. Unfortunately, I had my DSLR in my right hand so you can imagine the rest. I pulled my leg hard to release it from whatever it was. Stuti came running.
I limped back to the shore only to see my left leg bleeding from multiple spots. It was intense at places and was not going to stop by itself. We walked back to the resort. The manager and few guests came out running when they saw me. Thankfully there was a first aid kit available with one of the guest and they gladly offered it to us. The bleeding stopped after some washing and ointment but the marks looked horrible.
I was really confused at first. WTF it was? Was it a sea animal that bit me (silly thought). After a short discussion with the manager came to know that it’s actually an old anchor from a ship washed ashore long time back. The ship is gone now but the bloody anchor still remains hiding in the sand with its sharp tetanus stained metallic edges waiting for its next prey.
The manager told me a lot of people have fallen prey to this ghost anchor yet he failed to warn us about it in the first place. As per his information, the local municipality has tried to remove it many times using excavators but failed. It’s surprising actually that how can a giant excavator not dig out one anchor from the sand.
But to be honest, even if that bloody thing remains there because of who so ever’s fault, it’s the moral responsibility of the resort management to put a sign on the beach warning visitors about the dangers or at least give them a verbal warning during check in. The spot is right in front of the resort and people who escape this are really lucky.
Anyway, bygones are bygones but this incident just fizzled all our excitement. I took a chair overlooking the beach and spent the rest of the evening enjoying the scenery from a distance. Before nightfall, I got a tetanus shot at a local clinic not far from the resort.
The evening at the resort
By late evening the pain started to die and I was back to myself again. Now was the party time. The resort doesn’t sell alcohol but you can drink your own stuff. We knew this so stashed our boot with some nice Vodka for the evening.
We started with sea food and the dishes followed one after another as the night gained intensity. The atmosphere was great inside. The crowd was a mix of families and bachelors each marking their own territory under the thick canopy of trees lit by high voltage tungstens. The gangs of Mumbai were in full swing. We marked our territory farthest from the crowd near to the outer fence for some uninterrupted moments. There was a high tide and the waves were knocking almost at our gates. The vodka with lemonade made it sound like a song.
We continued till 11.00 pm and finally decided to retire for the night after a stroll on the beach. The night walk was amazing. Bare foot on wet sand and no one to disturb except the crashing waves as if far away from the real world.
Just make sure you don’t walk too far away from the resort carried away by the ambiance.
A trip to Shrivardhan: Day 2
We woke up around 8 am with a slight hangover which was gone after the morning breakfast. Spent some time in the front yard before checking out at around 10 am. My camera never woke up after the last incident. Fortunately, the memory card was fine and we had a backup iPad with us.
After check out, I decided to do a long drive on the beach. Couldn’t resist it after the adrenaline yesterday. Stuti was a bit scared initially but I cajoled her to take the plunge.
Right out of the resort gate I shifted gear, pressed on the gas and vroom we rallied on the sand. I kept driving for about 20 minutes tail spinning my green boy until I saw a patch of hard sand up ahead. We stopped there for some iPad photography.
Quick info of our trip to Shrivardhan:
Our stay: Subhan Beach Resort. Out of the gates, you step right into Shrivardhan Beach.
Disclaimer: I’m not been paid for mentioning the resort name. Probably they don’t even know I wrote this. This post is all about our experience. If you’re into 5-star luxury and hospitality than this place is not for you.
Budget: Ranges from INR 850 to INR 2500 on cottages including food.
Safety: We felt completely safe all throughout our stay. Just beware of the goddamn anchor if it’s still out there. The crowd was a mix of families and bachelors and the ambiance was nice and warm.
Rooms: Basic amenities (might have improved now). Google out for more details.
Highlight: Located right on the beach and the rustic front yard. A good summer destination.
Do let us know your thoughts on the same and if this post helped you in any way to plan a trip to Shrivardhan.
For an awesome monsoon escapade from Mumbai refer to our post on Ganapatipule.
Signing off for now…….