My trip to Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar
Shrivardhan is a small city about 180 km from Navi Mumbai and it is a perfect place for a small trip. If you have a couple of days in hand then a trip to this place would be a perfect holiday destination.
The place is not very far away from Mumbai or Navi Mumbai and the roads are generally in good condition throughout the year. I went there in the month of April and the roads were in perfect condition with my wife.
How we reached Shrivardhan
We started from Navi Mumbai at around 7 AM although I wanted to start at around 6 AM, the last minute packing with my wife took some time. And even after taking a lot of breaks in between to take photos and in general enjoy the view we reached the main city of Shrivardhan by 11:00 AM.
We took the express highway from Panvel and then took the Khalapur exit. From there it was the Pali road. I like this route because it is full of bends and the river flowing by your side, which really is a treat during early mornings. The only stretch, which is a little unpleasant, is the stretch from Kolad to Mangaon where the roads are still not in level and so the ride can be a bit bumpy.
The hotel and the beach
So, we reached Shrivardhan and started looking for a place close to the beach. It just helps in going to the beach early morning or late evening and enjoys the beach. One of the famous hotel Subhan beach resort didn’t have any AC rooms available for booking and so we started looking for alternatives. One thing which I would like to mention is that if you are not very choosy about the facilities of the rooms and just a simple room with AC will work; then there are a lot of options in terms of small homestays which you can avail for. We did the same and it turned out to be a great one.
We got an AC room at Lakshmi Chaya hotel for Rs 2000, which was a good deal, and the place is simply awesome. The rooms are quite far from the main road and hence it is very quiet. You can hear sounds of birds, insects but yes it’s all nature. And frankly, as a vacation, this is the perfect place I would want to stay in for a couple of days.
We went in the middle of extreme heat hence the AC rooms saved us and after a long drive, the afternoon sleep was really refreshing. At around 5:30 after a nice cup of tea (by the way, you should definitely try their tea) we became explorers. There is a road through the back side of the hotel which takes you to the beach.
The beach is nice and although you won’t get a good sunset view because of the direction; but never the less the sight was beautiful. And if you are lucky you will be able to see some busy fishermen doing their regular stuff of getting their boats out from water and managing their catch. If you are a little adventurous you can also bring your bike or car to the beach and drive. We saw several people bringing their vehicles on the beach and drive, but yes I would strongly suggest you first ask the locals about the time because we also saw one guy’s Santro got stuck in the sand and took him a lot of effort (manual) to get it out.
From there after spending about an hour we came back. Once it gets dark you have nothing much to do except to sit outside and enjoy the cool natural breeze or get into your room and watch TV ?
The template and the mountain
Next day, it was time to go out. We knew it will get very hot by 11 or so and hence we got up early and left early by around 8:30 AM. We went to the template and after the rituals, we took a path through the stairs which is the most important part of the location.
After about 50 stairs there are 105 steps which you need to climb down to get near the sea. But the main thing is the view. You go down between two stone mountains to land up right next to the sea. And if you are lucky and visit during high tide, you will witness violent sea waves crashing on to the mountains.
This place is a must to visit if you can climb about 150 odd steps. But the view is simply awesome and we spent about an hour or maybe more there just clicking pics and enjoying the beauty of the place.
From there it was just lunch and then get back to the hotel and sleep. The afternoon heat really drains you out and hence there is nothing much you would want to fancy.
The evening was mostly spent sitting outside our room enjoying the somewhat cool climate and then a little bit of TV in the comfort of the AC and then getting back to sleep as we had to return back next day early.
All in all; Shrivardhan trip was a memorable one. Although not many points to visit; but to take a day or two off and get rid of the city life, this is a perfect place. Distance wise it is not much and on average you can cover the distance in about 3.5 to 4 hours which makes it even more suitable for a short trip.