Sunday, November 7, 2010

Kulaba Fort

Type: Sea forts
Grade: Easy
Base City: Alibaug
Distance: 155 KMs from Pune
Route: Pune-Khopoli-Pen-Alibaug
Time visited: Nov 2010
Time to see around: 1 hour max
How to visit: Park your vehicle on Alibaug beack. A 10 minutes Boat ride to the fort starts from here. They charge around 100/ per person for to and fro. In low tides you can actually walk or take a buggy ride. The boating is well organized and they issue a ticket on the counter.
Entrance fee: There is Rs 5 charge for the entrance to the fort.

This Diwali we decided to visit Naigaon beach and Kulaba fort of Alibaug. We reached early to Alibaug beach around 9 AM. There was very less crowd around.

Built on a rock island near Alibag town, Colaba, Kolaba or Kulaba fort was probably came under Shivaji command along with whole of south Konkan. This was later established as naval station. It attained importance under the Angres and was the main base of the Maratha navy.

The main entrance of the fort, called Maha Darwaja, faces the Alibaug city.

The Archelogical survey of India has maintained this fort. Once inside the fort there's a well paved road with structure on both side.

There are 17 Bastions and the parapet wall is 7-8 feet wide.

There are two entrance doors. The main entrance door face Alibaug city.

As you start entering the fort on the left is Bhavani temple and house of few people that still reside in the fort.

Further ahead there are huge remains of what probably could have been palaces. The second structure which is a two storied could have been queens/ladies palace. The decorative false windows on the inner wall offer a glimpse of the once beautiful structure.

The well maintained Ganesh temple built by Raghoji Angre in 1759 is work visiting.

The huge beautifully carved Tulshi Vrindavan is something to watch out.

Right in front of the temple is a huge squared water tank.

The southern gate is smallerv called as Daria / Yeshwant Darwaja.

The view from the southern gate look awesome.

On one of the Bastions near main entrance door there are two huge cannons.

From alibaug side there is a small fort-like structure called sarjyakot, which was probably constructed to store artillery and protect attack from alibaug side.

This mesmerizing beautiful structure over 300 years old is truly worth visit.

Karpe Wadi, Nagaon

Base City: Alibaug
Distance: 160 KMs from Pune, 6 Kms from Alibaug
Route: Pune-Khopoli-Pen-Alibaug-Nagaon
Time visited: Nov 2010
More info: Website

This Diwali nothing was planned till last moment. Finally Thursday we planned and finalized for Alibaug-Nagaon trip. Had been earlier and Nagaon was always on the radar for re-visit due to its proximity, clean and beautiful beach. I loved Kashid more but decided to avoid it as it was peak season and I was sure that we might not get rooms there. We hit the road 6M on 5th November friday. As soon as we reached Banglore highway it started to drizzle. The road was empty and we reached khopoli very quickly within an hour an half. On way we stopped at Vadhakkal Naka had the famous vada pav at Kshuda shanti opposite the IOC petrol pump. The family paper dosa was huge one.

We reached Nagaon by 9.30/10 AM. Follow a mud trail just a mile before the last right turn to common beach and the Karpe wadi resort is located at far end on the beach.

The car park is right at the entrance. As you enter you will start suddenly feeling fresh leaving back all your exhuastive tiring journey.

The whole resort is inside coconut and supari plantation with banana shoot adding to the charm. It was well maintained with pathways built to rooms.

The pricing was per/pax- 1000-1250 depending on the rooms including lunch-dinner-breakfast and tea. Didnt enquire about AC rooms...

A quick check-in was followed by welcome drink- the fresh coconut water. The main dining area is right in front of office. The rooms are pretty decent with more spacious on your left and some AC rooms and standard cottages on the right. Each room has its own hammock and relaxing wooden bench outside. There a small table for lunch an breakfast.

After dropping the luggage we hit the beach. By 1 pm we were hungry and headed for dining area.

The dining area looks cool with aesthetically well-designed furniture made from local wood probably. The food was tasty with variety options in veg. Nonveg was made on order basis. The food was served hot in the dining area and it’s a self-service. Since it was diwali they served Aamras in the lunch. The tandali chi bhakri in the evening was very tasty along with solkadhi.

Found the staff extremely warm and helpful. It was nice to see that they were accepting CC since lot of resorts in Konkan still prefer cash.

A small pathway leads right to amazing vast expanse of the beach. During hide tide the water comes very close but in the afternoon during low tide you have walk few miles to the water. Nagaon beach itself is known for it soft sand, clean and vast beach where you could roam in evening basking in the twilight or walk as the sun starts to rise. The beach here at Karpe’s wadi is almost like private complete with water tourism- speed boats, tow rides, water scooters, ATV rides on beach made available on demand.

We played in sand built a seafort and collected seashells :) After enjoying the warm fun filled evening had heartfelt of dinner we went straight for bed. Next day we had long walk early morning collected some more seashells and played in water. Since we were able to get a booking of one day we proceeded to find another hotel.

If you want to do nothing and love a quiet tranquil getaway this could be great place to relaaax.
We enjoyed another day in Nagaon and then proceeded to Alibaug.