Maharashtra is one of the largest states of India and known primarily on account of Mumbai, the financial and cultural hub of the country. One often associates Maharashtra with Bollywood, agriculture, politics and the great Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s forts. However, one lesser known aspect of Maharashtra’s beauty is the hidden beaches of the state. Located on the western coast of India, Maharashtra is home to some fine beaches of the country. Although Goa is the biggest beach destination of the India thanks to its party culture, Maharashtra’s beaches are quiet, serene, clean and perfect for getaways from Mumbai and Pune. These beaches make you feel one with nature. Most of them are adjoining coastal towns where you can experience the local rural life and taste the lip-smacking local cuisine. Most of these villages are home to friendly hosts who offer lovely home stays on rent and also treat with their home-made food. If you are looking for a getaway from your busy city routine, these beaches in Maharashtra serve as the perfect holiday spots for you. Here are some of the best beaches in Maharashtra you must consider for your next short trip.
A quaint coastal town on the west coast of India, Murud is home to a beach which is relatively lesser known. Murud beach is located just 42 km from Alibaug. Its beautiful sandy coastline and villages dotted with coconut groves and the magnificent sea fort of Murud Janjira make Murud an excellent getaway from Mumbai and Pune. The beach provides a magnificent setting for a great view of sunset. It is not crowded like other commercial beaches and makes for a pleasant getaway.
Distance from Mumbai: 159 km (approximately 3 hours 38 minutes)
Where to stay: Murud has an MTDC resort (Aviraj) which is perfect for a comfortable stay. The mid-range hotel options in Murud-Janjira include Mahua Bagh, Shoreline Resort, and Lotus Beach Resort. Many budget hotels options are also available. Some of them are Sea Shell Resort, Beach Resort Silver Sand, Dattakripa Lodging and The Nest Bamboo House.
Tips: While here, you must visit the mammoth 15th century Murud Janjira fort. Spread over a vast 22 acres, Murud Janjira has 19 bastions. It is the only fort in Maharashtra Shivaji Maharaj could not capture. It is reputed as one of the strongest marine forts of India and the only unconquered one. During its prime, the fort had palaces, fresh water tanks, quarters for officers, mosques and markets. Murud Janjira’s well has sweet water despite being right in the middle of the sea.
Diveagar is a small beach town located in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. The 6 km long Divegaar beach has emerged as one of the preferred weekend getaways from Mumbai and Pune. It is undeveloped but clean and pristine. To the north end of the beach is a fishing settlement while to the south is a sanctuary for migratory seabirds. Diveagar falls on an extremely scenic route from Mumbai as it takes you through some other excellent tourist spots like Karnala and Kolad.
Distance from Mumbai: 190 km (approximately 4 hours and 10 minutes)
Where to stay: Diveagar has an excellent MTDC beach resort called Exotica with rooms costing around Rs 4000 a night. It has lovely cottages, indoor games for families and a nice restaurant. It is located close to the beach making it an ideal choice for accommodation in DIveagar. There are several other budget and mid-range options including home stays here. The Pearl resort is another good options with rooms starting at Rs 2000.
Tips: Diveagar is home to a famous Ganesha temple dedicated to Survarna Ganesh or Golden Ganesha. The temple must be visited mainly because of its intriguing story. A local farmer named Draupadi Patil discovered a copper box while ploughing her fields in 1997. This box contained the Ganesha idol which the temple now houses. What makes this idol special is that it has a mask of pure gold which, by some estimates, weighs over 12 kg. Since a temple was built arpund this golden Ganpati, it is called suvarna.
Located in the Raigad district, Shrivardhan is known mainly for the seaside fort. Along with Harihareshwar, Shrivardhan forms an amazing coastal tour circuit which serves as a fantastic getaway from Mumbai and Pune. Shrivardhan has many beaches worth checking out but the best one for a picnic is Kondivali beach. DIveagar and Harihareshwar are also at short distances and you can easily go beach hopping. Shrivardhan is also home to some fine temples most prominent among which is the Shri Laxminarayan temple. The Suverna Ganesh temple and Harihareshwar temple are not too far away from here. Shrivardhan is a must-visit for its historical as well as religious significance. It is believed that one of the Pandavas, Arjun, visited Shrivardhan as part of his pilgrimage. From finding a mention in accounts of European travellers to being home to the third Peshwa Balaji Bajirao, Shrivardhan has had its share of glory in history. It is also famous for its betel nut called ‘Shrivardhan rotha’. The betel nut plantations all over the region add to its green beauty and make it a delight for nature lovers.
Distance from Mumbai: 189 km (approximately 4 hours)
Where to stay: Shrivardhan has many accommodation options for all kinds of budgets. The Niwara resort (098504 81067) is a great option for
Tips: Shrivardhan is famous for its delicious seafood. Do try out the local cuisine when you are here.
Located not very far from Goa, Tarkarli is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. With its white sandy coastline and serene ambiance, Tarkarli serves as an excellent getaway from Mumbai for those who are looking for a less commercialized, quieter option. It is popular for its crystal clear sea water which makes it perfect for water sports activities like snorkelling and scuba diving. In fact, Tarkarli is Maharashtra’s only scuba diving spot. The backwaters of Karli river are another popular attraction of Tarkarli. Karli’s estuary is a beautiful picnic spot amidst natural views. The Sindhudurg fort is a must-visit when you are at Tarkarli. This sea fort was built by Shivaji to guard his maritime borders. You must try out the local Maharashtrian delicacies like Kombdi-vade, Malvani mutton curry, mori masala, sol kadi and aamras.
Distance from Mumbai: 481 km (approximately 9 hours and 35 minutes)
Where to stay: Tarkarli’s MTDC resort (02365 252 390) is the best place to stay when you visit this amazing coastal town. The resort has comfortable AC and non-AC rooms. It also has two houseboats if you are interested in staying amidst the sea.
Tips: The easiest way to move around in and near Tarkarli is by renting out motorbikes. Ask you guesthouse caretaker or hotel staff to arrange one for you and they will be happy to guide you.