Published: April 4th 2012April 4th 2012
Reason to choose Murud
Why Murud- Janjira?
1) We wanted to take a 4 day vacation to a place that could be around a 3-4 hour drive from our home in Borivali, Mumbai.
2) It had to be a place with clean beaches and very few people.
3) Although most of our 4 days were meant for lazing around on the beach, we did not mind spending a day going around exploring the place we were staying in.
Murud-Janjira met all these requirements- perfectly! Getting There:-
Murud is exactly 170 km from Borivali's Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The route being- National Park- JVLR- Ghatkopar- Govandi- Vashi- Panvel- Karnala- Alibaug- Revdanda- Murud.
We started at 7.30 am on a Tuesday and in precisely 2 hours and 65 kilometers reached our first stop- Kamath's for breakfast.
This was exactly the mid point of our journey in every way- Distance and Time!! Since the Check in time at the resort was noon and we had every intention to enjoy our drive liesurely.
After a sumptuous and ideal south indian breakfast and coffee, we hit the road again at 10:15 am.
The journey from
The coastline begins at Revdanda
hereon is smooth, relaxing and enjoyable provided you are in no rush; For while you are serenaded by the coastline post Revdanda; on two occasions you crawl through narrow village roads- first after Karnala when you drive through Pen and second- just before entering Murud when you drive through the narrow and rustic lanes of Nandgaon. It is indeed a pleasure to observe the sparse yet spacious dwellings, rickety yet well stocked kirana shops and the pace of life as people go about their daily existence in these places.
Having taken in the sights and sounds of our 170 km journey we drove into Golden Swan Resort fifteen minutes past noon. The journey had taken us 4 hours plus a 45 minute halt for breakfast at Kamath's. Stay:-
We had booked ourselves at the Golden Swan resort which is definitely over priced as was evident from their rates and the various blogs and reviews on the net. However it is the only resort that is right on the beach. The other close contenders like Sandpipers and Sea Shells don't even come close to this place.
Being a fan of the cottages system of accommodation- our two
room AC cottage that cost us 6000/- p.n (minus food) was extremely comfortable and cozy. Especially since it was one of the two cottages with the best view of the beach!! Eat:-
Golden Swan food was by all means tasty and the service was no less than excellent. However, it was definitely over priced but again not as much! Besides since lazing around was the mantra of our trip we intended to have most meals at the resort. Also, Murud is largely under developed when it comes to food.
Ask anyone for a good place to eat and there is only one name that pops up. From the watchman of the resort to the coconut vendor on the road, all unanimously suggest the same name when it comes to food- Patil Khanaval! It is the quintessential place to eat in Murud. On our one day reserved for exploring the town we did raid Patil Khanaval and despite the hype and the rush it did not come even remotely close to a plenty of popular thali fish food joints in Mumbai! It was not bad at all but definitely not close to the best fish food i have
Lunch @ Golden Swan.
had under similar settings. Surmai, Pomfret and Prawns were the only fish that they had and the sol kadi- a trustworthy barometer of such a place could definitely do with some tips from my mother!
Apart from Patil's, another place i had heard of was- The Sandpiper Resort. Half a kilometer away from Golden Swan, it is located on the opposite side of the beach like all other resorts and is on a hillock. On reaching the place i was immediately relieved for not staying here as the beach is definitely not close to the rooms and the resort too looks as if it has been perpetually under construction! The food here, however, was the best i have had at Murud. We reached the place at 3:00 pm. The resort looked deserted with only Mr. Philip- the manager and a couple of waiters in sight. A piece of cardboard that hung discreetly on a nail declared lunch to be closed at 2:30 pm but no one(Waitor or Manager!!) even hinted at this as we made ourselves comfortable! The food was tasty, sumptuous and not at all expensive by resort standards. The aerial view of the beach only added to
Yeh jo desh hai mera...
In the sail boat filled with 20 people in supreme heat heads to Fort Janjira
the experience. Place to see-
Janjira Fort is the obvious must see here. After all, this fort 'is' the “Janjira” in 'Murud-Janjira.' The rest of the town is simply Murud! The word- Janjira- comes from the Arabic word- Jazeera which means an island and since the fort is built on an island, such is its name. Trivia apart it is a magnificent site and a feat of accomplishment that needs a visit by all means.
The fort has to be reached via sail boats which charge either Rs.20 per seat or Rs 600/- for a private boat of say 4-6 people. The catch in the Rs. 20/- boat is that, it does not leave for the fort until at least 20 people or so have gathered and it comes back from the fort after 45-50 minutes meaning which, you have to finish seeing the fort in that much time or you miss your boat! In that case you have to then summon a boat especially for yourself and the charge for that is---yes!---Rs. 600/-!!
The most ideal thing is to get in a Rs. 20/- boat and hire the boatman as your guide. This is the
An enchanting and mysterious Janjira looks on as we approach.
offer that the boatman makes himself. The guide charges Rs.800/- for his services which can be divided by the number of people from amongst all of you that arrived on the boat who shall be hiring his services.
In our case, of the 20 people who came in the boat, 13 of us hired the guide and the charge came to approximately Rs. 65 per head for an entire trip of the fort along with some very interesting trivia. The guide gives you enough time to click pictures and move around by yourself. However the most important feature of this exercise- as my father pointed out to all of us- was that there is definitely no fear of the boat living without us since the boatman himself is the guide!! As such we spent a little above an hour at the fort and absorbed enough of it to savor before heading back to the shore.
After a meal at Patil's and a siesta which is a compulsory feature of our vacations, we headed for Datta Mandir/ Sunset Point as recommended to us by fellow bloggers and the hotel staff. This was a kilometer from our resort and provided
a panoramic view of the entire village town, sea and both the forts- Janjira and Kasa/Padmadurga. If i did known how deserted this place was going to be with comfortable concrete benches and a large ground on the hill top, i would have surely taken a pot of coffee, biscuits and a Frisbee to vile away time until the sun bid us good bye for the day. For those who will now head for the spot, i definitely recommend a mini picnic basket. Take the darshan, take your pictures, have your picnic, watch the sun melt in the sea and head back to chill again! Finally:
Murud-Janjira by itself should not take more that 2 nights and 3 days of stay wherein you wash down a few beers and laze under the sun on the beach on the day you reach followed by your must have siesta. In the evening you walk around and chat with the locals or explore the market and take in the essence of the village.
Day 2 can be your visit to the fort, meal at Patil's, siesta and a trip to sunset point wherein the evening is occupied by some board
The Boatman/Guide makes an offer... we don't refuse!!
games with the background music of the sea plays along. Dinner that night can happen at Sandpipers.
Finally, the last day can start on the beach at 8:00 am wherein you swim, roll and swim more in the beach till 9:30 am and then shower and leave for mumbai by 10:30- Refreshed and Rejuvenated for the life in the city!! :(
There are more photos below