It was time for a change of scenery. And so, we packed our bags and headed to the beach! For Junior, B, and me, a beach vacation is a default choice (when we don’t want to think too much!). Just like masala dosa is the fallback option when I am too weary to exercise my mind at the restaurant.
This time, we chose to head to Diveagar, a small town along the Arabian Sea. It is situated approximately 170 km from amche Pune.
A Picturesque Route!
We drove past Chandni Chowk, admired the lovely surroundings of the Mulshi lake, and proceeded to Tamhini Ghat. At Tamhini, the rain gods were active and, as we moved on, numerous waterfalls in the mountains presented a beautiful spectacle. Later, the route took us through Mangaon and Mhasala, before leading us to our destination, Diveagar.
The road conditions were pitiful on certain stretches of the journey. Also, the direction signs were unclear at one point where the route forks to Harihareshwar/Shrivardhan on one side and Diveagar on the other side. We attempted our best guess but it turned out to be the wrong one. And so, after about 20 minutes along the wrong route, we realized our mistake, and turned around. Many other travelers had made the same incorrect turn. The wrong fork in the road!
Approximately four-and-a-half hours after the start of our road trip, we reached the quaint village of Diveagar. (And our complaints were forgotten. At least until it was time for the return journey.)
The Quaint Village.
I was instantly smitten by this small village and its narrow streets. Areca nut, papaya, and coconut trees paint the landscape in lovely shades of green. The tranquility of the village and its pretty houses with sloping tiled roofs (some with a big swing in the porch or courtyard) is occasionally ruffled by a State Transport bus making its way through a street.
Several residences have been converted to homestays or guest houses, and offer comfortable accommodation to tourists. Other accommodation options include an MTDC resort.
Fun Times at the Beach.
Narrow paths lead to the long sandy beach at Diveagar.
The warm waters of the Arabian Sea were therapeutic. Junior invented various water games and was content to spend (almost) the entire day in the water or on the shore. At the beach, steaming cups of ginger tea in the morning and deliciously fresh coconut water in the evenings kept our spirits high.
As the tides varied, receding water levels brought an entire world of crabs to the fore. Junior was curious about the creatures, but also apprehensive about disturbing them in their habitat.
Although cloudy skies deprived us of sunset views over the sea, we had much to appreciate and rejoice about.
As with many beach destinations in India these days, banana boat rides, parasailing, and various other activities are possible at Diveagar. We preferred to take long walks along the shore, splash in the blue waters, and build castles in the sand.
Reflective Moments at the Temples.
While the beach was a popular hangout for the weekend crowd, we discovered an oasis of serenity a few steps away. A well-trodden tree-lined path leads to the Roopnarayan (Sundernarayan) Temple, a picturesque red structure framed in a green background. We passed by this location on several occasions, and each time, it looked prettier than earlier. The statue of the main deity is surrounded by a frame representing the ten avatars of Vishnu. Dashavatar is one of our son’s favorite books, and so, he was delighted. A Dhwajastambha, or Flag Pole, and a temple tank completed the pretty picture.
We also visited the Suvarna Ganpati temple. The kid in our family was very disturbed to hear that the golden idol was stolen a few years ago. Well, I did not have much of an explanation to calm him down.
Grumbling Stomachs head to the Khanawals.
All the activity at the beach results in grumbling stomachs. The food scene at Diveagar is a unique one. Many khanawals dot the village landscape. These “restaurants” offer simple homely meals at an affordable price. However, it is very easy to walk past some of them without realizing it. So, amble around, look out for small signs, or just ask someone. And yes, most of these places require an advance reservation (for lunch or dinner). So, do let them know about your meal requirements (and try to order some yummy modaks) a few hours in advance. We spotted several travelers who showed up during meal times but had to leave because they had not made reservations earlier. The Bapat Khanawal is renowned in these parts. Although we checked with them a couple of times, they were always fully booked. No worries, we found another good place to satisfy our stomachs.
If you head to Diveagar, wake up early and head to the beach. After a long stroll, grab a nice cup of hot _adrak chai. _Splash in the sea, build castles in the sand, and watch the crabs retreat into their shelters. Explore the little village, observe the variety of vegetation, and spend some quiet time at the Roopnarayan temple.
The route from Diveagar to Shrivardhan is said to be very scenic. On our list for next time!
– The distance from Pune to Diveagar is approximately 160-180 kms, and the journey by car took us about four to five hours (depending on breaks)
– Several accommodation options are available in Diveagar, ranging from simple homestays to bigger resorts.