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Tourist Places To Visit In Malvan
Malvan is a historic little port town tucked into the Konkan region between the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. The town has some of the most amazing beaches of the western parts of India, impregnable islet fortresses of yore, temples and wildlife sanctuaries that make Malvan one of the most exciting places to visit.
Malvan boasts of some unique places, like the Tsunami Island and the Malvan Marine Wildlife Sanctuary that are bound to interest you. Everything about Malvan, be its beaches or the dense woodlands is way beyond the bustle of the urbane and it gives you a relaxed, laidback holiday experience. Here’s a list of some of the most interesting places you could visit while in Malvan.
Sindhudurg Fort is one of the most significant tourist places of Malvan. The fort is one of the finest examples of naval strategy of the ancient times. In 1664 the Sindhudurg Fort was built under the orders of Chhatrapati Shivaji to counter the invasion of the Dutch, Portuguese and the English. The massive citadel that lies off the sea coast on an islet known as the Khurte bet, was constructed with the best defensive against enemy attacks with massive walls, hidden gateways and long ramparts. The fort has 42 bastions that are encircled by the smaller Padmagad, Sarjekot and Rajkot forts.
The fort stands colossal and awe inspiring, rising from the midst of the crashing waves and is a symbol of history and the immensity of raw nature. The Sindhudurg fort can be reached by ferries but are usually cancelled during the rains.
Legends say that during the princely times Chhatrapati Shambu Raje, the King of Kolhapur gifted away the little hamlet of Achara as an inam to Lord Shiva, who is known as Inamdar Shri Dev Rameshwar. The temple to Rameshwar who is the resident village deity is said to date back to 1684, with later day additions and is an imposing structure, a marvel of ancient architecture.
Twice a month the temple celebrates a grand procession to Vishnu, complete with a palanquin and accompaniment of musical instruments, along with Mahashivratri and Somawar poojas. Achara follows the unique tradition of gaon palan, when once in three years the villagers, along with their livestock abandon the settlement to live on the outskirts of the village. The bustling village looks deserted till the fourth day, when the village folk return home.
Wageshwar is a cave temple to Shiva, located in Tondawali about 24 km from Malvan. According to legends Tondawali had been under the sea ages ago and the local fishermen who cast their net found a shiva linga trapped in their net. As time passed, the waters around the region receded and the local people were able to build a temple to Shiva at the place where the linga was found. Behind the temple was a dense forest, where from tigers and leopards strolled into the temple but according to locals, would never harm the pilgrims who came to pray.
For more delightful surprises, the charming and secluded Tondawali beach which has a beautiful stretch of soft white sand and quiet waters is just a short distance from the Wagheshwar temple.
Another fine example of the naval defenses of the ancient Maratha period, is the Vijaydurg fort located at the peninsular tip of land in Sindudurg district. The fort lies on a hillock at the mouth of the Vagotan River and was called the Gibraltar of the East as it was enclosed by the Arabian Sea on three sides. Built by Bhojaraja Shilahar from about 1196 to 1205 AD, the fort passed through the Adil Shahi Dynasty and the Marathas under Chhatrapati Shivaji and finally the Peshwas and the British.
The fort which was considered one of the strongest naval barricades of the Marathas stood mighty and impregnable during attacks by the British, Dutch and the Portuguese. You could check out areas of the fort like the prison, storage houses, a large cannon and a secret tunnel which have withstood the ravages of time. Vijaydurg Fort which is a must visit, is about 73 km from Malvan.
A repository of an impressive collection of artifacts both from land and the seas, Shivsamudrasangrahalaya museum is well worth a visit. There are an assortment of sea shells, ancient coins, paintings, the floating stones of the Ramasetu bridge, collectors’ items like old gramophones, transistors and antique telephones. The museum has amassed groups of smaller souvenirs like stickers, buttons, match boxes and stamps.
A number of tourists, history buffs and students visit the Shivsamudrasangrahalaya daily. The museum which is a short walk from the Malvan Jetty and is an ideal place to take the kids on an information tour is open on all days from 8.00 am – 8.00 pm.
Kunkeshwar Temple and a Beach
Kunkeshwar temple for Shiva is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea. The temple has a motorable road till the base and you have to climb up about a dozen steps to reach the gates. The temple is built in a unique layered hexagonal architectural style with a south Indian style and is said to have been built during the reign of the Yadava kings. The place is a very serene one, with not many pilgrims thronging the temple at all times, so you could spend some time in the shrine.
The white sandy and rocky beach on which the temple stands is the charming Kunkeshwar beach. It’s a lovely feel to sit on the boulders and let the waters lap at our feet. A walk along the shoreline revels more surprises with coconut fringed beaches and if you wait and watch you might even spot a school of dolphins out in the waters. The temple is about 41 km from Malvan.
Marine Wildlife Sanctuary
The regions of Malvan, rich in seaside biodiversity had been declared a marine sanctuary way back in 1987. The core areas and buffer areas include the Sindhudurg fort as well as the submerged rocks and sandy beaches around Malvan and Sindhudurg. The sanctuary has a luxuriant coastal marine life with coral reefs, pearl oysters, mollusks, sea anemones, seaweeds and mangroves.
Tourists can explore the sanctuary as well as enjoy the time spent at the sprawling white sandy beaches of Vengurla, Tarakali and Tondawali that lie near the sanctuary, bordered by stately casuarina and coconut groves, as well as trek up the Sindhudurg Fort. The sanctuary offers accommodation at the Forest Department’s guest houses.
Mahapurush Mandir, like most temples of the Konkan is yet another temple set most idyllically on the seashore. It is a small but beautiful temple to Shiva, fringed by coconut, cashew and jackfruit trees and the Arabian Sea lapping at its feet. Near the Mahapurush Mandir is a small jetty from where the River Karli flows as a brook to join the Arabian Sea at the Tarkarli beach.
The soft white sands and the blue of the seas seem to magnify the serenity of the temple towers that rise up through the stately trees. Visit Devbagh whose picturesque landscape is the right place to get engrossed in the charms of rejuvenating nature and divinity. Devbagh is just about 4 km from Malvan.
Nava Durga Mandir
The temple for Navadurga is said to be about 450 years old and the idol of the Goddess was known to have been brought all the way from Gavasi in Goa, where it is said to have existed from the 10th century, to escape the Portuguese invasion. The Navadurga temple is a very significant temple of the Konkan regions of Maharashtra and thousands of pilgrims and devotees gather at the temple of the annual Jatrayatra. Navadurga is worshipped as the Saraswat kula devta of the Daivadnya Brahmins and Goud Saraswat Brahmins of the states of Goa and Maharashtra.
Set amidst the beautiful fertile regions of Redi- Vengurla in Sindudurg district, the Navadurga temple is a lovely place to visit. Vengurla is located in north Goa and has a number of temples you could visit. Redi – Vengurla is about 48 km from Malvan.
Malvan boasts of some of the most beautiful sun kissed coastal regions of the Konkan. Right from Achara in the north to Devbagh in the southern end, Malvan’s beaches are some of the best places for a relaxed holiday. Devbagh is a tiny fishing hamlet that lies tucked away between the Arabian Sea and the Karli River, south of the beach of Tarkarli.
Devbagh beach is one of the best beaches of Malvan, what with oodles of golden white sand and pristine blue waters where you could spend a glorious day soaking up the warm sun, watching the dolphins or water birds milling about, or indulge in a peaceful game of beach volleyball or build sand castles. Devbagh beach is about 12 km from Malvan.