Planning a trip to Goa? Check out this next best place
We all have to admit that at least once in our lifetime, we have dreamt of going on a road trip to [Yes, you guessed it right] GOA. But as it always happens with our well-planned road trips, one of our friends is conveniently busy with his work at the last moment and it gets cancelled. But this time I was motivated to get it done. Luckily, I had another friend who was equally excited to make this happen. Two of us were enough to start our road trip but we had a little change of plans. We thought it would be thrilling to start our journey without having a destination planned, just go where the road takes you [How a true road trip should be]. AND THIS WAS THE BEST DECISION WE HAD STARTED OUR JOURNEY WITH.
Our trip started from Nagpur at 3 in the morning, since we had some errands to run in Mumbai, we decided to head there first and travel south-west from there. After about 360kms of drive, we came across this unheard place called Lonar. There is a crater here which is believed to be around 50,000 years old and the 3rd largest crater in the world. It was formed due to an asteroid strike travelling at about 17 km per second. Pretty cool for our first day..right? We had to take a detour to visit this place but it was all worth it.
After a good 900 km and 21 hours drive, we reached Mumbai at midnight and fell dead as soon as we hit the bed.
Mumbai to Kashid
The next morning, we ran into some trouble with our car, so we had to get it fixed. It was already 12 and we needed to reach our next stop Kasid by evening. After about 3 hrs of struggling out of Mumbai traffic, we hit the expressway. It was a big 3 lane road going through the valleys and we came across a nice piece of advertising for the JEEP compass. We exited near Khopoli and stopped at Pen for dinner at 7:30 PM. We reached Kashid Airbnb around midnight and crashed there.
Kashid to Ganpatipule
We left Kasid at 9 AM, had breakfast and headed towards our next destination. This turned out to be the best day of our trip. We decided to open up the Google Map to follow the road which runs closest to the seashore. About 22 km from Kashid we came across Khokari Tombs. These are the 500-year-old burial structures of the Siddis, who used to rule the state of Janjira, located in Western India near Murud, Maharashtra.
The best part about riding close to the seashore is you get to drive through a lot of old beautiful stone bridges where we witnessed some of the best photogenic spots.
As we were looking for our way across the coastal villages, we stopped near a beach to ask a local guy for the way out, he directed us to go till the end of the road and GET LAUNCHED. I rolled my eyes in confusion and that’s when I came to know about their ferry services across the Malvan belt. Only instead of calling it “boarding”, the locals there call it Launch. My unplanned road trip just got even more thrilling. With that thought, we headed towards the first ferry point at Vesavi-Bagmandla near Harihareshwar beach. We boarded the ferry at around 2 PM. As it was my first ferry experience my excitement level was very high.
After we deboarded from the ferry, we came across a village called Pandhari where I came across this stunning view.
This was followed by two more ferry rides Dabhol-Veldor & Jaigad-Tawsal. As we deboarded our last ferry, it was already 10.30 PM. Driving on the curvy roads of Malvan at the night was a whole different experience.
Ganpatipule to Malvan
Just before Ganpatipule, we found a place called tranquillity beach resort, where we stayed the night. The next morning we headed for Tarkali beach where we had planned to do scuba diving.
To my amazement, throughout my drive, the beaches were clean and the water was clear which you don’t get to see much in Goa.
After about 200 km of drive, we stopped at a random place for a cup of coffee. Little did we know, we were going to settle there for the rest of our trip. As we were enjoying our coffee, we looked around and found everything we had on our bucket list.
- Awesome coastline to look at- CHECK!
- Watersports- CHECK!
- Beach view room- CHECK!
- Homemade Malvani food- CHECK!
We found this perfect home stay right on the shore with the perfect view
Scuba Diving Day
The next day, we planned to go scuba diving which was on the top of our bucket list. Excitement and nervousness were already at their peak. We were provided with scuba suits, oxygen cylinders and goggles. After cruising for about 500m away from the shore, we reached our diving spot. I couldn’t believe the water was so clear that I could see the sea bed 15 ft below. Before diving deep, we were given instructions on how to communicate underwater with hand gestures.
Right after I dived in, I felt a little scared and asked my instructor to take me to the surface. He was an experienced professional and calmed me down within seconds. After a couple of mins, I dived inside again and man it was the best experience I had in my life. I was underwater for almost 50 mins and those were the best moments of my life. My throat was parched, and I was feeling thirsty, but I didn’t want to stop as I was having my mind blown.
I freshened up after my scuba dive, and went to do parasailing.
To celebrate our first scuba dive, we got some fine booze & fresh fish (Mackerel) and a view to match with it.
Exploring Malvan Village
The next day, we went out to explore Malvan village. On our way, we came across the Royal ocean beach resort. We took a right turn to stop there for coffee but nothing was right about that turn.
After we escaped from that situation, we had a quick coffee and continued on our way ahead. Came across a fun place, THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND WILL UNDERSTAND.
As it was Christmas eve, our homestay was lit up with decorations. And with that ambience, we ended our day with delicious homemade crabs.
Malvan – Kolhapur – Solapur
After experiencing 3 days of the best that Malvan has to offer, with a heavy heart, we left for our way back home. Even though we drove mostly in rural areas, the roads were way better than expected. After about 100 km we entered Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary. It was a lush green hilly area with good roads to enjoy our drive. (Definitely recommend this place to visit)
We stopped at the outskirts of Kolhapur for lunch at a nice authentic kolhapuri Dhaba. Just before dawn, we reached a small village named Bombalewadi where we found some of the best scenic plains stretching till as far as I could see.
We reached Solapur around 11pm and spent the night at OYO hotel.
Solapur to Nagpur
The next day we started our trip early in the morning. Probably the best thing about this trip was, I had something surprising every day to stumble upon. For this day, it was windmill farms stretched across kilometres.
As we crossed Latur, we had a rough patch till Nanded where we stopped for lunch. By the time we finished our lunch, it was already evening. Around 80kms before Yavatmal, we stopped for a quick tea. After this, I had UNDOUBTEDLY the best drive of my entire trip. A MUST MUST ROAD TO DRIVE ON. Its a 230km four-lane highway starting from about 100kms before Yavatmal all the way to Butibori. NO SPEED LIMIT, NO SPEED BREAKERS. Even in the night, the whole stretch was well lit to go heavy on the accelerator.
With that awesome ride we made it home at midnight.