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Enticing Konkan Holiday Package
The North Konkan Coast is a picturesque combination of cool, green retreats and offer extraordinary beauty and a charming way of life. It is the shared culture of fisherfolk and their traditions, of rice, coconut and cashew crops, of a life inexplicably linked with the sea!
The land here offers natural beauty, a plentitude of chikoos, interesting Parsi and Irani history along with precious stretches of solitude! So, get on board the Enticing Konkan Holiday Package!
You may start with Vajreshwari, one of those places where the pilgrim and holidayer can coexist. Famous or hot springs and a grand Vajreshwari Temple, it is located at the foot of the Mandakini Mountain, formed out of a volcanic eruption! Close to this famed temple, is a curious place called Akloli Kund where there are a cluster of hot springs, with the Tansa River in the backdrop. Further on, Ganeshpuri is a quaint town filled with temples, the most popular being Nityanand Mandir, again surrounded with more hot springs, the hottest being a place called Agni Kund!
Move on to Palghar, a beach getaway and think of a sojourn parasailing along with candle-lit dinners by the sea with your family! It is here that palm trees and casuarinas serenade the waves, and ancient forts full of history and adventure speak of secrets as old as the land and the sea! Around the beaches are villages where the locals grown bananas and chikoos when not out fishing on the sea! It’s a quaint and heady combination of calm, sea and history that you have been looking for, and this slice of North Konkan is just perfect! The Kelva Beach is by far the most scenic beach in Palghar. There is a fort towards the end and the Kelva Dam is just a short distance away. The Shirgaon Beach has an ancient fort to its credit with impressive views. A fair is held at a Dargah that lies en route to this beach, qawwalis are sung at the mela till wee hours of the morning. The Satpati Beach, closeby, another resort, is a sleepy place with many palm trees.
Sajan is a slow town tucked away with a wild river flowing through its heart. Walks through the forest on moonlit nights, sitting by the edge of a waterfall and swimming in ariver all by yourself are the art of the day here. Plant and bird lovers should place this destination high on their list of getaway priorities. Outdoor camps area also organized by the resorts during summer months. The Palusa Waterfall, further on, is clear and strikingly beautiful! You can also trek down to the Moho river and cross the Moho-Khurd Dam through a light jungle, a must-do for birdwatchers! The Tiger Caves is an excellent spot for rappelling and rock climbing, apart from having scenic value. The Kohoj Hill Fort and the Peshwa Temple are accessible only to trekkers!
Jawhar is stunning! The Jai Vilas Palace, or the Raj Bari, is a regal structure surrounded by extensive cashew plantations! The Hanuman Point allows a view of the valley below. Shirpamal is a scenic spot famous as a place where Shivaji camped on his way to Surat. The Warli tribe of Jawhar is famous for its very lively paintings, depicting every day style of village life! Get tantalized on this Enticing Konkan Holiday Package!
Bordi is a place, where you can soak in the sun, take in the sea breeze, and if you enjoy walking, then cover the entire stretch by foot. Late evening, when the sea is the farthest, you can walk up to the mangroves on the tip of the beach. Asvali Dam is a fine picnic spot with a beautiful lake and Warli villages around. The Kalpataru Botanical Gardens in Umergaon, are quite pleasant!
The Dahanu Fort was once an enchanting part of the Portuguese territory of Bassein, but now home to a power plant and its colonies! Vestiges of the Parsi-Portuguese past remain including a crumbling, but attractive, Fort!
A special mention for the chikoo orchards of Gholvad, planted by some Iranis who fanned into the interior! Here in this place, you can wake up to a canopy of dark chikoo leaves and the smell of toffee, which is the resin of the trees! Keeping you company are the winding country roads and mud pots, that `grow’ out of every stunted toddy palm; they will slake the thirst of a day’s labour and fill the night with the drumbeat of abandon! Gholvad has no pin-downable local point, but only orchards, their homesteads and the Warli tribals! It would be an outstanding experience for you to mingle with these tribals, exchange views on their way of life and skill, and perhaps share a meal or a snack with them, in their homes getting a blend of their warm hospitality and expertise on the Enticing Konkan Holiday Package!
Your return journey would be towards the exotic Ajanta and Ellora caves, merged with the Konkan sector. These brilliant Caves are always rhymed together for their architectural similarity and location, as both are masterpieces of a unique artistic blend and bear testimony to the versatility of ancient artists, as their murals are chiselled with exquisite carvings adorning the ceilings and walls, depicting a remarkable synthesis of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu temples.
This is the place where you can touch history, painted in glowing plant and mineral colours, marveling at their mammoth excellence!
Declared as a World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, the paintings and sculptures of Ajanta and Ellora, considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious design, have had a great influence in the development of art in India. These caves are considered the greatest masterpiece of Buddhist art and architecture and contain plenty of other specimens to support their uniqueness and importance in archaeology as well as history, which is enough to endorse their authenticity. The creative use of colour and freedom of expression used in depicting human and animal forms makes the cave paintings at Ajanta one of the high watermarks of artistic creativity. The Ellora, is preserved as an artistic legacy that will continue to inspire and enrich the lives of generations to come. Not only is this cave complex a unique artistic creation and an excellent example of technological exploit but also, with its sanctuaries devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, is illustrative of the spirit of tolerance that was characteristic of ancient India, which is more than enough to stun the spectators touring the complex!
All the paintings appear to be the work of painters at least as used to decorating palaces as temples, and show a familiarity with, and interest in details of the life of a wealthy court. The compositions are not laid out in horizontal compartments like a frieze, but show large scenes spreading in all directions, from a single figure or group at the centre. The ceilings are also painted with sophisticated and elaborate decorative motifs, many derived from sculpture.
Besides these caves, you could take a short trip around the other sites in Aurangabad as the curves of a bygone era enhance the youthful flush of this tourist driven economy, which could take you to the rambling fort of the city or the sun-bleached dargahs that promise to be the retainers of its prodigious history that sustains the city in its pride and honour! The important tourist sites in the town are the Bibi-ka-Maqbara, an elegant structure, locally called the twin Taj Mahal, Panchakki, which is a water wheel and Daulatabad, a coveted stronghold of its times. A wonderous mix of the Ajanta and Ellora Caves along with the Enticing Konkan Holiday Package!
At the coastal side, you could artifacts, souvenirs and jewellery made with seashells, combined with wood, metal and stone, and cane craft! In the Aurangabad sector, you could find a blend of fabrics, saris, puneri and nav vari saris, dresses, handbags, slippers, shoes, clips, silver jewellery including artistic silver nose pins, cane shops with canes for the elderly, batons for policemen, long sticks for school masters, diversity of dresses and head ornaments for your idols at home. There are plenty of magnets of the caves, paintings, and posters as well as statues of Buddha and sculptures in stone, metal and wood, to be carried as gifts or souvenirs.
Konkani cuisine, also called Malvani cuisine is a gourmand’s delight! Undoubtedly it has a strong bias for sea creatures and is distinctive in its liberal use of tart, plump kokum berries and spicy- sour flavours. The use of farm-fresh ingredients and fish that comes straight out of the nets heightens the epicurean experience!
In the restaurants here you will come across names such as Chamchamit masali tikhle, zanzanit kombdi sukhe, kurkurit bombli, and the famous Bombay duck! The second is the succulent dry fried pieces of chicken, while chamchamit is pomfret or sumai or bongda in a tangy masala, spicy, just like the Malvani language! Shellfish is made with an ambrosial masala of kothmir or coriander finely ground with coconut and tamarind pulp. Kolambi or prawns, inflamed by a magical concoction of Malvani spice is the perfect lunchtime curry. Lastly, you can enjoy the pot of steaming kekras or crabs! Of course, you would find Maharashtrian and North and South Indian fare for the taste buds, besides Continental cuisine, which may be customized according to taste!
At the Ajanta and Ellora destinations, although tourists could take a stay inclusive of meals, you could find eateries serving you thalis with roti, dal, sabzi, and also biryani, besides, Asian, Indian and Continental fare accompanied with cold beer on request. There are bakeries around that serve patisserie and savouries.
Winters from November to February and the monsoon from June to August are the best seasons to travel to this Coast, even though the sea might get a little rough during the rains! Yet a thoroughly enthralling exploration, even you choose to go during the summers or any time of the year, that suits your schedule!
Recommended for a visit throughout the year, be it summer, winter, rain or sunshine, as the glory would keep the tourists spellbound even in the toughest of weather conditions, returning back with the desire of going back again to the Ajanta and Ellora Caves!
A plethora of beatific memories ring along as the tourists catch their flight to get back to the daily grind from this Eureka blend of the Ajanta and Ellora Caves on the Enticing Konkan Holiday Package!