Dapoli

Paradise of Maharashtra: Dapoli

Dapoli is a small town in the Ratnagiri district, being the beautiful beach village as it has always been. It is not only about historic forts, temples, beaches, and an agricultural college but also about being a muse to books like “Garambicha Bapu” and “Shyamachi Aai”. Recently it has come forward as a “Mini-Mahabaleshwar” alluring to its cool climate throughout the year. Unhavare hot springs, Panhalakaji Caves and Parshuram Bhumi are some places with wide tourists’ interest.

Velas, a serene beach town, around 50 km from Dapoli, recently came into the limelight due to the Turtle Festival held here in the summertime. It is actually the breeding season of Olive Ridley Turtles, and this festival is held with the purpose to protect such rare cute creatures. Kelshi, which was known only for its 350-year-old Mahalakshmi temple and beautiful beach earlier, is now an Internationally acclaimed beach. The oldest sand dunes formed by the tsunami in September 1524 have been found here. Kelshi is also significant for the treasures of shells, cowries and conches found here.

Majorly a fishing town, Harnai is just 15 km far from Dapoli. Harnai beach is named “Maharshi Karve” beach as Dapoli is the birthplace of Maharshi Karve. Harnai fort, Suvarnadurga, also renowned as “Shivaji of the Sea”, is the oldest fort surrounded by 3 other small forts. Though almost in ruins, the history attached to it and the interesting story that comes along make the visit totally worth it. Ladghar beach has earned the title of Tamasteerth, for its reddish muddy water. It is also popular for dolphin spotting and water sports like water scooters. Murud and Kolthare are among the lesser-known tranquil beaches, best for family picnics. 

Karde is one of the safest beaches in Konkan, with mixed white and black sand, largely preferred for bird watching and dolphin rides in the deep sea. Dabhol beach is a pristine one and is also well known for Dabhol fort and Dabhol power plant. Anjarle beach has the ” Kadyawarcha Ganapati” temple, dating back to 1150 AD, having a rare Ganesha idol with the right trunk. Guhagar is noteworthy for its 6 km long stunning sand stretch garnished by Coconut trees, Betel nuts, and Alphonso mangoes. The name Guhagar literally translates as “Cave House”. Vyadeshwar temple, which is right in the center of the town, and Ufrata temple mark its religious space. “Paschima” is the spot, where you can purchase all Kokam products.

Just 14 km from Guhagar, the town of Anjanvel stands for Gopalgad fort, a lighthouse built at the steep ridge, and Talkeshwar temple nearby. On the same road, just some km far is the rock-free beach in the town of Velneshwar, also notable for the 1700 year’s old Velneshwar temple. Hedvi, barely at 17 km from Guhagar, has a natural huge gorge, Bahmanghal, a worth watching spot. There is also the Dashabhuja Ganesha temple created in marble stone found in Kashmir. Dapoli and surrounding Konkan await your visit to let you enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

Ratnagiri

The Jewel of Konkan: Ratnagiri

Cradled amongst the Magnificent Sahyadri ranges, Ratnagiri is famous in the world for its delicious Alphonso mangoes. Having 167 km of long sea stretch, many waterfalls, and small rivers, this land is known for its traditional, peaceful yet beautiful lifestyle. Mangoes, cashews, and their products are shopping goals for tourists. Ratnagiri district offers the most varied tourist destinations such as beautiful beaches, misty mountains, historic temples, and forts.

Famous beaches of Ratnagiri

Mandvi beach is the most loved beach by all kinds of people, providing an excellent view of Ratnadurg. It has a ‘Gateway of Ratnagiri’, a sloped roof with decent artwork. Ganpatipule beach has records that some people visit it every year without fail for its love. It provides a stunning view at sunset with a 6 km long stretch of beach and a Swayambhu Ganesh Mandir on its shore. Ganeshghule beach is another attractive beach which is covered with mountains from 2 sides. Indian Caribbean beach offers an amazing view, however, swimming is not advisable considering its rocky structure. Aare Ware beach, Bhatye beach, Pawas beach, Kunkeshwsr beach, Devgad beach, Pander Samudra are some nice beaches around Ratnagiri.

Famous forts of Ratnagiri

Jaigad, a protected monument now, built-in 13 acres in the 16th century, is a fort of victory as the name suggests. Believed to be built by Bijapur residents, Kanhoji Angre, commander in chief of Marathas, won it and then developed it as Jaigad harbor in Maratha Empire. Set at the creek, where the Shastri river meets the Arabian sea, Jaigad offers a spectacular view of the bay and surroundings. Ratnadurg fort is another masterpiece as it is built with a structure in the form of a horseshoe. Surrounded by 3 sides, it is spread over 120 acres, owned by Marathas for a long time before Mughals took it over.

Famous temples of Ratnagiri

Swayambhu Ganesh Mandir, set at a beautiful seashore, has a heritage of 400 years and it is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for people in India. Parshuram temple in Chiplun is another sacred place, as he is considered as the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Shiva temple at Velneshwar is slightly away from the city, however, the surrounding and big banyan trees give it a pure sacred feel. Jai Vinayak temple at Jaigad, and Pawas, where Swami Swaroopanand took his samadhi are another popular Jaigad lighthouse by devotees. 800 years old Shri Kanakaditya Temple, located 40 km from Ratnagiri city, is one of the very few Sun temples in India.

Other sightseeing places around Ratnagiri

There are some incredible museums in the district that a travel enthusiast should not ever miss. Prachin Konkan Museum is an open-air museum that provides the idea of a traditional Konkani lifestyle, models of sea forts, heros’ sculptures, and Sawantwadi wooden handicrafts. Tilak Ali museum is the old house of Lokmanya Tilak. Marine museum is another popular attraction amongst tourists. Thibaw Point is the palace built as the exile of the Burma king, offers an amazing view of the sunset. Jaigad Lighthouse is a must-visit for tourists, which was completely built by cast iron by the British in 1932. Malgund is a small village famous for the Marathi poet Keshavsut.

Due to such diverse tourist attractions available in the district within some kilometres, Ratnagiri is undoubtedly at the top of every tourists’ bucket list.

Honeymoon couple

How to plan a perfect Honeymoon tour?

Time needed: 10 minutes.

A honeymoon tour is a lifetime memory for all married couples. We all possess many expectations & imaginations about our dream vacation with our soulmate. The planning for a honeymoon tour should be perfect. Follow the suggestions given below to make your honeymoon tour memorable. These 13 tips on How to plan a perfect Honeymoon tour? will surely help you to enjoy your romantic trip without making some common mistakes

  1. Think about your dream destination

    Decide on what experience you want to have. Take your life partner’s opinion into consideration. Where you want to go? Snow-clad mountains, sandy beaches, soothing backwaters, Cruise on the high sea, or lush green hill stations? Decide on this.How to plan a perfect Honeymoon tour?

  2. Decide your budget

    Before choosing any destination, finalize your tentative budget. Apart from just hotel booking and flight booking, there are many ad-hoc expenses. You should not compromise on your comfort and book lower category accommodations later just to fit your tour within budget.Budget

  3. Finalize your tentative travel dates and duration

    Before you start making your travel plan, decide travel dates and duration. This will help a lot while finalizing your destination. For instance, if your travel date is somewhere in July or August, you should not travel to south Indian travel destinations because of heavy rains in the region. Also, you should not plan for the Andaman trip if you only have 4 days in your hands as it is not possible to cover the important tourist attractions.

  4. Decide your travel destination

    Once you decide about your dream vacation, budget, travel dates, and duration, now you can decide your travel destination. You can choose your destination from within India or outside India. For example, if your dream destination was a beachside resort where you are relaxing with your partner, then you can consider Goa, Andaman, or Maldives, etc. as per your budget. If you had dreamt of lush green landscapes and you are all alone with your darling, you should decide to go to hill stations like Munnar, Ooty, Darjeeling, etc. 

  5. Check local climatic & political conditions 

    Once you decide on your travel destination, do not just process all the payments and blindly make all the bookings. Check current climatic and political conditions. It means that you should check if there is any natural disaster happening at the destination. For instance, Bali of Indonesia is always under the threat of volcanic eruptions. There are huge chances of flights getting canceled due to this natural calamity. So if you get an idea of such natural calamities in advance, this can save your money and efforts put into the booking process. Also, verify political conditions at the destination. If the destination is facing political, social unrest, and turmoil, better you should avoid traveling there.

  6. Research the hotels properly before booking confirmation

    As you are going on a leisure trip with your soulmate, your accommodation bookings should be simply perfect. Get an idea about booked room category, amenities & location from your travel planner, or visit the website of the property. This will help you in avoiding last-minute disappointments. Carefully check and book the accommodation which suits your budget and expectations.Checkin desk

  7. Check for complimentary honeymoon inclusions being offered by resorts & your travel planner

    Many resorts and hotels do offer complimentary inclusions or activities for honeymooners. Check with your travel planner or the property directly about these inclusions. For example, many resorts do offer 1 candlelight dinner, or 1-hour spa treatment, or a bottle of wine as a gift to newly married couples. You can avail these offers if you know about them.

  8. Understand geography & demography before finalizing your itinerary

    You should not finalize your itinerary without research. This may lead you into trouble. For example, when you go on a honeymoon trip to the Andaman Islands, you should not book a stay on day one at Havelock as it is almost three hours away from Port Blair and only a few ferries take you to Havelock per day. This may lead to mismanagement and wastage of a lot of time and money. Better, if you stay at Port Blair on day one and proceed to Havelock on day two will buy you some time to rest and relax at Port Blair. Similarly, when you are at Munnar, a minimum of two nights is required to explore all the sightseeing places at Munnar properly. Many times, people get the wrong advice and book only one night at Munnar. They end up only in traveling from one destination to another instead of relaxing and exploring the scenic landscapes.Destination

  9. Don’t make your plan hectic

    Just remember, you are on a leisure trip, where you want to spend some romantic moments with your life partner. Don’t make your plan hectic. Don’t try to cover an excessive number of tourist spots in a short time span. Instead, keep leisure time in your itinerary to relax so that you can spend quality time with your life partner. 

  10. Make your flight bookings wisely

    Don’t rush to book cheap air tickets. Instead, try to book flights which are reaching the destination earlier in the morning and departing in the evening while returning so that you can utilize both, first and last day. If available, try to book direct flights. If the direct flights are not available, at least try to book flights with lesser travel time. Book your seats in advance so that you will get seats beside each other.Air ticket

  11. Book local transfers wisely

    Booking local transfers in advance through a reliable travel planner can save you a lot of time & money. Don’t drag this point till the last minute of the travel. Book your transfers in advance.Cab

  12. Keep local activities and meals on a direct payment basis

    Local activities like watersports at Andaman or Skiing at Gulmarg on a direct payment basis. Due to local weather conditions, these activities may get canceled at the last minute. You may have to follow up multiple times with the local agent for refunds. Also, if you book activities locally, you can negotiate with the local agents and save some extra bucks. Just check the pre-requisites required for the local activities. For example, you should have a valid permit to travel to Nathu La pass, Gangtok & Rohtang Pass, Manali.

  13. Special destination-specific experiences with your soulmate

    Check if you can book your special experiences like beachside dinner or lake-side camping for your better half. Couple Dinner

You will enjoy your honeymoon tour if you follow these suggestions. Let us know your feedback if these points help you in tour planning. 

Passport

Essential checklist for International travel

Your Passport expiry should not be within six months of return to India travel date.

Documentation required for international travel is critical, where you have to take care of many minute things. Your passport is your identity when you are on foreign land. Hence, this document comes in the first place in the Essential checklist for international travel. Your passport must have a validity of at least 6 months from your return travel date after finishing your tour. If you do not meet this criterion, most of the countries will not grant you their visa. For the countries offering Visa on Arrival, you will not be allowed to board the onward flight if you have your passport expiring within 6 months of return travel date.

Confirmed onward and return air tickets

In the current changing global scenario, it is always better to have your return air tickets so that, your immigration will be done swiftly. Most of the countries demand your confirmed onward return air tickets to grant entry to their countries. This is not a mandatory criterion for each and every country. Check with your travel planner while booking an international travel plan. Do not provide fake return air tickets. This act may lead you into legal trouble.

Reconfirm your flight booking status frequently

Once you book your onward and return air tickets, check their status regularly until you fly. The aviation industry is under huge turmoil due to the pandemic and is frequently changing rules and regulations. Your flight may get preponed/postponed/canceled any time after booking, and there are huge chances that the airline doesn’t send you an email or SMS updating you about changes in the itinerary. You may end up missing your flight if you do not check flight status regularly after booking. The best solution to this is to book your air tickets from a reliable travel planner. The expert team will keep you posted in case of any changes in the plan announced by the airline company.

Carefully double check visa rules of the host country

Do not rely on verbally communicated inputs when it comes to visa-related information. Always, try to personally check all the visa-related rules mentioned on the host country’s website. Income proof, residential address, NOC from the employer, Travel Insurance, and so on. Depending on the country, you may need any of the above documents for the visa application. If you forget to submit any of the mandatory documents from the list, your visa application may get rejected. Hence, you should be very careful about documentation while applying for visa.

Also, in the case of the countries offering Visa on Arrival, you have to fulfill some prerequisites (i.e enough foreign exchange, confirmed hotel bookings, confirmed flight bookings, and travel insurance). Check all these details in advance before travel to save a last-minute rush.

Transit visa

If you are transiting through a different country’s airport, check if a transit visa is required. If you flout any rules related to a transit visa, you will not be allowed to board your onward flight. Airlines do not process any refunds in such cases. Ask your travel planner in advance about this. Choose your transit airport carefully.

Booking confirmation numbers of your stays during the trip

Make sure you have the booking confirmation numbers and the payment status details with you when you travel to an international destination. This will help you in avoiding any last-minute dispute at the time of check-in. Carrying booking confirmation numbers may also help you at the time of immigration. In case of failed bookings, your travel planner will be unable to provide you booking confirmation numbers and you can resolve the issue in advance, well before you start your travel.

Recheck your meal plans and room categories at all properties

This is a crucial point in the essential checklist for international travel. This point is the cause of most of the disputes during the tours. Travelers take it for granted. Assume that all meals are included in their tour plan. And for various reasons, travel agents do not all meals. On day one of the tour, you may get disappointed after knowing meals included and end up getting into a dispute with your travel planner. This all can be avoided if you get this confirmed in advance. The same rule is applicable for the booked room category. Briefly check about room description given on the hotel/resort website at the time of booking itself. Check room dimensions & view from the room, amenities being offered. You will not get last-minute surprises if you cross-check your room booking details in advance.

Pre-book your activities and transfers

Most of the travelers think that, if they book transfers and activities locally upon arrival, they can save a lot of money. But this is highly risky. In many cases, you may get cheated by the locals and end up paying an excessive amount. Also, you may waste a lot of time finding a reliable local service provider. Booking activities locally is a cumbersome task that consumes a lot of time. because of the language barrier, you may get frustrated. It is always better to book activities and transfers in advance before you start your journey.

Carefully reconfirm Covid19 protocols in the host country

Before travel, you must check Covid19 pandemic-related protocols in the host country before you board your flight. Traveling around the world has changed a lot after 2020. You should re-confirm the policies related to quarantine, flight operations, local lock-downs on a safer side. You have finished your vaccination, check the policies for the vaccinated travelers carefully. If you ignore these policies, you may have to face many unwanted surprises upon arrival at your destination.

Travel insurance

Mandatory or not, you must have travel insurance with you when you are on foreign land. Travel insurance can help you in many ways, from health issues to baggage loss while traveling, many things are covered in the travel insurance giving you more peace of mind.

International calling SIM card

Buy an international calling SIM card once you land at your destination. Avoid buying it in India, as plans are expensive and taxation is huge. You get more value for your paid money when you buy a sim card locally.

Local expenses

Get an idea from your travel planner about local expenses not included in the travel package. Carry hard cash and soft cash accordingly. You can carry prepaid cards, International credit cards with you.

Local restaurants serving Indian food

In most of the international travel packages, dinner is not included. You have to search for local restaurants serving Indian food. In the first few days, this search may frustrate you. Check with your travel planner in advance about the nearby restaurants serving local Indian food. Also, you can get more ideas from your friends and family who have already traveled to the destination.

Conclusion

If you follow this essential checklist for international travel, your trip will become hassle free and you can enjoy to the core. Happy journey!

tarkarli

Malvan – Sindhudurg: The Crown of Konkan

Malvan is a part of the Sindhudurg region, the southern part of the Konkan Region of Maharashtra, sharing a boundary with the state of Goa. It welcomes tourists with its diverse range of attractions like natural beautiful beaches, huge forts, many temples, etc. This Konkani region is well known for Tarkarli beach and Sindhudurg fort built by Shivaji Maharaj. Malvani seafood, sweets, mangoes, cashews, and dried fruits are something not to miss while traveling to Konkan. Knowing more about Malvan – Sindhudurg: The Crown of Konkan will surely help you in planning for your next weekend gateway.

What are some famous beaches of Malvan ?

Considering the enticing beaches, luxurious stays available, and variety of water sports offered, Tarkarli is renowned as “Maldives of Maharashtra”. The only Snorkeling and Scuba Diving training center in Maharashtra, Tarkarli does not fail to amuse people with other activities like parasailing, Banana boat rides, etc. Malvan beach is also favored by many honeymoon couples, as it offers nightlife in the form of pubs and bars. Tsunami Island is formed by the tsunami as the name suggests, now hosts a varied range of water sports. Devbagh beach, Kolamb beach, and Chivla beach are less crowded, and ideal for those who seek peace and calm in the serenity. Achara beach is certainly tempting for book lovers for its vintage library, also for lighthouse and dolphin spotting.
tarkarli

What are some famous forts of Malvan ?

Sindhudurg fort is the main attraction for people of all age groups for not only the engaging historical background but also the splendid scenery it offers from the top. Marvel of Maratha architecture, this fort spreads over 48 acres of land and houses the only Shivaji Maharaj temple in it. The structure of the fort is designed in a way that enemies should not be able to recognize the main entrance to the fort. Vijaydurg Fort is another specimen, built by Shivaji Maharaj in the 17th century, surrounded by the Arabian sea from 3 sides. It is also appealing to tourists for its 11 km beach stretch and water sports available there. Nivati Fort, Sarjekot Fort, and Padmagad Fort are other forts one can visit. sindhudurg

Apart from scenic beaches and iconic forts, what are some other famous tourist spots in Malvan ?

The rock garden is one of the very desirable spots, which offers the wondrous view of sea waves splashing against the huge rocks. People do spend a considerable amount of time in this manicured rock garden. Malvan Marine Sanctuary is a place that should not be missed by a tourist. Exotic corals of marine life are the key attractions there.
rock garden

What are some famous temples Malvan ?

Historic and religious temples drive in a lot of crowds in India. Rameshwar temple is one of the most important places to visit, as it is considered as 1 of the 12 mighty Jyotirlingas, hosting two Shivlingas. Suvarna Ganesha temple has a pure golden idol of Ganesha, and Sateri Devi Jal Mandir is different and beautiful, encircled by water as the name suggests.RameshwarTemple

Why Sawantwadi is famous ?

Sawantwadi, which is famous for its wooden handicraft products, is easily reachable from the Malvan area. Sawantwadi palace conducts workshops for people interested in local art and craft, which helps in promoting them. Sawantwadi lacework, wooden crafts, and Ganjifa art are famous throughout India. Also, it is located on National Highway NH17, which connects Goa and Mumbai. Therefore, Sawantwadi has become a popular weekend getaway for busy people from citiesSawantwadi

How to reach Malvan ?

By Road: You can reach Malvan from Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, and Goa
Mumbai to Malvan (550 Kms/12 Hrs): Sion – Vashi – Panvel – Pen – Mahad – Khed – Chiplun – Sangameshwar – Hatakhamba – Rajapur – Kankavali – Kasal – Chouke – Malvan
Pune to Malvan (390 Kms/09 Hrs): Pune – Paud – Mulashi – Tamhini Ghat – Mangaon – Mahad – Poladpur – Chiplun – Sangameshwar – Hatakhamba – Rajapur – Kankavali – Kasal – Chouke – Malvan
Kolhapur to Malvan (160 Kms/4 Hrs): Kolhapur – Radhanagari – Dajipur – Fonda – Nadgaon – Kanakavali – Kasal – Chouke – Malvan
From Pune, you can also travel to Kolhapur and follow Kolhapur to the Malvan route. You will reach Malvan at the same time.
The overnight buses from Pune, Mumbai & Kolhapur to Goa stop at Savantwadi bus stop. You can disembark there
Belgaum to Malvan (146 Kms/4 Hrs): If you are traveling from Karnataka, you can first reach Belgaum. Then follow the route: Belgaum – Chandgad -Amboli – Malvan.

By Train: You can reach Kudal railway station from Mumbai & Goa.

By Air: Goa is the nearest International airport (150 Kms) from Malvan with a good number of Domestic and International flights. Kolhapur airport and Belgaum airport (both 150 km from Malvan) also have good connectivity from Mumbai and Bangalore respectively. Sindudurga Airport also known as Chipi Airport was formally inaugurated in 2019 which is 12 km from Malvan. Commercial flights are expected to start soon.

All these incredible features of Malvan – Sindhudurg: The Crown of Konkan assure the awakening of the traveler in you.

Scuba Diving

Water Sports at Andaman and Nicobar Islands

A wise man once said that happiness is counted by the experiences you have and not by the things you possess. Andaman and Nicobar Islands offer water sports experiences to cherish for a lifetime.

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is one of the most popular water sports in Andaman. Untouched and alive coral reefs, vibrant fishes make the experience like none. Havelock Island, North Bay Island, Neil Island, and Port Blair are the best places to experience Scuba Diving at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, prices starting from Rs. 3000 approximately

Scuba Diving

Sea Kart

Sea Kart is the newest addition to the water sports of the Andaman Islands, introduced in 2020 itself. Only water sports vehicle which allows self-drive and takes you farther into the deep sea unlike jet ski and speed boats, sea is getting much love from tourists. Being new to the collection, sea Karts are available at the cost of around Rs. 4000 – 5000.

Sea Walk

This one is an altogether different type of experiencing marine life as you can literally walk through fishes, corals, and vibrant aquatic animals. Honeymoon couples are generally gifted with this in their package itself, otherwise one can book them for approximately Rs. 3500

Snorkeling

Much more affordable than Scuba Diving, Snorkeling gives you the equipment experience if you’re afraid of depth. You can watch the sea surface through the instrument on your face with magnifying glasses, while do not need to go deep, just float and relax on the water. The average cost is Rs. 500 for this.

Glass Bottom Boat

Watch the aquatic life from close without getting wet. Having a self-explanatory name, this boat allows tourists to see fishes through crystal clear and transparent bottom. Open to all age groups, this ride is enjoyable with family only from Rs. 1500 to 3000.

Semi Submarine

Similar to Glass Bottom Boat, this ride takes you much deeper into the sea to experience exotic marine life. However, unlike Glass Bottom Boat, you can watch fishes from all sides as viewing dorm is one floor down and surrounded by water completely. The price range starts from Rs. 1500 onwards.

Kayaking

With dense forests and mangroves, kayaking is a “not to miss” experience in Andaman. Along with day kayak trips, night kayaking, bioluminescence night Kayaking is also available when pre-booked to get the unforgettable experience only from Rs. 3000.

TSG Bella Bay

It is a luxury cruise, introduced only in 2018, that lets you experience a perfect holiday luxurious gateway. It offers exotic food, music, and entertainment deep in the sea only to assure your happiness starting from Rs. 3000.

Parasailing

Available at many beach destinations in India, Parasailing at Andaman offers the scenic view of Andaman and Nicobar Islands from above the sea which makes it memorable than others. Experience flying into the winds and then take a sma`ll dip in the sea to get refreshed at Rs. 4000 onwards.

Jet Ski

Affordable than most of the water sports offers at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, jet skiing is the cheapest one in the category of casual water sports, which is available on all tourists’ places only at Rs. 500

Banana Ride

One of the very rare adventurous water sports that can be experienced with family and friends, this one attracts all being most affordable around Rs. 400-700.