Before I could start telling you about this trip I would want you to know that I lost a lot of good images and videos of this trip (the story behind how that happened is mentioned at the end) so please ignore few not so high quality images, I had to add them because they are memories that are really special.
Brief – This mad trip was exactly like the one’s you see in movies where you have a friend who joins you last minute on the trip, an hour before leaving, to be precise. Then your friend misses the train which honestly felt like a DDLJ scene because I could literally see my friends running for the train while the train was leaving the platform. After reaching Malvan we almost check in at the wrong hotel. A trip that was supposed to be a budget friendly trip turns out to go way outta budget just because we couldn’t stop eating everything that’s ever been cooked in Malvan. All this craziness wasn’t enough for one trip so to add the cherry on the top (not sure if I should be laughing about this because it wasn’t funny when it happened but now that it’s over I think it’s okay to add it to the crazy things that happened on the trip) we lost most of our amazing pictures and videos that we had take on an iPhone that was actually a friends sister’s office phone & we didn’t realize we won’t have permission to transfer it anywhere hahhaa. Well but I’m glad I wrote this and added whatever picture I managed to take on other phones. If you’ve been contemplating a trip with your friends, stop contemplating and just pack your bags & leave. But of course maybe wait for a while till the Corona virus settles down, for now I hope I can take you through an amazingly fun imaginary vacation.
We decided to board a train from Mumbai to Pune on 29th afternoon, stay there for the night at our friends house and leave for Tarkarli early morning by car.
The journey started with all the panic in the world possible because 2 of my friends thought they would miss the train which they did, by 2 minutes. And then they had to take the next train & travel in general compartment, but it wasn’t that difficult because they actually got to sit in the train. And this happened only because one of my friend (Alaric) was 2 minutes late for the train so the other friend (Ronald) decided to wait for him & asked me & Samantha to go ahead because we had confirmed tickets. So Ronald & Alaric took the next train, traveled in general compartment & reached Shivaji nagar station just one hour after we reached.
I’m going to skip all the unwanted things that we did in Pune because I had KFC rice with chicken pop corn and some other usual things..haha.. sorry but KFC rice bowl with chicken popcorn had to be mentioned.
We slept as soon as possible because we were tired & also because we had to wake up early morning to leave. This was going to be my second road trip & a longer one, so I was super excited but also a little scared because I used to have motion sickness before but whenever I sit with Lendl in his car I just don’t feel anything, I swear he drives really well. I usually take a tablet called “avomine” to avoid motion sickness but I stopped having it since my last trip, though this time the road trip was going to be almost 8-9 hours I thought of challenging myself & staying calm & not thinking about motion sickness & rather enjoying journey. It’s not just about preparing your mind but also trusting the person who’s driving so I guess that actually helped & I was all okay the whole way. Not even a slight headache, if you’ve read my last travel post you’ll know how scared I used to be to travel in a car/bus.
Tip – if you’re going by road to Malvan, actually if you’re going anywhere please make sure to check the route in advance or do a little research about the fastest route. Google maps showed us 8 hours but the roads between Malvan & Kolhapur were very narrow & bad so it took us even more time.
We took almost 11 hours but that was also because we stopped thrice on the way, twice to eat & once to click pictures because we saw some really pretty flowers on the highway (please don’t try this it’s not safe, we made sure the road was empty & crossed carefully)
For breakfast we stopped at a dhabba to eat. I wanted omlette pav but they didn’t have any because they serve authentic Pune breakfast, so I ate a little from everyone’s plate instead of ordering something . Well I’m not a chai person but according to my friends the chai was the best that they’ve ever tasted, so if you’re someone who loves chai you gotta visit this place.
Then we continued our journey on the beautiful Pune highway. Every time you look outside you either see some weirdly shaped fascinating mountains, pretty fields, bright coloured flowers, some *lakes* and if nothing else you can always look at the beautiful sky with differently shaped clouds (if you know me, you know how I can stare at the clouds the entire day). After you reach a certain height you can also look at the view of the entire Pune city.
After we reached Kolhapur, we were really hungry but we were also trying to figure out a better route to reach malvan, because we had taken a route where we had pass through the Kolhapur busy street area. Finally after getting out of Kolhapur & finding a sexy road (road without traffic) we also found a place that looked good & was filled with people so we decided it was safe to have lunch there.
Tip 2 – If you’re visiting a new place & are not sure where to eat, always ask a local or go to a place which has at least few people in it.
Lunch was definitely satisfying but also a little expensive which seemed fine to us because we had finally found a place that looked decent to eat. Yes, we did ask the locals in Kolhapur to suggest some place but all they said was go to any hotel you will get good chicken curry masala so instead we decided to just go with our gut I guess..hahaha.
Before reaching Malvan we took a last halt at the ghats, I know it’s not recommended to stop on ghats but this place had extra space & there were more people halted before us because the view from this place was unavoidable. Inserting some pictures below.
After this all we wanted was to reach Malvan asap n sit at the beach for hours and stare at the sea. But guess what? Malvan had something else planned for us. So as we reached Malvan all of us didn’t have network & we weren’t sure if we were on the right route. When we finally got some network I got a call from a unknown number & I answered & the guy told me he was calling from the hotel so i asked him where should we come & he told us a landmark so we asked the locals n reached the landmark, what was the Malvan bus stand. We met the guy from the hotel n he lead us to the place we had to stay, but as soon as we reached the place we realized this wasn’t the hotel we had booked this was just one of the hotels I had inquired about while planning for Malvan… Hahah yeah it is exactly as confusing as it sounds. In short I inquired about 2 hotels with almost the same names & the guy who was so helpful & came to pick us from the bus station was the wrong hotel guy, though after all this I wished we booked this place because the host was so sweet.
In short we reached later than we were supposed to & then we ended up going to the wrong hotel & that consumed even more time, we all were laughing & wondering what’s happening to us, but travel isn’t fun without glitches right? After finally reaching the right hotel, all we did for an hour was rest. The host of this place wasn’t helpful at all I wouldn’t recommend anyone of you to stay at this place. We were lucky enough to only book this place for one day & then we shifted to a better hotel which I’ll be talking about in the next day blog.
We were so tired because we reached late, so we decided to just go to a restaurant near by, have dinner, come back, sleep and that’s exactly what we did.
After all the rest, the next had to be totally pumped & adventurous. We woke up in the morning & left to a home stay that we had booked for the next 3 days, we were just hoping it wasn’t as bad as the previous one. But before heading to the home stay we were so damn hungry so we decided to have breakfast on the way & then head to the home stay. After looking around on our way we saw a restaurant named Anmol which is exactly opposite the main Malvan bus stop (one of the locals told us you get omlette at this place) so I obviously had to drag my friends there. And guess what the place actually turned out to be really good. They had everything from wada Pav to omlette Pau & they also served fish thalis. The first thing that we ordered was obviously chai (excluding me) don’t hate me for not liking chai, from childhood I’ve never got the habit of having tea hence I’ve never found it fascinating & stuck to just having milk with bournvita/horlicks etc …haha… Leaving images of everything that we ate that day at Anmol below.
We went for breakfast & ended having brunch because we ate like we’ve been starving for ages (blame the food it was really nice) last but not the least the service of this restaurant is really good as well the waiters are sweet enough to give you anything as soon as you ask for it.
After feeding our big tummy’s we went to our home stay which seemed soooo much better than the previous one because the host were helpful & greeted us well. They also told us what all we could do in Malvan unlike the previous one who seemed arrogant & didn’t care about anything. The name of the home stay was Serina house, the Aunty was too cute & she also called me “Manjar” which means a cat in Konkani because I had applied white eyeliner under my eyes, which made me look like a cat. Our stomach was too full after the yummilicious (just wanted to use a fancily made up word) brunch & it was also too hot to head outside in the afternoon so we decided to just chill in our rooms & head out by 4 pm.
So in the evening we visited Dandi beach which was 3 minutes walking from the place we stayed. We were still getting into the whole vacation mood so this beach was just like the starters in a meal (nice reference there Rachel). We clicked some pictures, watched the sun set, the boats float, the fisher men come to the shore, oh that reminds me we found a fisher man (model) who along with his boat was positioned so well against the sunset that we just couldn’t stop clicking his picture & his hat just added another element of style to the picture (inserting the picture right below).
Tip 1000001 – Dandi beach is a bit crowded compared to Devbag so if you’re planning a shorter trip to Malvan & you have less time, I would recommend to skip this beach. But one thing I liked about this beach was that I got to notice the whole after process of fishing which is definitely a different experience.
Our tummy had started to make noise after leaving the beach which meant it was time to go eat some Malvan fish fry & curry but before that we went to our rooms to change & freshen up & also because I wanted to make sure I wore at least 2 outfits a day haha (because I hadn’t traveled anywhere for months so I just wanted to make use of all my summer vacation clothes) Well, the plan was just to freshen up & leave but we ended up getting so late (actually we weren’t aware that everything shuts so soon in Malvan including restaurants) that we ended up hunting for places, accidentally we ended up in one of the best restaurants in Malvan. It was about 10 pm when we reached SWAMI restaurant & when we asked if it’s still open the owner said we were about to shut, you guys reached just few minutes before we could shut. I want to skip the details but this one just can’t be skipped, so you know when you enter a restaurant how you look around at everyone’s plate to see what looks good or to know what to order (my friend also calls this – EATING WITH YOUR EYES) we did exactly that & ordered Surmai thali because the fried Surmai on one of the tables looked unavoidable & also the size of the fish was too good to be true. And OMG! It was as tasty as it looked. It was totally worth the money and the masala of the fried fish was something Iv’e never tasted. Because of the fish fry I forgot to tell you the other things that you get in this thali, so the thali consist of rice, 2 bowls of slightly different fish curry, 1 piece fish fry, 1 bowl of sole curry, 2 chappatis, dry fish masala, onion & lime. If you’re really hungry you could eat one thali by yourself but we wanted to play safe rather than wasting so we just ordered 3 thalis for 5 of us which actually was perfect we ordered extra rice & chapati when needed but otherwise 3 thalis were just perfect for 5 of us. It obviously depends on your appetite but it’s always better to order less first & then order more if required. If you ever check for places or ask the locals the best place to try fish thali in Malvan they would recommend ATHITI bamboo (which was a place we visited on the last day) because the quantity of food is better but I would any day choose Swami over Bamboo. The ambience & taste wise swami is much better. And the difference in price between both the places maximum is Rs. 100 so it’s okay to spend extra 50-100 & have a tastier meal.
I’ve always had a love & love relationship with fish, I can never say no to fish except for a few I like all type of sea food, I could live on sea food so you can imagine if I loved the thali so much, I’m definitely not exaggerating because I’ve tried sea food from a lot of places & none of it tasted so good. So if you’re a sea food lover you have to visit Malvan just for the food. If you’re not a travel freak just visit Malvan for the food, you won’t regret it! Choose a mode of transport to Malvan, go there, have fish thali & come back, but just go there to eat! Okay I should stop now because I’m sure you get my point. We went to our rooms & just fell asleep because our stomach was so full & HAPPY.
This was the most exciting day of my life! No. I’m not exaggerating. One of the major reason I chose this place was because it offers scuba diving. Iv’e never tried scuba diving before so I wanted to experience it first (maybe get a hang of it) & then go to Andaman or Bali & do it in a better place. Now you must be wondering as if I’m going to become a pro after doing it once but a fun fact about scuba diving is that you don’t need to know swimming & if you have any sort of fear about going deep inside the sea, you should try it out just once because the fear definitely goes away & that way you can be prepared for the next time. Okay enough of this technical things, so we left to the beach at 9 am. Since the beach was 2 minutes walking from the place we stayed we didn’t have to rush & we also made sure we were the first group to reach for scuba diving because the host of our home stay told us to go scuba diving as early as possible in the morning because that’s when the water is more clear & as more people scuba dive the water becomes less clear. All the water sports start at around 9 so even if we wanted to wake up really early & head to beach it wouldn’t be of any use.
After reaching the beach we found the guy who we were supposed to meet for all the water sports (through a friend) He told us he would charge Rs. 500 for scuba diving & Rs. 500 for parasailing & if wanted to do all the water sports (banana ride, jet ski, Bumper ride – sleeping & Sitting) including scuba & parasailing, we had to pay Rs. 1500. We tried our bargaining skills like for 5 minutes but it didn’t work, so 3 of us decided to do all the water sports including scuba & parasailing & 2 of my friends just did scuba diving (I think I’m gonna start counting the number of times I’ve typed *scuba diving* now hahah).
After trying our bargaining skills & successfully failing, now we were just waiting to see some beautiful corals & fishes. Even though I knew I was going to experience all the types of different water sports I just couldn’t take my mind off scuba. We thought we would first be scuba diving & then do the rest but it actually happened the other way round. They took all of 5 of us in a small boat to another (private looking boat) for parasailing. The guy said we had to pay Rs. 100 for 2 of my friends who weren’t going parasailing but just wanted to come to watch us, but then he just let them come with us on the boat for free instead. The guy who took us on the boat for Parsailing was too cool, he cracked some really subtle jokes because we were asking him too many questions about parasailing & every small things that were on the boat like the diesel, the parasailing hook, the safety gear etc. I wanted to be the last one to go parasailing but then I just decided to go second I don’t even know why I’m giving you this unwanted information maybe because i thought you know how you always just want to be the last person to do something just because you think you’re going to be able to do it better or because you think it’s cooler (sorry if no one could relate to this but please keep reading further for some more annoying words by me)
It was my turn now & honestly I wasn’t scared, I was more excited to see how it feels like 100 ft above the sea. And OMG! the view from the top was unexplainable. I could see the whole of Sindhudurg fort (a fort in the middle of the sea) Can I be honest? for a minute I did feel like I was a bird and pretended to act like one in my head while I was on top looking at the clouds, the sea, the fort, too many boats and my friends who looked like ants (sorry if you’re reading this, no I didn’t call you an ant)
Tip – Make sure you rest your bum properly on the rope or else you’re lower back is going to start hurting once you come down, because that was one mistake that I made it wasn’t really a mistake I actually didn’t know I had to rest my bum properly because they didn’t instruct anything about sitting in a certain way. But I did feel like a little pain on my lower back while coming down because instead of stressing on my bum I was stressing on my lower back.
After Parasailing they made us do 2 bumper rides, there are two types of bumper rides one is sitting & the other is sleeping. The sitting one just felt like one of the ride in water parks but the sleeping one actually just got a little scarier when the boat stops in the middle & then takes a turn & speeds up, it’s like you almost think like you’re going to fall but then something else happens, you don’t fall but since you’re sleeping on your stomach all the water splashes right on your face & also some in your mouth.
PS – We were screaming like maniacs because we were scared.
On the other side I wanted to act all brave & I said I would sit right in front on the banana boat & guess what happened? the first time I sat on it I fell because of the waves And the same thing happened when I sat on the Jet ski, I obviously didn’t fall off the Jet Ski but the wave was so bad that it entered my nose, mouth & ears & it was definitely not a good feeling. I actually thought the Jet ski would be the least scary ride but Damn! It was the scariest one, I’m not sure if it was just me or it actually was that scary, I literally couldn’t open my eyes because I was scared of the speed it was moving in.
Now comes the time for Scuba Diving, Finally!
There’s a boat that takes almost 20 people at a time in the middle of the sea, where we have to scuba dive. Before we could start, the guy on the boat teaches us all the signs, ways to breathe & everything that we need to know before we go under water. Make sure you pay attention to everything properly if you really want to experience scuba diving without fear. Make sure you ask as many as questions possible while you’re on the boat, so that you don’t panic when you’re under water.
(this image is from the phone that we lost all the data, so please ignore the aesthetics)
At first when the instructor told me to just dip my head inside & keep it for a few seconds so that I could get used to the underwater vibe, I did get a little scared. This definitely depends from person to person but for me it got a bit easy after 5 seconds & then I told him that I was ready to go under water. As soon as I was underwater & I started to get comfortable, I just didn’t feel like a human! I felt like the world above didn’t exist. It made me feel like I’m in a whole new world altogether, a world where you can only listen to the noise of the water & all you can see are beautiful fishes & corals. After a while I forgot that I had to consciously breath from my mouth, it all just happened subconsciously. At some point I honestly felt like a fish & that’s literally the first thing I said after I was done scuba diving. Basically, if you just pay attention to the instructions & follow it once you’re under water you will be fine. If you or someone you know who really wants to scuba dive but is scared of the water, trust me it’s not as difficult as it looks. The best thing is that you don’t need to know how to swim & the other thing is that you’re going to have an instructor right next to you all the time so it’s definitely safe!
PS – The thumbs up 👍 sign actually means you want to go on top and the 👌 means you’re fine which I realised after showing the thumbs up in excitement so I changed it to okay immediately, I was glad he didn’t pull me back..hahah..
Tips – Avoid too much movement once you’re under water otherwise you might hit the corals & get few scratches just like me, you know why right? because I thought I was a fish so I tried to move like one.
The whole water sports & scuba diving almost took us 4 hours, so by the time we got done it was lunch time & stomach started asking us for some more fish again. But first things first we had to go have a good bath & remove all the sand from our body. I had to do an additional thing, that’s removing all my braids before going for bath (managed to keep my braids for 4 days but obviously had to get rid of it after scuba diving). Since we were really hungry & didn’t want to waste time or take a risk of eating at a new place, we ended up going to Hotel Anmol again hahha.. such a savior! But this time we didn’t just have a fish thali, we also ordered Kombi Wade (Chicken curry with something that looked like a puri) & chicken biryani. All of us ate from each others plate just like we did at every hotel we visited haha. Everything was yummmm, I think I just can’t get enough talking about this place, you must have definitely figured it out by now.
So after the stomach full meal I didn’t want to go back to our rooms & relax so I convinced my friends to go visit Dev Baug beach & it worked 😛 It was a 20 minute drive but we also stopped in the middle because we saw a beautiful view of the backwaters. There were few boats as well so if you want to go to Tsunami Island you can take a boat from this place. We asked a guy how much would he charge & he said 1200 for one boat so maybe if you are 10 people or more this wouldn’t be that expensive.
We knew one of the local there so he told us not to take the boat & go there & he would instead take us to a better place by road only, so we just followed him. And OMG he took us to the most beautiful place. This place is called Sangham Point, why you ask? Like kiska Sangham hora hai bhai? (Working on my hindi ok :P) so it’s a point where the backwaters & the sea meet, there’s literally a place where you can see the waves stop & then the backwaters flowing. A picture just can’t do any justice to it. The backwaters was surrounded by mountains & there was also few houses on the mountain & hotels. So if you don’t mind spending a little more & staying on the mountains then you should because I’m sure the view from top is going to be breathtaking.
We only got to chill there for a bit because it had started to get a little dark. If we knew before how beautiful this place was, we would have spent our entire day at this place. And guess what that’s exactly what we did the next day (which was also the last day).
But before that I have to tell you about the place we had dinner at Atitti Bamboo (most famous place for fish thalis) after heading from Dev baug beach. This is one of the best places to have fish thali is Malvan, some also say its the “ONLY” best place. So our excitement was definitely double than having the thali at any other place.
Taste of the food – almost same as Swami (I personally felt swami was better)
Since this place was so hyped that people actually had to wait in line to eat we thought the ambience would be really cool as well but it was the most sweet & simple place with just plastic tables & chairs so the only reason people actually go here to eat is purely because of the food.
Finally, after accomplishing our goal of eating there we had a good night sleep because we knew tomorrow was our last day at Malvan and all we were going to do was chill at the beautiful Devbagh beach which we couldn’t do the previous day since we reached late.
Well so after waking up the next day I don’t have to tell you where we had breakfast (I mean brunch) because it was obviously Hotel Anmol, the only place that could feed me egg..hahah. After that we got back to our roams to pick everything we needed to chill on the beach for 4-5 hours, I’m not even exaggerating we could spent our entire day at Devbagh beach because it was so beautiful, clean & also less crowded.
We reached Devbagh beach around 4:00 pm! That’s all I’m going to say because the rest I’m going to let you experience through the visuals below. Because I can’t put everything into words of how exactly the beach made me feel if you’re a beach person, no wait I’m going to call you a water person just like I call myself a WATER person because I’m obsessed with staring at the rains, the lake, a stream, an ocean, a beach, even a glass of water..haha..
All of us were acting like some caged birds who just got out side the cage & wants to fly & check every corner of the beach. One was clicking pictures, one was being clicked (that would obviously be me haha..) one was drawing something on the sand, one just sat on the sand n stared at everything around and one was trying to chase a dog. And after a while when we were all got done doing what we had too, we realized we needed to jump in the water but before that get a picture of all is us together with the sunset so we tried some self timer pictures & videos or as I would want to call it group advanced selfie (at the back of my head I was hoping our phone doesn’t get stolen while we pose)
Then we jumped into the sea like we’ve never seen one and waited inside until the sun could completely set. Me & my friend also tried walking towards the sunset hoping we could get a little closer to it hahah. I wish I could take a video of all this but before going inside the water we kept all our phones in the car so that we could all enjoy inside the water at the same time & not worry about our chapals or phones getting stolen.
After the best time of my Life (I mean it!) this experience can never be replaced but can definitely be relived, we headed back to the the hotel. After such a mad and hectic day all we wanted to do was laze around and do nothing. So we had dinner packed our bags and slept like dogs. Next day felt like the saddest day of my life because we had leave and go back home which was again a 12 hour car journey back.