Literally meaning ‘garden of Ali’, Alibaug has been a historic neighborhood of Bene Israeli Jews. The town is situated in the Raigad district in the Konkan region of Maharashtra and also famous as Goa of Maharashtra, encircled as it is with oceans on three sides. Alibaug is gaining popularity as one of the best weekend getaways from Mumbai owing to its natural beauty, beaches and pastoral setting.
Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Alibaug
This is the main beach. A very flat stretch makes for a long walk. It is reasonably clean and has thin crowds during the week. The sand has a hard texture and is a shade of black. It is not easy to create sand castles. The tide rolls in from all sides: You may have to wade through water on the way back.
Siddheshwar Mandir near Khandale
This is famous Shiva temple near picturesque hills near village Khandale just 4 km from Alibaug-Pen state highway. You can drive your vehicles near to hillocks and with small trek you can reach this beautiful temple. The beauty is awesome during Shrawan month when hundreds of people throng to worship here during Shrawani Somwars. If you travel further you can see the remains of ancient fort called “Sagargad”.
Alibaug is the seat of District Administration of Raigad (formerly Kolaba) district since 1852. The name Kolaba is attributed to a sea fort built by Shivaji the great in 1680 to fight the mighty naval prowess of the Siddis (Abyssenians) of Janjira and the British of Mumbai. Kolaba fort is famous for many battles, between Siddis and Kanhoji Angre, the British and the Portuguese. It is also famous for lord Ganesh temple and Dargha
Khanderi and Underi Islands
A few kilometers from the Kihim Beach one can visit Khanderi and Underi islands. They are heavily fortified and built by Shivaji as sea observation posts in 1660 CE to keep a check on the Siddis at Murud-Janjira fort. Later on it lost its importance. Most of the fort is intact. The most prominent structure is a lighthouse built in 1837 which is still in service and used for sea navigation.
Magen Avot Synagogue
There was once a very big Jewish community in Alibaug; most of them were oil pressers and sellers. Bet El Synagogue is the only one in Alibaug. Viceroy Lord Curzon (1899-1905) visited this synagogue. This place had been place of worship for the Jewish community; it was where community center, Konkan development programs and village meetings were held. The synagogue is a heritage property with a unique style and is well-known Indian Jewish and Konkan tourist point.
About a mile from the main beach, it is home to a very large naval base. It is on the outskirts of Alibaug. It is relatively less-visited site. It is a quiet beach with sparkling white sand and cleaner seawater. Varsoli is a small satellite village across Alibaug, complete with thick vegetation of coconut and casuarina.
It is 6 km from Alibaug. It is a favourite spot for advertising, TV serial and film shoots. This beach is well-suited for children and waders as the sea is flat for a long distance. One can walk through to a considerable distance toward the sea.
It is about 10 km from Alibaug and is famous for coconuts and betel nuts. One can walk on the beach from Nagaon beach to Akshi beach in ten minutes. It is more popular for its water sports and most of the tourists coming to Alibaug stay near Nagaon beach. It the cleanest beach among Varsoli beach and Kashid beach too. Still the sand is black. Below is the image of the Nagaon beach.
Kihim is a secluded place at a distance of approximately 10 km from Alibaug. The Kihim beach is famous for dense cover of coconut trees. Another occupation of the people here is agriculture.
It is situated about 17 km from Alibaug. The long sea cost called “REVDANDA BEACH” is tourist attraction place. It is famous weekend tourist spot.
It is about 17 km from Alibaug to Karlekhind – Chondi road, 13 km from Alibaug to the northeast. This very famous Shiv temple on a 900 ft. high hill. It is a 5000-foot climb on well-paved stairs, which takes around one hour. Landmarks along the route are tombs of MohanGiri and Balgiri, Nagoba Rest, Jambhali Plateau, God’s stair, Gaymandi etc.
The scenic temple premises comprises small temples of Sri Paleshwar, Sri Hanuman, Sri Balram Krishna and Lord Shiv. The special attraction is an ancient sweet water tank enclosed in traditional structure of black stone. The ancient temple was built by Raja Ramdeorai Yadav. The height of the Shiv temple is 54 ft. The front gate has lion sculpture on both sides with traditional lamp-pillar (deepmaal) in front. The 4-foot ‘pindi’ of Lord Shiv is silver-plated. The premises also include Nagaar-khana, Bheem Kunda, a garden for flowers to be offered to the Lord, Sri Ram Ganesh temple and Gomukha. Every year, there is a fair on Kartik Poornima in Hindu calendar. On this hill, a variety of herbs are found.
It is situated about 17 km north of Alibaug. The catamaran/ferry services are available from Mumbai to the Mandawa jetty. Many Bollywood celebrities own bungalows here.
It is 49km from Alibaug, on the Alibaug-Murud highway, also this beach is possibly one of the cleanest and most beautiful beaches in the region with almost ‘white’ sand. There are many cottages and resorts available ranging from around INR 1500 to INR 20,000. Prakruti resort is the luxury and the costliest of all. This village does not have any wine shops. One has to go around 6 km towards Murud to buy alcohol. Kashid is the perfect place to relax for urban people. One can find water sports facility and number of small shops for snacks. There is a danger board warning people of dangerous tides.
A quiet serene beach with alternate white and black sands, along a serene stretch of the Arabian coastline, adjacent to a village of Korlai Creole Portuguese-speaking Indians. Just across the bridge, to the right there is Korlai fort within the sea and attached to the mainland by a narrow land strip through the Korlai fort through the Korlai Village. It is supposed to have been built by the Portuguese in 1521. The main gate has an inscription which means ‘no entry without a fight’. The fort has seven gates, a sweet water well, a church in disuse, a Hindu temple and a lighthouse which is still used for navigation.
Murud Janjira fort
Murud Janjira fort is a 16th Century Sea Fort (Now in ruins) set a few kms off Murud Janjira beach and accessible via a local ferry ride. The Fort has not been maintained but still remains popular for a visit. When sea turns rough, the boat ride is nothing short of an adventure. Fort is an architectural masterpiece. The fundamental passage has a stone cutting, delineating six elephants caught by a solitary tiger, an image of the courage of the Siddis. The fortification has 23 tremendous bastions around 30-40 ft high, still in place. Amongst them are the three noteworthy guns, ‘Kalal Bangadi’, ‘Landa Kasam’ and “Chavi” worked from five metals.
Kolaba (or Kulaba) fort (not to be confused with Colaba in Mumbai) is in the sea 1–2 km from the Alibaug shores. During low tide one can walk to the fort. This was built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and is assumed to be the last one that he built before his death. The fort used to have a sweet water well.
Kanakeshwar temple is on a hill near Mapgaon village, about 12 km from Alibaug and falls on the way to Mandawa.
Chaul is a historic town about 15 km from Alibaug. It is famous for its Portuguese ruins, an old church, a synagogue, Buddhist caves, the Hamam Khana and a temple. More than 365 old temples are present in Chaul Town.
The famous fair at Chaul-Bhovale is celebrated in December month it starts from “Datta Jayanti” and lasts for 5 to 7 days. The peoples from various places comes for this fair.
Shitaladevi Temple , Chaul is about 18 km from Alibaug. It is historic and famous temple in chaul.
Vikram Vinayak Temple or Birla Temple, Salav is situated about 20 km away from Alibaug. On the way to Janjira, take the right fork to reach the Vikram Ispat industry. Going a bit ahead will lead one to the temple.
A museum of exquisite sculptures from the renowned sculptor Padmashri V.P. Karmarkar in Sasavne, about 18 km from Alibaug Bus Depot.
Established in 1904 by the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism. Although after 26/11, the security has been tightened and access to the Observatory has been restricted. A written permission from the Panvel office of Indian Institute of Geomagnetism needs to be presented when entering the premises of the Observatory in Alibaug.
Korlai Fort and Korlai Creole Portuguese of Korlai village:
Situated between Chaul and Kashid, a village of Indians born of Indo-Portuguese ancestors, speaking a unique creole of Portuguese and a fort lost in the sands of history.
How to Reach Alibaug
One can reach Alibaug via Pen (30 km), which is on the Mumbai (78 km) – Goa road. From Mumbai, one can reach Alibaug by traveling on the Mumbai-Goa highway (NH-17) till Wadkhal (or Vadkhal) and taking the right fork from Wadkhal – the left fork being the road to Goa. It is approximately 108 km from Mumbai.
The nearest rail railway station is at Pen. Through Pen, it is connected to Panvel and onwards to Mumbai and the Indian Railways network.
By Boat services
The nearest jetty is Mandwa From where catamaran/ferry services are available to Mumbai. Another port in the vicinity is Rewas, from where a ferry service is available to Ferry Wharf (Bhau cha Dhakka) (Dockyard Road). There is a jetty at Custom Bandar from where fishermen in Alibaug set sail.
Ferry service between Mandwa and Gateway of India, Mumbai. They run at a frequency of an hour throughout the year from morning 6 to evening 6, except during monsoon.
One can reach Alibaug by catamaran through Gateway of India to Mandwa or from Bhaucha Dhakka to Rewas and from Mandwa/Rewas to Alibaug by bus. Ticket includes journey from Gateway to Mandwa and bus journey from Mandwa to Alibaug bus stop. From Rewas to Alibaug one needs to take State Transport bus or a rickshaw. Take the ferry from Gateway to Mandwa. Services are usually available from 6:00am till 6:00pm. The trip takes 40 to 55 minutes depending on the type of boat. From Mandwa operators carry passengers to Alibaug in their own chartered buses. The bus journey time is 45 minutes. Alibaug beach is walking distance from the bus-stop.
Another option is to take a ferry from “Bhaucha Dhakka” to Rewas. Timings are the same but schedule may change depending on the tide. From Rewas take state transport bus or rickshaw to Alibaug. Bus Journey time: 1 hour to reach Alibaug. One benefit of using the Bhaucha Dhakka – Rewas route by ferry is that you can take a two-wheeler along on the ferry on this route for a nominal charge. You can go to Alibaug by S.T. bus from Mumbai. From Mumbai to Alibaug having daily 35–40 S.T. buses. Borivali, Thane, Kalyan, Pune, Kolhapur, Miraj, Nashik have buses to Alibaug.
Speedboats from the Gateway of India to Mandwa Jetty take roughly 20–25 minutes depending on the weather and can be hired at the Gateway of India at Jetty No. 5 which is opposite the Taj Mahal Hotel. The new jetty installed in 2014 at Mandwa ensures safety of guests traveling by speedboat.
Best Time to Visit Alibaug
Temperature in summer varies from 22 to 40°C whereas during the winters the temperature varies from 12 to 33°C. Alibaug could be visited round the year except for monsoon however the best time to visit Alibaug is from October till March.
Where to stay in Alibaug:
A number of luxury resorts and budget hotels has come up in Alibaug to cater to rising number of travelers. Bunglows and homestays also offer much affordable accommodation options.
For family / office group picnic Ekvira Bungalow available with all facilities at Kihim Beach near Alibaug / Mandva – just one hour long distance from Gateway of India (Sea Route) and 3-4 hours by vehicles from Mumbai.
For more details about Ekvira Bungalow for family / office group picnic at Kihim beach near to Alibaug / Mandva / Mumbai registration / booking please contact Shekhar on mobile number 8080080996 or contact Jagdish on mobile number 9870232832 (Monday to Friday :- 7.00 to 10.00 p.m. only, Saturday & Sunday :- 10.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. only) or write on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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