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India: Ajanta Ellora, Alibaug, Bhandardhara with Ajanta and Ellora, Diveagar, Ganpatipule, Kodaikanal with Madurai & Rameshwaram, Koyna Nagar, Panchmarhi, Raigadh
by Abhijit Choudhary, India
Diveagar is a place 156 km from Pune on the western coast. It is the nearest sea beach from Pune. The village is very quiet and one can relax on weekends in Diveagar. During Diwali this year, we decided to visit Diveagar along with Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar and Janjira fort. The description below will be a useful guide for anyone travelling by car or bike. It has details of the route. Always be sure about direction and distance of your destination as there are no sign boards that we are used to on our regular highways.
How to go to Diveagar?
Proceed from Chandani chowk at the starting point of Paud road, Pune. You will come across small villages like Paud and Mulshi. Grab some snacks at Quickbite, a restaurant on the way. Although I found it to be a little bit expensive. Go through Tamhini ghat. At the end of the ghat, before village Vile, there is a resort. After that take left turn and you are on a new road which is very smooth and saves your time and petrol.
You would then come across Nijampur and then Mangaon. At Mangaon, take a left turn on the Mumbai Goa highway and after approximately 200 meters, there is a right turn which goes towards Mhasala, Shrivardhan and Harihareshwar. Take that road and proceed till Mhasala. Mhasala is a small typical Kokani town. Look for a right turn to Diveagar. That road goes to Diveagar, Vadawali, and Dighi port. Take that road till you get to a T-junction at Vadawali. Take left turn and you will reach Borli. At the end of Borli village, you will come across a right turn which takes you to Diveagar. Take another right turn to enter the village. There is one famous ganesh temple on the left-hand side.
Places to visit when in Diveagar:
Janjira fort: this is the main attraction for many tourists. This fort is built in the sea and is worth viewing. To visit this place, you need to go to Dighi which is approx 16 km from Diveagar in the north direction. Once you reach Dighi, take a right turn and you will find office for launch service between Janjira and Dighi. The motor launch can carry up to 30 people at a time. You need to wait till the desired number of tourists gather else the launch owner will refuse to operate.
This special launch will take you to Janjira directly. The ride costs approximately Rs 45. But the motor launch cannot go right up the fort, as such you will be asked to board anotger small boat that will take you all the way to the fort's main gate. You have to take a guide from the small boat. There is no other option. Once you are in the fort premises, you have to obey to what the local people say. You are just not allowed to roam around by yourself. Otherwise they politely threaten you about leaving you in the fort. This is the only bad experience I had in the region. The guide charges around Rs 40 per head and shows important parts of the fort with some history in about 45 minutes. Once the trip is over, the small boat and then the launch will bring you back to Dighi.
This is a major town in the South of Diveagar. You can go there by road via Shekhadi village. This road runs parallel to the sea offering some breath taking views. Take a left turn once you reach Shrivardhan and the road will take you to Harihareshwar - famous for Shiva temple. When you are in kokan, just follow one rule. Whenever you find a junction of roads or chouk, ask the locals for the direction to your destination. Otherwise one may go in the wrong direction. All the roads are small and they look very similar to each other. There are no proper road signs. At the end of Shrivardhan city, there is one petrol pump. In front of the pump, there are two roads. The left one goes to Diveagar and the right road which has a visible slope, goes to Harihareshwar.
While coming back from Harihareshwar, watch out for a village called Jasawali, approximately 3 kms before Shrivardhan. Take right turn at the Jasawali village junction towards Mhasala. The road condition is not very good and some part of it allows only one vehicle at a time. Once you pass Mhasala town, there is a police check post. If you want to go to Pune through Tamhini ghat, take left turn towards Mangaon. Otherwise, go straight and the road will take to Goregaon and then to Lonere on the Goa highway. Take a right turn and go to Mahad. The highway doesn't go through the city. At the end of Mahad town limits, there is a bridge which has one-way traffic. At the end of it, take a left turn towards Bhor and Pune via Varandha ghat.
You can also visit Shivthar ghal. It is the place where Ramdas Swami, a great saint of Maharashtra who wrote the Dasbodh. There is a waterfall and a cave. You can take a left turn in Barasgaon and travel approximately 15 kms to reach Kumbheshivthar. After visiting the place you can take the same road back to Barasgaon or take a shortcut from Mazeri village which takes you to Varandha ghat directly.
The ghat itself is very beautiful. It has three breathtaking hairpin u-turns which take you on the top of the ghat. Grab some hot bhaji (fritters) and tea at Waghjai temple area and proceed towards Bhor. One needs to be extremely careful whilst driving as there are quite a few blind spots. Once you reach Bhor, take a left turn at the Government hospital and this shortcut will take you to Satara - Pune highway. Take a left turn towards Pune.
Diveagar Image Gallery Photo viewer
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