I have been hearing stories about Kashid since 2008, when my “best” half traveled here for the first time. And he so wanted me to visit the place with him. And after 6 years of hearing innumerable stories, the sea finally gave a call. It was the Independence Weekend. Our bags were packed and we headed Pune!!
We boarded an AC Sleeper Volvo from Anand Rao Circle, Bangalore on August 13. Reached Pune next day around 12 noon. Just a suggestion, go for KSRTC buses to avoid delay.
The warm smile of my favorite cousin welcomed us. We headed home. And there was my Seja jethu and natunma ( my father’s elder brother’s family) with the brightest smile, the warmth of home and luchi (what more a Bong could ask for). After some pet puja with Bong Style Mutton curry, Luchi and alur dom and little nap it was time to explore the city.. PUNE!!
Being a part of a congested and mechanical Bangalore, for the last 1 year the wide empty streets of Pune was a welcome change. It’s not that the city does not have traffic but it’s not messy like that of Bangalore. Auto is a menace as much in Bangalore. We boarded an auto and headed the famous German Bakery. And one philosophical thought while sipping tea and snacks I had was: “Life does go on, no matter who stays and who doesn’t”
Next Stop: My cousin’s favorite hangout in Pune: “The Hard Rock Cafe”, Koregaon park
Well, well!! I am not much of a worshiper “rock music” or its culture, but nonetheless I liked the place, the ambiance and the of course the music!! (now just don’t ask me what they played and which genre 😉
Some reminiscence of happy and sad, difficult and easier times happened over a couple of beers, cocktails and chicken and we headed home.
I go back from where I started writing this post. Kashid!! We started for Kashid around 7 am in the morning. Kashid is about 172 km from Pune. I have heard the beauty of Mumbai-Pune Expressway when it rains, but witnessing it live was a different game altogether!! Tried to capture some with my smartphone, but that’s nowhere close to what my eyes witnessed.
We reached Kashid around noon. The hotel we stayed was simple and decent and was priced reasonably. We were dying out of hunger since it was past 2pm but by Kashid standard it seemed pretty late. Roaming around the small village like town we bumped into a road side small eatery and trust me we had the bestest of fish meal. Local fishes include Basa, Surmai and of course Pomfret.
After a sumptuous lunch, we headed for Murud Beach about 20-25 Km from Kashid. There in the middle of the sea is the gigantic Murud Janjira Fort .
This is what Maharashtra Tourism Site [ http://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/] tells about Murud Janjira Fort:
[Situated on a rock of oval shape near the port town of Murud, Janjira is one of the strongest marine forts of India. The forts is approached by sailboats from Rajapuri jetty (Murud Beach). The main gate of the fort faces Rajapuri on the shore and can be seen only when one is quite close to it. It has a small gate towards the open sea for escape. The fort has 19 rounded bastions, still intact. There are many canons of native and European make rusting on the bastions. Originally the fort was small wooden structure built by a Koli chief in the late 15th century. It was captured by Pir Khan, a general of Nizamshah of Ahmednagar. Later the fort was strengthened by Malik Ambar, the Abyssinian Siddi regent of Ahmednagar kings. From then onward Siddis became independent, owing allegiance to Adilshah and the Mughals as dictated by the times. Despite their repeated attempts, the Portuguese, the British and the Marathas failed to subdue the Siddi power. Shivaji’s all attempts to capture Janjira fort failed due to one reason or the other. When Sambhaji also failed, he built another island fort, known as Kansa or Padmadurg, just 9kms north of Janjira. The Janjira state came to an end after 1947. The palace of the Nawabs of Janjira at Murud is still in good shape.]
BUT you have to SEE it to BELIEVE IT
The magnificence of this fort will keep you awe struck!! The sail boats carry about 50 people. I have always been in love with the boat rides, the wind blowing on your face rubbing off all your worries. It was about half an hour journey. Once we reached there, the scary part was the way the boat men transferred each individual from the boat to the fort. They literally catch you by your hand and throw you on the fort stairs. Scary!! But my inspiration was few late 50 years ladies going for it in ease. I went for it and finally landed on the fort.
I wont blabber much about the awesomeness of the place, here are few captures that come perhaps close to what we experienced!!
Once back we headed to the beach of Kashid. One word that explains it is “SERENE”. Perhaps it had all the answers to your troubles, all your worries. Just walk by the beach and stare at the calmness of the sea and do nothing. Drown into blankness. Beautiful to say at least.
As evening approached we came back to the hotel but how I wished I could experience the sea at night. Localites say the beach isn’t safe post evening and succumbing to usual stupid situations we came back to our hotel. The evening and half the night went on with random ramblings and chit chats. A passing realization:
“A cousin is that little bit of childhood that can never be lost.”
We were back to the beaches early morning. Seaside, early morning walks, hot tea and poses!! Life isn’t that bad at times!!
Around 11 we started back for Pune, had Chinese lunch in one of the roadside restaurant which turned out to be brilliant. We had plans of hopping a bit around Lonavala but long weekend, maddening crowd restrained us from even entering Lonavala. This was one disappointing part of our trip.
Back to Pune for a day before heading to the city of brick and mortar Namma Bengaluru, with memories of Kashid that will be there for a long long time.
To travelers interested to visit Kashid: Go there if you wish to free your mind from all cluttered thoughts, walk by the beach on a moonlight night and Come Back REFRESHED & REJUVINITED.