Many weekend picnickers in Mumbai flock to the beach town of Alibaug. Mainly known for its beaches and forts, Alibaug is now a well-known tourist attraction but it tends to get overcrowded. Fortunately, just 30 Km away from it lies Kashid beach.
Kashid beach is one of the lesser known and yet the most beautiful beach of the Northern Konkan region. Flanked by hillocks and Casuarinas groves, this 3 Km stretch of a beach boasts of white sand and blue waters of the Arabian Sea.
Waves at Kashid are unusually high and hence attract surfing enthusiasts. There are many other activities like jet skiing, camel and cart rides, etc. After a nice long swim, you can comfortably unwind on hammocks which coconut vendors have put up around their shops (you will need to buy a coconut from them first). But the best part of the beach is the Zen-like ambience it provides. No matter how crowdedthe beach is, you can always find a secluded spot where you can sit down peacefully and feel the cool breeze on your face as the huge waves rumble on. Or you can just stroll along the shore without worrying about stepping over bottles or trash in the sand.
The area around Kashid is privately owned by landlords so it has not been developed as the perfect tourist spot. But there is the Janjira Fort, Murud, the Birla Temple and a few sanctuaries housing birds, deer and leopards. On the way from Mumbai, a lot of local craftsmen display their handicraft along the side of the road. You can find a bargain, if you are lucky enough.
The best time to visit Kashid is from October to June. The monsoon season is not recommended since it brings a lot of heavy rainfall and the waves may reach huge heights. Not to mention that the humidity level increases drastically during this time and the temperature may drop to as low as 20° C.
November is ideal to enjoy the lovely winter sun and April is a good time to welcome the onset of summer.
There are a few Group Adventure Camps that take you to Kashid at reasonable prices. They include camping, barbeque, bonfire, catamaran ride in the sea and you might even get to play beach volleyball on one of the privately owned beaches of that area.
Kashid is also very well connected by road. It is approximately 135 Km from Mumbai and you will get to use a good part of the Pune Expressway if you choose the Khopoli route. Trains are not the best option though the buses run at a good frequency. Technically, any bus going to Murud should make a halt at Kashid but it would be better to ask in advance.
In my personal opinion, Khashid is ideal to relax during weekends. You will find yourself caught in between the mighty Western Ghats and the great Arabian Sea…the whole universe will be yours to contemplate.
Image Source [http://www.kashid.co.in/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Kashid-Beach.jpg]