During my summer vacation stay at Pune in 2010, I went on a short trip to Kihim and Alibaug over a weekend. Kihim is a beach at south of Mumbai. By road Mumbai to Kihim is 120 km and takes approx 3 hrs. Pune to Kihim is 150 km and takes 4 hrs. So we decided to go to Mumbai by train and then by ferry to Mandwa port which takes 1 hr only.
Our train was to reach CST at 4 am or so. The first ferry for Mandwa port leaves Apollo Bandar at 6 am. After having tea and sandwich, we decided to go and sit at Gateway of India to enjoy the open space and oceanic breeze at least. It was wonderful seeing the dawn break at Gateway of India. Lot of people had gathered there by 6 am…I guess Alibaug is a popular weekend getaway for Mumbai folks. Our ferry left at 6.15 am and thus began my first boat ride.
The boat ride can be a torture for those who suffer from motion sickness. After a bit of hotel searching, we decided to stay at Nandanvan holiday home at Kihim Beach. All hotels at Kihim/Mandwa are private homes actually built for such purposes and the rent is too high. I guess the residents think of Mumbaikars as very rich people. Our a.c. room’s rent was Rs 2200 per day!! No tax. No in-house food facility. The room or shall I say the flat was very big…it had one living room, a bathroom and a big bedroom with dining table. Only tea was available at this place. Food had to be ordered from a neighboring holiday home. But it was tasty,not expensive and normal like typical home cooked Marathi food. Both non-veg and veg food were available. The Kihim beach was hardly 3 mins from the hotel on foot. One important thing about Kihim is that Airtel network, the so- called “Atoot Network”, gets broken there. Reception is available only at beach..not inside homes.
In the evening, we went out for a stroll on the beach. Kihim beach is a rocky type of beach with rocks covered with sea shells and some sort of algae/coral growth. Kihim is described on travel websites in these words :-
The place is famous for variety of woods which serves as a cover. Nature lovers will be thrilled to visit the place for it provides sight of rare butterflies, birds and flowers. The most attractive part of the Kihim beach is that the place is not entirely discovered and unpolluted.
We didn’t spot any rare butterflies or birds. We did see a very different kind of flower though. As for the “unpolluted” part, Kihim beach does have its share of plastic waste and rotting garbage. There is a jeep service at Kihim which gives parasailing facility. (No, we didn’t do it..too scared )
Next day,we went to Alibaug. Thankfully our hotel was near an auto stand so we didn’t have to walk much in the hot sun. Alibaug is quite well-developed commercially. But the only shopping we did there was to buy “hapoos” mangoes at cheaper price and of better quality than Pune. There is a fort called Colaba Fort surrounded by sea water at a little distance from the shore. When tide is low one can go there on foot. Otherwise there are speed boats for tourists to go there. These boats also take tourists on short rides on sea, just near the shore.
We came back to Kihim by lunch time. In the evening we went out to the beach for one last time. Next day, we went back to Mandwa port by auto and then back to Bombay by boat. As it was noon by the time we reached Mandwa, the crowd waiting for the boat was quite big. One has to grab a place soon in the queue for the boat else all the good seats are taken. Spent the afternoon and evening at a relative’s place. Reached Pune at midnight by train.