Getaway Of India - Mumbai
Mumbai, the endearing island city, is always in a mad rush to get somewhere, to get things done. Its frenetic energy and throbbing pulse make you nearly forget the majestically sweeping curves of its beaches but when you do get a moment to gaze at the ocean you realize how stunning the city is. Though the beaches in Mumbai are terribly exploited and very commercial, we give you a what, where and why of beaches very close to Mumbai, where you can pop in for a day, to kick back and recharge your energy.
To the North of the mainland of Mumbai city are a host of quick beach getaways. Manori, Gorai and Utan Beaches are gorgeous and almost unmarked by time despite being so close to the pulsating metropolis of Mumbai. All these beaches have green hills forming a magnificent backdrop to silver shimmering sands fringed with swaying coconut palms on one side and the clear blue sea on the other. Marve is a beach in the Mumbai suburb Malad from where you can get a fifteen minute ferry ride across to Manori or Gorai. You can also drive up to it on a winding route from Dahisar a suburb of Mumbai further to its North. Manori and Gorai do get filled with revelers on the week end so for a truly idyllic get away choose a week day and watch your worries disappear into oblivion.
In the Thane district, to the North of Mumbai, is a nearly 20 km long stretch of quiet and beautiful beaches. The Dahanu – Bordi belt was developed by the peace loving immigrants from Iran, the Parsis. This belt is also famous for its fruit orchards and you will find quite a number of bungalows filled with old world charm on hire if you choose to spend the night. With nothing to do but relax, gaze at the endless sea and look up at the sky, any of these lovely beaches on this outstanding stretch of white sand are a throw back to a slower more peaceful time.
A little ahead is the little Union Territory of Daman, with considerable traces and references to its erstwhile Portuguese rulers; this beach territory is a little bit more commercial but is a good getaway if you want to spend the night. With luxurious resorts mushrooming all over, there is no dearth of accommodation and a variety of places to eat. Alcohol is really cheap here, so unless you are in a party mood, steer clear of this place on weekends when citizens of the adjacent “dry state” of Gujarat pour in for a share of the good times. A thoroughly enjoyable and luxurious beach getaway is in store for you on the marvelous Daman beach.
For those inclined towards something more adventurous and isolated, there is always Arnala beach, a short bus ride away from Virar, the last station on the local Western railway line of Mumbai. A mere eight miles away from Vasai, this quaint fishing village is well known for its strategic Fort Arnala. This relic of a time gone by, stands proud a little distance in the sea and can be approached by a ten minute ferry ride. Though the ramparts have survived, the interior has eroded. But you can still walk all along the top of the majestic walls of the fort and get a panoramic view of the hills of the Arnala beach and the stunning beach itself. For a picturesque beach combined with a crash course in history, head over to Arnala fort.
Last but definitely not the least is the stretch from Mandwa all the way to Murud Janjira that is located to the South of Mumbai. A forty five minute ferry ride from the awe inspiring Gateway of India will drop you off to the Mandwa jetty. This ferry service remains closed during the monsoons as the sea is very choppy. But Mandwa can still be accessed by road through Panvel and is at a distance of 124 km. You can choose to just chill out at Mandwa and the assortments of resorts and bungalows built along the beach or head further up the road to Alibaug. The virgin white sands of Kihim beach can be experienced first hand in the MTDC run tent resort there. Further ahead is the virtually unexplored Kashid beach. Every evening on this magical beach, promises glorious picture perfect sunsets, that you will never forget your entire life. The silver sands on this beach and the emerald hills directly opposite the beach and the quiet stillness of the place will completely mesmerize you. A little further ahead is another fishing village, off the coast of which is the breath taking fort of Murud Janjira- recorded in history to be virtually impregnable. An evening spent on this beach will etch vivid images in your mind that will remain unforgotten long, long after.
For a holiday that is non fuss, not requiring a lot of planning and so close to Mumbai that you can head out whenever you get the time, choose from one of these jaw droppingly gorgeous beaches, all a mere stone’s throw away from the lively metropolis of Mumbai.