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Sunday, December 10, 2017

5 Reasons To Visit India's Konkan Coast

India is home to some of the most beautiful and interesting coastal areas in all of Asia. In particular, it’s the Konkan Coast – a stretch of land on the western side of the country, bordering the Arabian Sea – that tends to draw a lot of tourists as they pass through the country. Below are some of the specific reasons you should put this coastal area on your travel list.

Janjira

1. You’ll See Ancient Forts

Many students around the world learn that in ancient times, India was known as a particularly well-defended nation. Indeed, the Western world learns that Alexander the Great conquered everything in his path on his rampage to the East, until he reached the edges of India and was repelled! It is perhaps fitting with these histories that the Konkan Coast is actually littered with picturesque and fascinating old forts. The best of them is toward the northern end of the region. Officially titled Janjira, it has been referred to as “India’s invincible island,” and makes for an excellent sightseeing stop. Located just offshore (and a few hours from the Mumbai pier), it’s essentially a small island that was entirely converted into a fortress.

Ganpatipule

2. The Beaches Are Outstanding

When we talk about the beauty of India’s coastal regions, most of the natural references are in Konkan. All up and down this stretch of line there are wonderful places to relax outside and swim in the sea. Ganpatipule Beach is perhaps the most relaxing, feeling almost tropical with its rows of palm trees and calm waters; Velneshwar Beach can feel like a secret hideaway, effectively a tranquil cove undisturbed by the surrounding area; Harihareshwar Beach has its own charming coastal town. And those are only three of many options you might consider.

3. You Can Absorb Hindu Texts



Hindu religious texts are beautiful to read regardless of your religious beliefs, and if you like to travel for cultural reasons, nothing quite beats reading through these texts while relaxing on the beautiful Indian coast. There are even some ways in which the texts specifically invoke the seas. For instance, many credit the deity Krishna with the discovery of pearls (plucked from the sea, of course). This is a myth so popular that there is even an internet arcade game about it, featuring a character named Rich Wilde exploring secret Indian lands where “Hindu spirituality holds the key” to treasures. You may not find literal treasures, but in all seriousness the surrounding land can feel more like a treasure in and of itself if read relevant scripture and/or history while you’re there.

4. You Can Try Scuba Diving

It almost goes without saying in such a large coastal area with so many great beaches that there will be scuba diving opportunities. India isn’t often high on the list of the best places to try scuba, but with everything from marine life to underwater wrecks, it might surprise you. There are numerous popular places to go for guided dives, whether you’re a beginner or you’ve dived all over the world.

Malvani Cuisine

5. The Local Cuisine Is Wonderful

This could be said of just about any region in India, it’s true. Indian cuisine is famous for having some o the most unique and precise flavors and dishes in the world, such that a lot of successful chefs find it both challenging and appealing to work with. The food in this area, however – known broadly as Malvani cuisine – is known for being particularly delicious. There are appetizers made from fruit and coconut milk (sol kadhi), various poultry dishes, delicacies that make use of baby shark, and a few vegetarian items as well. You’ll be sure to have some extraordinary Malvani meals during a visit to the Konkan Coast.

Note: This is a guest post. 

Text and images by the guest writer.

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