….. Rajesh Deshpande (based upon my personal visit in February 2011, November 2011 and February 2020)
Diveagar is a village on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra in the Raigad district. It is about 170 Kms from Mumbai and about 160 Kms from Pune. Diveagar has gained popularity as an ideal weekend destination among city dwellers due to its proximity with Mumbai and Pune. The beach at Diveagar is long and wide. On weekends there’s lot of activity on the beach as tourists clog for their share of the beach fun with camel rides, horse buggy rides, sand rovers, jet skis, banana tube and parasailing. Food stalls selling tender coconut, bhel puri and chaat sprout at weekends. Diveagar has still retained its rustic charm of a typical Konkan village despite being closer to Mumbai and Pune. Locals speak Marathi and understand Hindi.
Diveagar became popular due to Survarnaganesh (an idol of Lord Ganesh made up of 1.5 Kgs of pure Gold). The idol was found by a pious lady called Laxmibai while ploughing her beetle nut plantation. Laxmibai graciously donated the idol to the village panchayat which was later placed inside a temple in the village. Diveagar thus became a famous tourist destination. Unfortunately, in the year 2012, this idol was stolen by thieves, was melted and sold for money.
How to Reach?
By Rail – Nearest Railhead is Mangaon (about 45 Kms) on the Konkan Railway. From Mangaon State Transport Bus Depot, regular buses ply to Diveagar and Shrivardhan. From Mumbai, it takes approx. 3.5 hrs. to reach Mangaon and from there it takes further one hour to reach Diveagar.
By Road – State transport buses ply from Mumbai and Pune to Diveagar. By car from Mumbai, Diveagar can be reached through NH-66 (Panvel Kochi highway), the conventional route – Mumbai, Vashi, Panvel, Palaspe (NH -17 begins here), Vadkhal naka, Nagothane, Mangaon. On reaching Mangaon, take a right turn to Mhasla and drive down ahead to Diveagar. From Pune, take the road from Chandni Chowk or from Hinjewadi via Paud phata to Tamhini ghat. Drive down to Mangaon in the Konkan region. From Mangaon drive down to Mhasla and ahead to Diveagar.
By Air – Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the nearest Airport (about 170 Kms)
Where to Stay?
There are many small resorts in and around Diveagar with varying degree of service and amenities. Mauli Resort is the oldest in Diveagar, it is located right at the entrance to Diveagar, bit away from the beach. It provides neat and clean AC and Non-AC rooms and has a restaurant on premises. It is perhaps the only resort in Diveagar having a swimming pool. Maitreya beach Resort is situated opposite to Dr. Wad bungalow, the beach is at a walking distance of about 5 mins. Maitreya beach resort provides accommodation in AC, Non-AC rooms and cottages. It has an in-house restaurant serving veg. and non-veg. Konkani cuisine. Royal beach resort (opp. Maitreya beach resort), Cocohut resort, MH-14 Shreemat resort, Dolphin beach resort and Exotica beach resort also offer good accommodation for a pleasant stay. Off late many MTDC approved budget bed and breakfast home stays have sprouted all over Diveagar.
Things to do
Being a small village, Diveagar is an ideal place to sleep and eat. It’s a great place for strolling on the beach in the morning and evening, enjoy parasailing and camel ride or play cricket, football on the beach, build sandcastles or swim in the sea. The beach is free of rocks and is safe to swim.
What to eat?
The delicious Konkani cuisine is a must have while in Diveagar. There are many eateries (khanaval) in Diveagar serving delicious seafood (King fish, Pomfret, Prawns, Salomon, Mackarel) and vegetarian meals. Vegetarians can feast on modak’s, ghavne, and vegeterian lunch consisting of rice, dal or aamti, vegetables and solkadi. Todankar’s Sai Centre is a good place for seafood and vegetarian meals. Rane Bandhu Khanaval and Kalaprasad Khanaval are popular among tourists for seafood and vegetarian fare. For pure vegetarian meals, Bapat Khanaval near Marathi school and Potnis Bandhu Khanaval, little ahead are very popular in Diveagar. At both these places meals have to be preordered.
Places to see
Diveagar is flanked to the south by Bharadkhol and the infamous Shekhadi village (known for the landing of RDX that was used in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts). They can be reached through the coastal highway passing through a hill next to Diveagar. Little ahead down south is the unknown, unspoilt, secret beach at Aarvi village. The beach has white sands and azure water. The coastal highway runs parallel to this beach offering spectacular views of the ocean. About 10 Kms North of Diveagar is the fishing village of Dighi and the Dighi ports. Midway, a 5 kms detour leads to Aatgaon beach.
About 35 Kms south of Diveagar and ahead of Aarvi, is the town of Shrivardhan, known for origin of the Peshwas. The palatial house of Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath Bhat is now converted in to Peshwa Smarak (memorial). Shrivardhan also has a nice beach with golden sands. About 15 Kms south of Shrivardhan is the famous pilgrimage destination of Harihareshwar known for its Shiva temple. Harihareshwar has two beautiful beaches, one to the north and other to the south of Harihareshwar temple.
Rajesh Deshpande © 2011, 2020