….. Rajesh Deshpande (based upon my personal visit in February 2011)
Diveagar is a village on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra in the Raigad district. It is 170 Kms from Mumbai and an ideal weekend destination for families. The beach is long and wide, however the sands are not golden or silver. The black patches on the beach could be due to oil spillage in the sea few years ago near Mumbai. On weekends there’s lot of activity on the beach ranging from Camel Rides, Horse Buggy rides up to Parasailing. There are food stalls selling tender Coconut, Bhel and Chaat. However, there are no water sports (at least that was the case in Feb. 2011). Diveagar has still retained its rustic charm of a typical Konkan village despite close proximity to Mumbai and Pune.
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 in her beetle nut plantation. Laxmibai graciously donated the idol tothe village panchayat which was later placed in a temple in the village. Diveagar thus became a famous tourist destination. However, in the year 2012, this idol was stolen by thieves and was melted and sold for monetary gains.
How to Reach?
By Rail – Nearest Railhead is Mangaon (45 Kms) on the Konkan Railway. From Mangaon State Transport Bus Depot, regular buses ply to Diveagar and Shrivardhan. From Mumbai, it takes approx.. 2.5 hrs. to reach Mangaon and from there further one hour to reach Diveagar.
By Road – Regular State transport buses ply from Mumbai and Pune to Diveagar. From Mumbai Diveagar can be reached via NH-17 (Panvel Kochi highway) by the conventional route – Mumbai, Vashi, Panvel, Palaspe (NH -17 begins here), Vadkhal naka, Nagothane, Mangaon. On reaching Mangaon, take a right turn which goes to Mhasla and down ahead to Diveagar.
By Air – Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the nearest Airport (170 Kms)
Where to Stay?
There are many small resorts in and around Diveagar with varying degree of service and amenities. The Mauli Resort which is located at the entrance of Diveagar and a bit away from the beach provides neat and clean AC and Non-AC rooms and also has a swimming pool and restaurant, perhaps the only resort in Diveagar with a swimming pool. Maitreya beach Resort is situated opposite to Dr. Wad bungalow, the beach is at a walking distance of about 7 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. Dolphin beach resort and Exotica Beach resort also offer good accommodation for a pleasant stay.
Things to do
Being a small village, Diveagar is an ideal place to sleep and eat. One can stroll 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 and small hotels in Diveagar serving delicious seafood (King fish, Pomfret, Prawns, Salomon, Mackarel). The vegetarians can feast on modak’s, ghavne, and vegeterian lunch consisting of rice, dal, vegetables and Solkadi. Gajanan hotel is one good place for seafood.
Places to see
Diveagar is flanked by the infamous Shekhadi village (known for the landing of RDX that was used in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts) to the south, from the coastal highway passing through the hillock above the village, one can see stunning views of the ocean, a little ahead down south is the unknown, unspoilt, secret beach at village Walavti. The beach has white sands and blue water. The coastal highway runs parallel to this beach offering spectacular views of the ocean. 15 Kms North of Diveagar is the fishing village of Dighi and port. One can shop for fresh fish at Dighi port, sundried fish of Dighi is also very popular.
Marathi is the local language with English and Hindi understood and spoken by locals.
35 Kms down south of Diveagar and ahead of Walavti, is the town of Shrivardhan, known for the origin of the Peshwas. The palatial house of Balaji Vishwanath Peshwa 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 the other to the south of the Harihareshwar temple.
Rajesh Deshpande © 2013