WHERE IS TARKARLI LOCATED?
Tarkarli is a small yet immensely beautiful coastal village in Malvan taluka of Sindhudurg District, Maharashtra. The nearest town to tarkarli is Malvan, which is at a distance of approximately 4km. Tarkarli beach is declared as a QUEEN BEACH of Konkan region.
Malvan-Tarkarli-Devbag all fall on the same route; they are just a few kilometers apart. All three of these places are unique in itself, hence I decided to write separate blogs on them.
I read a few blogs stating tarkarli is so and so of India or the cheaper version of so and so place, can we please stop doing this to Indian destinations, enough of name-calling and comparisons? No two places are alike, no two people are alike, we must stop with the unnecessary comparisons.
I first visited tarkarli in 2014 and it was love at first sight, I was quite unwell, Call it coincidence or the magic of saltwater that place made me feel so much better, but as usual, I was dragged back home as I didn’t want to leave that wonderful resort surrounded by coconut trees on one side and sea on another.
The most important feature of Sindhudurg I want to highlight is the warmth and hospitality of the locals.
In February 2019 I took my second solo trip to tarkarli (first was in 2017), tarkarli is beautiful and enchanting. I love the villages of konkan, I read somewhere on google tarkarli is not easily accessible, which is not true, Malvan Taluka is easily accessible by State transport buses, Private luxury Buses, auto rikshaws, by air it is quite near to Goa’s Dabolim airport, to reach tarkarli we need to travel a few miles further, but that is the point, it’s a village, village which is situated in a remote area amidst nature, away from the city, it’s not a metropolitan city to be connected by metros at the doorstep of your location.
HOW TO REACH TARKARLI?
Kudal is the nearest station to tarkarli, which is approximately 32.5km 1hour. Tejas Express and Jan Shatabdi express are the fastest running trains from Mumbai to Kudal (7h). You can take a direct Auto Rickshaw to reach your desired destination from Kudal station, the Fare is approximately ₹600-₹700, Bus services are available from Kudal Bus depot to Malvan (29.7km, 57min), Fare is approximately ₹38, From Malvan bus depot again you can hire an Auto Rickshaw Fare ₹120. Malvan to Tarkarli distance is 4-5km 10 to 12 minutes depending on your actual destination (Hotel/Homestay/Resort). The nearest Airport is Dabolim, Goa which is approximately 132.7km (3hours 30min). If you’re Traveling to Tarkarli via road from Mumbai the distance is approximately 534.2km, (11h 18min) via Kolhapur. MSRTC buses run between Mumbai and Malvan, Private buses run on this route too. If you read my blogs, you already know, the train is my most preferred mode of transport.
BEST SEASON TO VISIT TARKARLI?
Winter is the best season, mid-October to march end is ideal for exploring Tarkarli. I went in February’2019 and the weather was fabulous, it was breezy during the day and pleasantly cold at night. It’s much hotter during summers, the scorching heat makes it unbearable to explore during the day.
MY SOLO TRAVEL EXPERIENCE AT TARKARLI:
Tarkarli is undoubtedly my favourite destination in Maharashtra. Why do I love it so much? Genuinely Friendly locals, absolutely perfect and safe for solo travelers, especially Women. The food is fresh and hospitality is top notch.
The minute you stroll on the beach you understand why it is called the QUEEN BEACH. Soft white sand, scattered sea shells, and blue waves.
The most important thing, the various modes of transports available to explore around are pretty good and easy on the pocket, I have hired a scooter, traveled by auto, hopped on State transport buses to travel from one destination to another, If lost and looking for directions people are more than happy to help. You can also hire a four-wheeler for the day to explore around.
What I really did at tarkarli was explore the actual place for three days, i.e. just tarkarli and took an evening bike ride to Devbag on the last day which is 5-6km away.
So, my Day-1 on coastal solo trips are always reserved for sipping masala tea and aimlessly staring at the sunsets in awe( I know you’re bored of reading this sentence) but this tradition cannot be broken, it’s mandatory. Soaking in the sun breathing in the fresh air(of course with sunscreen on). The same tradition was followed at tarkarli. The hotel had strict rules about not swimming in the sea(not permitted to go beyond knee-deep water), so I obeyed the rules of the hotel. Honestly, i am not much of a deep-water swimming enthusiast, I love sitting in just foot-deep water and playing in the frothy beach water puddle. (I know i’m not 5 anymore, giggling)[Note: Please obey the rules and regulations of the hotel, rules are for our safety. The sea is rough at tarkarli. Don’t wander deep in the sea during any season, whether summers or monsoons.]
I’m not a 5 am kind of morning person, my mornings would start at 8:30 am and I would leave my hotel at 9:30 eat at a simple food joint managed and owned by women(they are pretty cool, immediately remembered me when I visited after a few months), been to their hotel on two separate occasions, loved the simple food, especially missal pav for breakfasts. Fresh Pav (Buns) and piping hot gravy with some fresh farsan (salty snacks made of gram flour). This food joint was a little gem, and those women were absolutely generous and made really tasty food.
The food at tarkarli is very homely and equally fresh at all small food joints, they make everything super fresh.
Tarkarli as a village is considerably limited in size, but the blue sea and vast naturescapes are limitless and every evening you spend watching the sunset seems like you’re living in a poetry. The birds chirping, beautiful balmy weather and waves smoothly crashing on the clean coast.
Not only is the beach prestine but also the roads leading to tarkarli are beautiful.
I’m a slow traveller, slower than snails (No offense I Love snails and No comparison whatsoever, you go snails, you gorgeously slow and sticky species, I love you). Day-2 After lunch I took a stroll to the nearby temple and clicked a few pictures.
I don’t know what attracts me to rural villages of coastal Maharashtra I find them exquisite, the level of peace and calm I feel when I’m on my own traveling through these villages, getting to know its history, and communicating with the people belonging there is unmatched to any other place.
Another commendable thing about tarkarli and its people who are running a business related to tourism is, they like having people around, they like involving people and educating them about their history and rich culture. They’re always happy and ready to help. On Day-2 I had trouble with my scooter while exploring a near-by village, I will be sharing that incident in one of my upcoming blog.
Tarkarli trips are for Relaxing and unwinding, lazing around and watching sunsets, drinking solkadi, dolphin spotting, photography, aimlessly strolling and collecting sea-shells during daylight. During bright sunny days chances of spotting dolphins hopping playfully are much high, at times they shy away from the noise of boats.
During the night, the moonlight dancing on the waves looks stunning, it’s a treat to the eyes. For a person like me who lives in a metropolitan city, star gazing is very precious.
I’ve lost count of the times I have traveled to tarkarli whether solo or with family and friends, each time I visit tarkarli I feel it heals me. This place makes me feel so good about myself. Yes, there are places that make you feel extremely happy and grateful to be alive, and tarkarli is one such place.
5 THINGS TO NOT MISS WHEN YOU VISIT TARKARLI:
- Sunsets, don’t come all the way to this beautiful destination to chill Indoors, don’t forget to dip your feet in the sand and the sea, click amazing pictures outdoors, build sandcastles.
- Seafood or vegetarian thali is a must-have also don’t miss the solkadi, traditionally prepared with coconut milk, kokum agal, and chilies.
- Cashews, Konkan is famous for its cashews. Cashews are grown abundantly and are sold in different varieties, Salty cashews, pepper cashews, masala cashews and of course the classic plain cashews.
- Do buy Kokum Sarbat (juice), khaaja (Sweet fritters made with jaggery and ginger), and other sweet and salty souvenirs for your friends and family.
- Try Scuba diving/Snorkelling, the water is magical and crystal clear for scuba diving and snorkeling, do try it out. Please don’t touch the fishes or the corals, respect the nature and privacy of the tiny species present in the sea.
Travel is different for everyone, for you it maybe 5 days of exploring five different places to others it’s 10 days of exploring just two, there is no right or wrong way. Keep traveling.
My experience with tarkarli has been amazing since I first went in 2014. I wish to experience the Ganesh festival in 2021 at tarkarli, I have heard so much about it. I want to witness the divine experience of attending bhajans and aartis. People gathering together and celebrating with the feeling of oneness. I hope I get to experience this post Covid-19. I know traveling will get much more meaningful and better for me, I have missed being on the road far more than expected.
So, my lovely wildflowers, share your experience If you’ve been to tarkarli? Also, Which is your favourite beach destination in India?