Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Incredible Diwali Trip (Phansad, Alibaug, Murud, Akshi- 27th to 29th Oct'08)

Bookings for the 'Incredible Diwali" trip from 27th to 29th Oct 2008 are on...for details see at the end.



The Diwali holidays are approaching and we all will be subjected to the modern celebrations in the form of loud fire-crackers and the intoxicating air. Celebrate this Diwali with a difference…….Explore the wonders of Birdwatching and amazing beaches of Alibaug and Akshi.

Nature India organizes an Incredible Diwali trip to Phansad / Akshi and Murud from 27th Oct, 2008 to 29th Oct, 2008.

Some of the places that will be covered in this trip are as follows.


Phansad is a semi-evergreen / mixed deciduous forest that is located approximately 143 Kms from Mumbai (Sion) and about 42 kms from the town of Alibaug. The Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary is an amazing revelation. Primarily a bird sanctuary, it is also home to a whole array of insects, amphibians and mammals. Spread across 52.71 sq. km., Phansad is located in the Murud and Roha talukas of Raigad District in Maharashtra.

The gentle hills of this protected area are located between the northern Sahyadri range and the western coast of India. Though these hills are not directly connected to the main Western Ghats range, the species found here are quite similar. The forest is mainly moist teak, southern moist mixed deciduous forest and west coast semi-evergreen. Ain, teak, kinjal, dhavada, jamba, hirda are some of the main species found here. Mango and ficus are found along the stream. There is also a patch of mangrove vegetation to the southwest. A number of endemic flora and fauna species are found here including the Malabar Giant Squirrel, Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-bellied Blue flycatcher etc. It is also a heaven for reptiles and insects.




The Fort of Janjira located off the sea is the only one of its kind. Janjira Jal-durg (sea fort) was constructed by Malik Ambar, an Abssinian minister in the service of the Sultan of Ahmednagar, who belonged to the famous Nizamshahi dynasty. The fort, built at the end of the 17th Century, is almost entirely intact even today, despite the ravages of wind and tide, a testimony to the marvels of ancient engineering.

According to all accounts, the sea fort of Janjira could not be conquered by any of the kings ruling the neighbouring territories. Surprisingly, not even Shivaji could acquire it despite 13 expeditions to conquer the fort. His son, Sambhaji, tried a unique approach to capture the fort: digging an underwater tunnel to enter. But he too failed in his attempt.





The Akshi Beach is a beautiful white sand beach. Belt of suru trees can be seen along the coast. The water is very clean and it renders safety for swimming. The beach is also a favorite among the birdwatchers and nature lovers.

The hamlet of Akshi is just 5 km away from Alibag. The inhabitant of this village are fishermen and is not crowded at all. The beach at Akshi is a favorite tourist spot. One could slug around the clear beaches and step inside the warm and unruffled Arabian Sea. It is a perfect getaway for a weekend.


As we cross the Rev-danda bridge, to the right is Korlai fort within the sea and attached to the mainland by a narrow land strip through the Korlai Village. It is said that the fort was built by the Portuguese in 1521. The main gate has an inscription which means 'no entry without a fight'. The fort has seven gates, a fresh water well, a church in disuse, a Hindu temple and a Lighthouse. This village is also credited with its unique ‘Kristi” language and only a few hundred of them remain to speak.




Chaul is a former city of Portuguese India, now in ruins.18 kms from Alibag on Alibag-Revdanda road, this is another very famous hill shrine.Hamam Khana and a temple. It is famous for its Portuguese ruins, an old church, a synagogue, Buddhist caves, Formerly known as Chaul Fort, it is now popularly called as Revdandakot because the Revdanda village lies within the fort walls. One has to climb around 700 stairs to reach this shrine which surrounded by vegetation.





Trip Details

Though the trip will be focused on Bird-watching and to learn more about them, we have also planned some historical site-seeing like Janjira and Korlai fort along with Chaul village which is a famous shrine ….

Date: 27th Oct, 2008 morning 6.30 am to 29th Oct, 2008 eve 6.00 pm

Resource person: Mr. Adesh Shivkar.

Mode of Travel : By Minibus (considering the extensive travel to cover the area)


1) Monday 27th Oct, 2008 : Depart from Bandra (E) at 6.30 am…..a brief birdwatch in Karnala Bird Sanctuary …… have breakfast at Hotel Karnala….. Reach Ramdhaneshwar near Alibaug for a Raptor watch…. Lunch in Alibaug and proceed to Akshi for stay in a bungalow….. proceed to Chaul near Revdanda…..Come back by 4.30 pm to spend the evening at the wonderful Akshi beach which is just a 4 mins walk from the Bungalow…..Enjoy the home cooked dinner…….

2) Tuesday 28th Oct, 2008: Start early morning at 6.30 am for bird-watching at Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary……. Visit the Grassland patches and Waterholes (Gunyacha Maal, Chikhalgaan & Phansadgaan) …… Lunch at Murud…… Visit Fort “Janjira” …… Visit Korlai Fort and Beach for a lovely evening……Return to Akshi to celebrate Diwali by lighting “Diyas” (No fire crackers please) …….

3) Wednesday 29th Oct, 2008: Start early morning at 6.30 am for bird-watching at Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary (visit the Sacred Groves)…….visit the Periphery of forests and the “Sacred Groves” for Birdwatching ……visit “Therunda Village” to have a glimpse of a skeleton of “Whale”…….Lunch …..pack up and proceed to Mumbai….. Reach Bandra (E) / Thane by 6 pm.

More details on the iterinary will be given to those who register.....

Trip Charges : Rs.3100/- (10 % discount for children below 12 years and Students)

Includes Stay at a Bungalow in Akshi Village on a dormitory basis , Travel by 27 seater minibus, entry charges for Phansad WLS, veg / non-veg food, Articles on the places to be visited & on board snacks and water…….

This does not include any charges other than the above.

Stay Arrangement: In a Bungalow (of Mr.Atul Bankar) in Akshi Village (5 kms from Alibaug) on a dormitory basis (2 separate dormitories)…..The Bungalow is situated in a serene location surrounded with coconut plantations. The premises and the toilets are clean and the beach is just a few mins walk from here. .

Food : Home cooked vegetarian food will be served in the bungalow.

Registration: You can register by sending a confirmatory mail to natureindiatours@gmail.com and by paying a non refundable full advance of Rs.3100/-…..

Resource Persons: Mr.Adesh Shivkar

Mode of Payment: You can either
1) Transfer the advance money directly to my HDFC A/c : (please call me for my A/c no.) .... please mention your name, date and other details….
2) Courier a cheque of Rs.3100/- to the following address

Please Note:

1) Once registered, the advance amount of Rs. 3100/- is strictly non-refundable

2) Alcohol & Smoking is strictly prohibited on Nature India Tours

Name: Mr.Adesh Shivkar
Address: D/8, The Adi Janata Society, Behind HP Petrolpump, Opp. Hotel Shangrila, Sion(East), Mumbai-400022

Please contact me, in case you need any clarification …..

For any other queries I am available on 9321463362 or 9820455713 or natureindiatours@gmail.com

Hope to see you for this wonderful trip

Thanks for your patience.

Warm Regards,

Adesh Shivkar
Nature India
Appreciate, Respect & Care for Nature


Chauli said...

Try Discovering Chaul, it’s an amazingly healing place.
Once a major port that fed in imports into North Konkan under the Portuguese Trade.
Chaul is a healing heaven on earth.
More Details are available on its community forum..

Chauli said...

Houses in Chaul constructed in early 1900’s were mainly in wood and local brick/mud plasters and kaul (mangalore tiles). There was no cement then.

Wood was exclusively used for columns/beams called ‘vaase’ made form coconut, mango and jackfruit trees.

Mostly, houses face the eastern direction and have a sitting verandah locally called ‘padvi’ with wooden grills. The ‘zhoppala’ or swing is the main attraction in the verandah.

The roof is pyramidial, and in the centre of the pyramid used to be a place to sleep in the night, locally called ‘maadi’. Infact, one slept in a pyramid, and that reminds me of , the current day healing concepts of sleeping in a pyramid, canvassed by so called Vastru Shashtra experts.

The washing area had a small pool of water called the ‘houud’ locally.

The windows have MS grills in a wooden choukhat (or frame) and are floor touching to admit good light and make it airy. A typical, window had two doors, the upper and lower door.

The bricks are exposed from outside, and plastered internally. On internal walls one finds a wooden ‘taka badi’ to hang one’s clothes.

A ‘raath’ with a bullock would do the ‘shimpne’(..irrigation by flooding).
Can someone add to this description ?

Modern Houses are now made of cement with concrete beams and columns. The walls are both externally and internally plastered. The windows are typically like in Mumbai to ensure ‘samne wala’ does n’t peep into the house.

The roofs are flat and adds to leakage. KAULARU HOUSES OF THE PAST NEVER LEAKED.

Have we progressed ?

Were the ancients more wiser than us? Did they make houses which were environmentally friendly suiting the climate and ecology? Can their houses be classified as “green houses” or “eco-house”?

Were they technologically ahead ?

Chauli said...

Chaul is spiritually very alive. The Temples are its centre of social activities.
Watch this Tripuri Pornima Evening, where the Temple of Rameshwar is illuminated at dusk, Tripuri Pornima is Deo Diwali for Maharashtrians and also Guru Nanak Jayanti, a public holiday.
Watch the photos.


Chauli said...




Link :


Chauli said...

Revdanda ...
In the evening at Par Naka, there is Vishwas Bakery. It bakes Khari Biscuits and they are hot in the evening around 6pm. Just Try it.

At Revdanda Fish Market , there is a Coconut Chikki shop...try the Coconut Chikki..

And if u have a sweet tooth, try the Dud_dhee Halwa at Chaul Naka..

Chauli said...

Dhoban Talao...

Birding ..at Dhoban Talao...in summer ...where Birds drop in from distance ..

U can name the foll birds..



when its heavily raining...

Chauli said...

Phandsad Bird Sanctuary...

has lately created a Viewing Tower....

Watch Korlai Fort from this viewing tower..


Chauli said...

Revdanda Fort...


Anonymous said...

To view pics of Sahyadri forts, old temples & caves which I have clicked in Maharashtra, Goa & Karnataka, please visit the link http://picasaweb.google.com/sudarshan.multimedia