Alibaug to Nagaon beach stretch: Gems in Mumbai’s neighbourhood
If you are an ardent Bollywood fan outside of Mumbai, you would still be familiar with Alibag. Most movies, espeically in the 70s and 80s referred to it as a smuggling ‘adda’. But these are the things Alibag is really not famous for! Alibag was once known for its beautiful beach and the fort which could be accessed during low tides. Of course, the beach and the fort still exist, but there really isnt any pretty beach anymore, depending on the mood of the authorities they let u access the fort during low tide Overall, its just a glorified version of apna juhu beach! Alibag has probably usurped the most frequented beach destination by Mumbaikars, merely on the basis on convenience and availability of hotels. But what amazes me is that most people still prefer to come to Alibag, not choosing to venture beyond. In all my visits to the area, I have seen Alibag beach only once. Having gone just a few kms ahead, we were greeted by some gems-Akshi and Nagaon beaches…..
Alibag-Nagaon stretch is our favourite weekend destination. I have now visited the place over 4 times now and the place never fails to please me.
Akshi is 6-7 kms after Alibag by road. It a wide stretch of beach which is untouched by commercialisation. The beach is absolutely safe for swimming , it steeps very slowly and there are no major waves. Its a tranquil beach. Akshi is also for bird lovers as you can see different varieties of birds here on the beach itself .
Akshi is a small town between Alibag and Nagaon, so there arent any resorts or hotels, however, there are quaint home based stays available here. These are located in a “wadi” surrounded by coconut trees. These home based stays offer basic but comfortable rooms and some yummy local cuisine. The place where we stayed while in Akshi was Omkardeep holiday home. Pretty darn nice! They have rooms spread across thier wadi. Set in a shade of coconut and suru trees this ‘wadi’ has a charm. You do feel like owning a place like this!!Extremely homely and has a beach access , clean rooms and surroundings and pleasing owners. We were a group of 6 who stayed in their tent. And the experience was fantastic! (Although it gets chilly on winter nights!). One can walk into the beach anytime to witness the magic of a starry night!
Close to Akshi is the Nagaon beach (about 3-4 km further south) which has high waves, water sports, chaat/golas, and yet a not-so-cluttered experience. The sea is relatively cleaner than most beaches around Mumbai. It does have a greenish hue to it. What a treat to a Mumbaikar’s tired eyes! This beach tops my list of favourite beaches around Mumbai. The water here too, is shallow and safe for swimming, although the sand is firm and not very soft. Nagaon has a comparatively more number of properties(than Akshi/Alibag) on the beachside, which offer rooms to stay. These are used to catering to larger groups. Shintrewadi and Karpewadi are just some of the better known places located on the beach.
The water sports on this beach are thrilling! Water scooter, parasailing, banana boat ride and many many more are available at reasonably affordable prices, after some haggling. Here is where I use my Marathi card very well!! 😛
Caution!: You will find many a cars zooming on the beach as the ground is firm and the tyres dont sink into the sand easily. However, do not take your car close to the shore, especially during low tides. I have witnessed a Sumo getting stuck during a low tide and with the increasing tides, the car got completely submerged. They had to wait for the tide to go down to pull it back!! I am pretty sure they would have sold the car as scrap then!
Food: These places are at the beginning of the Konkan stretch. So it is a sea-food lovers paradise. Fresh sea food, cooked in spicy coconut gravy tastes heavenly. It is usually served with rice and/or “bhaakris”. Do gulp it down with some kokam based ‘sol kadhi’. Since there are mostly homestays around, it will be best to have food at the place of stay. It will be fresh and customised.
Route: If you are driving down, take the usual Mumbai Goa highway-Pen-Alibag route. Akshi and Nagaon are just a few kilometers (10-12) away and there are small signboards to help you around.Even if you take the ferry route, you ll have to hire autos to take you there. The journey would take about 3/3.5 hours.
The journey as well as the destination, will be worth it!