The Drive To Chiplun:My Konkan Holiday Part 1

We finally went off on our Konkan holiday,a year after we had originally planned.Having previously visited Amboli,Vengurla,Tarkarli and Malvan in the Sindhudurg District,this time we went to the Ratnagiri District.We drove down and it took us long but the journey was as interesting as the destination.I have divided my posts on this holiday into 5 parts and the first covers the drive from Mumbai to Chiplun.

The town of Pen comes after Panvel.It is famous for Poha.Here you also find stalls of watermelons and white onions (which come from Alibag and last a year).Between Panvel and Pen one sees several stalls selling Neera which is a sweet and unfermented drink made from palms.



Wadakal Naka,after Pen, has a restaurant called "Shrudha Shanti Bhuvan" where we had stopped years ago for Poha and we did this time around too.It had been garnished with coconut and coriander and made a great breakfast dish.



What was even better than the Poha was the Tea which was strong and reminded me of Cutting Chai,except that this was in a cup.



Saw that the restaurant was selling Poha and other items so I bought some,hoping to replicate the taste when I get home. It was a lovely drive past several mango trees laden with the unripe fruit.



We passed lush green fields of wheat.



There were several small bridges over little rivers.



The NH 17 is a fabulous road provided you are a cautious driver(or have one)...neither of which we had.The problem lies when rash drivers try to overtake.There is no divider and hence there can be a head-on collision if one is not careful.There are many road signs all along the way.Some tug at your heart and some make you smile."This is a highway,not a runway","This is a highway,not a dieway","No mobile while mobile" where some of which I spotted.


We passed Gandhar Pala Buddhist caves near Mahad,which were 26 in number.


We passed fields where cacti were grown around them for protection.


We passed several ghats,some with hairpin bends every few moments.The view from the mountains was beautiful.The Kashedi Ghat was one such.



We finally reached Chiplun after a few heart stopping moments because of the crazy driver.It lies on the bank of the Vashishti river and is known as Lord Parshuram's abode.



Cannot tell you how happy I was to find Hotel Abhishek again.My cousin Arun had told us about it.It looked diiferent from the last time.The owner the explained that they have two branches...the other one near the Shivaji Nagar Bus Stand. Hotel Abhishek has been around for 17 years and offers Malvani cuisine.



My Fish Thali had Surmai Fry and a sour Bangda Curry which I mopped up with chappatis. The Thali had Sol Kadi,the accent of which was on the spice rather than coconut milk.


The Clams were small but yummy.The Crab...spicy sweet! One of the finest Malvani meals I have had!

After we stepped out of the restaurant,I saw a "Tumtum",a kind of a rickshaw,the mode of transport in Chiplun!

Was quite tempted to take one to Ratnagiri,which was an hour and a half away.

Comments

Curry Spice said…
holy cow. the food looks great and the drive is beautiful. I just finished posting my drive down the TN coast from Chennai to Mahabs. Its got a similar feel to it. DO have a look. Cant wait for the remaining parts.
Sassy Fork said…
Loved your post! What a red snapper!!
Anonymous said…
Yummy!!! That thali with surmai, sour baangda, tisrya, sol kadi, crab masala. I want to come to Mumbai now :-) and try this yummy food.
Sassy Fork said…
You will then have to drive down to Chiplun which is 6 hrs away :)
magiceye said…
yummy food and thrilling drive!
lovely post!
Anonymous said…
For such yummy food, I don't mind a 6 hours drive at all :-)
Surendra said…
Abhishek is the best place for non veg food in Chiplun. Nice Info. Thanks.
Kurush Dalal said…
the batatawadas at sudha shanti at vadkhal naka rae also superb as is their kothimbirwadi ..... the gandhar pale/mahad buddhist caves are really worth a look see .... it takes about an hour to an hour and a half though to climb up see the caves and get back down
Sassy Fork said…
Glad u like it too,Surendra!
Sassy Fork said…
Thanks Magic Eye!
Madhvi said…
What is the item in the pic between the crab curry pic & the tumtum pic?

White onion shot is awewsome.

Food looks great esp pohe!! Jevanacha taat is PERFECT!
Yatin said…
I am from Chiplun!!!
Sassy Fork said…
Madhvi,that's the Malvani Vade
Yatin,do tell us about any other good restaurants in Chiplun
Anonymous said…
hey, there are no "Wheat" fields on way to chiplun...they are rice fields...
Kaustubh said…
This place is my hometown. I had been to Hotel Abhishek many times with my friends. Amazing place. Pomphret fry is another never-to-miss dish here. Other must-try delicacies of Chiplun are - "Misal Pav" from Mama Kane's hotel and the eat street near Indira Gadhi Sabhagriha / Pawan Talao.
Anonymous said…
All u guys do taste bhel near anant ice cream.....
anjali gupta said…
Very Nice. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy a break at hotels in Chiplun for a rewarding experience while exploring the attractions of the city. For those looking for a luxury stay can choose from Hotel Shalom International and Quality Resort The Riverview. Check out other hotels in Chiplun.

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