Budhal Sada – The Amazing Landscape

Budhal Sada, Budhal, Velneshwar, Tal. Guhagar, Ratnagiri



Budhal village, Budhal Sada or Budhal Kond are not on the average tourist map. The fork turning right on the Guhagar-Velaneshwar raod, near Adur, leads to  Budhal which is a small village with about 30 –40 huts. 


The village is reputed to be at least 1200 years old. 

The name “Budhal” signifies the area next to the sea. In olden times also it was known as “Buddhilgram” or “Buddhildurg”. It was once a flourishing port but now only Koli community live there, and do some fishing.

An Arial View of Budhal Sada.


The main attraction of the village is the semi circular cove and beach. The water here is so clean and pure that the ocean floor can be clearly seen.

An Arial View of Budhal Sada.


The whole scene, with hills on either side and the Koli huts, is very nice. The waves break high in the cliifs and  one is tempted to get a closer look, but beware !

Shri Durgadevi Temple, Budhal

There is a small hillock at the end of the village road. It was formerly known as Budhaldurg, The small temple is located on top of this hill. It is said that during the Peshwa period the temple spire was plated with gold, but thieves took it away.

There is no drinking water on top of the hill.  It takes about 20 to 25 minutes to climb the hill. But it’s worth to do so. One should not miss the panoramic view of the vast blue ocean and the rocky coastline you see from the top of the hill.

An Arial View of Budhal Sada.
An Arial View of Budhal Sada.



Article by – Parag Pimple, Book Mark Publications  (Saad Sagarachi)

Photo – Vilas Kane


Bankot Fort, Velas, Tal. Mandangad, Dist. Ratnagiri

मंडणगड-वेळास मुख्य रस्त्यावर वेश्‍वी गावानंतर बाणकोट गाव व किल्ल्याकडे जाणारा रस्ता डाव्या बाजूस आहे तर मुख्य रस्ता गडाच्या टेकडीला वळसा घालून वेळासकडे जातो. गडाकडे जाणारा दाट आमराईतला घाटदार रस्ता बाणकोट टेकडीच्या माथ्यावरील पठारावर जातो. या ठिकाणी प्रथम गडाच्या मागील बाजूचा तट व तटाखालील खंदक दिसून येतो. किल्ला समुद्रकिनार्‍यावरील भू-शीरावर आहे. जमिनीकडील बाजूने सहजासहजी किल्ल्यात प्रवेश करता येऊ नये म्हणून हा खंदक खोदलेला होता. अशा प्रकारचा खंदक कोकणातील जयगड, देवगड, यशवंतगड इ. किल्ल्यांना आहे. अशा प्रकारचा खंदक असलेले किल्ले हे शिलाहार काळातील असावेत असा अंदाज आहे.

बाणकोट किल्ल्याचे हवाई चित्र
बाणकोट किल्ल्याचे हवाई चित्र

रस्त्यावर उतरून खंदकापर्यंत सरळ चालत जावे. खंदक अर्धवट बुजलेल्या स्थितीत आहे. खंदक डावीकडे ठेवून गडाला उजवीकडे वळसा घालत पुढे चालत रहावे. थोडे पुढे गेल्यावर खंदक बुजलेला दिसतो. तटबंदी व बुरूज डावीकडे ठेवत वळसा घालून वाट मुख्य दरवाजाजवळ जाते. दरवाजासमोरच समुद्रदर्शन होते.

किल्ल्यात चारही बाजूने तटबंदीच्या भक्कम भिंती दिसतात.

बाणकोट किल्ल्याचे हवाई चित्र

बांधकामाची दोन मोठी जोती किल्ल्यात आहेत. तसेच पश्‍चिमेकडे एक विहीर देखील आहे. या विहिरीशेजारील तटबंदीमधे पश्‍चिमाभिमुख दरवाजा आहे. हा मोठा दरवाजा नसून एक चोर दरवाजा आहे. किल्ल्याच्या तटबंदीच्या भिंती साधारण 3 ते 31/2 फूट जाड आहेत. किल्ल्याला एकूण 8 बुरूज आहेत.


 निजामशाही संपल्यानंतर हा किल्ला विजापूरकरांच्या अधिपत्याखाली होता. इ.स. 1548 रोजी पोर्तुगीजांनी हा किल्ला घेतला व बाणकोट गावात जाळपोळ केली.

23 मे 1733 रोजी बंकाजी नाईक महाडिक यांनी बाणकोट जिंकून घेतला. 4 सप्टेंबर 1733 मधे बाणकोट किल्ल्याचा अधिकारी हरजी नाईक कदम याने बाजीराव पेशव्यांना पत्र लिहून सरखेल कान्होजी निवर्तल्यानंतर किल्ल्याच्या परिस्थितीचे वर्णन केले आहे. 22 सप्टेंबर 1733 रोजी सेखोजी आंग्रे बाणकोटात होते अशी माहिती आंग्रे शकावलीत आहे. इ. स. 1755 मध्ये कमांडर जेम्स या इंग्रज अधिकार्‍याने तुळाजी आंग्य्रांकडून बाणकोट जिंकून त्याचे फोर्ट व्हिक्टोरिया असे नामकरण केले. पुढे मराठे-इंग्रज तहानुसार इंग्रजांनी तो मराठ्यांना परत दिला व मराठ्यांनी ’फोर्ट व्हिक्टोरिया’ नाव बदलून पुन्हा ’हिम्मतगड’ ठेवले.

अधिक माहिती साठी www.ratnagiritourism.in या संकेत स्थळाला भेट द्या

बाणकोट किल्ल्याचे हवाई चित्र

लेख – डॉ. सचिन जोशी यांच्या ‘दुर्ग जिज्ञासा’ या पुस्तकातून  (बुकमार्क पब्लिकेशन).

फोटो – विलास काणे, मंदार गोसावी

Keshavraj Temple, Asud, Dapoli

Asud village in Dapoli  is pretty- blessed with tiled huts, betel-nuts scattered all around, dense canopy of coconut and palm trees and a calm and serene atmosphere. To reach there, one has to take the Dapoli-Murud  road . About 10 minutes drive, a diversion to the right  takes you to Asud village. Keshavraj Temple is located on the slopes of a hill in Asud.

The temple is located on a small hill and you have to take a walk from Asud to reach to the temple. On the way you have to cross a small stream. There was an old wooden bridge locally known as sakav, but now a modern concrete one has replaced it. The stream is full flowing during monsoons.

Way to Keshavraj Temple, Dapoli

After crossing the stream a flight of steps takes one to the temple.  The cool breeze and the dense trees and calm atmosphere is soothing. In this 15 mins of Walk, you can see many wild colorful flowers bloomed and mushrooms of different shapes growing on dead branches of trees.  You enjoy the walk with continuous bird calls on the background.

The temple is built in the medieval Peshwe style. The main sanctum has been covered with tiles to protect it from the rains. The idol of Vishnu is lit by a single pedestal oil lamp. On the left of the south facing main door is the idol of Ganesh.

  The main feature here is the ever-flowing water from an opening which has the shape of a cow’s mouth. The origin of this stream of water is on the hill behind the temple up to which one can climb. It’s a sacred Grove. The water flows through a channel made up of plenty of carved pieces of Besalt Rock  Blocks interlocked, which is unique feature and one must not miss it.

Article from the book ‘Saad Sagarachi’ by Parag Pimple,

Photographs by Vilas Kane, Mandar Gosavi

The Magnificent Coastal Forts of Ratnagiri

On a beautiful background of the vast blue sea and the surrounding dense greenery, there stand the great sea or marine forts built on the meeting point of the river and the sea that is the creeks of Konkan. Standing on the western coastline of Konkan, you can see these forts standing strong even today as the great protectors of the sea. A sea fort is either completely surrounded by water by virtue of being on a coast or sometimes by the land on the other side. It may be a fortified island, built on a large part of an island or a tidal island, a construction built on the seabed, or consist of stone pillars erected on the seabed. The architects have sought to command a sea lane or block a potential landing place. Being surrounded by water impedes a land attack.

The sea forts in Ratnagiri region have a vast history. More than 28 mountain and marine forts in Ratnagiri district were constructed since the time of some of its early ruling dynasties like the Satvahanas, Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Shilahars, Mughals, Marathas, and the Britishers. They were a primary defence mechanism against enemy invasions and were called ‘Durg or Killa’ in the local language.  The Great Maratha King, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who was a true visionary, realized the importance of strategically located strong forts at a young age and went on to capture and build many forts in his struggle to establish a ‘Hindavi Swarajya’ or the `Independent Land` form the Mughal invaders. Sea forts were created in the middle of the sea with a solid foundation and provided an efficient base for controlling sea traffic and trade.

Anjanwel (Gopalgad) Fort

Along with the main sea fort built on the creeks, there are also smaller forts which are found on the banks of the rivers and creeks up to the places where small boats can travel up to. These forts were built so that a clear view of the sea and the forthcoming fleet of ships could be seen. For hundreds of years, Ratnagiri was a major destination for sea trade. Big ships carrying raw materials would dock at the Ratnagiri harbors. Therefore, these forts were built with the purpose of protection and to get a control on  the foreign trade and to face any problem that might arise between the two ruling powers. The one who ruled the sea, use to rule the trade.

The merchandise  arrived from abroad, fad to be checked at the larger port such as Jaigad, Dabhol or Rajapur in Ratnagiri district. After that this merchandise had been transferred to smaller boats and then taken to the smaller port through the creek in the interior parts. It was then taken to the local markets carrying on  bulls or donkeys. Smaller and big forts were built at specific distances to keep a watch on this entire trade process. You can find sea forts built on the trade route of Ratnagiri district. The Ratnadurg fort on the coast of Ratnagiri city is standing there since 12th century. In the medieval period, Jaigad near Ganpatiopule was built at the mouth or the entrance of Shastri creek, Purnagad fort near Pawas was built on the Muchakundi river, Govalkot fort at Chiplun on the Vashishthi River, and Anjanwel fort of Guhagar near the famous Dabhol port were built on the mouth of the creeks on the western coastline.

Poorna Gad, Gavkhadi

Today these distinct Marine forts are no longer important as `vigilant forts’ as they were, but even today they gain the popularity as scenic and beautiful locations on the coasts of Ratnagiri. With their ruins and remains they try to unfold the glorious history of their era. Come visit these historically rich and naturally enthralling sea fort in Ratnagiri, experience the ancient architecture and the famous trade routes of these creek forts and live in the nearby beach resorts and comfortable home stays.

Suvarnadurg, Harne, Dapoli

For more info visit http://www.ratnagiritourism.in


Tikleshwar Temple

Tikleshwar Temple

If you wish to experience the true beauty of nature and a peaceful atmosphere, you must make it a point to visit the Tikleshwar temple near Devrukh in Sangmeshwar Taluka of Maharashtra in India. Situated in the beautiful green ranges of the Sahyadris, the Tikleshwar temple is one of the major pilgrimage spots that you cannot afford to miss during your visit to Ratnagiri in the Konkan region. Every year Sangameshwar experiences heavy monsoon due to its location in the vicinity of Sahyadris.

Standing on top of the Tikaleshwar Mountain, you can see the long spread dense green forests, terrifyingly steep valleys and the glorified beauty of the rugged Sahyadris. Very few people know about this temple as it is situated deep in the forest ranges. Like the famous Marleshwar waterfall, the nearby Tikleshwar temple has remained unknown to the tourists. If you travel along the path that leads to Tikleshwar, you can easily notice the temple painted in white from a considerable distance. The area of the temple is pretty spacious. Along with the devotees, many trekkers and mountaineers are attracted towards the beautiful valleys of the Tikaleshwar. Just opposite the temple, there is a concrete rooftop provided for the shelter of the devotees and visitors.

There is a Pradakshina Marg just below the peak which is a path around the temple which allows the devotees to circle the temple. This is an ancient tradition which is followed by all the Indian devotees. One can find some caves and stone cisterns consisting of clean, pure water on that path.

The view of the valleys and the mountain ranges seen from the top of the temple is truly mesmerizing. You can see the Maimatgad fort to the east and a road leading to the Marleshwar temple from the top of the mountain. There is a path from the top of the hill that leads through the Gothane village, the Kundi Ghat leading from the Kundi village to the Chandel village, all of this area can be seen from the top of the Tikleshwar temple mountain. This whole region has been declared as a reserved and protected forest area. Thus, the Tikleshwar temple is situated at a unique location.

The Talawde village situated at the base of Tikaleshwar is 4 km away from Devarukh. A new road has been constructed from there which takes to Tikaleshwar Mountain. You can also drive up almost 3/4th distance. But you have to climb  the last quarter mile on foot and is known to be a very steep and tiring climb if you are not a trekker. Adventure lovers and trekkers usually love such routs.

The steep rout leading to the top

The fort Bhavanigad can also be found in this region itself. Along with that, the Dhodhavane waterfall which flows throughout the year is also situated in the Tikleshwar and Prachitgad region. This entire area is truly picturesque and if you decide to stay in Devrukh, you can visit all these places around Tikleshwar in just two days. The cool, pleasant winds and the peaceful environment will really appeal to your heart.

Turtle Festival – Velas, Ratnagiri

As the day breaks the number of nature lovers and foreigners await to witness an exciting miracle of nature. The tiny turtle hatchlings, emerging out of the  sandy beach in the golden light at the time of sunset, breathe the fresh salty air of the Arabian Sea nearby. And then, at top ‘turtle speed’, they embark to the inviting cool sea waters. It is the culmination of a lengthy process, which starts around November under the protective cover of darkness. The weary female turtles emerge from the rolling sea waves to lay their clutches of around 100 to 120 eggs on the sandy beach. Each year, the tiny village of Velas, in Maharashtra, bears witness to a truly heart-warming sight as hundreds of newly hatched Olive Ridley turtles take their first steps towards the big blue sea. The start of life afresh!

We only have one planet and we should all do our part to ensure that it’s protected by combining our modern ways of living with a deeper respect and understanding of what nature provides. Environmental conservationists understand that the way we live is a reflection of how we feel about the natural world, and our everyday habits show how much we truly value all the things that the Earth gives us. As we can see, in the matter of the turtle festival, the Olive Ridley Turtle sightings are getting lesser each year. The Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra Organization is trying its best to protect these turtles. They patrol the beaches prone to turtle visits and collect the eggs and place them in separate sand pits in a protected area in natural conditions. The eggs are left to incubate naturally and take around 50-55 days to hatch. This procedure contributes a lot to conserving the Olive Ridley species and protects them from endangerment. It is our responsibility too to actively participate in this conservation by visiting the Turtle Festival every year, creating awareness about these Olive Ridley hatchlings and even volunteer with the NGO to help save the lives of these tiny turtles.

The Olive Ridley Turtles thrive in warm tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Ocean and India is a hotspot breeding ground for them.  Ratnagiri coast accounts for large number of hatchlings on the west coast of India. Every year, around November-December, adult female Olive Ridley turtles come to the shore of Velas, Anjarle, Karde, Dabhol, Gaokhadi beaches of Ratnagiri to lay their eggs. These turtles visit in large groups for mass nesting. Olive Ridley turtles is a threatened specie because they die in large numbers due to manmade circumstances like Trawler fishing. Researchers say that the females remember the beach where they were born at and return when they attain adulthood, to lay their eggs at this very beach, no matter where they are in the ocean. But the Olive Ridley turtle eggs have been victims of poachers and also dogs, jackals, and even humans that eat them. Therefore, the Kasav Mohatsav has been a major contributor in saving these endangered species.

Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra organization started the work of protecting the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtles in Velas, in Ratnagiri more than a decade ago. They worked in 15 villages to protect the turtles but only found 36 nests as compared to 50 in a single village. These figures prove that the marine turtles are rapidly advancing towards endangerment. So far SNM has protected numerous nests and successfully released more than 60,000 hatchlings. Now the villagers of Velas, Anjarle, Karde, Dabhol, Gaokhadi have taken the initiative to protect Sea Turtle Nests every year and turtle festivals are being organized at almost all places.

Come visit the Turtle festival locally called as the Kasav Mohatsav in Coastal Talukas of Ratnagiri District, to see this natural wonder yourself where you can stay in the affordable local home stays, enjoy a walk through Casuarina groves, visit the historical sites around and obviously enjoy the authentic Konkani cuisine. You can also visit different places in Ratnagiri District while comming for Turtle festival. For more information log on to http://www.ratnagiritourism.in

Photographs by Yuvraj Gurjar