Travel: 5 ideal homestays at popular holiday destinations in Konkan
Maharashtra government's plan to promote Konkan tourism gets a thumbs up from the guide a recco of homestays to shack up while there
Devgadh: For clean beaches and seafood
Located in the Sindhudurg district, Kunkeshwar in Devgadh is known for its Shiv temple and its serene beach. Kunkeshwar is 16 kms away from Devgadh, 54 kilometers from Malvan and 60 kms from Kankavli. The temple is said to have been constructed by the Yadava clan and is the biggest attraction of the area. Also visit the Devgadh fort. Summer would be the ideal time to get your hands on the famous Devgadh alphonso mangoes, Kunkeshwar being one of the main producers too. For lovers of seafood, there is ample fresh catch to cook a wholesome Malvani meal.
Stay at: Pitruchaya Homestay offers homemade vegetarian and non-vegetarian food prepared by local families. The hotel is situated at a distance of 16 km from Nandgaon Titha Bus Stand and 23 km from Devgadh Beach.
Log on to: www.yatra.com and other booking websites
Amboli: For wildlife and adventure
Amboli is a hotspot for naturalists and supports large a biodiversity of amphibians, reptiles, butterflies and birds. It is also a haven for photographers due to the greenery and butterflies found here. Amboli is situated on the Vengurla-Belgaum State Highway No 112 in Sindhudurg district. The many streams and slopes offer trekking options too.
Stay at: With rooms facing the forests, Ogale’s Whistling Woods, run by Hemant and Sonali Ogale, is situated close to the forest and away from the crowded main road. Other than hammocks to laze around, all rooms have a sit-out area and large windows. The setback is that they offer rooms only to families and couples and not to large young groups to avoid nuisance we were told.
Call: 9970735635 / 9423856724
Log on to: www.amboliww.com
Sawantwadi: For fun weddings
With forts, waterfalls, orchards and temples, Sawantwadi has a lot to offer for the leisure seeker. Besides, Sawantwadi is emerging as a great option for those looking for a no-frills intimate wedding destination, especially across communities.
Stay at: Dwarka Homestay is set in a working orchard. Everything you eat is produced on the farm and the orchards are full of mangoes and cashews. It’s a five minute drive from Sawantwadi station and specialise in a variety of traditional fishing activities.
Log on to: dwarkahomestay.com
Parule: For rest and relaxation
The location serves as a great destination to go birdwatching, visit a village, hit the beach, mangroves, back-waters and be a part of agricultural activities. You can learn how to pluck coconuts and milk cows too. For those who love food, eat Malvani food made by the villagers. Parule village comes under Vengurle Taluka and Sindhudurg district.
Stay at: Maachli is a Malvani term for huts made on heights to protect crops. The place is a 15-minute drive from many beaches in the area. It is an eco-friendly destination with mango, coconut, beetlenut and spice plantations.
Log on to: www.maachli.in
Tourism plans of Maharashtra
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently announced that the government plans to develop a subsidiary organisation like Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) for Konkan tourism with the help of Maharashtra Maritime Board. In addition, based on the paying guest concept, MTDC has announced the Bed and Breakfast scheme to provide affordable accommodation and local cuisine to tourists. The objective is to create a network of affordable stays at lesser known places of tourist interest. Currently, more than 1,100 properties (basic and luxury), are registered under the scheme. Also, to promote newer tourist attractions such as agri-tourism, food tourism, educational tours, nature tours, social tourism, fishing, safaris, tribal lifestyle, arts and handicrafts, MTDC has launched the Mahabhraman scheme to get all the activities under one roof, as part of packages.
Log on to: www. maharashtratourism.gov.in