Malvan beach spills over southwards and has many things to offer. A long sandy beach, water sports facilities of various types including scuba diving, boating, and a large number of establishments offering accommodation of all types. In short, the stretch from Malvan to Devbag with Tarkarli beach on the way is an activity place. This explains the large number of visitors.
Tarkarli means (river) crossing of Karli. Karli river flowing from the east towards the sea takes a southward turn and flows close to the sea for about 6 Kms forming a narrow peninsula.
This natural phenomena is quite interesting. You get to see a narrow strip of land with a river on one side and the sea on the other. At some places the river narows down allowing the people on the mainland to see the peninsula and the sea together.
And to add to the beauty of the whole thing is the presence of the islands in the river as well as in the sea. This one is in the river and you can see it on the google map.
And this one is in the sea.
We are told that there is an island formed in the sea by the action of the last Tsunami. The boat owners are making brisk business out of the people curious to see island formed by the action of the Tsunami.However, someone has put up a signboard proclaiming that this is not true.The island is natural and has nothing to do with Tsunami. The message also advises people not to drink, wear proper clothes and otherwise lead a virtuous life. Whoever has put this up here on the beach must be exrtremely optimistic about the human race.
We skip the boat ride to the so-called Tsunami island and walk up to the end of the peninsula.
This plant manages to grow in the salty sand and hot sun on the beach.
Devbag as also the entire peninsula is populated mainly by fishermen, Hindus and Christians. Devbag has church and an attached school.
It is time to leave this great place and move ahead. Our next station is Bhogwe and/or Nivati. These places are very close from the Devbag tip of the peninsula but that is where the river mets the sea. We need to get back to the main road across the Karli river creek over this bridge. It is a beautiful sight.
We have to return to the main road at Chipi, pass Parule and get back to the sea. We decide to skip Bhogwe and go for Nivti which is also a beach but with a fort thrown in.
The fort is a cluster of stone mounds. The late rains have kept the shrubs green and restricted the movement of people. Anyone will dismiss this as a place not worth a visit. History tells us otherwise. Built in the early 18th Century by the rulers of Sawantwadi, this fort was captured by Portuguese in 1748 for which they engaged the services of mercenary called Islam Khan. It is said that the Portuguese Viceroy actually resided here for some time.
The scene of the beach below is beautiful. It is a small but pretty beach but does not seem to be much in use because of the difficulty in access.
The whole cluster of villages are engaged in cultivation of the betelnuts and coconuts and toa lesser extent mangoes. The nice little village houses with tiled roofs nestled cosily by the side of the small hills near the sea make them look so romantic.
Here are the betelnuts (supari) being dried for the market.
Return and join the main road at Parule a busy town with a famous temple.
After Parule is Mhapan.Here we stop for some snacks and tea at this roadside place. Vada-Pav & tea.
Before we reach Vengurla we make a brief stop at Kelus beach. Another nice beach, unspoilt, unexploited.
The approach to Vengurla from the north is from a steep hill and from here one can see the Lighthouse as well as a large part of the town.
In the 17th Century the Dutch established a warehouse or a trading post at Vengurla. It is Dutch Factory or Dutch Vakhar. This historical monument still exists and is under the state archaeology department.
Three years ago a Mumbai-based newspaper highlited its dilapdiated condition and the need to preserve the place. Three years down the line there is no change in the status. If it all it has deteriorated further.
The ‘department’ had done precious little. Even the warning board asking isitors not to enter is in bad condition.
This was once a happening place. History has recorded Queen of Golconda visiting here with 4000 people in tow as also the place being used as a supply base for the Dutch to support their expedition against the Portuguese in Goa.
It is a pity to see it in this condition.
Vengurla port is about a kilimeter ahead and has a small chapel, the origins of which I couldnot verify. Could be connected to the Dutch.
This is not maintained as compared to the Roman catholic church in the town.
There are numerous temples around the town.
The place where everyone converges in the evening is the Vengurla Bandar which is a rocky outcrop into the sea and has the Customs offices.It is the sunset point that you oftern see in the pictures of Vengurla. Among the activities people indulge in is angling. Dont think that there is no fish available in the market or that these people dont have thje money to buy it.
Vengurla has a fairly long beach with some upmarket resorts. With Goa close by, the tourism industry is on the move. This is evidenced by the fact that someone is trying to reclaim the Arabian Sea for building a hotel.
Text by Suryakiran Naik
Pictures by Suryakiran Naik& Veena Naik