To The Land of Alphonoso Mangoes
My journey is through the picturesque land of Konkan. I am bit sad that I have to reach Ratnagiri before the sunset and so I am forced to skip many beautiful views. After taking a turn I got wonderstruck seeing the fascinating view of a valley. It made "wow" in my head and eyes. I took the camera as there were frames everywhere.
Suddenly my eyes got stuck on to a teashop nearby. It was a small shop made of coconut leaves and the shopkeeper was from Maharashtra. He seems to be like a Malayali and while speaking he told that his brother's son has married from Kollam which happened to be a love marriage.
The customers of the shop are those travellers who stop thereby to see the viewpoint.
While having tea, I noticed the railway line running through the middle of the valley. The shop owner told me that it is the Konkan railway route and I wondered how much time I had passed through the route in Mangala Express and never seen such a viewpoint before. I enjoyed the aerial view of the valley where I saw the train passing through the vast agricultural fields. For capturing that wonderful sight I waited for one and half hour for the train to come.
Capturing the Moments
Many people came and went while I kept on waiting with a less hope on thetiming of Indian Railways. I had a bread omlette from the teashop and also had a number of teas. At 11:40 a.m. there I saw the Mumbai-Goa Express crawling like a snail and I snapped as much as the pictures I want. Then the train passed by and I returned from there with a heart filled satisfaction.
Climbing down the hills my journey is to Kerala but before that I need to pass through the lands of Kongini and Kannada. The landscapes have got the beauty and nature of south India. There are 60 more kilometers to Ratnagiri, which is a regular stop of Mangala Express during its journey to Delhi. It is the land of "Vadapaavu" and "Alphonso Mango". My bike has headed to one of the main tourist center in Maharashtra, the Ratnagiri.
Reaching the city I was super excited and before getting dark I got settled in a lodge. The room is much spacious and costs me INR 400. The only drawback is that it lacks a television. I removed the heavy jacket, boots and other riding equipment and wore simple slippers, a t-shirt and a trouser to walk through the night views of Ratnagiri. It is good for health to walk a little after the continuous journey and I could continue the bike riding only if I maintained the health. Then I returned to the room, had my food and decided to sleep. The next day, after a sound sleep I woke up at 7 in the morning and by 8 I again started my bike journey to the profound views of Ratnagiri.
Ratnagiri is a beautiful place in the shores of Konkan. The main attraction is the fascinating beaches which are spread across the long area of 167 km. The 85% of the city consists of hills which are about 180km long. There are many rivers flowing towards the west to the sea originating from these hills. The main reason for the greenery and the water here is the presence of Western Ghats. In Ratnagiri, Alphonso mangoes are cultivated in 80 hectares of land. This mangoes are named after the Portuguese General and the Military Exporter Alphonso .D. Albukerk. It was the Portuguese people who introduced the technique of grafting to the Indians.
The Main Attractions
Most of the people here live by fishing and therefore there are many harbors in Ratnagiri. Those harbors are very beautiful to see and are not much busy too. There are many fishing boat manufacturing centers too. Most of them are made of fibre. The deltas there too give a wonderful view for the tourists.
Ratnagiri has India's rarest Cliff beach. I enjoyed the view of waves from the Arabian Sea, also called as Sindh Sagar, touching the sands. The important site of Ratnagiri is the Ratnadurga Fort which is surrounded by Arabian Sea on the three sides. It has length of 1300 meters and a width of 1000 meters. It is built on 20 hectares of land above the hill.
There is a Hanuman Temple at the entrance to the fort. The fort is much older than the temple. It is believed that the fort was built during the Bahamani rule and in 1670 the ownership was taken by Chatrapati Shivaji. After prolonged wars, during 1818 the Britishers conquered the Ratnadurga.
By evening i went to see the views of famous beach of Murud. Even now the place left unexplored. The beach tourism in south India starts from here. The beach is located 200 km away from Goa and is not so busy which protects it from pollution.