December 23, 2015

My TripAdvisor Review No.149: Velneshwar Shiva Temple, District Ratnagiri.

“Colourful Shiva Temple by the Beach”
5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days agoNEW
This Shiva Temple is the prominent landmark in the Konkani village of Velneshwar in Ratnagiri District. It is about 20 km south of Guhagar Beach and 50 km north of Ganpatipule. It is located just next to Velneshwar Beach.

The temple seems freshly painted and looks very beautiful in different hues of blue, yellow, orange, pink and red. It is very well maintained and kept quite neat and clean. There is a rack to leave your footwear outside without any charges, and a clean washroom where you can wash your hands and feet, with a drinking water fountain as well. There were no touts around, and we had a very peaceful darshan of the Shivling inside the sanctum. Prasadam and offerings can be purchased from the few stalls outside the temple. The surroundings of the temple are also very green and serene.

After our darshan we went to the beach behind the temple and found a couple of restaurants serving snacks and tea. One can also place the order for lunch or dinner an hour in advance at these restaurants which serve the local Konkani cuisine. There is a good view of the sea and the beach.

This temple is definitely a must visit if you are near Guhagar or Velneshwar.
Visited December 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

December 20, 2015

My HolidayIQ Review No.4: Destination: Velneshwar, District Ratnagiri.

"Konkani village with a beautiful beach & Shiva temple" new review
  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 3 days ago
Velneshwar village is a beautiful beach destination, about 300 km from Mumbai and Pune. It has an excellent and there was no crowd in the beach which is very good for swimming and sunbathing. On the eastern side there is a backdrop of hills with dense forests with a good variety of birds to be seen. There is a very famous Shiva temple close to the beach.

There are some resorts and stay options, including an MTDC resort on the hillside with a fantastic view. Local Konkani cuisine, including fish, is available at the resorts and a couple of restaurants near the beach. Visit Velneshwar if you are a beach lover and would like to take a quiet and peaceful break away from the noise and bustle of city life.
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My HolidayIQ Review No.3: Road Trip: Pune to Velneshwar by Car.

  • Scout
  • Vijay Shivdasani
  • 5 photos
  • 4 Reviews
  •  38 Readers
Scenic Road Trip to Velneshwar 
Posted 3 days ago
Mode of Transport:Car
We left from Pune around 8 am and took the NH4 route via Satara. At Umbaraj we had to get off the highway and turn right towards the Chiplun state highway. We passed the town of Patan through scenic green fields till we reached Koyna. The serene Koyna river ran parallel to the road. We descended the Kumbharli Ghat with awesome views down to the coast till the town of Chiplun on the Mumbai - Panjim highway (NH17).

We stopped at Hotel Abhishek, a popular restaurant serving Malvani thalis, for lunch.
After a sumptuous lunch we proceeded towards the beach town of Guhagar. About 4 km before reaching Guhagar we turned left to go to Velneshwar along the coastal road (SH4) of Maharashtra.

The last stretch from Chiplun to Guhagar to Velneshwar was through dense greenery and numerous small ghats along the way. We reached the MTDC Velneshwar resort at 4 pm. 

We quite enjoyed the 300 km long drive from Pune to Velneshwar.
Car Type:
  • Hatchback
This route has:
  • Petrol pumps
  • Accomodation
  • Food/Dhabas
  • Clear Signages
Route Taken:NH4 and Umbraj - Chiplun Rd
Read more reviews from this trip..
 Velneshwar village is a beautiful beach destination, about 300 km from Mumbai and Pune. It has an excellent and there was no crowd in the beach which is very good for swimming and sunbathing. On the eastern side there is a backdrop of hills with dense forests with a good variety of birds to be...more » 

My HolidayIQ Review No.2: Velneshwar Beach, Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra.

"Beautiful Secluded Beach" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 3 days ago
The coconut tree lined crescent shaped beach is very beautiful with yellowish sand speckled with black particles, bounded by small hills at both ends. There was not a single shack or stall on the beach itself, and the beach was relatively clean. The water looked very inviting for a swim. There are very few people on the beach, except in the evenings when some locals and tourists come out for a walk along the 2 km stretch of beach. The beach is safe for swimming, but there are no lifeguards.

At the south end of the beach are the Velneshwar fishermen's village and a beautiful Shiva Temple which we visited. There are a couple of restaurants serving snacks and local Konkani cuisine near the temple. At the north end of the beach are a couple of private bungalows, and the Kinara Beach House, a private resort. The other stay options at Velneshwar are the MTDC Resort on the hilltop, and the Atithi Resort on the beach road.

The best times to visit the beach are early morning and evenings. One can see the local fishing vessels bobbing up and down on the waves. The sunsets are spectacular and will definitely leave an eternal mark in your memory.

The beach is definitely worth the trip all the way from Pune. We stayed at the MTDC resort on a hill overlooking the beach.
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My HolidayIQ Review No.1: Pali Ganesh Mandir, Nagothane.

"One of the Ashtavinayak Ganpatis."

  • 4.5/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Ballal Vinayak at Pali is one of the eight Ashtavinayak Ganapati temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Legend has it that this Ganapati is said to have come to the aid of a young lad, Ballal, who was one of his frequent devotees. Shri Ballaleshwar is the only incarnation of Lord Ganesha which is known by a devotee's name.

There are two routes to approach this temple town from Pune. One is via the Pune - Mumbai expressway upto Khalapur, and then via the Khopoli Pali state highway. The other route is via Chandni Chowk, Pirangut, Paud, Mulshi, Tamhini Ghat, Vile, Nandgaon and Pali. We chose the latter as it is a more scenic and picturesque route. It is about 120 km from Pune via Mulshi. The road is reasonably good except for a 2 km stretch near Vile.

The architecture of the temple is very unique and beautiful. It is constructed in stone and wood. There is a hall outside the sanctum, with a live TV screen, where we could sit for a while and pray in peace.

A towering mountain of the Sahyadri range near the temple adds to the natural beauty of the place.

We found free parking for our car about 200 meters away from the temple, and picked up a plate of offerings from one of the numerous stalls near the entrance. The premises were very clean and well organised with proper barricades so there was no chaos near the entrance. We had a very good and peaceful darshan of the Lord. We picked up some souvenirs and Prasad and were quite satisfied with the blessings from Lord Ganesha.
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December 17, 2015

My TripAdvisor Review No.148: MTDC Velneshwar Resort

“An Undiscovered Gem on the Konkan Coast.”
4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days agoNEW
Velneshwar is a small coastal village in the Konkan, and we were surprised to learn that it boasts an MTDC Resort. Velneshwar lies in the Ratnagiri district about 20 km south of Guhagar and about 50 km north of Ganpatipule. It can be reached via Chiplun on the Mumbai – Panjim highway (NH17).

The MTDC Resort is beautifully located on a hilltop overlooking the beach and the Arabian Sea. We booked our room online about a week in advance on the MTDC website. Each of the cottage rooms has a small balcony where you can sit and enjoy the sea breeze and the listen to sound of the waves. The views are to die for!

The cottages are set on the hillside at different levels. The rooms and bathrooms are spacious and airy. There is a TV with all cable channels, but no cupboards for storage.There are 10 ac rooms at the lower levels and 5 non-ac rooms at a higher level. The non-ac rooms have better views but can be tedious to climb to because the restaurant and reception are at the lowest level. It can also get very hot in the summer months in spite of the sea breeze, so these rooms are habitable only during winter or monsoons. We did stay in the non ac room in the month of December, and it was OK, except when there was a power outage for 1 hour one afternoon.

The mornings and evenings are very pleasant to sit out on the benches in the garden and grounds outside. One can just sit and stare at the calm sea with its numerous fishing vessels. If you are lucky you may be able to spot dolphins in the water on some mornings. I did not see the dolphins but did see some hornbills flying overhead on one occasion. Of course, you can see a variety of other birds too, especially if you take a walk into the forests behind the resort, or near the beach.

The beach is a 10 minute walk or a 5 minute drive from the resort. It is a yellow-black sandy beach about 2 km long with hillocks at both ends. The waters are calm and inviting for a swim. There are very few people on the beach except during the evenings when the locals come for a walk. There are a couple of restaurants at the Shiva Temple end of the beach.

There is an attached restaurant which serves the complimentary breakfast of poha, upma, sabudana or egg omelette. You have to place your lunch and dinner order about an hour in advance, and the options are either fish, chicken or vegetarian thali meals, since the ala-carte menu is very limited. The food is prepared in the local Konkani style and is quite tasty. The restaurant is clean and airy but nothing fancy.

Sunsets at Velneshwar beach are spectacular. You can simply sit in the balcony of your cottage and observe the sunsets, and they will remain etched in your memory forever.
  • Stayed December 2015, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 starsValue
    • 4 of 5 starsSleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 starsService
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

December 15, 2015

My TripAdvisor Review No.147: Hotel Abhishek, Chiplun.

“Excellent Malvani Seafood.”
4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days agoNEW
We were driving from Pune to Velneshwar and had shortlisted Hotel Abhishek at Chiplun as our lunch stopover. We arrived at Chiplun at 1.45 pm but it took us about 15 min to locate the restaurant. Eventually we found it in a small lane on the right hand side of the Mumbai Panjim highway (NH17) as you head towards Goa. We were guided to their dedicated parking lot in a bungalow plot opposite the restaurant. There were already about 10 cars parked there as the restaurant seems to be quite popular with travellers.

All the tables on the ground floor were occupied and we eventually found a table on the mezzanine floor upstairs. The seating was a bit congested with 3 more tables on the floor. The walls were plastered with snaps of celebrities who had dined there earlier, but we didn’t bother to squint at the small photographs as we were quite hungry.

There were a variety of thalis (platters) of seafood, prawn, chicken, mutton and vegetarian. There were ala-carte dishes too. I ordered the surmai (kingfish) thali for Rs.280, and my wife ordered the bangda thali for Rs.240. We were served within 10 minutes. The fish thali consisted of a piece of fry fish, and a smaller piece in gravy, an extra bowl of fish curry to be had with rice, two chapattis (or wades), a papad, pickle, onion and lemon, and a small cup of solkadhi (spicy digestive drink).

The fried fish marinated in the local spice was very tasty and we enjoyed the spicy Malvani gravy with rice. Service was reasonably quick, but we were lucky to get the last few tables available, otherwise we may have had to wait in a queue if we had arrived a few minutes later.

They had clean washrooms which we used before continuing our road trip.
  • Visited December 2015
    • 4 of 5 starsValue
    • 4 of 5 starsService
    • 5 of 5 starsFood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC