The village by the sea

Pradeep Chamaria
Saturday, 20 July 2019

Tarkarli, a village in Malvan taluka in Sindhudurg district, is a perfect hideaway for travellers who seek some ‘me’ time

After spending four days at Ganapatipule, I continued on my Konkan darshan and travelled further south. Mango season was on and being a big mango lover, this was a time to feast on not only the king of fruits, but the king of mangoes — Alphonso! I found them everywhere — at the Konkani huts and at roadside shops. There was an added benefit to this, whenever I stopped, I met the ever-friendly and hospitable ‘Konkanis’. Chatting with them unearthed innumerable delights of holidaying in this naturally gifted countryside.   

Tarkarli, one of the most beautiful beaches in Konkan, Maharashtra, was next on my list. After reaching my destination, I quickly unpacked and freshened up and went outdoors to enjoy the amazing sights of the setting sun from the courtyard of the Konkani hut I was staying at. A long stretch of silvery sands and blue waters filled the frame and in the background, the massive silhouette of the famous Sindhudurg fort cast a magical spell. 

I was awestruck by the visually-arresting facets of this pristine beach. As I watched the rolling waves clothed in varying shades of silvery froth, the water beguiled me. I dived in and soaked myself in the sea before the sun could start its return journey. 

Sunset at Tarkarli was a fascinating sight in itself. To watch the sky change colours every moment was a heavenly experience. The colour of the clouds hovering near the horizon too changed very fast. I was so mesmerised by this breathtaking vision that I forgot to click my camera and take some unforgettable shots.  

Situated on the confluence of river Karli and Arabian sea, Tarkarli lies in Malvan taluka in Sindhudurg district. It is a perfect hideaway for a ‘me and myself’ kind of holiday. With its silver soft sands and pristine clear waters, Tarkarli is a heaven for sun worshippers and has acquired international fame. One just needs to get a grip in the sand  with bare feet or throw themselves in the sea and fill the head with vast seascapes. The surf, sand, sun and the art of doing nothing, coupled with the best mangoes, cashew fruits and Malvani cuisine draw you to this small laidback, idle coastal village.

I drove past Malvan beach on my way to Tarkarli. A typical beach one associates Malvan with a fishing village — fishing vessels of different shapes and sizes dotting the beach. Malvan also boasts of a long, lovely beach from where one can see the great sea-fort of Sindhudurgh.

During evenings, the beach becomes extremely picturesque as fishing vessels make their way back to the shores in the orange hues of the setting sun. The fishermen unload their catch on the shores, and you can buy the freshest fish but you have to be an expert in haggling.   

The old settlement of Malvan, virtually hidden by palm trees, was once a trading post, but today it is known for its saltpans, Chinese clay pottery and, most importantly, for its spicy and pungent Malvani cuisine, which is quite distinct from Konkani food.  Seafood lovers’ paradise, Malvani cuisine is typically spicy, consisting of freshly caught bangda, surmai, prawns, crabs or any other fish depending on the season. Chaitanya, a hole in the wall eatery in Malvan market serves excellent seafood, and generous helpings at reasonable prices.

The most interesting activity at Malvan is the auction of the day’s catch when all the trawlers come home in the evening. Resembling the trading floor of any stock exchange, with various types of fish being sold to the highest bidder, it is an exercise in organised chaos that an outsider will find it hard to understand. It is all over within an hour or so with the catch having exchanged hands, loaded on to trucks, and dispatched to the markets in the larger cities inland.  

My tour was coming to an end, so I decided to explore some more neighbouring areas like Vijay Durg, Konkaneshwar and so on which created some more magical moments for me.

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