Last Updated: May 17, 2019 Priyadarshini Rana
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the name ‘Maharashtra’? Yes, its ‘Bollywood’! But, do you know Maharashtra is also popular for a variety of irresistible beaches that extends from Dahanu in the north to Goa in the south. Maharashtra has 720 km long affair with the Arabian Sea and it owns some fantastic beaches that offer everything from adventurous sea surfing to sand bath to snorkeling to bird-watching to authentic coastal food. The beaches here are situated far away from the maddening crowd of the cities of Maharashtra and offer a plethora of exciting water sports activities, sun bathing, beach walking, etc. One of the major features of the beaches in Maharashtra are the historical forts located near the beaches that mark the history of Maratha people. Guys, make it a point to visit the forts built near the beaches as a part of family beach holidays. Mumbai, one of the most popular cities of India and of course the heart of Maharashtra, too encloses many lovely beaches like Juhu Beach, Chowpatty Beach, Madh Island Beach, and Alibag Beach. Though, some of these beaches are relatively crowded, there is something about Mumbai beaches that tourists gets attracted towards them automatically. Being one of the best options for sightseeing tours in Mumbai and most sought after weekend holiday destinations, the beautiful and exotic beaches of Maharashtra can make your trip pleasant and enthralling. Here are some of the most popular beaches of Maharashtra that you must visit during your visit to this amazing mainland.
1. Ganapatipule Beach
Ganapatipule is not like other popular beaches of Maharashtra, which are crowded and polluted! Instead, it is aesthetic and scenic and regarded as one of the best beaches in Maharashtra and is surrounded by natural splendors like sparkling blue waters, swaying palms, pristine air, white sands, mangroves and coconut palms. Located along the Konkan coast, the Ganapatipule Beach is an idyllic getaway for many tourists who want to experience peace and tranquility through the far stretch of blue Arabian Sea and the white sands.
Popular attractions in and around the beach: The temple of Swayambhu (self-originated) Ganesh is one of the popular attractions in and around Ganpatipule Beach, which is visited by a lot of tourists every day to pay respect to this great deity. Apart from this, there are various restaurants offering local preparations like Ambapoli (thin pancakes of crushed and dried mango), Phanspoli (thin pancakes of dried and crushed Jackfruit), fish curries, and the Kokam Kadi. The travelers can also visit Malgund village, birthplace of the famous Marathi poet ‘Keshavsut’, to witness the beauty of Shastri River, which has its own peaceful and coconut-fringed beach.
2. Dahanu-Bordi Beach
Dahanu-Bordi Beach tretches along the coastal line of Thane, which is a 145 km drive from Mumbai, famous for Chikoo orchards, available in huge numbers. To reach this beautiful beach destination, one needs to travel across Sahyadri Mountain range and touch the shores of the Arabian Sea lined with orchards and flower gardens. The Bordi Beach is half an hour drive from Dhanu, which too is marked with the presence of Casurina trees, coconut groves, and Chikoo Orchards.
Popular attractions in and around the beach: For someone interested in water adventure, Dahanu-Bordi Beach is a perfect destination that offers sports activities like gliding, trekking, kite flying, etc. Tourists can experience trekking on nearby hills like Mahalaxmi, Asherigad, Bahrot, and Kahoj and enjoy the view of Dahanu-Bordi from some height. Other than this, you can also visit the historical Bahrot Cave, which is mainly a pilgrim center of the Zoroastrians and Udwada that contains a thousand year old, still burning, sacred fire.
3. Juhu Beach
Located in the ‘Dream city of India’ Mumbai… Juhu is one of the most popular and posh beaches of Maharashtra, famous for the eatables like bhelpuri (Indian snacks) and chat available at the food stalls surrounding the beach. A lot of Bollywood celebrities live nearby this beautiful beach and are often seen walking down the seashore. Juhu beach is one of the most crowded beaches in Maharashtra and offers everything from horse ride and donkey ride to some typical Mumbai snacks and allow tourists to play cricket matches and watch film shoot, which often takes place here. It is located in the north of Versova, which is Mumbai’s largest Koli (fishing community). Revamped with beautiful bungalows, luxurious hotels and apartments, Juhu looks like a diamond necklace at night when the lights are turned on.
Popular attractions in and around the beach: Juhu is lined with luxurious hotels and restaurants and if you want to satisfy your taste buds with Italian food, then Little Italy, Mangi Ferra, Don Giovanni, and Penne are some good Italian restaurants available here. One can also visit pubs and discotheques that are available in good number near Juhu Beach. Apart from this, Gandhi Gram is one place on Juhu Beach, where children gather to enjoy their summer vacations playing sports like basketball, cricket and football.
4. Shriwardhan Harihareshwar
Etched along the Konkan border in Maharashtra, the Shriwardhan Harihareshwar Beach is known for its serene and quaint atmosphere, perfect for a peaceful beach holiday. The serene town of Harihareshwar is marked with gentle winds, soft sandy beaches, unspoiled stretches of seashore, and rich landmarks of Maratha Kingdom that still remain beautiful. This is the perfect place for people who likes to indulge in relaxing activities like sun basking, sun bathing, beach walking, yoga, and meditation.
Popular attractions in and around the beach: Shriwardhan Harihareshwar Beach is sited with plenty of restaurants that offer delicacies including freshly caught crabs, lobsters, and other seafood, and fusion of Konkani & Maharashtrian cuisine. It also provides boat-riding experience to the travelers to help them spot the beautiful land where Peshwas, or prime ministers of the Maratha Kingdom used to live. Some must-visit places here are Peshwa Smarak and the famous temple of Harihareshwar.
5. Mandwa and Kihim Beach
For someone looking for a tranquil place to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Mandwa and Kihim Beach is the perfect spot. Located a mere 10 km away from Mumbai, these lovely beaches are covered with dense coconut trees, wild flowers, butterflies and birds, which makes it even more appealing for the nature lovers to spend some good time here. The pollution free green environment of this beach attracts tourists from every corner of the country and allows them to enjoy a long breathtaking view of the sea and the Gateway of India.
Popular attractions in and around the beach: Surrounded by beautiful groves of coconut palms, the tranquil Mandwa village lies just next to the beaches, where the visitors spend time witnessing the unique lifestyle of people in the village. A tent holiday at Kihim is another attraction that makes Mandwa and Kihim beach one of the popular beaches in Mumbai. You must also visit the Kolaba Fort, Chaul, an historic place that has remains from Portuguese days, Buddhist Caves, the Hamam Khana, a church, a temple and a synagogue that surrounds the Mandwa and Kihim Beaches.
6. Madh Island Beach
Are you planning to visit Mumbai? If yes, then make Madh Island Beach your must-visit destination. The beautiful Madh Island is a rural place, but it is quite enjoyable to walk along the villages that belongs to the fishermen. Unlike many beaches of Mumbai, this is one of the cleanest as it is surrounded by mangroves, which adds to its scenic beauty. People from different parts of the city visit this enchanting place to take a break from the crowded city life. This lovely beach is enclosed by a cluster of little villages and farmlands situated on the North-Western coast of Mumbai, opening several options for hotels, restaurants, and spas.
Popular attractions in and around the beach: ‘Erangal’ village on Madh Island Beach is a popular tourist attraction that gives a view of the farming community to the visitors. The ‘Madh Fort’, also known as ‘Versova Fort’, built by the Portuguese is another place near the beach that attract tourists in big numbers. Lastly, the ‘St. Bonaventure’, an ancient church built again by the Portuguese, is one more attraction that surrounds Madh Island Beach in Mumbai.
7. Marve Manori and Gorai
Another best place to visit in Mumbai is the Marve Manori and Gorai beach that attracts many tourists thanks to the marvellous views they provide of sunrise and sunset. These three tiny beaches are blessed with natural beauty and are more famous for their late night beach parties than anything else. While Marve is also known as Borivali, which is a little fishing village, Manori and Gorai are beautiful beaches that get crowded with people, especially during the full moon nights. Marve is more of an industrial area of Mumbai… so there are no popular attraction nearby these scenic beaches except a few restaurants and shops.
8. Tarkarli Beach
Situated 6 kms south of Malvan and 546 kms away from Mumbai on the coast of Maharashtra is the pristine Tarkarli Beach that is surrounded by tall Suru trees and Karli River. The water of Tarkarli Beach is very clear and looks even more panoramic with beautiful sailboats in the backdrop. One can do an array of things here like, water sports, scuba diving, snorkelling, beach walking, sun basking, sun bathing, etc. and explore the nearby landmarks and beaches.
Popular attractions in and around the beach: There are a lot of things that you can see near Tarkarli Beach. To start with… you can visit Sindhudurg Fort and Padmagarh Fort, two of Maharashtra’s most important sea forts, built in the 17th century. Devbag Sangam, Vengurla rocks, backwaters of Karli river, Nivati beach (ideal spot for spotting dolphins), Dhamapur Lake, Bhagwati temple, Rameshwar, Jay Ganesh Temple, and Bhogve Beach are some of the must see tourist places around Tarkarli Beach.
9. Velneshwar Beach
The green coconut palm grooves and rock free seawater makes the Velneshwar Beach a must see tourist places around Mumbai, ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Located in the north of Shastri River, this beautiful beach lies away from the hustle and bustle of the city, giving a peaceful and pristine atmosphere to nature lovers. This destination is also famous for Maha Shivratri Fair (Festival of Lord Shiva), which takes place here every year in March.
Popular attractions in and around the beach: Apart from activities like sun bathing, sun basking, snorkelling, boat ride, surfing, etc. Velneshwar Beach is also known for an old Shiva Temple, frequently visited by tourists and pilgrims.
10. Vengurla Malvan
Surrounded by coconut palms, Mango, Jackfruit, and Cashew trees and covered with soft white sands, the Vengurla Malvan is the best place for weekend holidays in Maharashtra. It is mentioned as a trade settlement in the history books as the place was burned twice due to attacks that took place between 1664 and 1812. And, which is why it is called Burnt Islands. Vengurla Beach that lies in the old town of Malvan is almost hidden by palms and it is known for its salt pans, Chinese clay pottery and the special Malvani cuisine, which is quite different from the Konkan food.
Popular attractions in and around the beach: Shri Devi Sateri Temple and Rameshwar Mandir are popular places visited by plenty of tourists every day. Also, there are two forts in the township of Malvan, namely Sindhudurg and Padmagad, which are believed to have hold two underground tunnel links for trading.
11. Marine Drive
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Mumbai, Marine Drive, also known as Queen’s Necklace, is the lifeline of Mumbai, where locals hang out to cool down the work-pressure of their otherwise busy life. Marine Drive is located on the edge of Chowpatty Beach, which is popular for several Hindu religious ceremonies like annual thread-tying ceremony, nariel-purnima and Ganesh Chaturthi immersions. Chowpatty Beach is equally known for stalls that sell Bhelpuri, Kulfi and Paan, and Nana-Nani Park for elderly people. This place is ideal for people who like to indulge in soft activities like walking, sun bathing, relaxing, and for enjoying local cuisines.
Popular attractions in and around the beach: This C-shaped road links Nariman Point to Babulnath. It has attractions like the 5 Star Hotel Oberoi, Hotel Taj, Gateway of India along with many multi-cuisine restaurants and shopping centers that lines this beautiful beach spot.
12. Bassein Beach
Located at a distance of 77 km from Mumbai, Bassein Beach is a peaceful location that resembles India’s most exotic beach state, Goa. This less-crowded beach destination is one of the best weekend getaways from Mumbai that offer everything from turquoise blue waters to soft white sandy beaches to dense forests of brushwood and palm grooves to delicious Portuguese cuisines. It is also a historic place that embraces ruins of forts, built during the time of the Portuguese.
Popular attractions in and around the beach: There is a lot to see at Bassein Beach! One can spot Buddhist relics at Nalasopara, which is 10 km from Bassein, Vajreshwari Temple, Akloli hot springs, Sadguru Nityanand Maharaj Samadhi Mandir at Ganeshpuri, Bhimeshwar Temple and a few churches from the time of Portuguese in Bassein. From the most serene and peaceful beaches to the exciting and adventurous one, Maharashtra has something for every beach lover. Want to witness the splendor of these exotic beaches? Plan an exciting beach holidays in Maharashtra and explore its beauty all by yourself.
Published: 06 Sep, 2014
Traveling is one thing that instantly brightens up the spirit of Priyadarshini who was born in the ‘City of dreams’ Mumbai and traveled to coastal cities like Visakapatnam, Kochi, Chennai, and Goa along with her dad who served the Indian Navy. This passionate writer and traveler loves to explore different parts of the country and pen down her experience beautifully. She has a keen interest in fashion and so she makes sure that she explore the style quotient of locals of different cities and nation.