Saturday, June 15, 2013

Konkan Always

There are some places where I always like to revisit, though I must confess I am not wanderlust. One such place is Konkan. No matter how many times I have visited places in Kokan I would readily accept an offer to visit again. This might not be the case with other destinations.

Konkan Delight
Konkan Delight
Konkan for me epitomizes beauty, serenity, a perfect village life away from the hustle and bustle of the city, no pollution but only intoxicating smell of trees, and various flora and fauna. No traffic snarls or cacophony of innumerable vehicles and their blaring horns, but only sweet chirping of birds, rhythmic swaying of the tress and the sound it creates in co-ordination with the breeze. This is all surreal and invigorating. Konkan is a place where one can unwind and get rejuvenated in no time. It allows oneself to be in complete harmony with nature. The very first sight of the gigantic sea, lush greenery, and the curvy roads which make their way through dense forest evokes awe in me; I get mesmerized by the sheer beauty and I thank the almighty for having us bestowed with this gift of nature to adore and enjoy. I have vivid memories of my stay in Kokan, be it with my family, friends or colleagues.

I had many sojourns, excursions till date at various places in Konkan, be it Harihareshwar, Ganapati pule, Alibaug, Gugahar, Dive Agar, Hedvi and many more, all of them echo beautiful memories, with time spent amidst serenity and beauty. Every time I visit these places, something new comes to the fore, be it food, scenic beauty, temples, forts, or the people. Everything has a history associated with it, especially the temples and the forts, and to listen to them from the locals is a treat; as it has its own charm. The locals will always have one or two anecdotes to share with you, related to the sea, the rain, traditions, simple life etc.

Konkan Waterfall
Konkan Waterfall
For me personally, spending time at the sea is fulfilling. The sea which stretches endlessly, the gigantic waves renders everything so miniscule and compels oneself to let go one’s inflated egos, for there is something more towering, powerful than we humans.  Gazing at the sea also brings to my mind V.D Savarkars poetry which he wrote when he was imprisoned at the cellular Jail in Andaman, for it mentions the restlessness to the sea. The haunting music of this poetry simply highjacks you to a different world.

Visiting various temples and forts in Kokan is another activity I volunteer. The rugged forts built on various mountain tops or in the middle of the sea have weathered many storms for hundreds of years but continue to stand majestically, is a testimony to how developed and rich our architecture was during those years. Visiting these forts gives me goose bumps and a feeling of traveling back to that era when the kings ruled their regions from these fortresses. Sindhudurg, Janjira, Alibaug forts built in the middle of the sea is a must visit. Temples in Kokan also have their share of history, and they echo the historic moments, is what I feel. One more thing that you would notice is, they are very simple without any pomp. This retains the tranquility and the piousness; also most of them have picturesque surrounding which adds to their charm.

Another thing that is unique to Konkan is the ubiquitous paddy fields, mango & coconut farms which cover the skyline. To add to it are kokum, jack-fruit, and many other trees which form a canopy of sorts, not allowing the sun rays to hit the ground. This panoramic view is breath taking and the feeling heavenly.  Locals working in these fields, cattle grazing in lush greenery, those tiny rivulets carrying water into the fields, waterfalls, the cool breeze, and quaint mud houses all contribute to Utopia. This is what I miss in the city life and crave for; strong enough to compel me revisit Konkan always.

Rains in Konkan is one interesting topic of discussion, since elsewhere it just rains, in Kokan it pours down heavily with eagerness to create a land mass with green carpet everywhere.  It’s a sight worth etching in memories for long long time.  The smell of earth, cool breeze is intoxicating to say the least. No wonder many writers and poets have described, revered the rains in Konkan.  If you are a true nature lover, you would know how to enjoy rains in Konkan.

Konkan Mist
Konkan Serene
How can one forget Konkani cuisine, the fish curry, spicy food and various dishes made out of coconut, mango, and jack-fruit? It’s a cuisine of its kind and is loved by one and all. For me having a sumptuous lunch cooked by a local is a treat, and I never miss an opportunity to gorge on it, I get ravenous when I smell it. For me it’s Ambrosia. The foodies would definitely like to visit Konkan for savoring authentic delicacies. You would get to experience a lot of novelties in Konkan, be it dolphin rides, tents by the sea shore, scuba diving (though in nascent stage) visits to the Mango farms (Amrai) to enjoy the ripe, sweet mangoes and many more. All this adds to Konkan’s grand image and people are making most of it.

Many places in Konkan are not that popular amongst the tourist and hence less visited, has helped it stay pristine and unadulterated. Most of times the popularity and beauty of places in Konkan is proving to be a bane instead of a boon, with more and more people flocking to these places, is putting extreme pressure on the environment and the ecosystem. It’s the duty of one and all to preserve the beauty and pristineness of these places for posterity to enjoy.

One can never have enough of Konkan no matter how many times you visit. It would beckon you to come back, again and again. Let us all enjoy the beauty, serenity of Konkan and pledge to protect it till eternity.

Konkan here we come…. Yeh Dil Mange More

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