Kanakeshwar Devasthan Temple
Welcome to Alibag,
Alibag or Alibaug is a coastal town in Raigad District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is headquarters of the Raigad district. The meaning of Alibag is Garden of Ali. Alibag is a weekend picnic spot for the citizens of Mumbai. It is also a famous center for business conferences. Most of the people in the city own farms and cottages. Alibag is surrounded by sea on all 3 sides.
The town and its bordering villages are the historic back-country of Bene Israeli Jews. Israel Ali is a Jewish synagogue of the town. Shivaji's naval chief Kanhoji Angre developed Alibag in the 17th century. It is not only a sun city but also an amazing weekend location. The city shot into prominence after Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj built the fort of Kulaba. The town is renowned for its clean waters, sand like beaches and fresh air.Alibag is an astonishingly beautiful place and nature appears to be at its best. Alibag is a tropical island with all trees and palm lacunae beaches. The various orchards and chikoo trees have made the place an unpolluted spot. It is particularly fantastic during the rainy season.
The Akshi Beach is a beautiful white sand beach. Plenty of suru trees can be seen along the coast. The water is very clean and it renders safety for swimming. The beach is also a favorite among the birdwatchers and nature lovers.
The hamlet of Akshi is just 5 km away from Alibag. The village is full of fishermen and it is not crowded at all. The beach at Akshi is a favourite tourist spot. One could slug around the clear beaches and step inside the warm and unruffled Arabian Sea. Just a perfect getaway for a weekend.
Alibag Beach is the main beach of the town. The beach has the blackest sand of the region. The beach is very lively with bathers in the morning and many food stalls in the evening.
Alibag Beach is tardily but certainly growing into a tourist attractor. Ali Shah Bawa's mazhar is right in the center of the town and the beach is also named after him. The government have built a good platform for the tourist to enjoy the sea and to take bath with safety. The Alibag Beach is the prominent beach of the town and the Kolaba fort can be seen from here.
Two minutes distance from Alibag bus station stands this mansion in renovated form. The seat of Angre dynasty, some historic artefacts are kept in the first floor hall.
The Brahma Kund is a great work. It is on the hill top. There are two kunds the shiv pool and the Brahma's pond. Brahma Kund is a rectangular tank which is encircled by steps on all the 4 sides. It is a very beautiful site. The site is excellent for photography.
There is a small Maruti Mandir in its vicinity. As one nears the temple one can see a small statue with an encoding 'Mirchi Baba'. This encoding was done in the year 1612. This pool was created by the water which was collected after Lord Brahma bathed lord Krishna.
These Buddha period carvings are 25 kms south of Murud via. Bhalgaon. A Saatwahana Dynasty Aristocrat named Mahabhoj, ruled from Rajpuri near Murud around 100 B.C. He got these carvings carried out in the hill rock for Buddhist monks as their lodging / resting place. 200 feet above sea level there are 26 compartments in two tiers-15 in the lower and 11 in the upper tier. They comprise 5 Chaityas, 21 Vihars, a huge Stoopa and water tanks. The pillars are exquisitely decorated. One also finds inscriptions in Brahmi script. To the west of this group of carvings, is vast expanse of Arabian sea, scenic hilly region of Tala taluka to the east and Ghosala hill fort to the north.
Progressively-minded Nawab of recent past, Sir Siddi Ahmed Khan dedicated this Dam to Queen Victoria's memory. Source of water supply to the town even today, this place is where Nature is at her best! Chirping of birds and music of running water on the backdrop of thick vegetation, a scenic valley.
From Murud on way to Janjira, we pass through a small hamlet Ekdara, on the hill slope. To the west of this hill, this is a small but ancient temple of Lord Shiva Devotees believe that the 'pindi' of shiva at Harihareshwar near Shrivardhan was originally here.
Shri Hanuman Temple is in the premises of the Kanakeshwar Devesthan temple. It is a small temple but the deity is very powerful. The scenic beauty of the temple situated on top of a hill cannot be expressed in words. One has to see it with one's own eyes to believe it.
Hanuman is a monkey god and an ardent devotee of Rama. This god is said to have an important role in finding Sita in the gardens of Ravana. He went across seven seas to locate Sita Mata and bring the news of her plight to Rama.
In the heart of Alibag town, this fort was built by the Angres in 1720. Its imposing black Bassalt high walls are indicative of the significance of this fort. Legend has it that the Angre treasure used to be housed in it. Today, it is used as District Jail.
1 - 1/2 kms away from the Datta temple, on a still higher location is the Nawabi Idgah. With thick vegetation, tall mountains around, this place lends a spiritual experience of natures beauty and absolute peace! This is another site best suited for watching sunset.
Bhavani is a furious look of Hindu goddess Devi. Bhavani means "giver of life". She is the power of nature and the source of energy. The Jai Bhavani Temple dates back to the 12th century. The deity is seen with eight arms holding weapons. She is also bearing the head of Mahishasura who was a demon. The goddess had slain the demon at Mysore. It with this incident that Dussehra is celebrated with pomp and joy. Every day prayer to the goddess starts early in the morning from 5 am.
This overwhelming guardian of the Siddi naval prowess over the Arabian sea, can be approached in sail boats, which leave from Rajpuri jetty, 5 kms from Murud. As we land at the front gate of the fort, two formidable bastions. can be seen guarding the huge gate. Here is a sculpture in stone depicting a Lion that has overpowered six elephants.
The main gate is followed by another gate where 3 lungers/anchors are clearly visible in front of shrine of 5 Peers(peerpanchayatan). Opposite of that is a big sweet water tank. Around that stand Khasha Siddi Masjid and ruins of houses. Next comes Surul Khan's mansion(wada).
In the backyard, remnants of Hindu sculptures are visible. During archaeological excavations in 1985, temple ruins and a 'Shivaling' was found. On the background, fortified bulwarks with guns positioned, are unmistakable. There are 24 bastions in all, having their separate names. Special attraction of this fort is 3 Gigantic Cannons named Kalalbangdi, Chavri and Landa Kasam. Another gate to the west is sea-facing, called 'Darya Darwaza'.
13 Kms from Alibag in Northeast direction is this very famous Shiv temple on a 900 ft. high hill. Its' a 5000 ft. long climb on well paved stairs, which takes around one hour landmarks along the route are tombs of MohanGiri and Balgiri, Nagoba Rest, Jambhali Plateau, God's stair, Gaymandi etc.
It comprises various small temples of Sri Paleshwar, Sri Hanuman, Sri Balram Krishna and Lord Shiv. The special attraction is an ancient sweet water tank enclosed in traditional structure of black stone. The ancient temple was built by Raja Ramdeorai yadav. The height of the Shiv temple is 54 ft.
The front gate has Lion sculpture on both sides with traditional lamp-pillar(deepmaal) in front. The 4 ft. long 'Pindi' of Lord Shiv is Silver plated. The premises also include Nagaar-khana, Bheem Kunda, a garden for flowers to be offered to the Lord, Sri Ram Ganesh temple and Gomukha. Every year, Kartik Poornima in Hindu calender is the day of fair. On this hill, variety of herbs is found.
The Kanakeshwar Forest is a dense forest. Tourists are allowed to venture into the forest at their own risks. The population of the forest comprises of wild boars, poisonous snakes and panthers. They are the right owners of the forest. The silence of the jungle and the hills can be felt in this area. Wild leopards can be seen roaming the forest areas. Even though the Kanakeshwar Forest is dense, it has a lush green look. But due to its depth, the forest looks dark even during the day time.
Kanhoji Angre or Conajee Angria or Sarkhel Angre was the first notable chief of the Maratha Navy in 18th century India. He fought successfully all his life against the British, Dutch and Portuguese naval interests in the Indian Ocean during the eighteenth century.
This mausoleum is basically the tomb of kanhoji Angre. The structure has 8 faces and the pillars are exquisitely sculpted. Though in dilapidated state today, it stands in sacred memory of the great Maratha Admiral Konhoji Angre.
When Shivaji the Great decidied to take on the Siddis of Janjira, his admiral, Daulat Khan, built this fort on an island next to Janjira. The rock, on which the fort was built, was called Kasa and the fort was named Padmadurg. The fort has six bastions, some of them devastated by Gun attack from the famous 'kalal bangdi' gun in Janjira. Kasa was soon overpowered by Siddis and used as a Jail. Private boat can be hired to visit this fort.
The famous Kashid beach is located 18 kms from Murud. The specialty of this beach is the beautiful slivery white sand. literally dazzling silveri on this clean beach. It's a favorite spot for advertising, TV serial and film shoots. The beach is complete with small-food stalls. If you are travelling from Alibag to Murud, the last U-turn in the Ghat section of the road that descends on the Kashid beach is simply mesmerizing'!
Three to four kilometers into the sea from Thai beach, which is 5 kms from Alibag, this fort was built in 1678 on a small island. Later, a light house was erected. This fort was for long under the Angre's control. Today it is under Bombay port trust administration. With their permission, you can visit the fort in local boats.
The various attempts made by the British to capture the island fort of Khanderi were not fruitful till the year 1750. The Fort was finally handed over to the British as part of the Peshwa territory.
These are tombs of siddis spiritual Gurus Sayyad Ali Nazeer and Nawabs Siddi Sirul Khan Siddi Khairiyat khan siddi khairiyat khan, Siddi Yakoot khan. The structures in Indo-Islamic style are works of beauty. The place is 6 kms from Murud on Murud-Aagardanda (jetty) road. The place is 6 kms from Murud on Murud-Aagardanda (jetty) road.
The Kihim Beach is situated at a distance of 12 km from Alibag. It is a secluded place. The beach is famous for thick cover of coconut trees. The place is famous for variety of woods which serves as a cover. Nature lovers will be thrilled to visit the place for it provides sight of rare butterflies, birds and flowers. The most attractive part of the Kihim beach is that the place is not entirely discovered and unpolluted. The environment is very attractive. Kihim Beach is the best place for day trippers and weekenders as well.
Kolaba Fort (sometimes Kulaba Fort) is an old military fortification in India. It is situated in the sea at a distance of 1-2 km from the shores of Alibag. The Kolaba Fort was constructed by Shivaji Maharaj. Visitors can visit the fort only during low tide.
The fort consists of sweet water well in the middle. There are many temples and fortifications along guns which face the sea. The fort is 300 years old.
Carvings of tigers, peacocks, and elephants on the entrance arch can be seen. Near the gate there are shrines of Mahishasura and Padmavathi and other gods along with fort deity. A Ganesha temple was built in front of the sweet water tank in 1759.
Korlai Fort (also called Morro or Castle Curlew) is a Portuguese fortification in the town of Korlai, Alibag. It was built on an island (Morro de Chaul) which guards the way to the Revdanda Creek. It was meant as a companion to the fort at Chaul.
It is supposed to have been built by the portugese in 1521. The main gate has an inscription which means 'no entry without a fight'. The fort is 2828 feet long, and its average breadth is eighty-nine feet. The enclosing wall is 5' 3" high and has 305 battlements for guns. It is entered by eleven gates - four are outer and seven are inner. At the north point, within pistol-shot of main battery is the water cistern named Santa Cruz - major source of water. It also has a sweet water well, a church in disuse, a Hindu timple and a Lighthouse.
Established in 1904, this observatory is the only one of its kind in Asia and one of 13 in the whole world, with whom data is exchanged every 12 minutes. The British period building that houses rare valuable instruments like a magnatograph is built only in stone, with no steel used. The observatory records magnetic movement in the earth's' crust and also magnetic storms caused by solar storms.
Mandwa beach is located about 20 km north of Alibag. The ferry services can be utilized from Mumbai to the Mandawa jetty. Mandwa is a natural port. The place is famous for many Bollywood celebrities bungalows.
Mandwa is a superb and untroden beach. When the sky is clear the enchanting view across the bay till the Gateway of India cannot be expressed in words. They are a joy to the mind and a feast to the eyes. The village is charming and it is a beauty of its own. The beautiful groves of coconut palms are very pretty.
Murud beach is surrounedd on three sides by mountains. The water here is clear blue and the sand is slivery white. The sunset from this beach is also fabulous.
Murud-Janjira is the local name for a fort situated at the coastal village of Murud. It is famous for being the only fort along India's western coast that remained undefeated despite Maratha, Dutch and English East India Company attacks.
Sambhaji (the son of Shivaji) constructed a fort on a nearby island (Padmadurg Fort, now known as Kasa). Kasa is not accessible to the public and requires special permission from the Navy. To Reach the Janjira Fort, sailboats are available from Murud Port and Rajpuri port.
The fort also boasts of a sweet water lake inside it. It is considered to be a miracle that the Fort surrounded by the salty water of the sea has a lake full of sweet water. Also the cannons in the fort are quite unique. The biggest cannon boasts a range of around 18 km. It is said that since the entire cannon could not have been transported at once they had to be brought in pieces and they were then assembled inside the fort.
Around seven km away from Alibag is the unique Nagaon beach. It is famous for coconuts and betel nuts. The visitors are attracted by the loving area of the tiding Arabian sea. The area is not only charming but also breathtaking.
A famous song 'Sagar Kinare Dil Ye Pukare' from the film Sagar was shot on this beach. The description in the song fits the beauty of the place. The place is famous for clean and serene beaches. Beautiful and long stretch of calm water the beach is covered with suru trees.
The Nagoba Mandir is 16 km away from Alibag. It is at a distance of 20 minutes walk from the Saswane Beach. Once inside the temple one is greeted with bells and bells which are hung in clusters. The bells are in groups of 4, 6 and 12. There is only one Cymbal.
People flock here for divine favours. They return to the bells when their wishes are granted. The main and the central idol is a hooded snake. The story behind this is that someone had a snake bite and the venom magically disappeared here. The temple is also the house of the samadhi of a saint who had divine powers.
The first ever Russian to land on Indian soil was Afnasi Nikitin, some 500 years back. In memory of this historic event, a mounument is erected in the premises of SRT High School, Revdanda. The memorial also symbolizes Indo-Russian friendship.
Before Nandgaon, on way to Murud comes Borli village, 7kms to the left is this 'Game' reserved forest for the erstwhile Nawab of Murud. Today, this is a Government Sanctuary for rabbits, wolves, tigers etc. It covers 52.71 sq kms area. There is an information center, an exhibition, trekking facilities are made available by the government near Supegaon. These facilities are approachable on Murud-Roha road via. Supegaon at Usroli, 7 kms from Murud.
Revdanda is 17 kms to the south of Alibag where remnants of huge outer walls of this fort, built by the Portugese in 1558, can be seen. The thick outer walls are hollow from within and these clandestine routes are interconnected. A structure, in dilapidated state today, known as 'Saat Khani Buruj (bastion) was constructed in 1534. These walls run 5-6 kms in length.
This historic Port is the last destination in Alibag town, situated 17 kms from Alibag. The creek, which meets the Arabian sea, separates Alibag and Murud Talukas. The creek is busy with sand and fish carrying vessels. To the right across the creek, is Vikram Ispat jetty for unloading the iron ore and to the left is the Ispat factory.
Around 23 km away from Alibag is Rewas Jetty. The jetty is famous and important for Mumbai Launch service. Tourists coming to Mumbai use the launch services of the Rewas jetty to travel.
Rewas Jetty is 6 km from Kihim. The jetty is a weekend retreat. The rich and the famous have their bunglows along the beach. They also live in the interior of the place. The propinquity to the city is the major asset of the beaches. Tourists crowd along these beaches in large numbers. When one is at the jetty and stands facing the beach Uran can be sighted.
This hill-fort, 7kms from Alibag is an old fort of Shivaji's times at 1357ft from sea-level. A dirt-track road to this fort begins at Khandala on Alibag-Pen road to the East. Half-way to the fort is Siddheshwar temple and an Ashram, where you can rest a while. During rainy season, one finds a cascading waterfall at this spot.
To the left just before the Ashram, the trek-route to Sagargad begins. In an hour's time, one can reach the fort. The main gate is in completely desolate state while the two bastions are partially dilapidated. Inside, a temple and a small tank are in a disused state. Another tank is known as Pandav Kund. On the fort proper, one finds nine tombs of Satis. The place is called Sati Plateau. Besides this plateau a thumb-like erect land mass is known as Wanartok. The fort is totally uninhabited.
On way to Garambi, we pass through village Shighre. During rainy season, we can approach this fall via. Saygaon. It's a 30 minute walk through fields with beautiful mountains on one side.
On Alibag-Revdanda Road, 14kms away from Alibag is Chaul and from there one can hire on autorickshaw to reach this ancient temple-Originally it was built with a tiled roof and wooden structure. In 1990, it was renovated into a modern structure. It is a greatly revered shrine.
The Someshwar Temple is a fantastic and ancient Hindu temple. The temple was built in the Satwahana legacy. Someshwar Temple is in Akshi which is only 3 km away from Alibag. Enroute to the beach there are many shilas. One of the shilas is close to the Someshwar Mandir. This temple is situated near the deepasthambh.
Lord Shiva is otherwise known as Someshwar. There is a story that Shiva once drank an ocean of poison. He churned the poison and that turned into nectar. Tourists and visitors visit the temple to get the blessings of the divine.
18 kms from Alibag on Alibag-Revdanda road, this is another very famous hill shrine was built by Sri Brahmendra Swami-Kjanhoji Angres' spiritual Guru. One has to climb around 700 stairs to reach this shrine surrounded by vegatation. Important landmarks are Swami Samartha Mutt, Sadhana Kutir, HareRam retiring room, Hare Ram Baba Dhuni Mandir, Audumbar Mutt, Mai Jankibai Mutt.
Watching the sun setting in the sea from this place is an unforgettable experience. To the south, Alkapuri is a picnic spot. From there, a motorable road leads upto the shrine. Some distance from there, trekkers would love to visit another ancient Lord Shiv temple, 'Kshetra Pal'.
This ancient shrine of Shiv looks like built in 'Hemadpant' style of Architecture, though, when it was built is not known. Angre history references say that it was renovated many times. The structure comprises of prayer hall (sabhamandap), sanctum sanctorum and 7.62 meter high summit shaped dome. In front of the prayer hall, there are three tanks (kund) namely Parjanya Kund, Agni kund and Vayoo kund.
This village was know as Nandigram in ancient times. Believers feel that a 'Darshan' of Lord Ganesh here lends finale to the 'Asthtavinayak' pilgrimage. A grand festival takes place every year on 'Maghi Chaturthi' day and another traditionally auspicious day for 'Darshan' is 'sankashti chaturthi' every month.
At a distance of 0.3 Km from Khanderi is the fort of Undheri which is an island fort. It was built by Siddi Qasam in 1680. The fort changed hands from the Siddis, Peshwas, Angres and the British. One can visit this fort with permission from the Bombay port trust. The visitors can hire local thal fishing boats to visit the fort.
On the outskirts of Alibag is Versoli Beach. The beach is a quiet one. The sand on the beach is white and the sea water is clean and clear. The beach is not visited by many tourists. It houses a very large naval base. Varsoli is a tiny satellite village. The vegetation of this hamlet is complete with coconut and Casuarina.
20kms from Alibag, across Revdanda Bridge, to the left is this beautiful temple within the Vikram Ispat premises. The towering dome in exquisite white granite is visible from a long distance. Situated on a small hillock, you can walk up to the temple over well-paved stairs. The surroundings of the temple are made up of a well-planned garden and colourful fountains.
The prayer hall is open on all sides and the roof is made of transparent Polycorp sheet. The temple has idols of Shree Radha-Krishnna, Shree Shiv-Parvati, Goddess Druga and Lord Surya. Life-size statue of Late Aditya Birla Stands in the garden. The pooja and prayer can be attended at 9am and 7.15pm every day. Entry into the temple premises is open from 6am to 11.30am and 4.30pm to 9.pm only.
The Vrindavan Farm is spread over a tremendous area of 28 acres. The farm is located near Kanakeshwar. All varieties of alien and everyday plants can be seen in this farm. 70,000 and more plants can be found to be on sale in the farm. The various kinds of plants are crotons, cacti and many kinds of mango trees. Guava, custard apple, chikoo can also be found in this farm.
Tiny wings which are an art and craft museum can also be seen in the farm. This museum displays bidri ware, patta chitras and tribal produces. Vrindavan Farm has a one day fun scheme costing Rs 750 per head and includes breakfast, lunch and tea.
- Chatribag - Stone tombs of Angre rulers with artistic carvings on them.
- Aagardanda Jetty, Thal Beach, Awas, Saswane, Tower of St. Barbara, Uma-Maheshwar Temple, Balaji Temple, Hingulja Mandir etc.