Vengurla Beach: Konkan’s hidden gems – 2

This is the second part of my write up about our Vengurla trip. The first one with the description of the wonderful MTDC resort and its rooms can be found here.

We have a history of travel during Holi and Vengurla was our third trip during the Holi weekend for the third consecutive year after travels to Vizag and Akshi Alibag. The Holi wala trip is like the last chance to enjoy before the sun starts beating down on us in the hot Indian summer. The Holi – days are hot and not at all comfortable on the beach. So, we explored the town of Vengurla during the day.

Port towns are usually smelly, stinking of fish and dirty – what with an economy built around produce from the sea. Vengurla was a port of some repute in the 17th century, extensively used by the Dutch and its anchorage was considered to be one of the best in India. Over the years, Vengurla, an important port of the Bijapur kingdom was plundered and destroyed twice for its wealth. For me the most interesting part of Vengurla’s history was that the great Sunil Gavaskar was born there.

Being an old port, Vengurla has a wonderful lighthouse in working condition on top of a hill which offers the most amazing views of Vengurla. This lighthouse houses a huge bulb kinda structure which warns and helps those sailing the seas around Vengurla. This is what the Vengurla lighthouse looks like from the inside.

Inside the lighthouse in VengurlaInside the lighthouse in Vengurla
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Inside the lighthouse in Vengurla27-Feb-2010 17:05, Canon Canon PowerShot S3 IS, 2.7, 6.0mm, 0.017 sec
 

The path to the lighthouse and its adjoining staff quarters is a long, winding climb to one of the highest viewpoints in Vengurla. A view of Vengurla beach from the lighthouse.

Vengurla Beach PanoramaVengurla Beach Panorama
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Vengurla Beach Panorama27-Feb-2010 16:05, Canon Canon PowerShot S3 IS, 4.0, 6.0mm, 0.001 sec
 

The rich port town of Vengurla is houses numerous warehouse as a testimony to its past and importance as a center of supplies. The cardamom sourced from Vengurla was in much demand in the western countries. Even today, the town has a rich and buzzing fruit market which stocks all kinds of fruits and vegetables – some of which I had never seen before.

Fruits and Local Produce at VengurlaFruits and Local Produce at Vengurla
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Fruits and Local Produce at Vengurla27-Feb-2010 17:48, Canon Canon PowerShot S3 IS, 3.5, 13.5mm, 0.017 sec
 

We also had the chance to have a traditional Konkani meal  there.

Konkan Vegetarian ThaliKonkan Vegetarian Thali
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Konkan Vegetarian Thali28-Feb-2010 13:12, Canon Canon PowerShot S3 IS, 2.7, 6.0mm, 0.017 sec
 

While the Konkani vegetarian meal doesn’t find many takers, the non vegetarian thali with fish fry is something which is cherished by every visitor.

Konkan Non Vegetarian ThaliKonkan Non Vegetarian Thali
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Konkan Non Vegetarian Thali28-Feb-2010 13:12, Canon Canon PowerShot S3 IS, 2.7, 6.1mm, 0.017 sec
 

We topped of this sumptous fare with some solkadi – which is coconut milk mixed with kokum and spices are added as per taste. Solkadi is considered to be a cooling drink that also helps relieve one of Pitta from the body.

Vengurla was a wonderful destination – easily one of the best beaches I have been to. The lack of tourist infrastructure was as always a boon and a curse. But the excellent location of the MTDC resort on Sagareshwar beach and the quaint Vengurla town more than made up for it.

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