Avril-Ann Braganza Floyd Almeida shares his experience of snorkelling, not at the Andamans, but just a few hours away from Mumbai Pristine waters, exotic fish, the Sindhudurg fort, Malvani food. Where? Tarkarli! About an eight hour drive from Mumbai, en route to Goa, in Malvan taluka of Sindhudurg district is Tarkarli, a beach haven and perfect weekend getaway. Alternately, take a train to Kudal station, then a bus to Malvan, another quick bus or rickshaw ride to Tarkarli and there you are!
While we spent our two nights at a homestay, there are many resorts along the coast. Well -maintained and clean rooms are also available at the MTDC. White sand, blue water, starfish scattering the beach, langurs leaping from tree to tree, kingfishers perched close to the shore...that`s only the beginning. After instructions from our local guide, we were set to go snorkelling. We touched every coral we passed—Plate, White and Cabbage; a variety of fish--Glass, Parrot, Zebra, Snapper, Butterfly fish and an Eel--glided through our fingers and followed us, giving us a glimpse of the colourful and magnificent world underwater. In the morning you can try your luck at dolphin spotting and visit the Sindhudurg fort built by Shivaji, where you can see his footprint. Our visit to the fort and underwater endeavour cost us Rs 350.
You can also visit Vengurla, another pristine beach in Sindhudurg and its local market, which is a lot like Mumbai`s Crawford market. The best time to visit Tarkarli is from October to December. Images by Floyd Almeida