The band drifters were spot on with their hit song “under the board walk”. The song lures city dwellers to opt for freedom, liberty and to spend precious moments by the sea or near it.

Many moons ago Alibaug and the rural hinterland surrounding it was the home of Bene Israeli jews. To this date a synagogue exists on Israel lane in the town which derives its name from a rich & famous resident -a Bene Israeli named Ali and the locals at that time called the place “Alichi Bagh” or simply Alibaug. Maharaj Shivaji’s naval chief Kanhoji Angre founded the town in the 17th century and it is today known for its fancy estate homes and a play ground for Mumbai’s high society while also an attractive destination for staycations, getaways and caters to all budgets.

Today speed boats and the recent introduction of the RoRo ( Row on Row off ) ferry boat operated by entrepreneur and yachtsman Aashim Mongia has made life easy for Mumbaikars and visitors as the ferry can accommodate 120 cars and 500 passengers from Mumbai’s Mazagon docks to the Mandwa jetty and return to Mazagon saving 3 hours of driving time and helping to kick start a holiday with less stress while being eco friendly. The ferry also has on board a well stocked bar, café and an air conditioned lounge for those worried about getting sun burnt and conscious of their complexion!!

We chose Kashid for our X’mas/New year 2020 vacation and stayed at the charming and unique home of Saby Chatwal who lives in Bangalore and has listed her home on Airbnb. This 3  bedroom home overlooking paddy fields and the Sahyadri hills is well staffed and we felt very much at home. The alluring Kashid beach, the landscape of rocks and cliffs is quite dramatic. It is only a 15 minute walk from the house or there is an option to drive 5 minutes to the parking lot of the beach and to enjoy a stroll or a dip in the warm waters of the Arabian sea.

We were lucky to know friends in the area who also own beautiful homes with pools and with much bonhomie were able to clink glasses almost every day. The stressed Mumbaikar seems relaxed in this exotic locale and Covid 19 has only enhanced the penchant to work from home faraway from the big city’s hustle and bustle. We were amazed at the choice of restaurants and caterers who can get you almost any cuisine of your choice and if you choose a curated menu for a “Buckingham palace” style banquet there is always “Flamboyante” located at the Mandwa pier and are willing to travel 2 hours to provide a dining experience fit for Royalty.

For the first time visitors I recommend they visit the 15th century Murud Janjira fort located 20 kms/11miles from Kashid and the quiet Phansad bird sanctuary. Apart from the beach there are many opportunities for long walks, to ride bicycles and to be one with nature.

The drifters must have been beach bums and would easily have had an audience in this surreal location had they chosen to perform here. Their hit number “under the boardwalk” is apt for Kashid:

Oh when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof

And your shoes get so hot you wish your tired feet were fire proof

Under the board walk with my baby is where I’ll be…

Getting there-

From Mumbai- Cross the harbour on the RoRo ferry or speed boat and disembark at Mandwa. Kashid can be reached in 1.5 -2 hours from the pier. There are taxi and Auto services available a little away from the pier.

Best time to visit- December and January – cool nights and pleasant days. I was told it is charming in the monsoon too.

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