1) It is the quieter, untouched cousin of Alibaug
Called the poor man’s Goa, Kashid beach is just ahead of Alibaug, reachable via ST bus after a 2 hour trip through ferry and bus (Gateway of India -> Mandwa -> Alibaug) or directly by road should one desire so. It is devoid of the overdone tourist activities that throng the beaches of Alibaug and Murud, altogether a quieter and undisturbed place.
2) Scope for outdoor camping
Its relative calm ensures that the beach is ideal for pitching a tent, lighting a bonfire and spending your break like a toned-down version of Tom Hanks from Cast Away. The lack of cellular networks can often help those who seek to tune off from the world.
3) A star-gazer’s wet dream!
Being one of the more uncongested parts of the Konkan region, Kashid has significantly lesser smog. As a result, stargazing is an otherworldly experience, with constellations being highly visible.
4) The shacks: your R&R haven
Kashid has a line of shacks that take care of your food and rest requirements. A popular shack is run by Milind ‘Chache’, a local. The shacks will serve items ranging from tea-coffee, breakfast of to even Maggi (although the latter is now uncertain!). Their USP is the hammocks in each shack that lets you stretch out, look on and take in the calm rumble of the sea blissfully. There are also activities like buggy rides and such available here.
5) The town’s charm
The sleepy town of Kashid is akin to the hundred-odd villages still existing peacefully on the Maharashtrian coast before tourism crept in. Houses are modest and quainter in design. Walking around them helps absorb a feeling of unhurriedness not found in the metros or even hill stations like Lonavala or Manali that are now overrun by tourism. Quiet is the order of the day here.
6) The beach itself!
An obvious reason. But what makes Kashid beach special is that the lack of human involvement has kept the water clean and the coast highly picturesque. Even at night, the sounds of the sea can be very rejuvenating to just listen to in the silence. The clarity of the sky can treat you to a full moon, if you’re lucky. (we were fortunate to have seen a tangerine moon on our stay!)
7) Ease of access for accommodation and food
While the ideal way to trip here is prepare for a tent and campsite on the beach, Kashid has several choices. With homestays run by guesthouses, bungalows for hire and even organizers for pitching tents on the beach, one has plenty to choose from.
8) Easy on the pocket!
Compared to Alibaug, prices at Kashid go significantly lower. A weekend trip costs you INR 2000 per head (inclusive of everything except your own supplies like alcohol) while weekdays come down to about 1200-1600 for a single person’s stay.
Guidelines for travel
Best times to visit – October – June (The winter months are particularly pleasant).
Times to avoid – The monsoon (July-September). Homestays are possible but the beach is to be avoided. The waters become dangerously risky for a swim. Even in other times, it is best to camp on the coast under the advice of an experienced local or an organizer.
Travel options from Bombay
The jetty to Mandwa (starts hourly from 6 am from the Gateway of India, except in monsoons).
Private cars/tum-tums (local rickshaws) or ST buses to Alibaug and then connecting to Kashid.
Meena Chalke’s Homestays hold several rooms that charge between 1400-2000 depending on the days of one’s stay. She can be reached at 09225134023.
Camps Around Bombay organizes beach-side camping, homestays and other accommodation based on one’s preferences, priced between 1800-2000 per head. They can be reached at 91-9757488712/91-9167942577 or at the official CAB Facebook page.
For those on a budget, the buses are cheaper (but they take longer and the ride is rockier!).
So go ahead, skip out to the route to Kashid and you never know…just like us you may end up saying ‘Kaash idhar aur ruk sakta!’