Abode by the sea for backpackers: Revdanda, Maharashtra
Revdanda is a beautiful off-beat village located 17 km south of the Konkan coastal town of Alibaug, about 125 km away from the commercial city of Mumbai. The village is an ideal spot for backpacking.
The best way to get to the village of Revdanda from Mumbai is to hop onto a ferry from Gateway of India to Mandwa. The ferry operators provide a bus service that comes inclusive ofa bus ride that will drop you off in the town of Alibaug. From Alibaug the fastest and most economical way of getting to Revdanda is by taking the pay by seat, six seater Tuk-tuks.
These Tuk-tuks can be found parked outside the complex of the State Transport or ST bus stand. It is important to keep in mind that these Tuk-tuks stop playing after 8pm. The other options of getting to Revdanda is hiring a private auto rickshaw or hopping onto a ST bus from the Alibaug bus stand.
The village of Revdanda has a very laid back feel to the place and this can be noticed from the fact that a majority of the shops are closed in the afternoons, the shops shut early every day and most of all the lanes in Revdanda are deserted for most part of the day. It’s only in the evenings that this place comes alive with plenty of locals going about the place.
The beauty of Revdanda lies in the coconut and beetle nut trees in this region. The plantations of coconut trees are called “naralachi baag” or “wadi” in Marathi, the local language spoken by the people. Revdanda is also famous for a species of aromatic flower called “Bakuli” it’s a small flower with a wonderful fragrance. Apart from the plantations of coconut and beetle nut the livelihood of people in this region comes from the production of rice.
The main attraction in Revdanda like the rest of the places along the Konkan belt is the village beach. Revdanda beach is very isolated yet safe. The beach is isolated since not many travellers visit this village and hence the beach has only local village folks who come there in the evening for some fresh breeze and recreation. The sand of the beach is black in colour which gives it a very unique look. Revdanda beach also offers a few water sport activities in the form of banana boat and a Jet Ski ride.
The other attraction is the Revdanda fort which was built by the Portuguese and now is nothing more than ruins. The ruined relic of yesteryears stands tall and has a vintage look to it. The tower-like structure closely resembles the main face of a cathedral. Though the fort is ruined, water on three sides of the structure provides a picturesque view of the Arabian Sea.
Revdanda is also the location where the famous Jesuit missionary St. Francis Xavier delivered one of his early sermons in India. A ruined chapel stands at the site where this sermon was given. The chapel is within the walled fort, on the south side and not far from the main road. Datta Mandir and Shitala Devi mandir are two of the most famous temples in this region and people from all over come to pay their respect to the deities in these two temples.
As Revdanda is a coastal village fish curry and rice make up the daily diet of the people living here. This is also the most common and delicious item on the menu. A trip to Revdanda is incomplete without tasting their fish and prawn thalis as well as their plate of fish biryani. Most of the guest houses serve breakfast as a package deal with the rented room and are more than happy to serve lunch or dinner at very reasonable rates.
Accommodation in Revdanda is mostly budget accommodation with just basic amenities. The guest houses in Revdanda are not very easy to find on your own, since tourism is new to this place the guest houses and hotels are not located along the main road but a short walk from Par Naka which is the main junction in Revadanda. The best way to negate this issue is by asking a local for directions to a guest house. The locals are more than happy to help and many of them even leave their work to help assist in finding a guest house.
Rvedanda is a beautiful village that is good to visit all through the year, but the best season to visit is during the winter months from end of November to early January.
Backpackers will find Revadanda to be an ideal and homely place.