Alibag a quaint coastal town in Raigad. One of the most popular weekend getaways for the tourists. Alibag is home to the Historical forts, continuous web of beaches, untouched aquatic life, gardens, tempting seafood and of course its pristine beaches Alibag is also known as the ‘Goa of Maharashtra’.
History of Alibag city dates back to the 17th century. Towards the end of the 17th century, Sarkhal Kanhojio Aangre, the naval chief of King Shivaji’s regime planned and created the city of Alibag. At that time, most of the land area of Alibag was under the sea. Coconut and betel-nut orchards were on the shores. Earlier, Alibag was known as ‘Kolaba’, attributed to the Kolaba Fort which was built by Shivaji in 1680. Legend says that a wealthy Muslim named Ali owned many plantations and it is from him that the town derived its name Alibag. In the year 1852, Alibag was made the district headquarters.
HOW TO GET THERE
Distance :Alibag is 95 kms from Mumbai by road. A journey of 3 hours via Navi Mumbai.
Mumbai: 3 hrs
Pune: 3 hrs
Goa: 10 hrs
Konkan Railway trains from CST Mumbai stop at Pen which is 30 kms from Alibag.
Duration: 2 hrs
The closest International Airport is Mumbai where you are going to first land in.
Alibag can be reached by sea. You can take a catamaran/ferry from Gateway of India to Mandwa. From Mandwa, you will take a bus to Alibag. There is another option to reach Alibag by sea. You can take a catamaran/ferry from Bhaucha Dhakka to Rewas. From Rewas, you will take a bus to Alibag.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Alibag is from November to July when the temperature reaches about 14°C and the weather is conducive enough to relax on the beaches. From August to October, during the rainy season, tourists can expect frequent downpours that prevent sightseeing. Hence, avoid visiting Alibag during the rainy season.
PLACES TO VISIT
- Kolaba Fort – It is an old military fortification in Alibag. Surrounded by waters of Arabian Sea from all sides, it is one of the most important tourist attraction in Alibag. This fort was built by Shivaji Maharaj.
- Alibag Beach – It is one of the most prominent beaches of Alibag. It has black sand deposits & it is a must visit place.
- Alibag Magnetic Observatory – It was established in 1904 in Alibag which served as one of the significant observatories to form a global network. The observatory provides record for the geomagnetic observations.
- Kanhoji Angre Mausoleum – It is a beautiful tourist spot in Alibag that was built in memory of the great Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre. It has eight faces and the sculptured pillars which have been dilapidated, but however it stands firm.
- Magen Aboth Synagogue – It is situated at Alibag. It was constructed in 1848 by the Bene Israeli community which is the largest Jewish community of the Indian Jewish community.
- Hirakota Old Fort – It is a fort built by the Angres in 1720 in the heart of Alibag. Its imposing black Basalt high walls are indicative of the significance of this fort. It is now used as a District Jail.
- Varsoli Beach – It is one of the least visited beaches of Alibag. It is not visited by many tourists & it remains less crowded than other beaches of Alibag.
- Birla Mandir – It is located 20 kms away from Alibag in Salav village. This temple has been built by the Vikram Ispat company, a part of Birla udyog group.
- Mandwa Beach – It is located 20 kms north of Alibag and is visited by number of tourists. The village of Mandwa which is also located nearby, attracts visitors due to the presence of dense coconut trees.
- Kihim Beach – It is situated 12 kms from Alibag. It lies to the north of the city and is surrounded by various trees with colourful butterflies, coconut trees & wild flowers. Beautiful migratory and resident birds are found in abundance at the beach that attract tourists in large numbers.
- Nagaon Beach – It is a beautiful beach situated 7 kms from Alibaug on Alibag-Revdanda route. It is surrounded by suru trees & cypress grove and is visited by number of tourists for its clean water.
- Akshi Beach – Akshi Beach is located at around 5 kms from Alibag. It is a white sand beach with numerous suru trees present along the coast.
- Revdanda Fort – It is located around 17 kms from Alibag and is known as Revdanda Aagarkot. The fort was built by a Portuguese Captain, Soj in 1524. It houses the Tower of St. Barbara, a seven storey Portuguese watchtower.
- Karmarkar Museum – It is a museum of exquisite sculptures from the renowned sculptor Padmashri Vinayak Pandurang Karmarkar in Sasavne, about 18 kms from Alibag Bus Depot.
- Korlai Fort – It is a Portuguese fortification in the town of Korlai about 24 kms from Alibag. It was built by Dom Filipe Mascarenhas in 1521 on an island which guards the way to the Revdanda Creek.
- Chaul – It is a historic town about 18 km from Alibag. It is famous for its Portuguese ruins, an old church, a synagogue, Buddhist caves, the Hamam Khana and a temple. It is a former city of Portuguese India.
In Alibag, there are small lanes & streets that are great for a local shopping experience. Shopaholics will be surprised with the local, hand-made garments, bags, antique jewelry, leather items & furniture. The ‘Kohlapuris’ (traditional footwear) are also easily available at throwaway prices.
Since Alibag is a coastal town, you can expect to find amazingly fresh seafood in and around. The town is famous for the seafood catch that comprises of lobsters, prawns, pomfret and crab. For those looking for the town’s specialty of meat, there are many restaurants that serve the ‘Bombay Duck’, made with the freshest spices and the local curry.
- Sanman Restaurant
- Waves Restaurant
- Suruchi Restaurant
- Phulora Restaurant
THINGS TO DO
Enjoy a tonga ride or build a sand castle.. bask on the beach and watch an alluring sunset. Connect to yourself and nature. Indulge in fresh pomfret, prawns, crabs, Bombay duck and lobsters. Buy nice junk jewellery, bags, antiques etc. If you want to enjoy a quiet beach, you can also visit Varsoli Beach that lies on the outskirts of Alibag