5 Amazing activities to do on your vacation in Konkan
At the time when tube lights and fans were just beginning to get utilised, ever wondered how your old man probably spent his summer-time at his primeval, raunchy, ancestral den? You will be surprised to learn how exciting things were back then, especially before these cell-phones and the internet took over. And this may not just hold true for Konkan alone, but also for many other villages where our parents probably spent their summers, or more! What’s better is that even today, villages in Konkan haven’t changed much and most of the activities still remain as is. So here we go:
1. Hiking the mountain near the village:
Right behind my house in Konkan is a hill that requires a short hike, which also serves as a mini trail. Those from coastal Maharashtra would recollect it as being called as काप (Kāpa). Once atop, all you can see are brown thickets, a few trees and sparse vegetation spread across a flat land of semi-arid, reddish-black rocks for miles and miles. For those who can’t recollect their geography lessons, this is the Deccan plateau- a lava plateau with loads of igneous rock formations. The flats on the top serve as great grazing grounds, while the slopes are a great resource of some valuable natural plantations such as herbs, fruits and flowers. The latter could be foraged according to one’s needs (Wow, so maybe that’s how this entire treasure hunt thing started)! Besides these activities and a great cardiovascular workout, these mini mountains also sprawl with various insects, birds and even some mammals! Some apex predators such as leopards and Indian wolves that live by hunting on smaller preys such as game birds and other critters, also reside here. (Did I just spoil this activity for you?)
2. The springs:
Often referred as वहाळ (Vahāḷa), these are small running streams of underground water that almost never run dry. In the early monsoons, they get even better when the terrestrial crabs can be seen gathering from everywhere, running to jump into the water. Fishing crabs from here still remains a fun activity. Besides, where there is a mini river flowing, you can think of chilling in all the possible ways! Taking a dip in the crystal clear, mineral rich water? Check. Getting a gentle back massage from the flow while resting on a boulder? Check. Skipping stones from across the bank? Check. Or just sit somewhere and grab a beer! However, just make sure you get over with enjoying this before the sun goes down. The carnivorous diet can make the animals I mentioned above quite thirsty at night, and by the way which smart animal will not resort to taking a sip of this mineral rich water?
3. The beaches:
The beaches are the best part of a Konkani village. My village has at least three within a range of just 15 km, the closest one being less than 5! Sparsely crowded with light brown sand and blue skies overhead, beaches make some of the most mesmerising landscapes. With the Konkani setting added, also expect to relish on some tasty delicacies ranging from fishfood to the traditional Malvani style vade-chicken. Every beach is distinct- on some of them, one can find active critters (hermit crabs and such) loitering around in the sand, while some are backed with tree-clad mountain-scapes. If you can wake up early, you can also visit these beaches for a dolphin safari offered by some locals, purchase freshly caught fish right from the beach and enjoy the beautiful sunrises! Some beaches also feature thrilling ocean and beach activities, ranging from scuba diving to para gliding and so on.
4. The temples:
Irrespective of whether you’re a devotee or not, local temples (ग्राम मंदिर) are some of the most pleasant places to just sit and enjoy the sanctity. Moreover, most of these temples are also quiet and peaceful, and are open to anyone and everyone. Mostly situated in the quietest and most scenic locations of the village, visiting and sitting in temples will not only make you feel relaxed but also give you a feeling of connection with the village itself. You may also be greeted by some langurs that come to feast on fruits of the trees that often surrounds these temples.
5. Fairs and festivities:
There are multiple village fairs (जत्रा) throughout the year in which everyone celebrates. While some of them occur during the festivities, many are local and are also attended by visitors from far and wide. Festivals are also celebrated as commemorative times and the atmosphere throughout the village is quite jolly. Besides these, there are weekly markets in many villages. These are excellent times to shop for locally sold products with a wide variety at very reasonable prices!
Konkan offers plethora of exciting and fun activities for everyone. So step outside rather than being locked in your house and make the best out of your time in Konkan!