nor a boating or paragliding enthusiast, someone who could listen to the song of
the waves in the mild January sun, or stroll aimlessly picking up tiny red shells and
Diveagar is like that. At the end of a 10-mile diversion from Shriwardhan is this quaint little village. Apart
from a rundown MTDC shack, some clean facilities have come up in the past couple of years in the area.
Most are palm clearings of private land owners, who have erected some absolutely functionary brick
cottages. There are no views, except the one you can walk up to in a jiffy (c’mon, what would you call a
pristine beach five minutes from your stay?). But I’m jumping the guns here.
So the Konkan was on my list of destinations to visit for a longish time. Being a salt mist breather in
the Max City was never enough. But as soon as my guy got himself his first high power bike, I began
prodding him to go do test runs to the outskirts. Little did he know that I’d pounce on the first offer he
made to ride out. Where, was the question we both contemplated. After some discussion about my
aversion to the hills (it was COLD) and his to early morning rides, we zeroed in on Diveagar.
LOST & FOUND
Coordinates were googled. So were directions and things to see. Directions, we found alright, but things
to see, zilch. So when we got lost on the NH7 and couldn’t find the Goa Highway, we had the good mind
to stop for breakfast (we’d packed, please do, no vada pao wala at 7 in the morning, sir) and take in
the sun. Once on the right path (thanks to brilliant directions from a couple of petrol pump attendants
that my lovely man had the brightness of asking), the going wasn’t too tough except the last muddy
patch under construction. The red variants of flame of the forest flowers added to the arid beauty of the
Once you take the gala turn towards Diveagar from Shriwardhan, the road is pretty much one straight
path and suddenly you find yourself in the middle of a sleepy sea town. But everything was so dry, that
we doubted just how far the beach would really be.
|Typical home in Diveagar|
We decided to head westwards and found ourselves one of the many cottage stays (@1500/- a night,
I’d say it was a bit steep, but options across these pristines are governed by Mumbai standards). A
comfortable bed, fairly clean and cosy, plenty of storage space and a bathroom as neat, we couldn’t be
bothered more about our accommodation. Having changed into beach gear, we decided to play it safe
on our first day and against our cottage keeper’s advice, drove down to the sea face. Two minutes flat.
Despite asking twice. We must’ve looked like two idiots.
At 4 in the evening, the beach was as crowded as it could be at any given point of the day. 20 people
(give or take a few) on a 5 km stretch. Some firangs and a couple of families, a horse carriage and a
camel. That was all the commercialisation one could see for as far as the eyes stretched.
By the time my partner had parked his vehicle, I had already run about a foot into the waves. We had
been told dolphins frequent these waters at the time of year. We forgot to look out, sorry. The kiss-n-
embrace happy couple was too busy to notice the hours spent lazing there. We promised ourselves an
early morning treat back on the beach. Not ones to rise before 11 on a weekend ever, Mr Boyfriend and
his girl caught each other staring wide eyed at 8 am, in anticipation of the surprise in the waiting.
|View from our room|
BREAKFAST ON THE BEACH
A giggle later we were already in our beach wear again. But mornings at the Diveagar beach are an even
greater digression from the evenings. A chai wali and a nariyal wala greet you without much ceremony.
We decided to make a breakfast date at the nariyal wala’s – resplendent with impossibly sweet malai
and the water, chilled as I remember it.
The sun was beginning to get hot and we decided to head southwards on the beach. The walk wasn’t
one bit tiring, what with the breeze being a constant companion. Then the ornithology enthusiast in me
spots a mob of birds at a distance. White and gracefully moving in tandem, I decided to move closer.
A half kilometre down on foot and I realise there was water both sides of me. A river (Vashisti, I was to
later discover) met the sea here! Why didn’t anyone tell us this piece of detail, hullo?! On closer look,
we found the birds were migratory seagulls here for the mating season. One also saw another migratory
bird, the ruff, which few people would spot unless they went really close. These birds nest in the sparse
grass that sprouts on the muddy banks near the confluence and run around as if a mini football match
|Only the river bed itself was firm,|
everywhere else the feet sank at least 6-8 inches deep!
The sand sinks really deep – almost like quicksand – and it is pretty hard to walk. We still waded the part
to land ourselves into the last bit of river water (do not even THINK of stepping onto the beach on the
other end here – you can spot the carpet of seagull poo from pretty far off). Our trigger happy boy shot
a few hundred snaps before calling it a day.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Surprisingly, for a couple who thrives on great food, we weren’t too fussy about the lack of variety.
Diveagar is still a budding destination (and may God keep it that way). For a town so tiny, the take aways
are too many to count. Be sure to leave at a sane morning hour and savour the vada pao around the
bend. A couple of the most melodious and dignified bhajan singers visit in their finery, with a well tuned
harmonium and tabla.