Amboli in indeed what it means : Drenched, serene, tranquil nature the Goddess of greenery the dreamland of falls. This beauteous hill station is situated on the highland – plateau of the Sahyadri range range at the upper end of the mountain called Amboli ghat. It’s ever full of nature’s bounbt and sheer serenity throughout the year. It has been developed as a popular weekend site especially during Mansoon when its its mystic beauty and unforgettable thrilling feel of the falls are at their peak. Just getting to Amboli is an experience to remember if you take the curved (Zigzag) road leading from Danoli to Amboli. Its scenic points beckon you-Mahadeogad Point, Sun set Point, Originating Steam of Hiranyakeshi River, Kawale Sad Point, The Mainfall, Nangartas Fall, Parikshit Point and so on. The Panoramic niew of the deep, green valley with blue mist floating over the foliage and plenty of silver, surfy, shining falls – All these make your heart leap up.
It’s a newly-sought point just 8km from village Amboli. It is the most enchanting of all other view points in the surroundings. It’s in fact a plain top of a steep high cliff below which is deep valley. All the brooklets flowing upon the plateau-land mingle together to form a forceful stream at the cliff and turn into a fall that leaps down, but the force of the facing wind is so powerful that it doesn’t let water reach bottom. It’s thrown upwards forming a misty sprinkler, it’s direction being changed according to the speed and turn of the wind. What a fascinating view it is..!
THE MAIN FALL IN AMBOLI-MOUNTAINPASS
The Mountain Pass (Ghat) at Amboli is famous for its wonderful water falls. One of them, the most attractive, is often crowded with a number of tourists, especially during rainy-season. You can directly enjoy here a pleasant shower-bath, standing under the sprinkling trickles of the fall. The Parking provision is also available here. The whole sight is full of torrential rains, water streams freely pouring down the high cliffs, pleasant greenery and blue layers of subtle mist all over. Visitors are to much delighted that they just can’t help singing and dancing to their hearts content. This spot is over crowed during the period from June to October. (Distance from Sawantwadi : 30km)
MAHADEOGAD POINT :
The main features of this fall are the considerable force of wind, rushing rolls of mist and very deep valley, apparently lost in misty layears, But, at frequent intervals, the mist is blown off and the valley is clearly visible All this view is indeed a nectar to eye. The approach road leading here has zig-zag curves with thick woods both the sides. There are rare wild birds and animals such as peacocks, peahens, wild cocks, wild cats and hares etc. (Distance from Amboli:3km)
The originating point of the river Hiranyakeshi, at the foot of a rocky mount is worth-visiting. It is famous as the abode of self-emergent and ever awakened God Shri Shankar. There is an old dark cave at the foot of a hill, from where the originating stream flows out continuously. There is a quadrangular tank too. The premises of this viewpoint are decorated and made suitable to move about.
The sight of this fall is at the distance of 11km.from Amboli (along Amboli-Belgaon Rd.)As the shape of this fall is like a plugh-furrow, it is called as Nangartas. Here a small rivulet leaps down into a narrow valley and flows further. The showers of water spring up from the very spot where the stream pouts down. You can approach the spot by crossing a small bridge-A worth viewing point indeed.
This view is just 1km from Amboli proper. There are peculiar types of wild plants. You are delighted to take a bird’s eye-view of the deep valley facing ahead and see the beautiful dream-land of Konkan.
The whole surrounding of Amboli is full of thickest woods. The forest Dept. of Sindhudurg has made a special road for tourists interested in taking a stroll through the thick woods, observing medicinal herbs and variety of animals, birds and butterflies etc. Isn’t it a rare opportunity ?
THE TEMPLE OF PURVICHA VAS (i.e. AnicientTemple of God)
This view-point is almost attached to the road on the highland of the Amboli Mountain Pass (Ghat) It is convenient as a picknick spot. There is a typical temple, named “Purvicha Vas” (i.e. Ancient Abode of God) where you can enjoy a week end trip with family members.
Sawantwadi is a significant and historically important city in Sindhudurg District. It is the heritage city of Royal Khem – Sawants belonging to famous Bhosale Dynasty. Formerly sawantwadi was the Capital of the state of the same name. This city is indeed a nature’s boon. It is situated at the foot of beautiful hill called Narendra Dongar. It is enriched with natural beauty spots and many other worth – viewing features such as Moti-Talav (i.e. lake) Wooden Toys Shops, Shiva Udyan, Shilpa-Grama (Display of Sculptures) Old Game “ Ganjifa” Lester Gate, Chitar Ali, Forest Garden, Atmeshwar Tank, Hanuman Temple, Raghunath Market, Shrine of SAdguru Miyansahib Baba and so on. This city is also called Sundarwadi that is really what it means : the beautiful City ! It was populated by Royal Khem Sawant II in 1670.
The city of Sawantwadi was habitated before 300 years. The lake around which the main city is situated is called Moti Talav (which really means what it is : The lake like a pearl.) It was created artificially by a British Officer named Wentop In about 1874 AD. The lake is just in front of the Royal Palace and has occupied 31 acrea\s of low land around which a stone-wall is constructed. The expenditure for the construction of Moti-Talav was Rs. 20,000/- According to a legendary story, some pearls were found at the time of the construction work, so it was named as “lake of Pearls” there are two big doors, as an outlet for the over flooded water through te lake. The lake is renovated and decorated by the Municipality of Sawantwadi. There is a facility of boating as well as a very beautiful fountain at the centre of this lake. The decorative illuminations on the circular bank of the lake add to its enchanting beauty at night-times-indeed an unforgettable experience…!
THE SHRINE OF SADGURU MIYANSAAB
This shrine-Cum-Temple of Sage Named Sadguru Miyansaab is a Holy Place of faith of devotees belonging to all religions, casts and creeds. The death anniversary of Miyansaab is celebrated annually by all the residents of Sawantwadi. This shrine is situated along Bombay-Goa Road. (NH-17) Miyansaab, is as much respected as Saibaba of Shirdi, Sadguru Miyansaab breathed his last in 1945 but his holy existence is believed to be ever prevalent in the surroundings. This holy place is a symbol of religious co-feeling and integrity.
SAWANTWADI PACKAGE –WOODEN TOYS
The attractive wooden toys made in Sawantwadi are famous world-wide. The marketing of wooden toys began in the state period. The toys are made in Chitar Ali, a hamlet of Sawantwadi, by skilled traditional craftsman. The are made of wood of a specific Tamrind tree, that is light weighed and soft so as to suit carving, designing and polishing. The toys are especially in the form of fruits such as mango, cashew, bananas, guava, grapes, coconut, jamun and so on. They look so real and colourful that customers simply dote on them, though they are rather coastly, the rate being Rs. 50/- to Rs. 500/- each. It is a pleasant surprise that this toy-craft has sustained its popularity during this age of electronic things even.
KOLGAON GATE : THE GATEWAY OF SUNDARWADI
Kolagaon is a village adjoining Sawantwadi township where a grand arched gate was built by the royal Khem Sawants as a welcoming entrance to the city. It is the witness of the state history of the royal dynasty to which khem-sawants belonged to. It is a majestic structure built with stone and clay. Later on it was renovated by the municipality, maintaining its old structure with some decorative artistic additions such as permanent display of Paintings depicting the progressive history of Sawantwadi.
THE ROYALPALACE :
This majestic royal house is truly a heritage of the regime of khem Sawants the rulers of Sawantwadi State. Formerly the location of the palace was on the highland of famous Narendra Hill. Later on it was newly built on the bank of the famous pearl lake (Moti Talav) during the perlad from 1755 to 1803 this grand arched gateway in front of the palace as called lester gate besides there is a spacious building of court-hall (Darbar hall) in the premises of the palace. Tourists are allowed to see this royal heritage by paying nominal entry-fees.
THE LESTER GATE
It is the gateway of the royal palace at sawantwadi, and a sing the beautiful pearl-lake it’s construction built in brass stone in 1895 as is worth seeing.
RECEPTION HALL FOR TOURISTS
This reception house is meant for quests and tourists visiting Sawantwadi it is built under the common pieces of Municipality and MTDC. It’s run by private undertaking rooms a restaurant main-hall etc to suit the needs of tourists.
NARENDRA HILL FOREST PART
The narendra hill is situated at the south western side of the city of Sawantwadi. It is a mini hill station its site being at the height of 300 ft it is surrounded by thick green forest where a number of medicinal herbs grow naturally. Narendra hill with other features such as children park display of local folk-art is quite suitable for nature-tours as well as weekend relief for the visitors.
Some more features or sites in Sawantwadi city
The Vitthal temple, Ancient temple of Hanuman, Milagris church, old fort, Chitar Ali, Jumma Masjid, Palana kond Dam…………
SHILPA GRAMA (Display of folk-cuture)
“Shilpagram” is a significant project taken up the municipality of Sawantwadi to introduce tourists the cultural trading of Sawantwadi. Especially tourists, coming over here by five-starred “Deccan odyssey” train are very much delighted to see the cultural art-practicals shown here. At a special restaurant here different practical of local recipes are conducted. Similarly, performances of local folk art, sculptural skill as well as the decorative hand craft models are also performed here.
“GANJEEFA” A Royal Card Game
“Ganjeefa ” a royal game of the times of the state regime is the most peculiar cultural of Sawantwadi it resembled a modern western card game but it is much complicated and a sort of challenge to your intellect. It is as difficult as chess. The sets or packs of the colored, round shaped (disk-shaped) cards for this game are prepared very artistically by the toy-makers in Chitar Ali. This game is based upon the typical Indian mythological concepts of Tem Incarnations of God Almighty (Dashavatar)as well as the mughal card named “kang kanchan” the number of cards varies according to the two types of game. The Dashavatar card game pack has 120 cards, while “ Kanga Kanchan” requires 96 cards. The Peculiarity of Ganjeepha is that it can’t be played (as a western card game having 52 cards) for gambling. So the Sawantwadi state rulers encouraged this game. The local folk-artists have preserved this game art that is a thing of almost curiosity and increasing demand of foreign tourists.
ARONDA : A BEAUTEOUS SITE OF COASTAL SOUTH KONKAN
Aronda, a coastal village on the bank of Terekhol Creek is very significant from Tourism point of view Being full of Nature’s bounty, it offers a rare colourful view of the sun-rise and sun-set, this site is also call “Kran-pani” that truly means what it is, the shining sunrays reflected by waters which is indeed a feast for eyes. Formerly it was all a muddy water area, where plenty of lotus flowers bloomed, Now-a-days, they are so far extinct, due to the developments that took place in the surroundings. Yet they could be seen in some parts. Talking advantage of the considerable breadth of the bed of terekhol Creek here, the house Boat project as well as Backwater Sports Centre is planned here by MTDC. A world famous hotel industrialist Shri. Vitthal Kamat has opened a special hote, so as to suit the needs of tourists. So Aronda will be a renowned site as a prominent Bank water Centre in India in near Future.
THE OX DOME AT BANDA (BAIL GHUMAT)
This grand Dome is near the Old Mosqua at Banda, a town of historic importance, on common border of Goa & Sindhududrg district. The peculiar Dome was built by Adilshah’s first provincial Governor (Subhedar) Parikhan in 1600 AD, but he couldn’t complete the construction which was later on done by the fifth Subhedar (Provincial ) head. The Dome has tall towers, their height 200ft. each. Its old name was “Yadgari Khijar” (i.e. a Memoire)
THE BUFFALO DOME (REDE GHUMAT)AT BANDA
This bastion-like Dome situated upon a hill along Banda Patradevi Road is one of the significant Domes and Mosques built during the regime of Adilshah of Bijapur. It is the model of Architectural skill. Formerly it was also called “Roje Ghumat”. (i.e. Memoire of Fasting Performed by Mohamedans) Some parts of this structure are in dilapidated condition.
HUNUMAT GAD (FORT)
This fort upon a mountain range of the Sahyadri is a witness of history during Shivaji’s time. It is still stout. It covers the area of 100 Hactars. There are some ruins of cannons etc, used in battles. There is an old Lake and the temple of Hunuman. At present, the fort is in charge of the department of Archaeology but it is so far an untouched site.
(the Temple of Goddess Mother)
There is a temple of goddess Mauli at a village Sonurli in Sawantwadi Taluka. It is believed to be ever awakened existence of divinity showering her blessings upon the devotees. The temple, built 500 years ago, has four sections: Main Internal Sanctum, External Sanctum, Internal court hall, external Hall. The Annual festival is celebrated in month of Kartik (paralld English month- November) when a grand fair is held here, that is attended by devotees in Goa State as well as from Mumbai, Kolhapur, Belgaum etc. This temple is popular as “ Pandharpur of South Konkan.”