Sindhudurg, Maharashtra

Here’s our selection of the 12 most captivating Indian holiday destinations of 2012. Feel free to argue but, most importantly, get up and pack!

Bounded by Karnataka’s Belgaum district to the southeast and Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district to the north, Sindhudurg lies just north of Goa on India’s Konkan coast, about 490 km from Mumbai. Well connected by road and rail, it is a favourite haunt of tourists seeking an amalgam of history, culture, cuisine and spectacular scenery.

Wander on the scenic Mitbaon Beach beside the fortress believed to have been built by the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji. Step in, sip on cool, tangy-sweet kokum juice, and start a conversation. You will learn much more – that Shivaji is just a convenient attribution made by those who are lazy about their history. Thus begins a veritable voyage of discovery and this quiet beach town stirs to vibrant life in your head.

Sindhudurg occupies an islet in the Arabian Sea off the shore of the town of Malwan. Families still reside in the fort precincts, descendants of its earliest occupants. Cannonballs litter the ground even as the sea crashes into the coast. There are as many forts to visit as your legs are willing to toil to explore them. The coconut trees sway calmly, steadying your progress.

The Malwani coastal cuisine is widely feted and abounds richly in fish, crab, prawn and other seafood as well as range of snacks, desserts and vegetarian delicacies.

Homestays and resorts abound in Sindhudurg, as well as more conventional hotels and lodgings in the town of Sawantwadi, which also has a modest little railway station served by the Konkan Railway line.

Read more on Sindhudurg.

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