In the distance, I look at Sindhudurg (Fort), standing proud in the waters of Arabian Sea for nearly 350 years, since it was built by the great 17th century Maratha King, Chatrapati Shivaji. It has seen wars and has witnessed the glory of the rising Maratha Empire. I have read the history, have imagined the presence of the great Shivaji and yet my mind does not want to let go off my favorite childhood memory of going to Sindhudurg with my father to collect green parrot feathers. Finding those bright green feathers was like discovering a treasure. Those feathers are long gone but the memories are still fresh. I missed my father very much.
Sun was high up in the sky and ocean breeze was warm when I returned to the hotel. Sitting by the window of the dinning room I drank hot Masala Chai, some habits die hard, no matter how hot it is outside, I like my drinks extra hot. I had no plans of visiting any of the tourist attractions until Mr. Rao spotted me and insisted that I go to Chiwala Beach and Rock Garden; make sure you go there at Sunset he said. Another tourist place, I thought to myself, after all this is my place, I wasn’t here to go “Beach Hopping” though I took his advice and decided to go and watch the Sunset.
The Rock Garden; not much of a garden nor were there any interesting rocks. Somewhat disappointed in myself for falling into this tourist trap, I walked in the direction of the ocean. I walked through the gate and what I witnessed next was indescribable. This no name rocky shore of Malvan took my breath away. Mother Nature had strewn this shore with rocks; jet black to many shades of beiges, browns, pinks and combination of all. Piled high in places to flat and wide with water from high tide trapped between. Tens of thousands of years of milky white ocean waves crashing high on jet black rocks was creating an amazing contrast and to add to this masterpiece Mother Nature had decided to grow her own lush green garden with low growing sea weeds. Slippery green rocks were covered with colorful crabs playing hide and seek with each other. This no access to the ocean rocky shore was devoid of people, only handful of visitors who came to take pictures quickly moved on to the next tourist destination leaving me alone. I took a seat on a rock and watched the Sunset. My only companions were couple of dogs who came at dusk to catch fresh crabs for dinner. I watched the beautiful vibrant colors of the setting Sun before returning to the hotel.
I knew I will return again, I must thank Mr. Rao for insisting I come here to this hidden treasure, Emerald Shore of Malvan, as I called it.