Katarmal Sun Temple - Almora

Visit here is all joys and a curiosity that how such a mammoth construction took place at this place..

Lanes of Istanbul - Where civilizations merge

Being one of the oldest cities on this earth, Istanbul is a delight to history lovers...


A place which has been lying forbidden and disconnected from the mainland. Malana still follows their culture and traditions...

Temples at Batesara

Around 350 temples are estimated to have existed here. Excavation work is ongoing to restore temples of a lost era.

Murud Janjira Fort

In 15th century AD, this majestic structure was constructed inside the Arabian Sea to protect the kingdom from the pirates.


Untouched beauty, unbridled love, riot of colours the nature is here and how well the people add to it.

January 6, 2018

24 hours in Bikaner

A quick escape to the warmth of Rajasthan is just what you need this winter

The colours and charm of Rajasthan never fail to enchant you. Whenever the coldness of city life starts dampening your spirit, heading to a place that welcomes you with open arms should not need much convincing.

The pleasant warmth of Bikaner meaning an escape from the Capital's chill, coupled with the long overdue visit to Karni Mata temple, made sure no moment was wasted in planning the one-day trip. Though 24 hours could have never been enough to appreciate the beauty, history and food of a place like Bikaner, making the best of what you have always holds you in good stead. The overnight journeys help you save a lot of time.

After landing at Bikaner Junction early morning, waste no time in trying to relax or grab a fancy breakfast. Let the kachoris wait for some time. When short on time, it's always advisable to check into a hotel near the station save some time in case you decide to stretch you sightseeing by those crucial 30 minutes.
The fifth largest city of Rajasthan not only boasts of spectacular architecture in its forts, but its sand dunes and colourful attire of people also instantly fills the heart with joy. And, once you have overcome your fear of rats, howsoever hard the task might be for some, you can actually spare a few moments appreciating the design, the activities around and the peaceful co-existence of man and the mammal at the Karni Mata temple.
The state of awe gets a further kick when you take in the whole Junagarh Fort at one sight. The interiors, the carving and the artwork, royal weapons, clothes and more make you marvel at the richness of the land and their royals, many wishing if they could live the same like even if for  a moment.
Yes, you can.

With Lalgarh Palace and Laxmi Niwas Palace having been turned into hotels, you can indulge in an evening of entertainment just like the royals. After enjoying a session of cultural dance and music, you can roam around the place and then sit for a lavish dinner. After delightfully adding to your appetite with creamy kebabs, laal maas, chicken in cashewnut gravy, gatte ki sabzi, kair sangri, papad ki sabzi, daal-baati-churma, baajre ki roti, missi roti, raita and rasgulla more than satisfy your stomach and soul. And, you leave promising yourself that you need to be back here for more, quite soon. Perhaps with more time in hand.

Plan your journey 
11:35PM - Delhi Sarai Rohilla (DEE)
12457 DEE BKN Superfast Express runs daily. It takes 8 hours to complete the 458-km journey.
7:30 AM - Bikaner Junction (BKN)
We reached 10 minutes early. It's best to stay in a nearby hotel, freshen up, grab a quick bite and head to Nagnechi temple.
11:00AM - Karni Mata
After visiting the temple, indulge in tasty Rajasthani delicacies at nearby food stalls. Make a quick trip to Nehriji and head back to Bikaner to gorge on Poori-Aloo and amazing desserts at Chotu Motu Joshi.
4:00 PM - Junagarh fort
Keep at least 3 hours for the fort and the museum. After a quick stop at the market at Bikanervala shop for Bikaneri Bhujia, visit Lalgarh Palace, which houses the Bikaner royal family. In the same campus is Laxmi Niwas Palace. Order the Rajasthani thali for a soul-satisfying experience.
10:20 PM - Bikaner Jn
You can take 12458 BKN DEE Superfast Express and reach Delhi at 6:10am.

serve your next weekend for this new exotic weekend getaway from Delhi? In case you have some more time, Bikaner is ideally located, approx. 300 km. each from wonderful destinations of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. Instead of train to Delhi, you have choice to board: 
22:05, 16588 BKN YPR EXPRESS to Jodhpur (JU) or
23:15, 12468 LEELAN Express to Jaisalmer (JSM)

Follow Travel Diaries on:
Facebook Twitter Instagram

December 6, 2017

A Guide to Exploring Charleston's Military History

Each year, millions of tourists visit Charleston for its beautiful beaches, Lowcountry cuisine, and Southern charm.  Besides being a great place for a beach vacation, the Holy City is a history buff’s paradise. With over 300 years of rich military history, there is much to be explored in Charleston.
With so much history to cover, it’s understandable if you don’t know quite where to begin. Let us guide you through some of the best spots in Charleston to take a deeper look into its military history.

Battery & White Point Gardens
Start your journey at Battery & White Point Gardens, a beautiful park located in the French Quarter of downtown Charleston. This waterfront park not only offers stunning views of the Charleston Harbor, where Fort Sumter is visible, but it also features cannons and monuments of notable military figures.
Stroll through the tree-canopied park to the southern end of the Battery, and you will find cannons and cannon balls from various time periods, which kids are welcome to explore. As you wander through the park, you will also see monuments of historical significance, including one dedicated to sailors aboard the H.L. Hunley, a 2007 monument of General William Moultrie, and a striking monument of Sergeant William Jasper.

Confederate Museum

Located at the corner of Meeting Street and Market Street, the Confederate Museum is located at the entrance to the Charleston City Market. In this museum, you will find a variety of interesting and unique artifacts from the Civil War era. 

A National Historic Landmark, the Confederate Museum is part of the Museum Mile, which is also worth exploring if you want a comprehensive look inside Charleston’s storied past. At only $5.00 per adult, you can’t beat the admission price at the Confederate Museum. Though it isn’t a large museum, Civil War buffs should expect to spend at least an hour studying the Civil War memorabilia within its walls.

The Citadel
If your stay is long enough, consider stopping by The Citadel, Charleston’s historic military college. Graduates have participated in every American War since the Mexican-American War of 1846.

Tour the campus to find interesting monuments and military displays, as well as a museum chronicling The Citadel’s history and distinguished leaders who passed through its ranks. Visit The Citadel on a Friday afternoon to catch the weekly dress parades, an impressive event that both young and old are sure to enjoy.

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
Located at Patriot’s Point in Mt. Pleasant, the Patriot’s Point Naval & Maritime Museum is a great place for kids and adults alike. You will see the USS Yorktown, one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built in WWII, at this National Historic Landmark.
You can also explore the USS Lafey, a Sumner-class destroyer, and the USS Clamagore, a GUPPY III submarine. Don’t forget to explore the surrounding grounds of the museum to view the Cold War Sub Memorial and Vietnam Support Base camp for a truly immersive military experience.
Fort Moultrie
On relaxing Sullivan’s Island, you will find Fort Moultrie, a site that is particularly important to South Carolina’s history. Built by South Carolina Patriots in 1776, this series of fortifications was made of Palmetto logs specifically to protect the Charleston Harbor.
When British forces attacked the fort on June 28, 1776, the soft Palmetto logs absorbed the cannon shots from enemy warships, giving Commander William Moultrie and his men a decisive victory. During this battle, Moultrie flew a flag over the fort with a Palmetto tree design, which became the foundation of South Carolina’s official flag.
Fort Moultrie also offers a special glimpse into Charleston’s WWII military history. Browse through the many WWII artifacts and learn about the brave men and women who trained at Fort Moultrie when it was an active U.S. military fortification.
After a few hours exploring Moultrie, stop by local favorite, Poe’s Tavern. The restaurant is named after author Edgar Allen Poe, who spend a brief stint at Fort Moultrie in 1827, after he enlisted in the military.
Fort Sumter
As the place where the first shots of the Civil War began, Fort Sumter is arguably one of the more important places in American history. This famous fortification, situated on a tiny island in the harbor, attracts history buffs from across the world. 
Fort Sumter is only accessible by ferry, but anyone who loves Civil War history will enjoy the narrated boat ride to the impressive sea fort. Just be sure to purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee your spot. Onsite, knowledgeable park rangers will tell you all about Fort Sumter’s history, from the first shots of the Civil War in 1861 to its restoration efforts after its severe bombardment.
From the American Revolution to the Civil War and beyond, your Charleston vacation isn’t complete until you have experienced a taste of its military history. Fortunately, there is no shortage of opportunities to explore a city full of historical significance.
It can be challenging to explore Charleston’s fascinating military history in a single visit. This is just another reason why people keep returning to the Holy City to explore all of its charms.

Article by Traci Magnus: Traci was raised on the Charleston Coast and attended the College of Charleston before heading to the Big Apple. She returned to Charleston in 2006,along with her husband Glenn and their son Max. She joined the Dunes Properties team in early 2008 as Director of Marketing.

November 25, 2017

Wander wheels - Hyundai ‘Next Gen Verna’...

Hyundai Verna is one of the globally acclaimed offering from Hyundai with over 8.8 Million Customers in more than 66 countries and already 3.19 lakh units sold in India.

Sporty and dynamic looks blended with luxurious interiors, Next Gen Verna is all set to redefine Premium Brand Statement. Since its launch on 22nd July 2017, the car is quickly becoming a vehicle of preference for the Indian customers.

Termed as ‘Intelligent by Design’, Next Gen Verna is developed on four strong pillars: Futuristic Design, Dynamic Performance, Super Safety and New Technology & Advanced Features.

The Verna brand has been a landmark product in Hyundai growth story winning many prestigious accolades worldwide. The Next Gen Verna is engineered to deliver excellence in all core areas of Styling, Performance, Technology, Safety and Ride & Handling. Got a chance to test drive the good looking NextGen Verna (Petrol 1.6 VTVT, Automatic transmission) in the Bloggers Meet organised by Hyundai India.

It was time to analyse why this sedan has become a segment leader within 2 months of its launch. Let’s analyse…

Impressive Exteriors:
First impressions make lasting impact. The aggressive exterior styling of Next Gen Verna will be a sheer delight to new age aspirational generation. At front is the Hyundai’s Signature Chrome Cascade grille with horizontal chrome which projects bold, yet premium stance of the car. Check out…

Back Projector LED headlamps enhances the sporty appeal and also give hi-tech and premium appeal to the rear.
The aerodynamic design elements have increased the overall stability of the car and lowered the coefficient of drag to 0.308.

Dimensions to announce your arrival in style…

Length x Width x Height
4,440 x 1,729 x 1,465 mm
2,600 mm
Max Tyre
195/55 R16 Alloy Wheels
Ground Clearance (Unladen)
165 mm 

Comfortable Luxurious interiors:
The interiors have been designed keeping in view the premium feel and the driver’s comfort at the same time.  The Driver- oriented centre console along with ergonomically located controls provides an intuitive access with minimal distraction to the driver for comfortable and safe driving.

Ample in-cabin storage space and boot capacity of 480 litres is enough to ensure comfortable family week-end trips and also far off long camping trips, with all the accessories. Turning radius of 5.2 m. for a vehicle of these dimensions is an absolute shot for those looking to explore remote corners of the country.

Key Interior Features:
  • Supervision Cluster integrating 3.5˝ Mono TFT-LCD offers all the useful information with outstanding visibility (New)
  • Rear Adjustable Head Rest (New)
  • Cooled Glove box
  • Leatherette Upholstery with soft pad door arm rest adds richness & Luxury in the cabin

Dynamic Performance:
Under the sporty looks lies a powerful yet efficient and smooth drivable engine:
  1. Petrol (1.6 L Gamma Dual VTVT): 1,591 cc/ 123 ps @6,400 rpm/ 15.4 Kgm @ 4,850 rpm
  2. Diesel (1.6 U2 CRDi): 1,582 cc/ / 128 ps @4,000 rpm/ 26.5 Kgm @ 1,500 ~ 3,000 rpm
Wanderers like myself who aim to scale the whole world by roads will surely get pampered with the powerhouse engine and new level of ride comfort with smooth & precise handling, exceptional interior quietness and enhanced safety. For long and deserted highways, Cruise control is just a click away on the steering itself. 
Maneuvering has been given good attention, steering the car and shifting the lanes while driving is pretty comfortable. .
On the bumpy surface and irritating speed-bumps now found in abundance on almost all of the roads, the car never looked like losing touch with the surface. Rear view mirrors can be easily adjusted from the ergonomically placed arm console.

The Superior Ride and Handling characteristics of platform are complemented by McPherson Strut Suspension in front and Coupled Torsion Beam Axle (CTBA) with Vertical Shock Absorber   along with Hydraulic Rebound Stopper (HRS) in rear for improved damping, ensuring a comfortable ride and stabilized driving. 
From the perspectives of the wanderers, the Next Gen Verna offers wonderful mileage with option of two performance packed engines of Next Gen Verna: 

Petrol 1.6 VTVT: 17.70 Kmpl (MT), 15.92 Kmpl (AT)
Diesel  1.6 VGT  : 24.75 Kmpl (MT), 21.02 Kmpl (AT)

Forget frequent refuelling and keep on enjoying the longer drives..
Super Safety:
All Hyundai cars are developed, tested and built under the Hyundai ‘Safe-Drive Philosophy’
The SUPER BODY STRUCTURE of Next Gen Verna is developed with 50% of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), an additional 37% increase over the previous generation models. AHSS components increase stiffness of chassis and protect passengers effectively in case of collision. The Hot stamping on door pillars provides cabin protection in case of side collisions. (Earlier Verna had only 13% of AHSS).

Key Safety Features:
  • Dual Airbags, Anti-Lock Brake system (ABS) with EBD
  • 6 Airbags (Front Airbags are Standard feature)
  • New Features: Front Projector Fog Lamps, Cornering Lamps, ISOFIX (Child Restraint System) as Standard fitment
  • Impact Sensing Auto Door Unlock (First-in-Segment)
  • Reverse parking camera with steering adaptive guidelines, Rear Parking Sensors
Feel safe while staying indoors in the Next Gen Verna with yourself and your loved ones…

New Technology and Advanced Features:
As warm summers in India are getting longer and warmer, NextGen Verna offers a host unique comfort feature of Front Ventilated Seats for keeping seats cool in hot weather. For better clarity check the representational diagram…
Smart trunk (First-in-Segment) that automatically unlocks and pops-out when the owner stands with-in 1 metre behind the vehicle with smart key for more than 3 seconds and the new Electrically Controlled Smart Sunroof gives a sense of openness and premium ambience inside the cabin.
The Next Gen Verna features advanced infotainment system with 7.0 IPS (In Plane Switching) capacitive touch screen - Audio Video Navigation System (AVN) with rear view camera improves driver visibility and functionality. Multimedia system is equipped with Apple Carplay, Android Auto and Mirror Link for seamless integration of app based navigation, streaming audio, voice controlled search capabilities and smartphone applications. For the first time, the Next Gen Verna comes with 6 speakers along with Smart Surround System by 'Arkamys’ delivering a music experience much closer to the artist’s original intent.
The efficient cooling of the Next Gen Verna keeps its occupants cool, Comfortable and Pleasant while maintaining clean and healthier cabin environment. The Eco Coating Technology ensures odour free and fresh air for a comfortable and pleasant journey.
Some Key Interior features include
  • First-in-Segment: Front Ventilated Seat, Smart Trunk 
  • Smartphone connectivity with IPS Panel (Best-in-Segment)
  • FATC with Cluster Ionizer (Best-in-Segment)
  • New Features: Electric Sunroof, Rear AC Vents, Voice recognition, Cruise Control, Rear Curtain
  • Engine Start/Stop Button
Hyundai Auto Link (New) is a unique innovation to let the owner stay connected with the car. The vehicle health check, driving information, Road side assistance, Driving History, Eco Driving and Vehicle Health history all can be checked with click of button. By this Auto Link, now the owners will be able to stay connected to their cars while sitting in their offices and homes. This feature will surely lead to better driving, Check out the informative interface of the "Auto Link"... 

Colour and Variants:
The Next Gen Verna will be available in 7 exterior colours options with 12 Variants. On pricing front Next Gen Verna has been launched at Rs. 7.99 lacs (Petrol) and goes upto 12.39 lacs (Diesel), ex-showroom prices at Delhi.

Technological acumen, coupled with fabulous Hyundai Customer Care Program:
In order to be the preferred choice for Indian customers, the Next Verna will be offered with Lowest Cost of maintenance, warranty with 3 Years Unlimited Kilometres, 3 Years Road Side Assistance, 3 times Map Updation and home visit on 15th Day of purchase for all the customers of Next Gen Verna.
Having covered miles while exploring various destinations in India, as a satisfied Hyundai i10 owner; the choice of upgrading has just got difficult with Next Gen Verna joining the competition with other wonderful Hyundai offering called Creta.
About HMIL - Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL) is wholly owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company, South Korea. HMIL is the largest passenger car exporter and second largest car manufacturer in India. HMIL’s state of art manufacturing plant is located near Chennai and a modern multi-million-dollar R&D facility is located in Hyderabad.
It currently has ten car models across segments – Eon, Grand i10, Elite i20, Active i20, Xcent, Verna, CRETA, Elantra, Tucson and Santa Fe. To serve the customers, HMIL currently has 480 dealers and more than 1,260 service points across India.
(PS – Views and opinions are my own.)

November 19, 2017

View Finder: Top 10 Places to Catch Dinner and a Sunset in Charleston

What could be better than savoring the taste of Lowcountry cuisine from award-winning restaurants in Charleston? Enjoying them while enjoying a beautiful sunset over the Holy City, of course.
With its warm climate and gorgeous sunsets over the Charleston Harbor, you couldn’t ask for a more perfect place to wine, dine, and unwind. Here are the 10 best places to grab dinner while taking a sunset over the Holy City.
Fleet Landing
Fleet Landing may seem like nothing special from the outside, but step inside its cozy interior, and you will quickly realize the appeal. With picturesque waterside views, a jolly atmosphere, and some of the best shrimp and grits in town, Fleet Landing will make it on your list of favorite places to dine.
This popular restaurant stays packed, so make a reservation to guarantee a table and avoid the wait!

Charleston Harbor Fish House
If you’re on the Mount Pleasant side, be sure to stop by the Charleston Harbor Fish House. Named Best Water View Dining by Charleston Living Magazine in 2016, the Fish House is the only rooftop bar in Mount Pleasant that offers stunning views of the entire Charleston skyline, Ravenel Bridge, and U.S.S. Yorktown.
Besides watching the sun go down over the Charleston Harbor, you can also enjoy the restaurant’s delicious seafood entrees such as their impeccable crab cakes and pan-seared swordfish. Grab a cocktail at the Bridge Bar on the roof and unwind as you take in one of the Holy City’s best views.

Bowens Island Restaurant
You know that you’ve found a great place to eat when it’s a hotspot for locals and tourists alike. Bowens Island is a funky restaurant that you have to visit to understand its quirkiness.
Located five miles from Folly Beach, Bowens is covered in graffiti, and guests are encouraged to sign their own names on the wall. The restaurant’s eclectic vibe is only part of its charm. The delicious oysters, fried shrimp, Frogmore Stew, and other Lowcountry cuisine have been a local favorite for decades.
To top it all off, Bowens has seating on the deck for guests to enjoy their meals while they watch the sun sink into the marsh. Whether you are a tourist or Charleston resident, this legendary eatery shouldn’t be missed.

Morgan Creek Grill
As if their breathtaking waterfront views weren’t enough, the Morgan Creek Grill on Isle of Palms has a superb offering of both upscale and casual dining menus featuring unbeatable Charleston cuisine. Whether you are going for brunch, a fancy dinner date, or simply want to have a drink while taking in the view, the Morgan Creek Grill is sure to please.
Located at the Isle of Palms, the Morgan Creek Grill is a great place to find savory Lowcountry cuisine and listen to live music as you watch the sun set into the calm waters of the Charleston Harbor.

The Rooftop Bar at Vendue
Do you love art, incredible views, and colorful cocktails? If so, The Rooftop Bar at Vendue is calling your name.
This rooftop bar is part of an art hotel which features interesting wall art and provides unique guest rooms for visitors. Even better, you don’t need to be a guest to enjoy the views and impressive bar menu on the rooftop! Go on a Sunday, and you will also hear live music that perfectly bends with this creative oasis by the water.

Salty Mike’s Bar
For a casual dinner or a quick beer with friends, Salty Mike’s is a fun choice. Locals frequent this dive bar for its cheap, tasty drinks and the tranquil view of the marsh.
This may not be your place for a romantic, fine-dining experience, but Salty Mike’s deserves your consideration for its wide array of beers on tap, juicy burgers, and stunning views of the ships and boats on the Ashley River.

Élevé Restaurant & Rooftop
Inside the Grand Bohemian Hotel is Élevé, a quirky restaurant with an equally eclectic rooftop bar. Although many simply go for drinks on their fourth-floor rooftop, Élevé also offers serves Lowcountry cuisine with a French influence.
The furniture and the décor of the outside bar area are part of Élevé’s appeal. With its glowing pink planters and shabby-chic furniture, Élevé is probably more suitable for younger crowds, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying their fantastic selection of wine.

Coda Del Pesce
Are you craving Italian food? Coda Del Pesce is the place to go if you’re staying in the Isle of Palms. Unlike many so-called Italian restaurants, Coda Del Pesce offers an Italian-meets-seafood restaurant experience and provides an intimate atmosphere for special date nights.
If you want a romantic dinner date with a view, Coda Del Pesce won’t disappoint. The cozy setting and calming views of the beach are amazing, whether you catch the sunset or not.

California Dreaming
From chicken strips to pasta and prime rib, California Dreaming has a menu that will please even the pickiest of eaters. For classic American fare, this restaurant is a winner.
California Dreaming also has a wrap-around deck and patio that allows guests gorgeous views of the Ashley River. Do yourself a favor and save room for the New York Cheesecake!

Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar
The prices of their cocktails aren’t cheap, but the Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar makes up for it in other ways. Not only does this bar have an impressive skyline view of Charleston, but its bar-side pool offers a respite from the blisteringly hot days in the Lowcountry. 
Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar is considered a high-end restaurant, so it’s great spot for a romantic dinner. However, with the amazing atmosphere, stunning views, and delicious cocktails, it is worth experiencing at least once.

Final Thoughts
Charleston isn’t short on picturesque views. Whether you are a Charleston native or merely visiting this magnificent city, watching the sun set in the Holy City is a must. With ample venues to see the show, you will have plenty of opportunities to see why Charleston is such a special place.

November 10, 2017

Forts, Beaches and Alibaug in the Incredible Western Ghats

Older than the Himalaya mountains, is the Western Ghats ranges that runs parallel to the western coast of the India through the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. A drivable road from inside the lush green forests and alongside the coastline will take you on journey to a different world.

What is Western Ghats? A world set aside in the serenity of the green mountains, where music of chirping birds and where streams of flowing water play a perfect symphony to the tired souls. Well known for their rich and unique flora and fauna, Western Ghats is one of the eight "hottest hot-spots" of biological diversity in the world and UNESCO has declared Western Ghats, a world heritage site.

As per the studies, Western Ghats are sustaining around 7402 species of flowering plants, 1814 species of non-flowering plants, 139 mammals' species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species, 6000 insect species and 290 freshwater fish species. This is not all, many may get discovered tomorrow. Over and above these, Western Ghats provides shelter to at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species.

A small welcome break from the business schedule opened a window to explore the incredible Land of Western Ghats' biodiversity, nearby a small coastal town of Alibaug. Alibaug is much popular for its neat and clean beaches. It was the time to enjoy attractions near Alibaug.
We started early morning for our first destination, Korlai Fort which is approx. 25 Km. (75 minutes) from Alibaug. Though now in ruins, Korlai Fort is an old Portuguese structure situated on a hill top. Built in the year 1521, Korlai Fort originally meant as a watch point for the invaders and was used to be a house of 7,000 people including horses and Portugese army men. The Korlai Fort is surrounded by Arabian Sea on three sides and has a beautiful lighthouse as major attraction.

Thrilling Korlai Fort trek goes via very narrow stairs which one has to ascend with skill and excitement in order to reach the Fort.

The mighty walls and the structure of the Fort is now totally covered with almost waist high grasses. 

From the top find a suitable spot, relax and cherish the beautiful views of Korlai fort lighthouse, beach and surrounding landscapes from the top.

Settlement around the Korlai fort is all fishermen colonies. 
After enjoying for around 30-minutes at Korlai Fort, we started for Murud Janjira Fort which was approx. 42 km. (90 minutes) from Korlai Fort.
In the way, 12 km. from Korlai Fort on the way to Murud Janjira Fort is the Kashid beach. Situated on the Arabian Sea coast, Kashid Beach attracts people for its beautiful clear blue water and plenty of water sports options.

Kiss of the sunlight turns white clean sandy beach and its crystalline water into a wonder of natural beauty that makes this beach a sought out destination for tourists as well as water enthusiasts.
There are food stalls which serves freshly prepared delicious omelettes and local savouries like misal pav, vada pav, dabeli, sea food dishes. Hungry stomach will be extremely thankful. Or you can just CHILLAX in the leisure time.

Approx. 21 km from Kashid Beach, is the Murud Janjira Fort. Surrounded by the turquoise colored waters of the Arabian Sea, tourists can enjoy a boat ride to the Janjira Fort by availing row boat service. This is how Murud Fort looks from the shore:

The entrance to the fort is as majestic in line with the traditions of India. The fort is keeping alive the memoirs of the numerous battles waged in order to protect the motherland from the invaders. The structure may look weary, however the pride and esteem is still held high.

Eye catching is one carving at the entrance which is depicting one tiger trapped by six elephants, probably the soul behind the construction of this Fort.

It was constructed in 15th century AD by ruler of Ahmednagar, Malik Amber to protect his kingdom from the pirates of the seas. No doubt the fort supports a large number of canons.

Though a pale shadow of its glorious past, the fort is still a majestic structure speaking volumes of engineering expertise available in India in earlier times. Check the top view of the Murud Janjira (Picture taken from one of the promotional bill boards nearby).

India has mastered the art of constructing Forts/ Palaces in water. There are other noteworthy water palaces in Udaipur, Deeg and Jaipur.
The last spot in our itinerary was the Kankeshwar temple, 13 Km. from Alibaug on the other side of Murud Janjira Fort. While asking for the directions from the locales and passers-by, we realised that they were also as unaware about this place. Only when we reached close to the temple, we got to know that the temple is situated at a hill top, approx. 1200 ft. height and we have to climb approx. 650 stairs in order to reach the pious temple. 
650 stairs sounded OK to us and we happily started the climb. Soon we came to know that the size on single stair is equivalent to 5-6 steps. High in spirits and excitement we assumed that very soon the size of stairs will turn to normal stairs, like stairs we have in our houses. However it was not so! 

The walk till the temple is covered with trees on both sides. Even if it rains heavily, the trees provide a beautiful cover to the visitors/ pilgrims. You might get fully exhausted during the climb, as size of steps and inclination is pretty demanding. However, all the tiredness and fatigue will evaporate, the moment you will enter the sacred temple premises and look around the scenic beauty of this place.

The main temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, there are 2 lions guarding the entrance along with traditional lamp pillar which is illuminated at festive occasions. It comprises various small temples of Sri Kundeshwar, Lord Vishnu, Sri Balram Krishna and Lord Shiv. Every year on the occasion of Kartik Poornima, a grand fair/ festival is held. Devotees arrive here from very far off places.

This beautiful temple is an example of Hoysala style structure and was built in 1764. Other than the temple the prominent attraction is the step well water tank, also called a "Pushkarni". This step well has water throughout the year (circular step well visible adjacent to temple).
Some distance before the temple is another water reservoir, known as “Brahma Kund”. It is a rectangular tank, surrounded by steps on all four sides.
Such type of step wells have been extensively constructed in India, which not only preserves precious water but also provides solace from scorching sunlight during summers. Huge step wells are situated in the state of Rajasthan, like wise Chand Bawdi near Jaipur.

The hill on which Kankeshwar temple is situated is known as Kankeshwar hill and it supports a variety of flora and fauna. While climbing up you will find a lot of crabs in the way to welcome you on the Kankeshwar temple steps. If you are around this place, a visit to Kankeshwar temple shall be a must for all offbeat explorers.
Forget to mention that Alibaug also has a beautiful and colourful beach, Alibaug Beach. Beach is a popular spot and one can enjoy horse rides and riding in horse pulled carriages, locally known as “Tonga”. If you arrive here around 4:30 PM, you can take a walk to the Kolaba Fort situated inside the Arabian Sea, hardly 100 m. from the beach shore.

You can also see kids enjoying football/ cricket on the beach side. 

Once you are in Mumbai and thinking about things to do near Mumbai, do consider these Alibaug attractions as an offbeat getaway.

What a day it was. Simply fabulous! Keep travelling Guys.
Hard facts about Western Ghats:
Very few people know that the mighty Western Ghats is now only 10% remains of the dense forests which once decorated this area. The Western Ghats weather is perfect for growing tea/ coffee and teak plantations. So the forests are getting cleared up for agricultural activities and settlement of humans. Also the forests are getting fragmented due to increased human activities. Native tribal people, rare fauna species are the ones which are affected the most by this definition of “Development”.

We owe this Earth to our future generations, time to rethink else Human race will find itself helpless against fury of nature, someday.