A Journey Through Rain-soaked Northen Konkan

Jul 13, 2009

I had been wondering while travelling by ‘Matsyagandha’ from Mumbai to Udupi and back, especially during the summer months, how would the Northern Konkan, that is, the coastal region of Maharashtra would look like during the monsoon. The travellers could have a glimpse of the coastal belt till the train reaches Chiplun. That makes up only a third of the Northern Konkan stretch, that is, part of the Raigad district.

The ‘Matsyagandha’ traverses the coastal belt of the other two districts of Maharashtra-Ratnagiri and Sindhdurg, during the night time, depriving the inquisitive traveller an opportunity to see the beauty of nature.

On the 6 July 2009, i was travelling from Thane to Udupi when the monsoon that had been playing truant for quite some time sending panic not only among the farmers but also the urbanites, began its fury right across the Konkan region flooding rivers and streams and throwing life in the towns and cities out of gear.

As one travels by the Konkan railway, he cannot but wonder in disbelief the rapid and random urbanization that is taking place in Diva since last one or two years. Diva is the junction where the Konkan railway takes the right turn and takes the exclusive route that passes through Konkan, the coastal belt of four states-Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala.

The vast land between Diva and Panvel presents the traveller a sense of open space with rural ambience and a glimpse of hills and mountains at a distance. Beyond Taloja one can see the township of New Mumbai with tall and beautiful residential buildings with the mountain range in the background.

After the train leaves Panvel, one can really experience the beauty of
nature, especially during the monsoon. The paddy fields and vegetable gardens nestled between woods and valleys, the cluster of tiled houses making up villages and mountain ranges to the right side at a distance are the usual scenes in the Raigad district.

The landmark that attracts the attention of the traveller between Panvel and Pen stations is the sight of the Karnala Fort also known as the ‘Funnel Hill’. It is believed that the fort was built way back in the 13th century. The fort was under the Nizamshahi rule until it was captured by the Maratha ruler Chatrapati Shivaji during the mid-17th century. Later, the fort was under the possession of the Mughals, the Peshwas and the British. Karnala Fort is an ideal spot for trekking. At the base of the fort is the famous bird sanctuary rich in natural habitat for various kinds of birds.

One of the beautiful experiences on this stretch of the journey is the nearly semicircular turn that the train takes. Those travelling in the central portion of the train can see the engine and front portion as well as the rear portion of the train.

As the train approaches the Nagothane station one can see the smoke coming out of the petrochemical manufacturing plant belonging to the Reliance Industries.

I was amazed and mesmerized at the beauty of nature in the background of the monsoon. The paddy saplings in square format at the centre of the field or in patches of circles or squares ready to be transplanted looked like soft green carpets. In many places the road from Mumbai to Goa runs parallel to the track with vehicles of various kinds making their way in booth direction. The streams and small rivers with muddy water were full to the brim.

I could notice that agricultural activities were in progress as the farmers were out in the field. Along with many pictures, i could capture in my camera the sight of a herd of buffaloes grazing the lush green grass and few people fishing in the backwaters.

Unlike in the Southern Konkan, I could see very few coconut and areca nut trees on the route. Possibly, the soil of Northern Konkan, especially in the Raigad and Thane districts is not conducive to the growth of either coconut or areca nut trees.

The mountain ranges at a distance provide a superb view with floating snowy clouds and flowing water streams. Though i could take the pictures of the floating clouds in the foreground of the mountains, my attempt to capture the tiny water-falls did not succeed due to the distance, lack of proper light and speed of the train.

One more thing that i noticed through the journey was the appearance of the gigantic telecommunication towers at regular intervals providing the people of this region an easy access to communication.

Intermittent rains along with the sight of streams and rivers, the vast terrain as if painted by green and light yellow, the green mountains and hills with the patches of rainy clouds and the rattling sound of the train as it passed through tunnels made my travelling during monsoon through the Raigad district a memorable experience.

As the train halted at Diwankhavati station for crossing at around 7.15 PM, it was already dark outside. As the rain intensified, i closed the window of the train and shut my eyes visualizing the beautiful scenes that had passed behind. I felt a sense of satisfaction that i could capture at least a fraction of the nature in my camera and share it with the nature-loving readers of the daijiworld.com.

Dr Eugene D`Souza - Archives:

Dr Eugene D’Souza, Mumbai
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Comment on this article

  • SUJITHPOLALI, polali,k s a

    Sun, Aug 16 2009

    Thanks Mr Eugene & Daijiteam mindblowing photos

  • Kotan Harish Kharvi, Kundapur/Dubai

    Sat, Jul 18 2009

    I am so very very happy, Mind blowing pics, I MISS THE MONSOON thank u for sharing some lovely pictures .

  • shreedhara, mangalore

    Fri, Jul 17 2009

    very..very beautiful pictures and meaningful article...

  • mabel andrade, udupi/kuwait

    Thu, Jul 16 2009

    Lovely pictures of natures own creation.Hats off to Daiji and his team for giving us opportunity to see the lovely pictures of our own mother land. Keep up the good work.


    Wed, Jul 15 2009

    Good Article and very beautiful pictures, Hats off to Dr. Eugene d''Souza.

  • Bharat Asarpota, Sharjah

    Wed, Jul 15 2009

    Dear Dr. Eugene. Very nice & scenic pictures.Due to recession all over and as many families cannot take a vacation to india and enjoy the monsoons, In such a case watching your scenic pictures of the Konkan belt, atleast gives a Holiday feeling and releases a lot of stress. Would appreciate if you could print a handy travel book ( Lush Green Holiday''s ,Konkan Belt)

  • John L., Moodubelle

    Tue, Jul 14 2009

    I was on leave to my native place whereby I met Ijju baab who is our best friend and neibhour. We were disucssing about his articles and suddenly he was talking about this latest article to be published soon.Thanks Ijju baab, you are the real lover of nature nad you have pasion of travelling all over and meet the people. Keep up the god work.

  • dhananjayan, kerala /dubai

    Tue, Jul 14 2009

    Excellent job.

  • Mutahhir M H, Gangulli/Dubai

    Tue, Jul 14 2009

    Thanks for daijiworld for beautiful pictures.The nature before rain and after, lots of differece we can see in the moisture of grass.It''s a real beauty and touch''s our heart.

  • Simone Saldanha, Mangalore/Canada

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Dr Dsouza excellent pictures. Good job.I have always enjoyed those trips from Mangalore to Bombay. really miss that.Looking foreward to be there sooooooon.

  • nelson, valencia/kuwait

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    The Konkan railways has been a boon for all lovers of nature and sight seekers. I travel this route everytime i go on vacation just for the love of it. The end of the rainy season time is the best for this route and how one wishes it remains the same throughout the year. Thanx for the beautiful pics.

  • Thomas Dsouza, Gorigudda/Israel

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Beautifull Pictures...hats off to Dr. Eugene D’Souza..Keep it up.

  • John Pereira, Kulshekar,M''lore/Ghatkopar,Mumbai

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    On reading this latest article of Dr. Eugene D''Souza based on yet another travail, I felt happy to recall memories of my frequent travels by train and bus through North Konkan when I was based in Goa during the last decade. Before I moved to Goa, I had the privilege of trekking to Karnala Fort with my office mates after going through the Karnala Bird sanctuary at the base which is a picnic spot. We were about 15 persons when we started the climb to the pinnacle, but only a handful of us reached to the top including myself where we found a cave with cool water and an arena where a group of picnickers could sit around and even cook a meal etc. The view of the valley from the top was breathtaking. Unfortunately, none of had a camera with us and unfortunately we failed to capture any pictures of the beautiful scenario. This was because the trip was planned impromptu just as we were leaving the office the previous evening. However, I can see the ''gumata'' or the pinnacle of the Karnala Fort in the picture captured by Eugenebab''s camera. In admiration of the beauty of nature of Karnala, more than 25 years back, I purchased a one acre plot of agricultural land near it''s base and I built a small house and cultivated the land with rice paddy and vegetables for a while. However, I had to give up my adventure as except me, nobody was interested in my family and I disposed it off later. Eugenebab rightly noted that there are a few coconut trees, but apart from paddy cultivation, other crops include chillies, tomatoes and various types of vegetables and even fruits. It appears that since this place is far away from the coast, there are few coconut trees. The rare Monsoon scenery of the fields, mountains and waterholes ie rivers/ponds etc. has been well-captured by Eugenebab''s camea. My hearty Compliments to you Eugenebab! Keep it up!!

  • Dayanand Bangera, Katapady / Abu Dhabi

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    What a Pictures. All Coasttal people residing outside will really miss rainy season.

  • Chrisopher Lobo, Kulehskar/Bahrain

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Mesmerizing photographs....

  • leena miranda, madanthyar, sharjah

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Hi Bavoji, I am so very very very happy to read your artilce with mind blowing pictures with beautiful greenery around our God created. Fealing bad to miss such a mansoon in home town but You have recalled our childhood and made us very very happy. All the best for your future articles too. rgds to all Best wishes from Leena, Rony and family

  • Pius , Belman/Dubai

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    After the scorching summer temperatures in Dubai, thank you for providing us a visually cool feast to the eyes. The scenic pictures after Monsoon are beautiful and take us back in time.

  • Raj, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Good Pictures Dr. Eugene, it refreshed my memories when I too had traveled in Masyaganda to Mumbai in the monsoon. That time there was fear of land sliding on the rails during the Monsoon. I think Konkan Railway have now installed sensors to detect the landslide and take immediate preventive action.

  • Vijay, Bangalore

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Very nice pics, thank you sir. I''m sure u''ve clicked these pics from a moving train, still they are b''ful.

  • Yogish. B., Bahrain /Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Very nice pictures Thanks Daiji.

  • Kumar Fernandes, Mudarangadi/ Dubai

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    The feelings of moonsoon are thrilling. Dr Eugene made it double through his wonerfull camera lense. Thank you Dr D''Souza.

  • ralston,Mangalore/dubai, mangalore

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Very nice photographs thanks Dr Eugene D’Souza, thats what I call my India im proud to be such place I miss d monsoon

  • LAWRENCE D''SOUZA, Miyar /Sharjah

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Fantastic pic''s Great Job. Thankyou Dr.Eugene/Daiji Team. Truly we miss our beautiful greener Mangalore

  • SACHIN bantwal/dubai ,

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    pls take some some picture from river side of mangalore

  • M.Bhat, Mumbai

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Very beautiful photographs by Dr.Eugene D''souza. I liked your article on nature with beautiful narrations. Sir, you ended the write up abruptly forgetting to add our own country side of coastal karnataka, as the train reaches barkur, baindoor, kundapur and udupi, early in the morning. I expect your next article comprehensive. Thanks again.

  • Ashwin, Kundapura/UAE

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    God took tooo much time to create this nature, specially Karnataka. Nice Snaps, thx Dr Eugene D’Souza................

  • frederick saldanha, Shankerpura/Kuwait

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Superb pictures. Thank you Dr.Eugene and ofcourse Daiji for bringing these beautiful pictures to us who are in the Gulf.

  • Najeeb, Udupi/Dubai

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Awesome beautiful i love you daiji i had same journey once from Udupi to Mumbai really l loved it thanx daiji please get some good snaps of western ghats I like to watch it.

  • Shalini, Mangalore / Dubai

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Very Beautiful, thank you Dr Eugene D''Souza and Daijiteam.

  • Adeeb, mangalore/Ksa

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Now this is what I call is REAL INDIA..Its amazing....thank u for sharing some lovely pics..


    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Good pictures,even I had travelled by Matsyagandha Exp several time,its a wonderful journey especially rainy season.....Thanx

  • Mohan H Naik, Mangaluru

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Very nice pics.

  • Mohammed Althaf, Bunder,Mangalore,Al Khobar

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Mind blowing pics just look at the greenery around,,fealing bad to miss such a mansoon in home town. thx Dr Eugene D’Souza, Mumbai, and Daijiteam

  • sheik maagdoom, mangalore

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    pic's r very beutiful so nice

  • Lawrence D''Mello, Karkala/Sydney

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Simply breath-taking, Very beautiful photograph....... thx Dr Eugene D’Souza,and Daijiteam. Who says Travelling within India is not worth with?

  • bhaskar r poojary, neermarga/mangalore

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Its great pictures thank you so much Dr.Eugene, really fantastic pictures, good job

  • Anand Monis, Bantakal

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Very nice photographs thanks ... It is our collective responsibility to preserve the beauty of this blessed land for future generations.....


    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Good article and very nice pictures. Thank you Ijju Baab.

  • Azhar Ahmed, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Nice Pics .....

  • Saleem GH, , Puttur/ Abu Dhabi

    Mon, Jul 13 2009

    Very beautiful photograph....... thx Dr Eugene D’Souza, Mumbai, and Daijiteam

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Title: A Journey Through Rain-soaked Northen Konkan

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