Vengurla is a town in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, India just north of Goa. It is surrounded by a semicircular range of hills with lush green foliage mainly of cashew, mango, coconut, and different kinds of berry trees. The hills of Dabholi, Tulas, and Mochemad respectively lie in the north, the east, and the south of Vengurla, while the Arabian Sea is located on its west.
The town has a rich cultural heritage. Vengurla Taluka has some temples including those of Shri Sateri, Shri Rameshwar, Shri Navadurga at Kanyale Redi, Shri Giroba at Dabholi, Shri Sateri at Dabholi, Shri Mauli at Redi and Shiroda, Shri Vetoba at Aaravali, Shri Ganesh at Redi and Shri Ravalnath.
Vengurla is one of the magnificent sea-port of Konkan. The town Vengurla is renowned for its historically significant building Dutch Factory (Wakhar) and heritage Sagar Bunglow that offers a panoramic view of blue world of the Arabian Sea.
VETOBA TEMPLE : ARAVALI
Vetoba Aaravli Vetoba
Aravali is an inviting village in Vengurla Taluka. Vetoba is the main deity of Aravali. Vetoba means Vetal, the king of ghosts, believed to be the guard of the locality. It was in 16th century that a sage (saint) named Mumayya, belonging to the creed Natha pantha, at first reinstated the wooden idol of God Vetoba (1530 AD) Since then, after each century the idol is replaced by a new one with enthusiastic centenary celebration. The second centenary festival was held in 1720, the third in 1820 to 1840, the fourth in 1920 and the fifth in 1996. The wooden image of Vetoba bears a sword in hand. On annual fair-Day of this tempe, devotees offer Vetoba a pair of sandals and bunches of bananas. This festive day is celebrated with zeal and devotion. Thousands of devotees offer Vetoba bananas that are believed to be the most favourite offering to God Vetoba.
The etymological meaning of Aravali is abode of God Shankar. The term Aravali is derived from the ancient Sanskrit name HARAWALLI (HARA means SHANKAR and WALLI means habitation or village (settlement.) Now a days Aravali is being more and more popular as a religious tourist site. It has a clean, white sea-beach where tent resorts and hotels are available. As Aravali is at short distance from Goa, a large number of tourists rush here. Govt. has declared Aravali as a cultural site. (Distance : Vengurla to Aravali: 15km.)
Shri Dev Vetoba Devasthan is Aravali’s main temple and its chief tourist attraction. It is situated on the main Shiroda-Vengurle thoroughfare.
Vetoba’s magnificent idol is fashioned out of ‘panchdhatu’ (5 metals). It is bigger than life-size, 9 feet 2 inches tall, and faces north. Vetoba is standing, in all his glory and power, with a sword in his right hand and an agnipatra (small utensil) in his left.
In the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, Vetoba’s idol is flanked by idols of Shri Dev Bhummaiyya, Shri Dev Purwas, Shri Dev Rampurush, Shri Dev Baracha Purwas (Nirakari) and Shri Dev Bhavkai.
It is a tradition to seek Vetoba’s consent and blessing before undertaking any new work in the temple, or when impediments come in its routine work. Devotees and village people seek His blessings during times of difficulties or before undertaking any new work.
FORT OF NIVATI
Situated on a high hill at a village named Kochare in Vengurla Taluka. Nivati fort occupies 2 acres of hilly area. The rampart wall is stout, around which there is a ditch. Previously the fort was in charge of the british Govt., as one of the officers had won it in 18th century. The tourists coming to Vengurle and Bhogave, take a turn off to visit this fort.
It is a beautiful Govt. Rest House (Dak Bunglow) popularly called Sagar Bunglow, built on a steep hill, facing to sea. The premises (courtyard) of the bunglow offers a panoramic view of the deep, blue and scenic sea and the coastal sight stretched upto Sagareshwar. The whole scene is most alluring. The Bunglow has recently been improvised and decorated. Tourists, native & foreign, in great strength visit it and get thrilled here.
GANAPATI TEMPLE – REDI
Shree Ganesh Redi
Redi is a coastal village, famous for mines of Mangeniz as well as the temple of selfexistent God Ganapati. It was on 18th April 1976 that this original image of Ganesh emerged as it were in the dreams of Mr. Sadanand Kambale, a truck driver at the mining spot. He saw an illusionary God Ganapati who said, “ Here I am existent. Excavate the spot and make me visible.” Accordingly Mr. Sadanand Kamble , with assistance of the mining workers, started digging and to their wonder, the head of the deity Ganesha was visible. They continued the work of excavation until the whole stone-caved image was visible. It was carved in reddish rock and was in a seated position, the height being 6 ft. while width 4ft. Being painted later on, it looks handsome To add to the wonder, after five weeks similarly carved image of a mouse, believed to be the vehicle of Ganapati, was also found in the same premises.
This beach is indeed a nectar to eye. It is the most attractive beach of Sindhudurg district. Its main characteristic is the flocks of gulls, thousands and thousands in number. The beach is on the borders of Malvan and Vengurle talukas. It is the centre of attraction for tourists. Stretches of white shining sands vastness of blue sea, beautiful fringe of glittering and especially the flying flocks of sea gulls at the time of the ebb are really enchanting for film, producers, too. The shooting of a famous film ‘Shwaas’ was held in the premises of Bhogave beach. Its photo print was one of the untouched sights in a calendar of 1988-89 published by Air India Company. It was in fact the first flash of its publicity.
SAGARESHWER BEACH (just 3km form vengurle)
The Sagareshwer beach has been inviting tourists more and more, being the safest of all other coastal sights in South Konkan, one can enjoy riskless swimming in the sea here to one’s heart’s content. By courtesy of M T D C the royal tent house project was provided 10 tents. The whole sight is quite suitable for beach –tourism. The blue dream-world of sea-water and a bird’s eye-view of Vengurla add to the enchantment of the beach.
Just 2km from Shiroda and at the same distance from Vetoba temple at Aravali; the alluring Sagartirth beach invites visitors to enjoy a stroll and swimming amidst surging sea-waves. This coastal area is being developed so as to suit the needs of tourism. MR Avadhut Timbello a renowned hotel-owner of GOA has taken up here an ambitious project of a grand five-star hotel ‘Fomento Beach Resort’
NIVATI BEACH :
[28Km from Vengurla Port] Proposed Dolphin Bay
This beach is famous for its dolphin-site. You can have a rare, pleasant view of dancing dolphin-sight seeing. Here dolphins are accustomed to human beings. The project of Dolphin – bay is being carried out by the Forest Department of Sindhudurg. So to say, Dolphins are generally found at the sea-coasts at Bhogave, Kelus, Khavane, Devbag etc. But they are existent in tremendous strength at Nivati Beach only. Similarly one can observe here the traditional way of fishing, too. The resorts and hotels run by local people are at your service here.
This fort was built in 16th Century at village Redi, by king Adilshah of Bijapur. The interior of this fort is in the form of ruins. There is a large ditch by three sides. The fort was won by Chhatrapati Shivaji. It offers an attractive view of the confluence of the creek and the Arabian Sea.
Velagar is a picturesque, scenic village near Shirode. The homeland of (the late) V.S. Khandekar, a renowned Marathi writer. Velagar has a very clean, beauteous, calm and quiet beach. The beach is fringed by Cypress which is indeed feast for a visitor’s eye. As the prestigious Taj group has proposed to erect a Five star Hotel here, the tourists are being more and more attracted towards Velagar. At present there are Greenfield tent resorts and hotel Konkan Kinara. (Distance 20km from Vengurle, Bombay to Velagar-560 km)
SALT-FIELDS AT SHIRODA
12th March 1930 is a landmark in the history of Indian Independence Movement, when non violent struggle of protest against the British Rule was launched under Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership. The Salt Satyagraha was also launched at Shirods. The memory of that Salt Satyagraha lingers in the atmosphere of Shiroda coastal area. Shining white grains and attractive mounts of salt can be seen here and the inspiring memory of Salt Satyagraha before 65 years is aroused.
DUTCH FACTORY (Vakhar)
During the period of colonization in India by foreign western traders, the Dutch Factory at Vengurle was erected in 1665 by Dutch East India Company’s envoy Rickloff Van Goens. As much as 3000 Tolas of glod was spent for the actual construction. The length of the factory Building is 35 Meters and breadth is 17 Meters. It is divided into three big halls with two grand gates. The building, made of stone and wood, has a rampart fence around. The factory building has an impact of Portugese Architecture. There were Govt. officers in the British period. At present the factory building is in dilapidated condition and in charges of Archaeological Department.
Vengurla is an important Tahasil in Sindhudurg, so far Tourism activity is concerned. This taluka is enriched with 50 kms in length, clean and white coastal beaches such as Shiroda, Velagar, Sagareshwar, Nivati, Mochemad, Sagar Tirth, Navbag, Fort Nivati, Redi, Kelus, Khavane, Vayangani etc. Kondura is one such beach.
The sight of Kondura is simple thrilling and enchanting. Two fold waves of surging surf, innumerable coconut groves and un-ending blue sea ahead make it so attractive that more and more tourists are tempted to visit this thrilling and breathtaking site. There is also a temple of God Lingeshwar on this coast. High hills and coconut trees are inviting. Shri Rajan Naik’s grand Tent House Project (Kondura Beach Wood Resort) is being completed very Soon. (Distance form Vengurle 6 km., from Kudal 20 km.)
Redi is a commercially important port in Sindhudurg district. There are ample stores of mineral Manganiz in the vicinity of the harbour. Million tons of Manganiz is exported every year though Mins at Redi. Govt. has taken up improvisation of this port through collaboration with private Trading Companies such as Earnest Shipping and Ship Builders Private Ltd. Redi will shurly be modernized soon. The amount envested in this Mining Industry is Rs. 995 Crores and 32 million tons of Cargo will be handled through this port.
Khavane is one of the inviting and developing beaches of the coastal line of Vengurla vicinity. This beach spread between the two hills and hidden amidst coconut groves, is indeed an enchantment of tourists. Dazzling white, soft sand, constantly rushing waves, murmuring breezes of western wind and pleasant, blue sea is the specialty of Khavane Beach. Millions of visitors cherish its memory for every in minds.
POORNANAND SWAMI’S MATHA (Mutt)
The Holy Shrine of Purnanand Swami
The Poornanand Swami Matha is situated between the two mounts at Dabholi, a neighbouring village of Vengutle. Dabholi is full of greenery and there is a brooklet of perennial pure water that is stored into a natural tank. This Matha was founded by Poornanand Swami, the respected spiritual sage, before 275 years. He breathed his last in 1687. There is his shrine in the sanctum of the Matha-building which is a holy place of faith for spiritual devotees.
ANCIENT CHURCH-UBHA DANDA
This church was built by the Roman Catholic Christians in 1857 A2. It’s a sacred place of prayer, believed to be abode of Jesus Christ.