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Konkan Eco-Village Experience - Devgad | Swadesee experiences | Led by women
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Where is Devgad?

The district of Sindhudurg forms the southern part of the Konkan coast in Maharashtra. Within Sindhudurg district is the beautiful taluka of Devgad that is home to lush forests, clear backwaters, rich marine biodiversity, pristine shores and beaches. Devgad is known all over the world for it’s hapus mangoes! (we provide these to guests during the months of March-May)

What is unique about this women-led experience?

On this one of its kind experience, we have established women’s self help groups for a variety of activities across multiple villages. Our team of passionate and knowledgable village women are well versed with the history, culture and traditions of the region. The experience is led by the community as a whole, with proceeds going to the community directly. There are no commercial establishments such as hotels, homestays or restaurants in the villages we operate and through this initiative we plan to ensure that the local communities are the owners of all tourism based activities as the region becomes more popular.

How is this an eco-experience?

Over three days on this eco-experience, you will understand the culture of the Konkan, feast on delicious homemade Malvani food, learn how to make local delicacies, explore forts & untouched beaches, and go on biodiversity and nature walks led by our team of local village women. If lucky, you will also be able to spot wildlife such as Indian Ocean humpback dolphins and hornbills! The entire experience will generate zero inorganic waste and source local ingredients that have a low carbon footprint.

Send us an email at info@swadesee.com or call us at 9137279060 to set up this experience for you on custom dates of your choice.

Meeting point:

Kudal Railway Station, Sindhudurg, Maharashtra

Duration:

3 days, 2 nights

Itinerary:

Day 1

We will gather at Kudal station at 1 pm, and move from there in our privately booked transport to a local home nearby for a fresh and authentic Konkani lunch.

Meet our hosts – always smiling and cheerful! 

We will then take an hour long ride through the lush green hills and mango orchards of Devgad and arrive at our host village by the sea.

Once we freshen up, our local experts will take us through the village and tell us more about local culture and unique traditions followed in their village. We will then walk a few minutes to reach the beach for sunset. You can take a dip in the water at this safe and pristine beach.

The beach where we will be staying

 

Our local experts with participants

Post sunset we will visit a local home in the village where we will directly observe and learn how the world-famous Malvani cuisine is prepared in an interactive culinary workshop, post which we will spoil ourselves with a scrumptious Malvani meal. On the menu will be fresh fish fry and fish curry (for non vegetarians), pickles, papad, lentils and fresh vegetables (for vegetarians). And of course, homemade sweets and sol kadhi for everyone!

Vegetarian Malvani food

Traditional Malvani breakfast, lunch and dinner – vegetarian

 

A traditional Malvani seafood meal

Post dinner, we will take a walk around the village to see the stars. On clear nights, you can clearly identify several constellations.

Overnight at our village home.

Day 2

We will wake up and visit a neighbouring village where we will enjoy a hearty breakfast in a dense coconut grove, after which we will visit ancient petroglyphs dating back to tens of thousands of years.

Breakfast in a dense coconut grove

We will then visit the mighty sea fort of Vijaydurg in north of Sindhudurg. We will hear stories of its historical significance and importance from the locals there. Once we understand the history and complexity of Vijaydurg we will embark on a boat ride around the fort to spot dolphins!

Vijaydurg fort

 

Dolphins at Vijaydurg

We will return to our village home where we will treat ourselves another delicious local lunch.

The afternoon will be spent relaxing in the village. Our team of local women will show us how local food products are made.

When the sun is a little lower, we will again visit the beach for a splendid sunset! A lifeguard will accompany our group, guiding us to the best spots to swim in the Arabian Sea.

Clear waters near the beach

Post sunset, we will return to the village for an interactive session of Fugdi, a traditional Konkani dance form. Fugdi is used as a medium to pass on traditional and socio-cultural messages through dance. We will not just watch our lovely hosts, we will shake a leg ourselves!

A traditional performance of fugdi

 

A danceform performed by women, to spread awareness in women

Once our appetite has been sufficiently built up, we will spoil ourselves once more with a delicious home-cooked Konkani dinner.

Overnight at our village home.

Day 3

We will wake up early to the sound of birds chirping and make our way to the creek where will try to spot different types of wetland birds, jellyfish, clams, shellfish and the many other forms of marine life that exist in these pristine natural surroundings.

Early morning biodiversity walk

 

Our local experts demonstrating types of shellfish

 

The diverse marine ecosystems of the region visible in the creek

After this exciting morning, we will visit yet another village home where we will fill ourselves with a delicious and fulfilling breakfast. We will then freshen up and visit a nearby temple and understand some of its ancient tales.

We will then return for lunch in the village, after which we will thank the local women for hosting us and then depart for Kudal where will end our wonderful weekend together.

Inclusions:

  • Transport from the start and end points
  • Guided walks around villages, forts, beaches and forests
  • Immersive culinary workshop of vegetarian sweets
  • Traditional folk dance performance (fugdi)
  • Overnight stay at neat and clean village homes
  • Local Konkani Lunch and Dinner on Day 1
  • Local Konkani Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner on Day 2
  • Local Konkani Breakfast and Lunch on Day 3

Note: Non-vegetarian food (mainly fresh, local fish) will only be served for lunch and dinner and will be prepared in a separate kitchen. You can let us know a few hours before every meal whether you would like to have vegetarian or non-vegetarian food. 

Exclusions:

  • Transport to and from Kudal station
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions

To bring:

  • Comfortable holiday clothes – please avoid formal clothing
  • Flip-flops or sandals – we are going to visit several beaches!
  • Costume/shorts if you wish to swim on the beach
  • A towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Cap or hat
  • One bottle of drinking water – please avoid single use plastic and bring reusable bottles
  • Personal toiletries and medications, if any
  • Camera – optional
  • Curiosity and energy – compulsory!

How to reach Kudal station:

1. By air – the closest airport is in Goa, from where you can take a short bus or train ride to reach Kudal.

2. By rail (recommended) – Several trains from Mumbai reach Kudal at 1 pm. We recommend the Tejas express or the Jan Shatabdi, both of  depart Mumbai on the same morning. These trains are superfast and very comfortable to ride. We recommend the same two trains on the return journey from Kudal to Mumbai. Please plan in advance to avoid tickets being sold out.

3. By bus – Overnight luxury Volvo buses from Mumbai/Pune and Goa are available year round. The bus stand is close to the railway station and we will pick you up from there in case you travel by bus.

Swadesee offers authentic, eco-friendly community-led experiences in Maharashtra. On every Swadesee experience that is booked, we ensure that the majority of the revenue generated goes back to the community. We consider our local experts as leaders and owners of the experience.

On this unique, one of its kind experience, we have established multiple women’s self help groups for a variety of activities across several villages. The experience is led by the community as a whole, with proceeds going to the community directly. There are no commercial establishments such as hotels, homestays or restaurants in the villages we operate and through this initiative we plan to ensure that the local communities are the owners of all tourism based activities as the region becomes more popular.

We believe that women are at the core of communities, and as they spend a greater time educating children they are the true influencers of our collective future. They are also the libraries and archives of all our intangible traditional skills and knowledge. Through a virtuous cycle based on responsible and sustainable tourism and healthy interactions between travellers and locals, we hope to achieve our missions of a plastic-waste free Konkan coast and immediate conservation of our cultural and environmental heritage that is under a lot of threat.