Kelshi beach on the konkan coast
Kelshi is a small village to the south of Velas. It is not very high on the tourist circuit and hence less crowded. I had visited Velas during the ‘Holi weekend’ and had visited Kelshi a day before. It turned out to be a nice choice as the village was extremely calm and the beach was very very clean! It seems that this village does pull in crowds during the monsoon, but the kind of crowds who want to relax.
Most of the narrows streets in the village had a canal running through them. One of my friends told me that many villages in Goa have the same thing, but i was seeing this for the first time. This would make the place almost kerela-ish during the monsoon, with a small canal running through every street 🙂
We spent the early part of the evening at the beach. There was practically no one else on the beach but us. The sand was clean and so was the water. The kids had a good time on the beach. Since it was the Holi long weekend, we had got pichkaris for the kids. With the water problem hitting the residential societies hard, the unlimited water supply at the beach made the fun extra special!
Route to Kelshi Village (from Magarpatta city, Pune): Follow the directions in the map below. It is straight forward. Most of the route is on good roads. But the ones closer to Kelshi are ok-ok.
Places to see in Kelshi Village:
Strangely enough, the most popular attraction in the village are its sand dunes! No one knows how these dunes were formed, but like everything else in india, they are there because some god wanted them to be there. It seems that the people of this village have not approved the bridge across the river (which will shorten the route to velas by a ton) because it meant that this dune had to be removed. So, off we went in search of the dune. Take the road from within the village and not the one next to the beach. The one next to beach finishes in a marsh which is difficult cross either by foot or by a vehicle. Well, don’t expect sand dunes like those of a desert. There were few huge piles of sand which were the sand dunes. But the remarkable thing was the type of sand. They were indeed like a typical sand dune and none like the ones you will find next to a river/sea. This was the unexplainable bit. The sand was super soft. The kids enjoyed sliding down the dunes. The view of the backwater close to the dunes are amazing. There were few rundown ships. Not sure whether they were dumped or just parked for the low tide.
There is a small Mahalaxmi temple in the village. It is a little away from the village and hence quite calm.
A short uphill drive from the temple will lead you to Yakub Baba Darga. As the villagers told me, the existence of the temple and the darga close to each other signifies the peaceful coexistence of the communities in the village and that the Darga was a place of worship of people from all religions. Thsi darga has connections to the Shivaji era with his family having personally taken up the work of construction of it.The darga is located on a hill overlooking the coast and the view from it is awesome.