Weekend excursion to Kotawade – Pristine beaches and a Birding Paradise

We had decided in advance that Konkan will be on our hit-list in this winter season; and after a superb trip to Chiplun, we decided to explore Kotawade – Ratnagiri this time. We started by 6 AM on a Friday and took the Mumbai-Bangalore express-way all up-to Karad. After Karad, we drove via Amba Ghat to reach our destination at  around 1 PM. The Amba ghat does offer some superb views and the ghat road is a pleasure to drive. Coming to our destination, we had booked a 2 nights stay at Atithy Parinay (More on it later) purely based on the Trip Advisor reviews, and it was surely our best decision of the trip. We were welcomed by Medha and her team; and also by an Asian Paradise Flycatcher.. 😀

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After enjoying a delicious lunch and taking some rest we started our journey to Ganpatipule. As we drove to Ganpatipule, we were stunned to see the lovely Aarey beach just next to the road. We were lucky to be at Ganpatipule in December, as from November to February;  the temple is built in such a way that the sun-rays fall directly on the Ganesh idol during sunset. The sunset was at its usual best as with any beaches in Western India. We also got a couple of birding surprises here; where I spotted a couple Amur Falcons flying across as well as the huge White-bellied Sea Eagle with a snake catch. We decided to have an early dinner and then headed back to the resort.

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Day 2 started with a morning birding session around the home-stay. There is a stream right behind the home-stay were I got the one of they key lifer of the trip – the Blue-eared Kingfisher. It was a low light shot but still seeing this blue gem of western ghats so close was one lucky moment. I also got to see the majestic Crested Serpent Eagle which was perching on a coconut tree early morning. After spending sometime at the stream, I decided to explore the area outside Atithy Parinay. I heard repetitive strong calls and was soon able to locate a pair of Jungle owlets. Other key birds I saw in this session were Large Cuckooshrike, Shikra, White-browed Bulbul, White-rumped Munia and the Vigors Sunbird.

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We had sumptuous delicious breakfast at around 9 AM and we proceed to the Aarey beach. Surely one of the cleanest beaches I have seen in recent times.. We got some lovely landscapes at this point, especially of the road which runs right across the beach. Surprisingly, I also got 3 lifers here as well..! We saw a family of Eurasian Curlews,  a Western Reef Egret and quite a no. of Kentish Plovers.

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We returned back to Atithy Parinay for lunch. Needless to say, the food was delicious as it had been till now. We took some rest and then decided to visit couple of locations Ratnagiri side. Our first halt was at the Tilak Ali museum. This museum is the birth place of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak and provides you with all the information of his life’s journey – right from family life, education aspect, fight for freedom, and so on. The museum has also preserved some of his personal belongings. It was really good to see that the place is maintained very well. Its easy to miss-out on this place since there are so many beaches and forts around, however paying a visit for 1 hour will be completely worth it.

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Our next halt was the Ratnadurg fort. The fort is of the shape of a horse shoe and is surrounded by Arabian sea from three sides. One can also see the Narmada cement jetty from the fort and also the fish trawlers jetty. On top of the fort, we also saw a temple of Goddess Bhagawati Durga (This for is also known as Bhagawati for). Another highlight of this place was that we saw a White-bellied Sea Eagle pretty close. There is also a lighthouse, but we got to know that the road to the light house wasn’t great so we decided to skip it, however we did get to click it from the fort itself. Our final halt of the evening was at the Sadya Mirya. The beauty of this place was the calmness. A place you can just sit down and relax with no one to bother you.

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It was our final day at Kotawade; and it had been a splendid trip till now. I did another small birding session in morning, followed by breakfast and we were ready to leave.

Coming to Atithy Parinay, it was surely one of the best place we have stayed till now. Completely into the lap of nature, the location is a perfect holiday destination offering a very relaxed stay. The location is also perfect as it lies between Ratnagiri and Ganpatipule. Be it the pristine beaches on way to Ganpatipule, sight-seeing at Ratnagiri, bird watching or just relaxing at Atithy Parinay, we enjoyed it all..! And above all, the delicious food and lovely hospitality of Medha and her team. Keep up the good work!.. If anyone is planning a trip to Ratnagiri, this place is highly recommended. Here are some pictures we captured of Atithy Parinay:

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How to reach
1. Take the Mumbai-Bangalore highway and drive up-to Karad, where you need to turn right. Drive via Malkhapur -> Sakharpa -> Amba Ghat -> Dabole Ghat -> Kotawade. Google maps are pretty accurate and we followed the instructions all along..

1. Make sure you take a stop at Satara as there won’t be many place to stop once you turn right from Karad. One decent place for breakfast and restrooms is Vithal Kamat at Satara.
2. Keep the places clean.

Thanks for reading. Let us know in-case of any queries, suggestions, critics and we will be happy to respond.

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– Rudraksha & Shraddha


Here is the list of bird species sighted from the Kotawade trip (5th, 6th, 7th Dec 2014):

– Amur Falcon

– Asian Paradise Flycatcher

– Common Redshank

– Western Reef Egret

– Kentish Plovers

– Eurasian Curlews

– Large Cuckooshrike

– Jungle Owlet

– Blue-eared Kingfisher

– White-browed Bulbul

– White-naped Woodpecker

– Yellow-crowned Woodpecker

– Black-naped Monarch Flycatcher

– Black-headed Cuckooshrike

– Brown-headed Gulls

– Gold-fronted leaf bird

– Black-hooded Oriole

– Golden Oriole

– Indian Blackbird

– Common Myna

– Jungle Myna

– White-rumped Munia

– Vernal Hanging Parrot

– Rose-ringed Parakeet

– Plum-headed Parakeet

– Indian Roller

– White-bellied Sea Eagle

– Black Kite

– Shikra

– Crested Serpent Eagle

– Common Kestrel

– White-eyed Buzzard

– Brahminy Kite

– Ashy Drongo

– Black Drongo

– Lesser Goldenback

– Yellow-throated Sparrow

– White-throated Kingfisher

– Common Kingfisher

– Long-tailed Shrike

– Common tailorbird

– Common stonechat

– Pied Bushchat

– Red-vented Bulbul

– Red-whiskered Bulbul

– Red-wattled Lapwing

– Vigors Sunbird

– Laughing Dove

– Green Bee-eater

– Purple Sunbird

– Spotted Dove

– Jungle Babbler

– Common Sandpiper

8 thoughts on “Weekend excursion to Kotawade – Pristine beaches and a Birding Paradise

  • December 13, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Super blog. Keep the good work going

    • December 13, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Thanks Arvind 🙂

    • December 15, 2014 at 8:52 am

      We use a Canon 60D with an EF-S 55-250 mm IS lens & a Sony HX60V. Exit details vary for different pics. Do let me know for which pics you need the exif details.

  • December 15, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Thanks for your reply.. Beautiful potos. (Y) Best regards,


  • December 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Good write-up. Great pictures!
    Thanks for sharing travel & stay details. adding this place in the list!

    • December 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Mitesh. It indeed is one superb place to relax.



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