Pune is beautifully located. Surrounded by the famous hill-stations of Mahabaleshwar and Khandala-Lonavla, and the newer Lavasa, and with a number of dams at Mulshi and Khadakwasla and forts of Sinhgadh and ShaniwarPeth in it, Pune offers a lot to the travel freaks. However, there are further places to go, when driving through the windy roads of the Western Ghats, crossing through narrow gullies, and numerous fields and tiny villages on the way, is the bigger motive. Divé Aagar gives such a drive a reason.
Divé Aagar lies north of the more famous beaches of Harihareshwar in the Konkan belt. The sand varies from deep ochre to darker-brown-close-to-black. The shore is inhabited by millions of tiny crabs, no more than a few millimeters wide, who while eating their way to make their holes in the sand leave behind brilliant designs. The sizes increase with the affinity to the shore, but they never get bigger than a couple of centimeter. As we cross, we see a piece of log washed ashore with live goose barnacles.
The shore is easy to miss, after the winding roads to the beach. The road travels parallelly to the shore, while it lies hidden behind the groves of palm and other smaller trees and bushes. The only inkling of a being in the vicinity of the beach, is by the fact that a few vendors sell golas, and a few cars are parked on the otherwise desolate street . The gola may be the most unhygienic of refreshments and drinks, but on a hot day as the ocean wind makes the area humid, nothing refreshes like it does! For the more hygienic option, head down to the shore, where vendors sell coconut water and tangy chats.
The waves are mild and the beach is mostly empty. The beach-stretch is protected by hills on both the sides. Crashing of the waves forms a mild mist throughout the length of the beach. As the waves retreat, they leave behind beautiful patterns in the sand. The stretch is good for a run or enjoying in waters, and if you seek other things to do, head for the camel ride or rent a 4 wheeled scooter for a ride on the beach.
There are a some home-stays and guest houses around, including one run by the MTDC. The restaurant serve traditional Konkan fare. The nearest city is Pune(176) and Mumbai(198), and the drive takes well over 4 hours. But who is complaining when the intention is to get far away from the city life!