Located 110 km south of Mumbai, Alibaug is a 300-year old seaside town in the Konkani region of Maharashtra. Also known as ‘Shreebag’, Alibaug is also the headquarters of the Raigad district.
History of Alibaug
The origin of Alibaug goes back to the 17th century. It was developed by Sarkhal Kanhojio Aangre, the naval chief of King Shivaji's regime. Alibaug has been witness to numerous historical events. There is a famous fort called Kollaba Fort situated just 2 km from the sea coast of Alibaug. In fact, the earlier name of Alibaug was ‘Kulaba’, but later became well known as Ali’s baug (garden) after the rich Jew gardener named Ali, who had several plantations in the area.
Things to do in Alibaug
Spread over a small strip on the Arabian Sea, on the southern side of Mumbai, Alibaug is a destination well known for its beautiful beaches, surrounded by coconut trees. The Kolaba Beach, Akshi Beach Kihim, Kashid are some of the popular beaches in Alibaug. The town is also known for its Bene Israeli Jews, settled there from the early 19th century.
Other than beaches, tourists can visit the famous Tower of St. Barbara, historical forts, ancient churches, synagogues, etc. in Alibaug. Other places of tourists' interest nearby Alibaug (15 km) is Chaul, which is a historical town, known for its ruins of the Portuguese, and most importantly a Buddhist cave, a hamam khana. These places are also very popular among tourists. On the way to Mandawa, about 12 km from Alibaug, there is the Kanakeshwar Temple, on a hill near Mapgaon. There is also the Vikram Vinayak Temple, commonly called the Birla Temple.
Alibaug has a pleasant climate year-round. The best time to visit Alibaug is from November to July.
Food and Shopping in Alibaug
Tourists can savour typical Maharashtrian food like bhaji, bread made of flour called bhakri and fish items. There are small shopping streets and stores in Alibaug where ready-made garments, including export surplus apparel, watches, excellent kohlapuriz, bags, antiques, junk jewellery, leather items to furniture and grocery items can be picked up at throwaway prices.
Travelling to Alibaug
The best way to reach Alibaug is by boats and ferries which sail from the Gateway of India on a daily basis. The journey takes around 45 minutes to reach Mandwa. There are regular bus services from Mandwa to Alibaug which takes around 45 minutes to reach.
Mumbai International Airport serves as the closest airport to Alibaug which is at a distance of 108 km by road, 3 hours journey from Navi Mumbai. Tourists can hire a private car or avail the bus service to reach Alibaug.
Konkan Railway trains from CST Mumbai stop at Pen, serves as the closest railway station. It is 28 km from Alibaug, from where tourists can take a bus, autorickshaw or taxi to reach Alibaug.
Travelling Within Alibaug
Tourists can hire a taxi to move around Alibaug. Alibaug is well connected by buses and they ply to most of the main beaches in the surroundings.
Accommodation options in Alibaug
Tourists visiting Alibaug can opt for accommodation options, ranging from budget hotels to 5 star hotels.