Kihim Beach – A paradise lost?

Had been to Alibaug with friends recently, after being warned about pollution and oil in water and trust me, the experience was very unpleasant. We are not the regular kind of folks taking air at the beach and visited with the express purpose of swimming.

Flikr Link

Kihim Beach is located between Mandwa /Rewas and Alibaug. It epitomizes what has gone wrong in our tourist policy and is filled with the types of people, to whom picnics mean listening in a group to loud music on the transistor radio, or playing *antakshari* based on Hindi film-songs, and eating junk food straight out of plastic bags and disposing of them on the beach without any consideration to consequences.

The beach is very small , and the gap between water and construction is not more than 5o meters, there are sharp rocks all around in the many portions of the beach and u could definitely cut your feet there. Worse the whole beach is highly polluted and very very saline and filled with plastic waste. I found visiting cards milk packets and chips packets etc in the water. The beach was swarming with picnicking mumbaikars on weekends and as it was holi (dry day) some of them were slightly drunk. Most would play loud music and dance around their cars not harass other revelers. Some even took to the shallows but in their own group, but a bunch of Up imports suddenly decided to get in the water stone drunk carrying their kingfisher strong loudly singing Holi khele Raghubeera..awadh mein Holi khele Raghubeera, one of them clad in banyan and chaddi was scary drunk and freaked my foreign return friend out. Luckily the drunk soon made his getaway and went and slept on the beach soon enough.

I would recommend an avoid on this one if u are a swimmer like me.Thanks Vivek for some of your quotes.


13 thoughts on “Kihim Beach – A paradise lost?

  1. This is really sad, and I guess the state of many of our beaches today. The garbage that lies around everywhere. Thanks for the warning. We have not been to Alibaug but were wondering whether it was worth going to.
    The photo is quite nice though and at first glance cannot make out the garbage.

  2. Thanks for the acknowledgement, though I’m sure I’m not the first to use that string of words.

    I wonder what the next line of that doggerel could be. It it sounds like a *chaupai* gone wrong. How about

    “Hum peeyein bhaang-neera…Kihim mein hum peeyein bhaang-neera”.

    In Avadhi prosodic convention “neer” (water) can be changed to “neera” at the end of a line. Alternatively, of course, you have the freshly- tapped-in-the-early-morning juice of palmyra (called “neera” in Marathi) which rapidly ferments into toddy as the sun advances towards noon.

    Actually it is quite weird, this substitution of Raghubeera and Avadh for the conventionally more plausible association of the festival with Kanhaiya and Braj. Can you imagine Rama playing Holi with whatever the Awadhi counterpart of the Gopis might have been (and what would Sita have to say about that!)?

    On a more apprehensive note, be prepared for the next step — a Ram-setu linking Colaba point with Kihim. They must have already started collecting funds for it in UP. That would put paid to the JNP-Nhava-Sheva project. And there’d be any number of eager and willing Vanaras in coastal Maharashtra to volunteer the manual labour for building the bridge.

    1. Dear vivek,

      it seems u hav got a very wonderful knowledge of words, bt the thing u r writing abt the perticular state its person shows

      Comment edited … tarun first learn english before u comment, or else comments get edited !

  3. Nita,

    //…at first glance cannot make out the garbage.//

    Either you need to magnify the photograph or you have become so inured to garbage that you no longer notice it. It’s there right in the foreground, like so many gobs of blue and yellow and black shit. I can virtually smell the stink over the sea air.

  4. Vivek, my eyes first went to the horizon and saw the beautiful blue and the sea and the waves…
    I wonder what that shows about me? 😉
    You do know that there are psychological tests which determine personality by asking people what they see in pictures! 😀

    very very true , but in Viveks defence, this post was on the degradation and so was ur comment

  5. Nita, Vivek i have posted a flikr link just below so that u can increase to 800×600.
    vivek u have a sharp eyesight. I took this photo of the extreme right end of the beach – mid beach is even more filled and even more dirty while swimming i found a card of a gujju bhai who was an estate agent from santacruz 🙂
    On Alibaug, there are some wonderful places and beautiful beaches to visit and this one was on the last leg of the journey – i haven’t posted or linked to them cause of fears that vivek described on ur blog
    mail me for more info, ill be happy to reply.
    Vivek, you have a good eye
    that is some fine analysis of avadhi culture and the likes
    more like …Kihim mein hum peeyein bhaang-kingfisherwa
    but id doubt them collecting funds for it in UP
    its always the other way round they will collect funds here and send it to up
    and scout more places to resettle migrants here.

  6. Prax:

    The “-wa” ending, AFAIK, would perhaps make it Bhojpuri — further east than Avadhi.

    On a more serious note, what your beachmates were “singing” would, in true *chaupai* form, go something like…

    Khele phaag Ram Raghu-raee
    Sakal Avadh mein dhoom machaee

    with an optional addition such as

    Braj se charu Gopika aaee
    Rooth ke baithi Sita maee

    I must caution you, however, that the last two lines would not pass muster as Avadhi. I just made up the whole thing without really applying my mind.

    The collection of funds I mentioned was wrt the putatively propose New Ram Setu linking Kihim to Colaba Point. There is already a lighthouse at Land’s End in Navy Nagar. And I suppose the beam of the Alibag lighthouse can be seen from Kihim. Those could be used as promotionals to create the impression that work on the Setu had already begun, and a tsunami of funds would roll in.

    Oh i cant dispute as i have no clue ,i have just seen one bhojpuri film on cable a long time ago – and found it fun
    nyways, alls in good humor

  7. Prax:

    Continuing on the serious note, I wouldn’t talk so deprecatingly about Avadhi culture.

    Before UP appropriated the whole of India as its fief, and Lucknow became the capital of the state, Avadh in general and Lucknow in particular were among the most urbane places in North India in an Indian mould (despite the influence of the likes of Claude Martin and Harcourt Butler), where learning and the arts flourished.

    True, Allahabad also had its share of urbanity, but that was more British-influenced, and had a shorter evolutionary period.

    The decadence of some of the Nawabs of Awadh, and later the taluqdars, has become the stuff of legend, unfortunately eclipsing some notable contributions they made to the growth of modern learning, patronage of the arts, and the emergence of a syncretic culture the likes of which would be unthinkable in post-Mughal North India.

    Woah! thats yrs of history all summed up , u have great historical knowledge many of these things aren’t in history text books except probably bszs exile to burma, one more thing ur right avadh has a lot of fine culture / tehzeeb

  8. Just a point of clarification on the last para of my previous comment.

    By post-Mughal I mean post-Aurangzeb. Strictly speaking, the Nawabi of Awadh (actually a vassal state to the Mughals) became extinct with the dep0rtation of Wajid Ali Shah to Calcutta — his emotions on which occasion he feelingly penned in his famous thumri, “Babul mora” — a couple of years before the last nail in the coffin of the Mughal Empire was driven with the packing off of Bahadur Shah Zafar to Burma for interment following the debacle of 1857.

    The motto of the British while packing off natives inconvenient to their colonial-imperial scheme seems to have been “Go East, Old Man”.

    U r a genius rated thorough intellectual, i welcome all ur comment and hope u comment on my future posts,
    though i topped history at school i remember we never were taught about the awadhi nawabs , maybe a socialist legacy

  9. Holi shit, this post is so full of information… one of those where the comments outdoes the original post 🙂 Thanks Prax and ofcourse Nita and Vivek

    Very true u can make a post from viveks comments

  10. I have seen beaches at Chennai which are not so clean, but if you see the Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Rameshawaram or Konark beaches then they are very clean as compared to Mumbai or Chennai.
    And come on, We are Indians. We take such pride in destroying natural beauty and clean roads.


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