Alibag with its mix of sun, sea and history, is etched in popular imagination as the favourite weekend destination for residents of Mumbai. Situated 30 km south of Mumbai in Raigad district, Alibag was an important naval base since the times of Maratha King Shivaji.
Vast stretch of clean beach, gentle sea, country homes just a hop from the seashore often formed the idea of a weekend getaway for Mumbaikars. With fresh catch from the sea and tender coconuts to guzzle it down – it completed the idea of a weekend getaway.
There is nothing much to do in Alibag unless your sole purpose to enjoy doing nothing other than going to the beach, frolicking in the sea or taking a trip to the numerous forts that lie like a string of pearls along the coast.
However, that has been the USP of the beach town. Alibag offered a respite from the hectic lifestyle of Mumbai. Its proximity to Mumbai (just two hours from Gateway of India) made it a paisa vasool (value for money) destination.
Alibag meaning garden of Ali has been the seat of administration since 1852. Maratha king Shivaji built the sea fort in 1680. Kulaba fort is assumed to be the last one built by Shivaji before his death. Alibag was developed by Sarkhel Kanhoji Aangre, the Maratha admiral.
Lying on the trade route between Malabar coast and the Persian Gulf, Alibag and surrounding areas held strategic importance. Siddis of Murud-Janjira, the Marathas, Portugese and the British vied for its control.
The area also provided sanctuary for Bene Israeli Jews who fled their homeland fearing persecution. Israel Ali in Aliabg still has a Jewish synagogue.
Alibag is an all weather destination. However, the advent of rains makes it a romantic place. Rains drape the countryside in a carpet of green and the town manifests a different hue. Alibag is also the place where Mumbai’s rich and famous own their weekend homes.
WHERE TO STAY
Homestays, resorts and hotels are available in Alibag to suit every budget. Local residents also offer rooms in their houses for visitors to stay.
WHERE TO EAT
Alibag is a seafood lovers’ paradise. Fishes like pomfret, surmai, prawns, lobsters, etc are part of regular cuisine here. Vegetarians need not despair. Veg thalis are also available. Don’t forget to try solkadhi. Alibag market has several roadside eateries.
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Alibag is as given below. The best time to visit Alibag is also specified.