I am a traveler/backpacker, writer/editor, amateur photographer, yoga enthusiast, and music aficionado living and working in Mumbai, India. Read about my travels in India and elsewhere at https://nomadicrhythms.wordpress.com/
Published March 27th 2013
Leave the stress and hustle-bustle behind, not the city
Small guest houses with big gardens and courtyards, palm groves gently kissing the sea, and serene picturesque beaches – sounds like a perfect getaway from the city life? What if such a place existed near your home in the city well within your reach anytime you wish for it? Manori, a quaint little space in Mumbai, just a few kilometers and a small ferry ride away, offers you just that. A village in the city with long empty beaches and you can get there within the hour! This place will give you a feel of old Goa without having to leave the city or travel far!
Manori is a village that is partially cut off from the main city by a creek. It is inhabited mainly by kolis (the local fisher folk) and fishing has been their main occupation for a long time. Only since the late 90s and later has this island with an old-world feel increasingly become a hotspot for weekend getaways and quick Sunday trips and tourism has become viable business for many. It is a short ferry ride away from Marve beach in Malad, and a short ferry ride and a rickshaw ride away from Gorai Jetty. It can also be reached by road via Bhayandar which is a slightly longer route but takes only an hour or less if you are near one of the jetties. There are local buses running all day that can take you there if you do not have a personal vehicle.
Once there, you can look forward to sun-kissed beaches with barely anyone around, a rare treat in a city packed with life of all kinds. Most guest houses and villas are owned and run by locals and are located just off the beach and surrounded by palm groves. There is Indo-Chinese food and a few restaurants that serve the usual fare of Indian breads and vegetable curries. But while you are there, don't forget to taste the hearty home-cooked meals with fresh seafood, mainly certain East Indian specialties like spicy prawn chilly fry, stuffed pomfret, fried Bombay Duck (a type of local fish) and pork vindaloo with white rice or rotis (Indian bread).
The guest houses and villas are located all along the beach with small walkways leading you directly to the inviting sea. You can get small cozy rooms for two, as well as larger ones for big groups, and they are very reasonably priced. So you can enjoy a leisurely day or two without burning holes in your pockets. Day trips will cost you nothing more than the fuel for your vehicle or the ferry and rickshaw and bus rides.
Head out to Manori next time the city makes you want to run away, and enjoy a day or a weekend of lazy walks on the beach, fresh seafood and local vegetarian fare, tranquil sunrises and romantic sunsets; all this without leaving the city or spending big money. Could you ask for more?