Alibag or Alibaug is a popular town cum tourist destination located in Maharashtra. The scenic beauty of the place has also earned it the title of ‘Mini-Goa’. Serene beaches, ancient temples, and historic forts make the town one of the most visited places by tourists in Maharashtra. Alibaug is a coastal settlement and headquarters of the Raigad district.
History of Alibaug
Historically the place was inhabited by Bene Israeli Jews. Legends have it that a Bene Israeli named Ali was a rich man who resided here and he had many coconut and mango gardens. Due to this, the locals started calling him ‘Alichi bagh’ or ‘Alibaug’ which meant Ali’s gardens, and this is how the place got named.
Besides being a tourist hotspot, Alibaug is also known to be home to the magnetic observatory that was established in 1904. The observatory is operated by the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism for the study and research and development of geomagnetic fields.
Major Attractions in and Around Alibaug
1. Vikram Vinayak Temple
The temple is located 20km away from Alibaug. Vikram Vinayak temple has idols of different gods and goddesses such as Lord Surya (Sun God), Goddess Durga, Radha-Krishna, and Shiva-Parvati.
2. Kolaba Fort
The fort was built by Shivaji Maharaj in the 16th century as a naval military base. Kolaba fort is surrounded by water on all sides and one may reach the fort on foot during low tides and by boats during high tides. The fort has two entrances out of which one opens into the sea while the other towards the shore of Alibaug.
3. Nagaon Beach
Surrounded by tall Suru trees, the beach attracts tourists from across the country for its picturesque views, golden sand, calm shores, and numerous water sports. Located 9km away from Alibaug, Nagaon beach is also known for coconut and betel nut trees.
4. Murud Janjira Fort
This mighty fort constructed on an island is located 55km away from Alibaug. The fort is also known to be an unconquered fort in India, which even the Britishers and Portuguese failed to capture. The 3 cannons are still the major attractions of Janjira fort and are called Kalal Bangadi, Landa Kasam, and Chavri.
5. Kihim Beach
It is a popular picnic spot for locals and tourists alike. People often visit the beach to witness the tranquil ambiance and relax. Nature lovers and photographers clicking pictures of the surreal views around the beach is a common sight.
How to Reach Alibaug
To reach Alibaug, you will need to cover a total distance of about 1,494, 2,046, 981 km from Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Check out the following details on how you can reach here by the following means of transportation.
Mumbai airport aka Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM) is the nearest airport to reach Alibaug. Flights from all parts of the country arrive here at a regular frequency. Thus, if budget is not a constraint, you can consider traveling by air without any hassle. From the airport, tourists may take a taxi or a bus to reach the town which is about 100km away.
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available to Alibaug
Panvel and Roha are the two nearest railway stations to reach Alibaug. From these two stations, one is required to cover approx. 60 and 50 km respectively to reach their desired location in the town. One can take a taxi or a bus from the railway station to cover this distance. Mandovi Express, Konkan Kanya Express, and Mumbai Express are a few trains that one may consider if planning to travel by train.
From Mumbai, you can even take ferries to reach here. You can get on board a ferry from the Gateway of India; it will take you about 30-50 minutes to reach Alibaug. The ferry services operate from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the year with the exception of the monsoon season. Recently, in 2019, Uber also had launched its services offering speed boats between Mumbai and Alibaug’s Mandwa Jetty.
Tourists arriving at Alibaug from different cities of India may either travel via inter-state tourist bus or may drive to the town in their personal vehicle. If these options aren’t suitable for you, then, you can also consider booking a taxi as well and as the road networks are quite accessible and well-maintained, traveling by roads won’t be an issue at all.
From Pune - 140 km via Bengaluru-Mumbai Highway
From Kolhapur - 365 km via NH48
From Belgaum - 473 km via NH48
Frequently Asked Questions about Alibaug
Q: What are the main tourist attractions in Alibaug?
A: Alibaug Beach, Colaba Fort, Alibaug Fort, Varsoli Beach, Korlai Fort, and the Karmarkar Sculpture Museum are some of the famous places to visit in Alibaug.