Sawantwadi with Amruta Dhalkar

The Musafir Stories - India Travel Podcast

Mar 2 2023 • 57 mins

This week, The Musafir Stories speaks with a very dear listener - Amruta Dhalkar, a museologist and archivist, who takes us to a beautiful yet underrated part of Maharashtra!

Today's destination: Sawantwadi, Maharashtra

Nearest Airport: Dabolim Airport, GOI

Nearest Railway Station: Sawantwadi Railway Stn, SWV

Prerequisites: N/A

Packing: Pack light and carry extra liquids as it can get hot during the day in the summers

Time of the year: September to February is the best time to visit

Length of the itinerary: 3-5 days

Itinerary Highlights:

  • We start off our conversation with a quick peek into the history of the Sawantwadi royal family and the contribution of the women rulers of the region in maintaining its sovereignty. Amruta explains the strategic location of Sawantwadi and how it was a significant location in the ancient trade routes.
  • We begin by visiting the Sawantwadi Rajwada or the royal palace, its architectural structure, use of locally available colours and raw materials as well as the rich artifacts and interiors of the Sawantwadi palace.
  • Amruta talks about the Ganjifa art form and the origins of Ganjifa, how it came to India from Persia and was Indianized to adopt the Dashavathar form of playing cards and artistic box.
  • We visit the museum in the second wing of the palace, the paintings from the royal family as well as the beautiful interiors.
  • From the royal palace, we move towards the beautiful views of the Moti Talav and Narendra hills. Further down is the popular Ubha bazaar which is iconic for its wooden toys, lacquerware and handicrafts. The fruit plate or the fruit basket is especially popular among locals and visitors alike.
  • Moving away from the city, we start exploring the neighbouring towns and points of interest - the key amongst them being Pinguli village for Chitrakathi, Vetoba temple famous for offerings of kolhapuri chappals, beaches like Tarkarli, Devbagh, Nivati and Vengurla which is famous for beaches, dutch factory and Ganapati temple.
  • Also on the agenda are the popular forts in the vicinity including Nivati fort, Sindhudurg fort, Vijaydurg fort and its connection to Mercury!
  • Another unique point of interest is the Dhamapur lake - a 400-year-old manmade reservoir that is a UNESCO-recognized world heritage irrigation structure. One of the earliest examples of a sustainable irrigation system in the world.
  • We wrap up the conversation with an overview of the iconic Sawantwadi and Malvani cuisine, the popular mangoes and drinks like solkadhi!


Link to Amruta’s Instagram:

Link to Amruta’s Twitter:

Link to the Kolhapur episode:

Photo by Makarand Sawant on Unsplash

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