Interested in exploring white sand, flowing lakes, green mountains, blue sea and paddy fields? If your answer is yes, then Kashid is the place for you. Placed amidst the Konkan region of Maharashtra, Kashid can be best defined as an offbeat tourist destination. Kashid is a gift of nature for tourists hassled by hectic chores and responsibilities of life. Till few years back, Kashid was a relatively unknown hill station. But heavy rush to other popular hill stations of Maharashtra forced tourists to explore new horizons and Kashid is one such find. Though, it has gained in popularity over the years yet, you can have your moments of silence and peace in this quaint and isolated paradise.
Kashid has one of the best beaches in Maharashtra and Konkan region. The 3 km stretch of beach is perfectly tucked between two rocky mounds. Seashore is surrounded with casuarinas groves that make it further charming. The best part for beach lovers is that, Kashid beach is quite deserted. The beach receives heavy traffic on weekends but on week days, it is all quiet and serene. Surfers can have a wonderful time in Kashid because of unusually high waves. Few kilometers away from Kashid is Murud beach which has clear green water.
Among other sightseeing places in Kashid, Janjira fort is one place that you must visit. Located right in the middle of the sea, it is a historical monument that will give you a feel of our proud past. You can take ferry boats to the fort. You can also have a look at Nawab’s palace. You can offer your prayers at Ganapati Pule Temple, hilltop Datta Mandir and the stunning Birla Temple. Those who are interested in wildlife can visit Phansad sanctuary, just 10 kms away from Kashid beach. You can find different varieties of snakes, birds, butterflies, barking deer and leopard in this famous wildlife sanctuary.
The best way to visit Kashid is through road. If you have your own vehicle, nothing like that. Kashid is 30 km from Alibaugh and 135 km from Mumbai. If you want to enthrall your senses with picturesque rural scenery and seaside view, drive from Alibaug to Kashid. The driving experience itself will set the tempo for rest of your tour itinerary.
If we have to name one freedom fighter who was an epitome of courage and bravery then it must be Rani Lakshmibai. She was a leading warrior who left an indelible mark on the history of Indian freedom movement. Rani Lakshmibai was an inspiration for following women freedom fighters. She successfully redefined the role of women in Indian society. A symbol of generosity, patriotism, resistance, perseverance and self-respect, Rani Lakshmibai sacrificed her life on the altar of Indian freedom struggle. British rulers feared her and Indians revered her valour. She was also known as ‘Rani Lakshmi Bai or Rani of Jhansi’.
Rani Laxmibai was born on November 19, 1828 in a high class Brahmin family.
Her initial name was Manikarnika or Manu as her family members affectionately used to call her. Along with her formal education, she also took training in adventurous skills like horse riding, fencing and shooting. At the age of 16, she got married to the Maharaja of Jhansi, Raja Gangadhar Rao. Rani Lakshmi Bai gave birth to a child who unfortunately did not survive for long.
Soon, Raja Gangadhar Rao fell sick and they decided to adopt Damodar Rao as their son. But the king did not survive for long and died on November 21, 1853. It shows the courage of Rani that she survived so many deaths at such a young age. Yet, she kept going and gradually took over all the responsibilities.
As soon as the Raja Gangadhar Rao died, the British Governor General Lord Dalhousie planned to take over Jhansi on the pretext that it did not have any legal heir. Damodar Rao, the adopted son was not considered as the legal heir of Jhansi and that set the ball rolling. Rani was asked to leave the fort and settle somewhere else. Rani Lakshmibai refused to surrender to British and called for an armed forces battle. She formed an army that had men warrior as well as women who were provided military training. During the battle in March 1858, she fought bravely for the Jhansi but finally British prevailed. She moved to Gwalior and Kalpi where she met Tantya Tope. But her battle did not last long and she lost her life in the battle of Gwalior. She breathed her last on June 18, 1958. The story of Rani Lakshmibai inspired generations of freedom fighters.
The original name of Tantya Tope was Ram Chandra Pandurang Tope. One of the great Indian freedom fighters, the name of Tantya Tope literally made English generals tremble with fear. He had such aura, such fearsome reputation. Born in a village named Yeola in Maharashtra, Tantya Tope was the only son of Padurang Rao Tope and Rukhmabai. His father was a key noble at the court of Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao 2nd. Later on when his family shifted from Peshwa to Bithur, Tantya Tope developed healthy and friendly relationship with Peshwa’s adopted sons, Nana Sahib and Maharaja Madhav Singhji.
When Lord Dalhousie deprived Nana Sahib of his father’s pension in the year 1851, Tantya took his first action against the British. He was completely against the unjust policies of the British rule. In May 1857, he devoted himself fully to the nation’s cause. He managed to establish his authority and also became the commander in chief of his forces. Tantya Tope was a pivotal figure in India’s freedom war in 1857. He was one of the most wanted fighters by the British army because he had taken over the Indian troops of the East India Company, stationed at Kanpur. The British empire was going whole hog to capture everything India had by depriving Indians of their own rights and through the use of force and deception. Along with other Indian, Tantya Tope also felt great discontentment against the rulers and decided to take his own corrective course.
Tantya Tope tried to join Rani Laxmibai in Kalpi and occupy Gwalior. But they lost the battle and Rani Laxmibai was killed. British managed to occupy the Gwalior. But Tantya was not to lose hope. He collected huge forces and kept hunting British. He won many crucial and strategic forts. It is being said that, Tantya Tope fought no less than 150 battles. He kept hurting British rule with his Guerrilla campaigns. British forces were unable to catch him but he was betrayed by his own friend Man Singh and on 7th April 1859, British General captured him. He has hanged to death on April 18, 1859. Tantya Tope’s fierce patriotism will always be remembered by the Indian people.