We had planned an entire wanderlust-inspired one-day getaway from the bustling city of Bombay until our alarm clock rang at 5 am and we were still snuggling in the cosiness of a wintry December morning. 

Indeed, the ‘struggle was real’ to choose between a casual morning with a monotonous routine followed by or to just step a little further out of our comfortable bed zones and hit the streets to have an unpredictable journey on the road.

We initially opted for Option A’ for the first thirty minutes and then suddenly chose to rewind back to the ‘life is short’ (and definitely don’t want it to pass it off sleeping!) motto. 

And, so; just like that, in a span of the next forty-five minutes, we were walking past the silent lanes of Bombay in a pair of Aztec lounge pants and woollen sweaters chasing the clock to board the first ferry from Gateway of India to watch the Sunrise in the middle of the Arabian Sea. 

As the skies cleared and we got ourselves much comfortably seated on the deck of the ferry, all we glanced at; was the blue sky slowly turning golden and a dazzling red ball coming into the picture. 

We had certainly bid goodbye to the chaotic city behind us and had taken up the wayfarer life for a day.

In the next few moments, glued to the orange sky with a hundred seagulls flying by, we sat on the deck.

In a span of another ninety minutes, we were at the Mandwa jetty taking pictures of the morning seafront in the gush of which we missed our first bus and had to wait for next ninety minutes.

A casual exploration around the jetty led us to stroll around at a small adjacent beach where we found ourselves admiring the rock formations. 

The clock ticked off past its minutes and seconds, and we were accommodated (barely-comfortably) in the bus to Alibaug which took us another hour or so to reach.

Upon reaching Alibaug, we chose to ditch the touristy beaches and its crowds for a rather rarely known beach town called Korlai. 

And so, here our journey began.

We commuted in local dumdums and rickshaws to reach the foot base of Korlai fort. 

The foot base of Korlai Fort The foot base of Korlai Fort

As the rickshaw swept past the narrow gullies of Korlai all we could spot were a bunch of colourful vintage bungalows and the fishermen (kolis) doing their daily chores by the coast. 

At a distance, the lighthouse stood tall with the glorifying Korlai fort at its backdrop. 

We prepped up for a hike to the Korlai fort without a second thought of hesitation and backing out. 

 My travel mate in a deep introspection! My travel mate in a deep introspection!

The sun was at its peak, it got brighter and our tan lines darker. The beauty of Korlai got us drenched to indulge into an intimate conversation about life and finding the language of the soul with my fellow travel mate. Being mindfully present at such a location definitely made it easier to get all soulful about life and slow down a bit and cherish what we could see right in front of us.

Carpe diem as it is said! Carpe diem as it is said!

The higher we hiked the better the view got. And we were completely engulfed in an aura of solitude. 

Nothing stopped us from hiking forth, neither the heat nor the treacherous path. We hiked along the dusty ways, past the blooming wildflowers and bit by bit touched the ancient fortress! 

A typical wildflower A typical wildflower

From where we stood, all we could hear were the rolling sea waves, the roaring wind and the stamping of the dry grass. 

A long stretch of the fort laid right in front of us, embracing the blue seas from all its edges. We both took up hermitage for the next few minutes to cut off from all the human presence and lived in the presence of nature; in purity and entirety. 

In the ruins of the 16th-century Korlai fort, I found myself sitting in a stone cut window like frame overlooking the thin line where the sky met the sea; jotting down all the thoughts that kept shooting by; in my travel journal. 

Seconds, minutes and hours flew by. Our devices were inhaling their last breaths and in no time they were all dead. We were stranded. Totally. From the world that we had left behind in the city. And here we were. In an isolated beach town with no soul in sight. Just in the company of a ruined Portuguese era fort. 

The higher we hiked, we could only dot tiny villages and boats by the coast.

Inside the ruins, we spotted an old Shiva temple and multiple tropes that certainly took us back in time. With our devices being dead we were certainly living more! 

The waves spoke louder than our echoes and the Sun was lowering down inch by inch. The heat was reducing bit by bit and in a span of few hours the day would come to an end. 

It was time for us to head back to where we had come from. 

In a close introspection with our inner selves, all we wanted to do was walk past the rocky sea coast to reach the point from where we started off and that’s what we did. 

Sceptical at the start of finding a way down the fort exit, we followed our heart with all its might.

We crossed huge boulders, made ways past thorny bushes, crushed dry grass beneath our footsteps, jumped off tiny cliffs and rolled down slopy surfaces to find a range of exits opening right before the sea! 

And there we were; right in front of the placid sea.

Our feet spoke a language of all the botheration it went through, while our heart just spoke of one thing – a satisfaction of how confidently instinctive we were to take up the offbeat way to come down the fort!

Now that we were in the wide stretches of the rocky coastline, we passed through coral polyps, and saw marine life shaping up to its full bloom! 

We walked barefoot on the warm white sands and let the shells tickle our feet bit by bit.

The white sand beach of Korlai The white sand beach of Korlai

Our feet tired, bodies drained but the heart certainly wanted more, with the sunset sky in the setting, we spent an evening filled with tranquillity, in letting the tiny waves kiss our feet back and forth. 

In Korlai, we had a different kind of a rendezvous with ourselves.  

Somewhere though, in the middle of a gushing start to a really slow end with devices drained and hearts filled with retrospection, we bid adieu to our very own hermitage – Korlai

This time, homecoming was different. We were drenched in freedom and zeal. And in the happiness of finding a stranger in the ‘old’ me.

In the ruined and stranded coast of Korlai, a new ‘me’ was born. 

Things to see in Korlai (other than the Fort and the long stretch of the rocky coast) :

The Korlai Lighthouse –

Since it was under renovation, all we could get was a picture with the board that points in its entrance! Also, the tall structure of the featured image is the Korlai Lighthouse. 

Youtube Video Link on Korlai: When Korlai Happened

Over to you now, has a dead gadget ever given you a free ticket to live substantially?

Also, Read  

A walk that made me bring every moment alive. Spotting Octopuses and more in Bombay
What Diveagar taught me? Life lessons from the road
Marooned on a Virgin Beach
Cocoon your soul in a beach town: Dahanu

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