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Not Just A Beach: 5 Reasons To Head To Madh Island This Weekend
Who says you need to get out of Mumbai and escape to Goa to unwind from the city stress when you can just spend a day at Madh Island? All you need is a ferry, football and comfy shoes to explore this tiny island.
Madh Island can be easily accessible by train, bus or car. If you're opting for local trains, Malad is the nearest station (12 km). There are plenty of bus and taxi options available from the station. However, if you're looking for a great road trip, self-drive is the best option. The most cost-effective and convenient would be taking the ferry from Versova.
Here’s our guide to Madh Island and what all it offers apart from the private bungalows and farmhouses that are used for shoots.
The Church On The Beach
Erangal village is a colourful and picturesque quaint town by the blue Arabia sea. Cross the village to come to the Erangal beach – and you’ll find St Bonaventure Church. It’s a small quintessential village church that has been there since 1940. We did not find too many visitors and were by ourselves in the church for quite a while.
What We Love: Its USP is that it’s bang opposite the beach with a pretty neat sea-view though the beach is mainly for fishermen to dry their fishes.
#LBBTip: We found green parrots fluttering around the high-rise windows of the church.
Wine And Dine At Bollywood Stars
Bollywood Stars is a slightly bizarre one: a family-run restaurant that opened up in Madh Island just three months back. We decided to go and check it out after the locals recommended this place to us.
It’s a multi-cuisine restaurant with a unique feature – it’s an open-air space with huts that patrons can sit in and eat. Complete with a bamboo structure and framed photographs of almost every Bollywood star we found mainly tourists gorging on the tandoori dishes and sipping on the beers. Their menu is pretty basic with an extensive amount of tandoor dishes like kebabs and tikkas – we liked the paneer tikkas.
What We Love: An amazing collection of photographs of Bollywood stars, open-air, eco-friendly interiors.
#LBBTip: The owner tells us once Irrfan Khan stopped by with his wife, or so he claims. Going by the lack of restaurants in Madh, we’d like to buy into this story (just this once).
Rent A Football Turf
On the same road as Bollywood stars is the Passion United Astro Fields – a football turf that has its other branch on Kandivali. The football pitch is super new, well maintained and doesn’t even get that crowded so you can literally book it up for as many hours as you want. So looking something beyond beach football? Go the Astro way – and get your friends on board to form a team. You need to book the field in advance and it’s charged on hourly basis.
Timings: All days, 6am to 2am
Price: INR 1,200 per hour (weekdays), INR 1,500 (weekend) for 10 players.
Contact: Rachna +919820087029
Gorge On Bombil For INR 30
If you love seafood, then Prabha’s tiny stall at the Versova jetty is one you should stop by. The stall offers three types of deep-fried fishes – bombil (INR 30 per piece), saundale (INR 20) and rawas fish (INR 15). Eat this with bhakrey made from freshly kneaded dough that she makes there and then. Our photographer decided to try out the three fishes served with hot bhakrey and it just cost him INR 75 – yes bombil for a mere cost of INR 30. The fishes were soft, succulent and fried well – though do ask her to heat it up for you if you like your food pipping hot.
What We Love: Authentic fried fish.
Timings: 4pm to 11pm
Contact: +91 8082331570
Trek Up The Madh Fort
You might have probably spotted this one in Bollywood movies like Baazigar, Mard or Khalnayak. In fact, it's even makde appearances in many episodes of the Hindi crime series - CID. Built back in the 17th century, this Portughese-built fort offers a breathtaking view of the city's skyline and the Marve creek.
Although it currently under control of the Indian Air Force and Navy, people are free to head there are and enjoy nature at its best at the fort.
We'd say avoid heading to the islands during monsoons as you don't want to be cribbing about how dirty it is on your fun trip. Summers and winters are the best time to hit up this place. Plan your day until 7 pm as post that getting hold of autos or buses gets tough, especially if you’re coming by ferry.
For solo travellers, please keep in mind Madh Island is isolated and isn’t as touristy a place and we’d strongly advise against going by yourself. So get a gang of your friends and make a lovely one-day trip to Madh.