December 15, 2013

Enroute To Vengurla, A Sea Of Fish On Land

Soon it was time for us to head back to Goa from Malvan.

We left Malvan at half past three soon after lunching at Bamboo Atithi. People were still queuing up outside the restaurant, a covered space raised on steel fabrication and favoured for seafood by visitors to Sindhudurg fort and the nearby beaches of Tarkarli and Devbagh Sangam.

Rosary Church stood down the road from Bamboo Atithi. Cars and jeeps crowded the road while their occupants lunched inside the restaurant. Still others waited outside, wanting in. 

Across the road stood sloping-roof houses common to the Konkan. This one had two windows looking out on the street and flanking a doorway reached by a single step that ended at a raised threshold. It's easy to imagine homeowners standing in the door in the evenings to make small talk with passersby from the neighbourhood.

Little boys in half pants waited roadside, running up to vehicles slowing down as they approached Bamboo Atithi before waving their hands and shouting “Lunch, lunch”, all the while pointing ahead, down the road toward what I can only imagine were other restaurants desperate to get some footfalls away from Bamboo Atithi.   

Desperate times called for desperate measures. 

It’s likely that the owner of the restaurant, Malvani Mejvani, frustrated in his attempts to draw Bamboo’s clientele to his own restaurant probably showed his last hand, painting over the wall of a house bang opposite Bamboo Atithi and inviting travellers to his restaurant, Malvani Mejvani, promising authentic Malvani fare.

If that wasn’t enough a line at the bottom assured the traveller that the restaurant lay only a short distance away, an arrow pointing in the same direction the little boys soliciting customers for his restaurant, had.

Visitors chose to wait out outside Bamboo Atithi in the shade of an adjoining double-storeyed house rather than walk further down and try their chances at the rival offering. Maybe some did walk down after all.

Atithi Bamboo is owned by Sanju Gavde and operates out of a largish covered seating area raised on steel fabrication with an outhouse serving as the kitchen. Plastic chairs seat visitors. Plastic tables hold their meal plates. The restaurant is set back from the road and is reached by walking through a garlanded entrance between a stolid double-storeyed building with projecting balcony and an adjoining property.

A large framed painting of Swami Samarth sitting cross-legged hangs from a wall. A plastic garland of plastic flowers, plastic fruits and plastic bulbs seek majesty for his persona.

Wall mounted fans cool the patrons sweating over finding seats at the tables. An open wash basin raised on a platform stands in the corner.

The four of us had waited 20-odd minutes for seats in the roadside restaurant to open up, eyes constantly on lookout for foodies finishing up, feet ever on the ready to rush to emptying tables before others did, a drama Bombayites are familiar with, and even prepared for, but not those on the unhurried west coast.

For twenty-odd minutes we were beaten to the tables by travellers smarter than us, and Ajay was beginning to wear of the wait and the indignity that demands of competing with fellow lunchers for seats invariably entails.

One of the waiters tells me that they’re short-staffed at the moment as some staff-members are yet to return from their Diwali leave. Unlike cities where employees are lucky if they get more than two days off at Diwali, in small towns, absenteeism during Diwali often stretches over a week.

The three waiters on duty were flitting about crazily, not unlike butterflies caught in the heat of the morning sun, flitting this way and that.  

Of the four of us, only Raju was non-vegetarian, and was not about to let go of the opportunity to sink his teeth into Bamboo Atithi’s reputation for serving up some delicious Malvani seafood.

A large poster on the wall listed the seafood menu on offer at the restaurant and illustrated the options with their pictures so no one was left in any doubt as to what to expect on the table.

Pomfret (Paplet)
Black Pomfret (Saranga)
Red Snapper (Tamboshi)
Mackeral (Bangda)
Squid (Makul)
Lobster (Shevand)
Clam (Tisriyo)
Seerfish (Surmai)
Shark (Mori)
Prawns (Kolambi)
Crab (Kekda)

English names were paired with their local, Konkani equivalents.

I had vegetarian thali and as did Ajay and Don. The Kokum was particularly good. For Rs. 70/- the vegetarian thali was a bargain. The non-vegetarian one was costlier, about two to three times as much depending upon the sea-food option ordered by the customer.

The waiter was surprised when I asked him for a receipt upon payment before composing himself and scribbling the total amount on a piece of paper he found somewhere. I didn't insist further on the validity of the piece of paper he stuck in my hand.

At any given time over 60-odd were lunching at the tables, averaging 30-40 minutes on their meal. Lunch-time apparently stretched between 12:00 - 4:00 pm. I thought I could've have earned the Govt. some money by insisting on a valid receipt.  

It was nearing 3:30 pm. It was getting late. We left Sindhudurg fort for later, maybe another sojourn back here sometime in the future. A quick stop at the paanwallah out the entrance and we were ready to roll, and loll.

This time around we chose to stay closer to the sea than on our journey into Malvan from Goa earlier in the day.

We were never really far from the Arabian Sea from the moment we left Malvan on our return journey along the road that winds through Chippi, Parule, Mapne, and Mochemad enroute to Vengurla, and beyond, to Goa. But we were never really near the sea either.

We were somewhere in between, equidistant from the hills on the inside, and the coconut trees along the shore on the outside, in that narrow strip where the West Coast and the Western Ghats mountain ranges jostle to cast the strip in their own character.

But every now and then upon cresting an incline or sweeping wide, we’d occasionally alternate between nudging the hills and the shoreline, and the sea would rise in the breaks to remind of our proximity to the Konkan coast, an experience markedly different from our morning ride into Malvan when we had swept wide off the shore, having kept to the Bombay-Goa highway until it was time to turn west, in the direction of Malvan.

This narrow strip of land, flatter near the sea, runs along India’s west coast a long way, through Maharashtra, and Karnataka, and is known as the Konkan. It has a railway line named after it – the Konkan Railway.

 A temple courtyard in Malvan
Sheltered by lush greenery, punctuated by rivers flowing out to the Arabian Sea, temples in quiet compounds, and inhabited by a largely peaceful people in sloping roof houses, the roads that wind through it are a traveller’s dream and the meanderer's paradise.

The Karli at Chippi 

Meandering through quiet, quaint hamlets with the empty road for company for much of the way, each bend in the road promising to reveal a Konkan secret, make for memorable journeys.

And it’s for this reason alone that the four of us decided to drive through the Konkan hinterland via Vengurla on our way back to Goa, sticking to the coast now that the back roads are no longer as crowded as they once were, before an alternate route servicing Bombay and Goa came up.

And what a ride it turned out to be – at stops along the way.

One such stop materialised, almost out of nowhere, shortly after leaving Malvan.


A burly policeman in a civilian shirt and giveaway khaki pants and standard-issue policemen boots broke his stride roadside as we slowed down near him soon after leaving Malvan town. We were looking for the road that turns off the NH 118 for Vengurla.

“A kilometre ahead, turn right,” he said. “It goes to Vengurla.”

Sure enough, a kilometre on, a kaccha raasta (dirt road) materialised off the NH 118 just like he said.

‘This one?’ I wondered aloud and A, R, and D were likewise in doubt. We had expected the road to Vengurla to be a proper one, asphalted, even if worn, rutted and bumpy. This looked more like a road a construction company would lay to allow trucks carrying building material to reach the site.  

A bunch of local boys whiling time away by their bicycles confirmed that this, bumpy dirt road, would indeed lead us to Vengurla, but not before assuring us that it ran muddy and bumpy only a short way ahead before making way for a asphalted one.

And sure enough it only ran muddy and bumpy for a little further on and we were back on asphalt and rolling quick through flat country.

The road ran straight, disappearing over gentle inclines every once in a while, but never deviating, at least not for a while.

But there's only so much a road can run straight in the Konkan, typically nearer the coast, before the hills exercise their pull, curving them this way and that, and then the coastline takes over again, straightening it. It's a tug of war, no 'wills' actually.

On either side of the road flat, rocky ground abounded, much of it was exposed laterite burnt just a shade dark in the sun. Or was it moss-covered rocky surface darkening upon the sun still-frying laterite that'd only recently been covered over in moss from lingering rains.

The monsoons ended late this year, raining in October like it used to in August.

To the right the rocky laterite expanse ended at Malvan’s shoreline. To the left it stretched a long, long way to gentle rolling hills that nature had fenced parts of the Konkan just as surely as it tangled other parts in folds of hills covered in dense vegetation that ranged from shrubbery to tropical trees.

On the road one never knows what the Konkan landscape will give way to just two or three kilometres down the road, making road journeys a delectable affair of the heart and the mind.

Sometimes the Konkan will surprise the traveller with a sea of fish on hard rocky ground like we found out shortly after the muddy, bouncy road had given way to asphalt as we made for Vengurla.

Six kms. short of the bridge over river Karli in Chippi and thirty-nine kms. short of Vengurla we pulled over the shoulder of the road no sooner we were buffeted by overpowering smell of fish.

And what seemed an unusually dark shade to the flat stretch of laterite turned out to be fish drying in the sun, bits and pieces that didn’t appear destined for the table. 

Empty eye sockets, skeletal remains, shrivelled bodies, exposed fish bones, the whole lot.

Most seemed left-over from catches that went unsold, diverting them for preparing fish meal for poultry. Chicken feed rich in protein is favoured by poultry farmers.

Rows of upright jute sacks dotted the open ground. The ground had turned dark from fish drying in the sun and in the distance resembled the aftermath of a brush fire that had swept past.

Elsewhere small dark mounds of dried fish stood in rows of their own waiting to be collected and deposited into jute sacks to be transported to fish meal manufacturers where I imagine dried fish will be ground and powdered for the market as fish meal.

Clearings where dried fish had been gathered into mounds dotted the area until they merged into one uniform stretch of dark patch. The workers must have begun gathering drying fish into jute sacks early in the day. But much gathering and packing into sacks still remained.   

At first there was no one around as I crossed the road with my camera and approached the sacks spread over a wide area.

Seeing me cross the road, a large group of men sitting in one corner of the field rose one by one and began walking toward me, likely taken by surprise to see a car stop and find me walking up.

Did they think I had stepped over to check what they were upto, or maybe I had been sent over to report back to whoever had tasked them with drying fish. They had no way of knowing what I was upto though they would soon found out. A few women were among the group.

They were talking among themselves in Kannada. They were a long way from Karnataka in this part of coastal Maharashtra.

“No, they aren’t meant to be eaten by humans. These will feed poultry, to feed chickens,” one of them responded to my comment directed to no one in particular that this lot didn’t look like it was destined for the table for human consumption.

A little boy sat among heaps of dried fish, his backside resting on a face-down steel-claw. He played with his shadow when bored with sifting among fishes for unusual shaped ones.  

Fish meal is prized as poultry feed for its protein content. In addition to protein, fish feed contains calcium, phosphorus, other minerals and vitamins favoured in poultry feed. Fish meal is typically by drying and grinding fish.

Poultry feed rich in protein and minerals is designed to improve poultry health and the quality of eventual poultry produce. Mackerels, Sardines, Anchovies are typically preferred to make fish meal.

Out there it was difficult to make out in the mass of dry fish sitting in sacks, in small mounds and still spread out on the ground, drying, what species made up the lot.

Two women were turning over the fish with the steel claws, ensuring they were uniformly dry.

It was nearing four and light was mellowing, casting a golden hue about me. In times such as this, life seems fair and just, and liveable.

A lone truck stood in the distance where the earth curved away, outlining the goods carrier against the sky. Sometimes I am amazed at how objects once outlined against the sky, freed from exercising their presence in a backdrop of other objects, acquire a distinct personality that seems to breathe life into them.

A man emerged from the truck carrying a bundle of rolled-up jute sacks on his head, to where some other men were busy scraping dried fish off the ground with steel claws before filling cane baskets with them.

Then as two men held a sack open, in went the contents of the cane basket.

“We usually let trash fish dry in the sun for two days, sometimes three to ensure there’s little chance of mold that can decay and spoil fish feed,” a youth volunteered as I watched them go about their job smiling and teasing one another in rustic Kannada.

One by one more sacks joined the upright army of sacks of dried fish.  

Thousands upon thousands of fish drying in the noon had rent the air with that distinct smell of dried fish, one that hits you hard, overpowering senses and staggering the mind. In time one gets used to it and is no longer as intolerable as it seemed at first.

Some will crinkle their noses at the strong smell, others will be reminded of their mothers reaching into the family pre-monsoon stock of dried fish stored to help the family get through rainy seasons when fish is difficult to get by or is too costly, and to yet others, the smell of dried fish reminds of the sea, of the rhythm of waves breaking, of days spent looking out to sea under a mellow winter sun.

We got back on the road to Vengurla with the smell snapping furiously at our wheels before slowly loosening its grip once we picked up speed, only to get back to chasing us when a second, equally large patch of earth showed up on the right and more workers stuffing dried fish meal into sacks came into view.

Then nothing, just us and the road, and houses that ducked from view at the sound of the motor.

And somewhere to our right, behind tall trees and gently rising swells of rocky earth, the sea meandered within earshot of four friends out roaming the Konkan on a pleasant day.

December 09, 2013

Squid and Cuttlefish Fishermen Of Tarkarli, Malvan

“It’s alright to walk in with your footwear on. Come in this way,” the dark, thin elderly man in light orange t-shirt and a muddied white floppy hat insisted when I made to remove my floaters before stepping into the thatched hut where his fellow-fisherman was gathering squid in a deep-bottom weighing scale before carrying it by the heavy chain suspension to the beam balance that stood in a corner.  

A buyer was in attendance, watching over the weighing scale filled with Indian squid. A sale was in progress. Soon they started negotiating on the price for the squid. Cuttlefish lay alongside.

It was hot outside, half past twelve, and the four of us, having meandered from Goa to Malvan by road, had presented ourselves at the entrance to the makeshift thatched hut on Tarkarli beach where fishermen bring their catch, store it in plastic crates, weigh them for buyers, pack the catch in ice, and rest on plastic chairs that look out to the sea on India’s west coast, waiting for their boat to come in or rest awhile after a tiring day out at sea staking out baited lines and pulling in their catch.

Tarkarli is a svylan village in Malvan, a taluka in Sindhudurg district. The beach takes after the name of the village.

Only a few years ago, Tarkarli beach was the showpiece of Maharashtra Tourism’s campaign to lure tourists from Goa to the promise of their own coast, particularly Tarkarli and Ganpatiphule, then pristine beaches.

The campaign probably succeeded beyond their expectations for, riding along the narrow road that winds through hamlets beach-side, the traveller could be forgiven for not realising the presence of a shoreline beyond the cheek-by-jowl hotels so closely packed that there’s barely a break worth speaking of that affords the traveller a view of the beach. 

Hotel advertisement boards jostled for space.   

However they seemed largely empty when we passed them the first week of November. Boom or bust? I cannot be sure.   

Back in the makeshift thatched hut, cuttlefish were everywhere, laid out individually,  arms bunched together and arranged in a circle, immersed in plastic crates, and heaped in weighing scales. A cousin to the squid and the octopus, the cuttlefish species we saw in the hut had striking tiger-stripe patterns. An elderly, balding fisherman in white vest displayed a cuttlefish so we could get a close look at it. 

Only those familiar with the difference between the cuttlefish, squid and octopus can identify them apart at first glance. 

To the rest of us, the presence of four pairs of arms with hooks and two long tentacles with prominent suckers is enough to qualify them as octopus, no doubt helped by the many films that uncharitably depict them as monsters of the deep with a penchant for human flesh. The reality however is more mundane though. My own introduction as a school boy to the octopus was in Octopussy, the James Bond movie.      

Among the cuttlefish were a few squids (Loligo duvauceli). I didn’t see any octopus. Separated from the cuttlefish, the squids were likewise laid out on the tarp liberally smudged with dark inky liquid that I gathered was the result of the combined exertion of the unfortunate Cephalopods against the fishing crew in desperate attempts to escape capture once hooked to lines.

The squids however were fewer in number compared to cuttlefish which I later learnt to be the Pharaoh Cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis), the largest of the three cuttlefish species found in the waters off the west coast. Its distinctive tiger-stripes pattern contrasted with the pale white of the squids. The other cuttlefish species are - Sepia aculeata and Sepia inermis.

On Maharashtra’s coast, the octopus is available all year round, while the squids are known to favour pre-monsoon season (January-May). The cuttlefish catch peaks in the post-monsoon season (September-December), October being the favoured month, probably the reason why the tarp was full of Pharaoh Cuttlefish, and only a small number of squids. It was the first week of November, barely four days out of October.

I was struck by the absence of fish in the hut, the regular kind one expects to see off the west coast - Pomfret, Mackeral, Anchoves, and Mullet among other demersal fishes. Not a single one. It meant the fishermen couldn’t possibly have trawled for the Pharaoh cuttlefish and Indian squid. This had to be the result of selective fishing of Cephalopods. Later one of them would show us the hooks they used to trap them.

Cephalopods (Cuttlefish, Squid, Octopus) fetch good money, and now form a significant percentage of revenues earned from fisheries exports. Maharashtra, with its 700+ Kms. coastline, is a key landing centre for Cephalopods, reaching a peak of 31,353 tonnes (2003) before declining to 14,014 tonnes (2009), and perhaps further; the decline of Cephalopods is attributed to depletion of stocks on account of mechanised trawling that accounts for over 85% of Cephalopods landed. Even so the Cephalopods formed less than 10% of the entire fish catch. The numbers are staggering.

And Tarkarli barely figures as a major landing site if the number of small fibre-boats on the beach on the day we landed there is anything to go by. It was quiet when we reached the beach early last month.    


There were four men in the makeshift thatched hut when we arrived.

“It’s alright. You don’t have to remove your footwear,” the fisherman in the floppy hat repeated. “Look, we’re wearing footwear too,” he said. The four of us, including A, R and D had crowded the entrance, looking in.

Out of habit my hand had reached the sandal strap, more to avoid dragging sand onto the tarp laid out on the sand underneath the thatching and heaped with food for faraway tables. I needn’t have bothered with the footwear given how liberally the inky liquid graced the covering.

The four of us had walked through a short stretch of sand headed for the Tarkarli beach past the hut when we noticed activity within. We had pulled into an open space opposite a restaurant that sat, like countless other small and large hotels, on the beach.

If there was a Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) then the folks in Tarkarli hadn’t heard of it.

We had found out way to Tarkarli from Malvan asking for directions along the way, mostly from young local boys who stood roadside shouting “Water Sports” and waving leaflets at passing vehicles enroute to the beach. The road ran narrow between lush greenery and coconut palms. 

It was a pleasant ride through winding roads, past hamlets and an occasional temple.

Tarkarli beach and the stretch adjoining it is a favoured destination for water sports, with Tarkali favoured for snorkelling. 

“Rs. 160/- a kilo,” the man in the floppy hat replied when asked of the price the cuttlefish went for. Malvan is famous for seafood and I reckoned his catch was marketed locally. Locally the squid is known as makul. I do not know if the cuttlefish is known by a different name locally or if the octopus, the squid and the cuttlefish go by the same name – makul.

Explaining their structure and demonstrating the reaction of suckers to human contact he let the cuttlefish tentacle latch on to his big toe by its suckers. 

It didn't let go of the toe as he moved his feet.

Then he laid an Indian squid (Loligo duvauceli) by a cuttlefish. Except for the mantle; the cuttlefish has a larger mantle, they were similar in length, a little over a feet long.

“The ones we catch usually weigh between 1.5-2.5 kgs,” the fisherman said of the cuttlefish.

Neither the Indian squid nor the cuttlefish live longer than a year. Many of these fishermen operate small 4-metre boats with outboard motors, some without them, to fish for squids and cuttlefish. A lone fisherman or two operate these small boats in the waters off Tarkarli.

Most of the boats on the beach were small fibreglass operations.

The larger ones, typically 6-7 metres long are operated by a crew of 3-4 fishermen. These were few and far between from among the boats parked on the beach.

One of them, probably longer than seven metres, was sheltered in the shade of one of the two bays constructed with bamboo and thatched coconut fronds. A clock marked time. It was five minutes past one.

Typically squids are caught by scoop nets after attracting them with light sources flashed from the boat. Still others are caught using what’s known as jigging something we soon found out from the fisherman in the hut.


“How do you catch them (squids and cuttlefish)?” I asked the fisherman.

Soon, two hooks materialised in the hands of another fisherman. Holding them out so we could see them, he said, “We use two types of hooks to catch them.”

Moulded in the form of a shrimp, the jigs had two rows of pointed hooks curved back up. Each row was made of about twelve pointed hooks from what I could see. A blue coloured nylon wire trailed from the head and rolled around a square piece of thermocol that substituted for a temporary spindle.

“We get these from Mumbai,” he said, turning over the colourfully done up jig the shape of a shrimp. No baits are used in this method. The bake-moulded jig is the bait.

The bright colours and shrimp-shape attract squids and cuttlefish. Held down by weight that helps the jigs maintain dorso-ventral position, and strung out by nylon wire, the wait begins at depths of 15-20 metres.

Unlike trawling that scoops up all manner of catch, jigging ensures selective catch. The twin-rows of sharp, pointed hooks work best with Cephalopods like squids and cuttlefish.

No wonder we saw none of the demersal varieties of fish in the hut.


Stepping outside the hut and pointing to large, uneven rocks rising from the sea in the distance, the fisherman said, “We fish for these around there.” Then moving his hand to the right, he continued, “There’s the fort,” pointing to Sindhudurg fort, a 17th century sea fort that’s a big draw with tourists and is reached by boats ferrying sightseers.

Earlier in the day approaching noon, we had made for the ferry point from where ferries leave for Sindhudurg fort. Ajay said it’d take close to three hours to reach, look around the fort and return to shore, a proposition none favoured in the noon sun. So we made for Tarkarli instead, pushing the visit to the fort for after we return from seeing Tarkarli beach and Devbag Sangam.

It’s another story that we ran short of time and left Sindhudurg fort for another trip sometime in the future.

The rocks the fisherman pointed out is also the site for snorkeling we were told. A covered boat stood outside the rear entrance. More thatched huts were ranged alongside, each used by fishing outfits similar to the one we were with.

On learning we had driven down from Goa, talk turned to cashew extract called “Deek” that Goan fisherman use to coat their boats/canoes/dugouts for protection against pests.

Pointing to four large beaten vessels placed arranged by a fishing boat in the shade of a shelter, the fisherman said, “See those vessels there? They’re made of copper. They’re very old.”

He said they store extracts (from a tree he named but whose name I cannot remember now) in those copper vessels to treat fishing nets. “Without this treatment, the nets will not last long.”

We walk up to the copper vessels to see them upclose, then around the boat shelter, and out to the front. The shelter has two bays. One is occupied by a large fishing boat. The other is empty.

A, R, and D sit on a log in the shade while I walk ahead and look out to sea. The shore is empty of tourists save a few fishing crews busy with their boats. The sea is peaceful. Blue meets blue. Subdued waves wash over the beach. I could sit there for hours watching over the rhythm the sea punctuates the quiet shoreline with.


Past the bay, I spot a small boat with yellow and blue stripes. Two men are bringing the Sai Prasad in.

I realise what’s coming in and head out to meet it just as they pull it ashore. The sky is a brilliant blue with nary a cloud and all seems well with the world.

They’ve brought in a catch of cuttlefish and squids. The former outnumber the latter.

One of the men walks back up the beach and returns with plastic crates to load the catch of the day. Then he climbs into the boat and using a sawed off oilcan begins to scoop up dark, inky liquid before emptying it on the sand.

He empties can after can of the liquid gathered in the boat. It couldn't have been diesel. For one the liquid flows freely and the fibre-glass fishing boat is not fitted with an outboard motor.

Then it dawns on me. The cuttlefish and squids had put up a fight the instant they realised they’d been tricked by the jigs.

Resisting being dragged by nets or scooped by scoop nets, they’d have spewed ink in a desperate attempt to confuse predators except that in humans they were up against a far more cunning predator than any they’d known.

“Stay away,” the man in the boat with the plastic can scoop told me as he emptied more inky black liquid. “The ink does not wash off clothes,” he said just as a fine spray splashed up on my cargoes after hitting the sand where a trough had now formed.

The other man pointed to his t-shirt, smudged all over by the ink spewed by their catch, and said, “We can’t use these again once they are smudged by the ink.”

No amount of their expelling ink from their sacs had helped the desperate creatures escape. They just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sometimes distance insulates one from the nature of drama played out before life is served up on the plate in seafood restaurants.

It takes a visit to the hunting grounds and the remnants from their last desperate act before the curtain was drawn on it, to realise just how fragile life is, and how short lived is the story it leaves behind to mark its passing, even if all it takes is one wave to wash away the story of a struggle marking the frenzied attempt at freedom.

The watch read quarter past one. It was getting hotter by the minute the longer we were out on the beach, and there were places to go still. Old friendships seek reason to come together; this time it was Tarkarli and the meandering road through Malvan.

We returned the way we had come, walking past the thatched hut before continuing onward to Devbagh Sangam five kms. away, where the river Karli meets with the Arabian sea.

It is where the earth ends, or so it seems.