Dubbed Mumbai’s Hamptons, Alibaug is a coastal district connected to Mumbai via speedboats, passenger boats and the newly launched Ro-Ro (roll-off, roll-on) ferry which can accommodate cars.
The coconut groves, deserted beaches and dense hills here are full of holiday homes belonging to Bollywood stars and the city’s list of who’s who. For years, one has needed connections to access these grandiose private mansions and experience celebrity living in Alibaug. However, the area has recently opened up to the discerning traveller, with luxury rental villas and a variety of restaurants, galleries and musical festivals.
Things to do in Alibaug are aplenty. It is home to prehistoric forts such as Kolaba Fort located on the main Alibaug Beach. This protected monument was a chief naval station under the famed local ruler, Shivaji Maharaj in the 17th century. Murud Janjira is another fort located on an island off the coast and was built by Emperor Malik Amber in the 15th century.
From October to May, Mandwa Jetty comes alive with Beach Box, an entire entertainment complex made out of colourful shipping containers. Look out for restaurants, shops, flea markets, and weekend live performances here. Mysa, an annual music festival, takes place in Alibaug’s southern Taala district and features artists like Nina from France and the Hyderabad-based Shri, along with art installations and wellness therapies.
Monsoon is also a great time to holiday in Alibaug as the land transforms into a green haven, temperatures dip and the sea breeze and cloud cover create the perfect environment to enjoy a hot beverage or a glass of wine. You can drive 96km from Mumbai to Alibaug via NH 66 but the new Ro-Ro ferry is operational through most of the rainy season.