Dec 17, 2014

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Manori- My secret, My Solace

Manori- My secret, My Solace

Manori: A small slice of serenity in the noisiest city in the world

Swaying palm trees, the all too familiar fish smell, clear beaches and unpaved rural roads. No, this is not destination Goa. Trace your footsteps about 800 kilomeres north and you enter a small village called Manori, located at the north-western corner of Mumbai.

I definitely couldn’t see the levers and pulleys on my first trip to Manori, since it happened purely by coincidence when I was just planning to whisk myself away for 2 days, to some place near Mumbai and I happened to come across a Google ad on Manori. The advert piqued my curiosity and that’s how I chanced upon this small heaven way back in 2009 and have been visiting the place ever since. Its unbelievable how my whim to just traipse over and a nearly 7 minute ferry ride from Marve beach took me to a different land altogether.

A fifty rupee rickshaw ride, or a horse drawn cart if you fancy giving in to the rustic charm of this place, can drop you to any of the small resorts that dot the landscape and you can book yourself instantaneously with none of them costing anything more than 1500 to 5000 per night depending on your choice of resort and accommodation inside.

I decided to settle for Manoribel which is best described as a Portuguese-inspired rustic little collection of holiday cottages. With a parking area at the entrance, the resort is spread over more than seven acres of land and is a getaway paradise for all age groups and folks of all kinds, be it couples who have been burdened with urgent business all week and want some bunny time together, the elderly looking to immerse themselves in their furious relaxing, or a solo traveller like me who wants some quiet time with a notebook, pen and some connection with the outside world in the form of the interweb.

What differentiates Manoribel from the other resorts in the area is that it has a wide range of accommodations that can suit all budgets. Now not that I wish to get your naughty cells tickled, but if you’re travelling with your spouse/boyfriend and if you’re up for some adventure, then try booking yourself on the Tree house. It offers a spacious room, complete with all the basic amenities and a private balcony.

Tree House, Manori Tree House, Manori

Perched up on a tree, you wake up to the perfect morning and can begin your day with a cuppa in your balcony in absolute serenity. A heady mix of a spectacular view and privacy, you are bound to return with some new entertainment tricks up your sleeve for your partner.

We have all dreamt at some time or the other in our lives of lying on a beach for sometime while listening to the sound of splashing waves. Manoribel opens into the beach and an early morning or late evening walk on the beach offers just that, making it an enticing proposition.

As per the modern day dictionary, the word romance conjures images of busty half naked women surrounded by chiselled men with maybe torn jeans. However Manori manages to make people fall in love all over again while retaining its olde world charm, only because of its simplicity.

A close contender for second will be the food, and it will be worth mentioning that the spread, which has a coastal Portuguese-Koli flavour, is an absolute delight to a non-vegetarian’s taste buds. The Toddy Tapper restaurant, run by a group of East Indian women (the original inhabitants of the area and apparently decsnded directly from the Portuguese that once lived here) is a treat for seafood lovers. Vegetarians however do not have much of an option except the usual Paneer and Dals.

But such a serene atmosphere leaves very little room for discontentment. We’re not complaining!

Manoribel is a great place to just sit back and read your favourite Sunday novel or just relax on a hammock till about early afternoon and a little after sunset. Not that you would like to distract yourself, but the resort does offer the usual facilities like the board games, basketball, table tennis and so on. In the meantime, the beer lovers can cool off with a chilled one. They’ve got plently of wine as we well, but that’s about it. However be careful to not take this seemingly Goan experience too far. This is definitely not your King’s beer priced at a mere fifty bucks.

After a quiet dinner, you can head back to your cottages (if you’re making an overnight stay) or hop onto the last ferry at about 11 pm, back to Mumbai (if I may say so) in just about 20 minutes.

It is true! Manori is one of those rare places that you want to resist telling people about because you want it to remain your secret place forever. I have now been visiting Manori atleast once every 3 months and it is still hard to believe how a place within the city can make for such an ideal getaway. It definitely is my ideal escape from the city, especially on days when I am looking to reconnect with myself.

Like me, if happiness is not enough for you and you demand euphoria, then Manori should be the next destination on your map for the coming weekend.

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