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Alibag

Alibag, also known as Alibaug (Pronunciation: [əlibaːɡ]) is a coastal town and a municipal council in the Raigad District of Maharashtra, India. It is the headquarters of the Raigad district and is south of the city of Mumbai. Alibag is part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and is situated at a distance of about 96 km from Mumbai and 143 km from Pune.

alibag cityHistory

Alibag is a coastal town and municipal council in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. It is the headquarters of the Raigad district.

Revdanda, Chaul, Nagaon, Akshi, Varsoli, Thal, Navigation, Kihim, and Aawas villages were known as “Ashtagare”.

Alibag and its surrounding villages are the historic hinterlands of Bene Israel Jews, “Shaniwar Teli” Saturday oil presser, in which the Jews use oil for lilting candles for Shabbat. before more than 250 years ago he lived with his wife and offspring in the main area of Alibag, not far from the Sea. There is a synagogue in the “Israel Alley” (Marathi इस्राएल आळी meaning Israel lane) area of the town. the great Sarkhel Kanhoji Angry when retired from the Sea & War fairs, settled in Alibag, and at that time he got acquainted with Elisha and discussed the development of the village Ramnath (the old name of Alibag). the 3 graves lie together today in a small house. These Bene-Israel Jews waiting to be discovered and know the real people and life they had.

Etymology

A wealthy Bene Israelite named Eli (Elisha/Elizah) used to live there at that time and owned many plantations of mangoes and coconuts in his gardens. Hence the natives used to call the place “Eli cha Bagh” and in the subsequent generations pronunciation changed to simply “Alibag”, and the name stuck.

Geography

Alibag is located about 120 km south of Mumbai, at 18°38′29″N 72°52′20″E. The average elevation is 0 meters (0 feet). The District Government offices are located along the sea coast road. Alibag is the center place of the Raigad District.

Transport

Road

One can reach Alibag via Pen (30 km), which is on the Mumbai (108 km) – Goa road. From Mumbai, one can reach Alibag by traveling on the Mumbai-Goa highway (NH-66) till Wadkhal (or Vadkhal) and taking the right fork from Wadkhal to continue on (NH-166A)– the left fork being the road to Goa. It is approximately 108 km from Mumbai. Alibag is 50 km away from Murud. By boat service from Mumbai, one can reach Alibag by 1 and half-hour journey. one can reach alibag also with a speedboat with a journey of 15–30 minutes from Gateway of India to Mandwa jetty and taking a car or a bus service to Alibaug. There is a Ro-Ro service now in place from Ferry Wharf to Mandwa from where Alibag is a 30-minute drive. The ferry ride takes an hour and is a pleasant one.

Railways

The nearest rail railway station is Pen. Through Pen, it is connected to Panvel and onward to Mumbai and the Indian Railways network. Now Pen-Panvel trains are also started from 4 November 2018 now it is easier to reach Alibag.

Boat services

The nearest jetty is Mandwa, from where catamaran/ferry services are available to the Gateway of India, Mumbai. Another port in the vicinity is Rewas, from where a ferry service is available to Ferry Wharf (Bhau cha Dhakka) (Dockyard Road). There is a jetty at Custom Bandar from were fishermen in Alibag set sail.

Ferry service between Mandwa and Gateway of India, Mumbai. They run at a frequency of an hour throughout the year from morning 6 to evening 6, except during monsoon.

One can reach Alibag by catamaran through the Gateway of India to Mandwa or from Bhaucha Dhakka to Rewas and from Mandwa/Rewas to Alibag by bus. The ticket includes the trip from the Gateway to Mandwa and the bus trip from Mandwa to the Alibag bus stop. The well-known operators of these catamarans are PNP, Maldar, and Ajanta, and tickets can be purchased at their booth at the Gateway of India. From Rewas to Alibag, one needs to take a State Transport bus or a rickshaw. Take the ferry from Gateway to Mandwa. Services are usually available from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. The trip takes 40 to 55  minutes depending on the type of boat. From Mandwa operators carry passengers to Alibag in their own chartered buses. The bus journey time is 45  minutes. Alibag beach is within walking distance from the bus stop.

Another option is to take a ferry from “Bhaucha Dhakka” to Rewas. Timings are the same but the schedule may change depending on the tide. From Rewas take the state transport bus or rickshaw to Alibag.

Speedboats from the Gateway of India to Mandwa Jetty take roughly 20–25 minutes depending on the weather and can be hired at the Gateway of India at Jetty No. 5 opposite the Taj Mahal Hotel. The new jetty installed in 2014 at Mandwa ensures the safety of guests traveling by speedboat.

Another new option is to go to Alibaug by RORO ferry service which starts from Bhaucha Dhakka, Mumbai.

Air

The nearest airport is in Mumbai which is 140 km away by road. Alibag has no airport. Navi Mumbai International Airport, scheduled to start operation in 2024, is under construction approximately 57Km from Alibag.

Demographics

As of the 2001 India census, Alibag had a population of 19,491. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Alibag has an average literacy rate of 79%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 54% of the males and 46% of females literate. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age. 75% of the population speaks the Marathi language.

The Alibag Municipal Council has a population of 20,743, of which 10,646 are males while 10,097 are females as per a report released by Census India 2011. The population of children ages 0-6 is 1833, which is 8.84% of the total population of Alibag.

Climate

Cyclones

In November 2009 Cyclone Phyan made landfall in the city. Massive damage to property was reported in the districts of Ratnagiri, Raigad, Sindhudurg, Thane, and Palghar. In Navi Mumbai, the 7th one-day international cricket match between India and Australia was abandoned after Cyclone Phyan brought heavy rain to Mumbai. Eleven years later, in early June 2020, severe cyclonic storm Nisarga made landfall in Alibag at peak intensity. The cyclone blew off tin and asbestos sheets from roofs and uprooted trees in Alibag, Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, and Pune. Several trees fell on houses.

Places of Interest

Scientific

Alibag houses a magnetic observatory that was set up in 1904. It serves as one of the significant observatories forming part of a global network now run by the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism. The observatory has two buildings; the first building has magnetometers that record changes occurring in the geomagnetic fields. The second building consists of precision recording instruments, which give data about geomagnetic storms caused by solar storms which are shared with other countries.

 

 

 

 

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