Famous for its betel nut ‘Shrivardhan Rotha’, the beautiful town of Shrivardhan was once the home town of the Peshwas, the prime ministers of the Maratha Empire. The plantation of betel nut at almost every courtyard called ‘wadi’ gives it a wonderful green canopy that soothes and refreshes. A beautiful curved road shaded by the overarching branches of banyan trees takes us to Shrivardhan, adding to the overall experience.
Shrivardhan is a taluka in the Raigad district and its place in history has been established due to it being the original home town of the Peshwa family. The Peshwas were the ‘deshmukhs’ of this region and their original surname was Bhat. The family had a big and spacious residence as per their status in society. Balaji Vishwanath Bhat, on the basis of his hard work and intelligence, was entrusted with the ‘subhedari’ of Pune area. During the many conflicts in the Maratha families of Shahu Chatrapati and Tarabai, Balaji Vishwanath played a vital political role for the former, and due to his diplomatic skills he convinced Kanhoji Angre and other commanders to join Shahu Chatrapati. Bhat was honoured with the title of ‘Senakarte’ in 1711 and later made a Peshwa. He died on April 2, 1720 at Saswad.
Under Bijapur, Shrivardhan was a port of consequence. It appears in the accounts of leading European travellers. In 1538, Dom Joao de Castro described it as “with little water in the pier at low tide but inside large and roomy”.
Shrivardhan town is indeed scenic with its spread out plantation of betel nut trees. With its typical Konkani houses constructed with red tiled roofs and the many wadis off the seashore, it’s a place perfect for a weekend of total relaxation. It is also easily accessible, being just a three to four-hour drive from Mumbai and Pune. The temple town of Harihareshwar is nearby and the nearest railhead is Mangaon, 45 kilometers away. Being a popular tourist site, there are more than enough lodging and boarding facilities at Shrivardhan. The nearest MTDC resort is at Harihareshwar.
Distance from Mumbai: 180 kms