Shrivardhan Beach Festival was held in the costal regions of Shrivardhan, Diveagar and Harihareshwar between 23rd and 25th – Jan – 2010.
The main organizers of the function were Shrivardhan Nagar Parishad, Harihareshwar Grampanchayat and Diveagar Grampanchayat and were supported by Kokan Bhumi Pratishthan and Kokan Club, Raigad.
The function was held under the aegis of Mr. Sunil Tatkare – Finance Minister, Government of Maharashtra, with blessings from Mr. Sharad Pawar – Agriculture Minister, Government of India.
On 23rd - Jan, in Shrivardhan, Huge Tents were installed near the Beach and the Beach Festival was inaugurated by Mr. Bhayyu Maharaj. Mr. Sunil Tatkare was present as the Guest of Honour, while Dr. Shri Balaji, Ayurvedarcharya, was present to bless the occasion. Mr. Avdhut Tatkare – Chairman, Roha Municipal Corporation and Mr. Mangesh Dandekar – Chairman, Murud Municipal Corporation were present as Chief Guests.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Tatkare said that the main aim of the Festival was to encourage Tourism in the coastal areas of Harihareshwar, Shrivardhan and Diveagar. He also announced that Diveagar and Harihareshwar would be receiving a grant of Rs. 9.50 Crores for Tourism Development. The idea is to develop the region as a tourist destination and create job opportunities for the youth through this medium.
In the meanwhile, in Harihareshwar, the Festival Began with Traditional Pooja performed at the Harihareshwar Temple by N.C.P. Youth Leader Mr. Aniket Tatkare.
Also present at the function were Mr. Sanjay Yadavrao – President of the Kokan Bhumi Pratishthan, Mr. Muhammed Memon – District President of N.C.P., Mr. Mahendra Gujar – Councellor, Mr. Lalabhai Joshi – Former Chairman, Mrs. Sadhana Mandavkar – Sarpanch, Harihareshwar, Mrs. Diksha Takde – Sarpanch, Danda, Mr. Suyog Langi – Asst. Sarpanch, Mr. Amit Khot, Mr. Rajesh Shetye, Mr. Omprakash Koltharkar, Mr. Ravindranath Kshirsagar, etc.
Students from the Harihareswar Primary School welcomed the Guests with flowers and the Traditional Lezim performance. After the Pooja, a huge procession comprising of decorated bullock carts and motor cycles was taken out from the Temple upto the Marad area. All the distinguished guests rode the bullock carts and seemed to enjoy it a lot.
Mr. B.G. Fatangare – Mahad Sub-Divisional Officer, greeted the procession and congratulated the organizers.
A lot of Food stalls severed a variety of Kokani Food to the visiting foodies and the visitors lapped up the delicacies on offer.
Over the next two days various competitions, like drawing competitions for school kids, Rangoli competition, etc. were organized.
Various Kokani artists performed on stage and entertained the visitors. Students and various other local groups performed Folk dances and got a chance to showcase their talents.
Agriculture tourism allowed visitors a chance to take nature walks led by local youths. Tourists got an opportunity to visit Mango, Cashew, Coconut, etc gardens to see and learn more about gardening techniques and nuances of the trade.
Rural tourism allowed visitors the option of staying at the Farmer’s house, in order to have a better understanding of the Kokani culture, their food and social habits, etc.
Adventure sports like Rappling, Rockgliding, Fishing trips, Backwater tourism, Deep Sea Fishing, Back water adventure sports and Parasailing, etc were all successfully organized by the locals in Dighi, Diveagar, Bangmandla and Shrivardhan, demonstrating their capabilities in conducting such activities.
For the First time in Kokan a yatch race was organized at the Shrivardhan Beach and the visitors enjoyed watching it.
The festival witnessed thousands of visitors, both local and outstation which was ample proof that it served its primary objective and was successful in generating interest in Tourism in the Kokan region.