A small town situated near the Maharashtra-Goa border, Sawantwadi was the kingdom of the erstwhile Khem Sawant royal family. A major attraction for tourists who visit this place is the local Ganjifa art, woodwork painting and lacer work, which traces its origin to the 18th-century. If you are looking to step away from the city bustle, then Sawantwadi makes for the perfect getaway, given that you observe COVID-appropriate behaviour.
Perched atop Narendra Hills in Sindhudurg
This quaint and cosy destination gets its name from its erstwhile rulers who still reside at the Sawantwadi Palace, which is said to be constructed around 1755-1803. The Queen Mother utilises the palatial premises to further the local arts by allowing workshops for the same to be conducted. Apart from training the upcoming generation in traditional techniques, these workshops are a huge selling point for the tourists.
Further, situated right in front of the palace is a majestic lake, popularly known as Moti Talao. The pride of residents, this lake is a famous spot among picnickers, opacarophiles and those who enjoy paddling boats. A peculiar aspect of Sawantwadi is the special way in which the Ganjifa cards are played. Their version is a three-player game with the Dashavatar set containing 120 cards which come in a brightly painted box, containing a pamphlet listing the rules of the game.
A peaceful destination to explore, Sawantwadi has not much to offer for tourists who are shopaholics. However, you can always visit the iconic Raghunath Market to collect some souvenirs that reflect the true essence of Konkani culture- such as, wooden toys, Kolhapuri chappals and bronze ware. Also, while interacting with townies, do not forget to learn how to play Ganjifa!