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Dapoli, also known as "Mini Mahabaleshwar" of Konkan is situated at the height of 800 - 1000 ft above sea level in a mountain range which is separated from Sahyadri (Deccan). Dapoli, once known only for its Agri-cultural University (Dapoli Krishi Vidyapeeth) is now becoming a tourist hub due to its cool and pleasant climate, close proximity to beach (8 Km) and a very long coastal line of nearly 50 KMs. with one of the few finest beaches in Konkan like Karde, Murud-Harnai, Anjarle, Kelshi.
Despite the increase in tourism, Konkan beaches have managed to remain untouched and unspoiled and are amongst the cleanest ones on the entire west cost of India. The beaches near Dapoli won’t disappoint you either. Beaches are very clean, broad, shallow and not crowded at all. Nature lovers can indulge themselves in exploring the hiking trails in the nearby jungles or do bird watching, see Dolphins and Sea Turtle Conservation Project. You can also visit the ancient temples, forts, caves and hot springs nearby. If you plan to make a trip during summer vacations, be sure to feast on Dapoli’s famous Alphonso (Hapus) mangoes.
Read more about the Destination at - http://www.konkaninfo.com/index.html (In and around Dapoli)
Dapoli is around 5 hrs (200 KM) from Pune and (235 KM) from Mumbai and there are State Transport buses available to Dapoli from Swargate Bus Stand, Pune and from Mumbai Central. There is no train service available from Pune and from Mumbai, nearest station on Konkan Railway would be Khed. You will need minimum 3 days to visit most of the places but you may visit select places over a Sat-Sun weekend as well.
If you are planning to go their by your own / rented vehicle, there are four Ghat routes exist from Pune. All of them are abound with lush green trees and take you through the undulating Sahyadri mountains. These ranges dotted with numerous small and large waterfalls in monsoon are truly a breathtaking sight.
Mumbaikars can take N.H. 17 highway from Panvel till Mangaon / Mahad / Khed and later follow any one of the routes towards Dapoli as mentioned below.
Via Tamhini ghat (192 km)
Via Mahabaleshwar (230 km)
Via Bhor (175 km)
Via Khopoli (235 Km)
Tamhini & Varandha Ghat - Shortest route to reach Konkan but Road is not good and not safe at the night
Old Pune-Mumbai Highway and Khopoli - Nagothane Road. Longest Route but very smooth and safe
Veer - Ambet and Mhapral - Mandangad - Dapoli Road
Suggested Pit stops / rest areas
Dapoli is a pleasant town situated at a height of about 800 feet above sea level in Ratnagiri district, Konkan on the west coast of Maharashtra, India. It is blessed with abundant natural beauty and enjoys a cool climate throughout the year. Surrounded by hills and forests and having a long coastline, this is a home for a variety of migratory birds and animals. There are plenty of cashew nut, jack fruit, coconut and betel nut plantations. Known as “Mini Mahabaleshwar of Konkan”, this is a great place to spend your holidays along with your family away from the busy, hectic city life.
There are 3 tourist Circuits in Dapoli Taluka -
The famous ancient temples of Shree Keshavraj (Vishnu) and Shree Vyagreshwar (Siva) are located at Aasud, at a distance of just 8 km from Dapoli on the Dapoli - Harnai road.
How to Reach? - Shree Keshavraj (Vishnu) temple is located amidst lush green land, a perennial stream and rolling hills. There is a sharp "U" turn from the main road from the main Dapoli - Aasud road and a narrow lane will take you to the Aasud Baug / Joshi baug. If you see signboards for the Vyaghreshwar Temple or Zolai Devi temple on main road OR have reached AAsud village, then you have missed the diversion. You can park your car on the Asud Bag road and take a 15 minute trek through coconut, betel nut, mango and cashew trees to reach here (150 easy steps). You will have to climb down one hill, cross the perennial stream and again climb up the opposite hill to reach the temple. Earlier, there was a "Sakav" (bridge made up of bamboos and trees) to cross the stream which used to be full in Monsoon and in winter. But now a permanent concrete bridge has been constructed post year 2004. You can still see the remains of the old Sakav bridge. The natural spring originates at the hill top and flows down to the front of the temple supplying water to the stone carved cow mouth (Gomukh) throughout the year. The surroundings are calm and tranquil interrupted only by the harmonious chirping of birds.
Shaded walk through the coconut, beetle nut, palm plantations and few easy steps
Temple hidden in the thick forest and water that flows through the gomukh for 12 months. There is a live spring uphill below the stone rock (katal) from where, the water is brought down to the gomukh using stone pipes
Shree Vyaghreshwar temple lies on the riverbank and is about 1000 years old. It is easily accessible from the main Dapoli - Aasud - Harnai road and just before reaching Aasud village. You cannot but marvel at the wonderful Hemadpanthi style architecture. A congregation hall leads to the sanctum (Gabhara) which houses a Swayambhu (self-emerged) Shivling. The canopy outside the sanctum is supported on wooden carved pillars. A large sculpture of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva stands in front. The platform of this temple has sculptures of dancers. There is also a small temple of Kalbhairav. Shree Vyaghreshwar is the family God (Kuladaiwat) of many Chitpavan Kokanastha Brahmins.
The entire temple premises are surrounded by a massive stone wall and hills that provide protection from natural disasters. Just outside this wall is a temple of Shree Zolai Devi, the guardian goddess of the village. The beautiful Shree Vyaghreshwar temple is also well known for its reference in the Marathi Novel and movie “Garambicha Bapu”.
Don't confuse this Murud-Harnai with that Murud-Janjira near Alibag / Kashid. Though the name is same, they are located at least 100 Kms apart
Located on the rugged Konkan coastline, Murud is a small town about 11km from Dapoli. A long, scenic stretch of a beach with swaying palms and a beautiful, ancient Durga Devi temple are its primary attractions. On your right side, you can see Suvarnadurga, kanakdurga and harnai light house where as on left hand side, there is Karde beach.
The old Durga Devi temple on the main road, was built way back in the 18th century (Peshve era) and there is a lovely pond with refreshingly cold water behind. The carvings on its wooden pillars are worth seeing! A large bell hangs above the left side of the entrance. It is said that after winning the battle of Vasai, Chimaji Appa - the great Maratha warrior had brought that bell from one of the churches.
Murud has a lot of beach resorts amidst the coconut plantations. Delicious, fresh seafood includes the likes of Pomfret, Kingfish (Surmai) and Prawns straight from the Arabian Sea. You can also enjoy pure vegetarian, home-made Konkani cuisine at some of the houses nearby. The beach itself with its soft sand and wide expanses is well suited for walking, jogging or simply freaking out. You will probably be able to watch the white bellied sea eagle, white backed vultures and sea gulls. Olive Ridley sea turtles are also spotted here.
Latest attraction of Murud - Harnai beach are the range of watersports which includes Jet Ski, Banana Boat, ATV ride, Parasailing, bumper boat etc. Please visit website of Dapoli Adventure Sports for more details
Twin beaches of Karde & Murud - Harnai
A clean, virgin beach with no crowds is situated on the west Maharashtra Konkan coastline. A scenic half an hours drive (about 13km) from Dapoli via Aasud will bring you here.
One of the primary attractions here is dolphin watching. A number of local tour operators arrange dolphin watching trips in boats. The Sheoak plantations (Suru) which border this beach are an ideal retreat for relaxing or having short naps. It is safe for swimming or you can just wade in the waters with white waves lapping at your feet. Have the time of your lives playing Frisbee, beach volley ball, collecting sea shells, etc.
The view of the sunset is spectacular and breathtaking. One of the most beautiful Konkan beaches, Karde has all the makings of a great beach holiday destination for you and your family.
Karde Beach - very clean, less crowded, broad and shallow water. Best for dolphin spotting in the early morning
Dolphin Spotting Trips :
There are number of local tour operators who take you deep in the sea to see dolphins in a small dingy (fisherman boats) with Yamaha engine. You need to be at one of the beaches (Karde / Murud) around 7:00 AM in the morning. Boats are operated between 7-8 am OR till 10:00 AM depending on the crowd. Per person charges are around Rs. 100 and subject to change during peak season. There is para-sailing activity offered here but not like what you see in Goa. 500 mtr long, 100 ft lift ride might cost you Rs. 300.
Call on one of these numbers previous evening to book your seat for Dolphin spotting (not operated during monsoon Or when sea is rough) -
Mr. Masoom Ainarkar -9421900417, 9270672449
Mr. Munawar - 9421900424 / 9270970969
Mr. Mazhar - 9420051006 / 9270970978
Situated 15 km from Dapoli via Aasud, Harnai is a natural harbor with clear waters, beautiful seascape and rocky coasts. Suvarnadurga is just off Harnai port and there are few more sub-forts dominates the rocky Harnai coastal line like Goa Fort, Fategad, kanakdurga etc.
Harnai port is the main fishing village. Every evening hundreds of fishing boats come back after fishing and gather to auction their catch. The fish auction is the essential trade step between fish landings and the trade. Business worth lakhs of rupees is carried out daily between 4 pm to 7 pm. Loads and loads of Pomfret, kingfish, mackerel, white jumbo prawns, lobsters, squids, sting rays and many more varieties of fish are auctioned and sent to Mumbai, Cochin as well as exported to the international market. You can also participate into the fish auction and bid for fish of your choice. It is an unforgettable experience for all seafood lovers. Watching fish auctions has become one of the major tourist attractions at Harnai.
From temples, churches to beaches and ancient forts, Harnai has it all. Suvarnadurg is a shore fort and surrounded by sea on all sides. It was conquered and refurbished by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1660. It was also a base for the Maratha navy ship-building facility. Suvarnadurg fort was the base for Kanhojee Angrey who was the chief of Maratha Navy. Kanhojee Angrey spent his childhood in Suvarnadurg fort, of which he was later the Governor. He set up powerful fleet of warships to protect the western coast of Konkan from British, French, Dutch and Portuguese attacks. Suvarnadurg fort is a landmark in Konkan.
Kanakdurg Fort is a sub fort of Suvarnadurg and was constructed by Shahu Maharaj in 1710. There are steps to reach to the top of the fort and the fishermen colony situated on Fategad can be seen from here. On one of the highest points on the fort, there is an old lighthouse from which gives a fabulous view of fishing boats, fish auctions, Suvarnadurg fort and beautiful sunset. Earlier this lighthouse was used by fishermen and sailors as a navigation guide towards Harnai Port. Goa fort lies on the way of Harnai harbor. It can be identified by its huge black stoned wall. Suvarnadurg fort and the beautiful sunset can be viewed from this wall.
New bypass road is opened that avoids the busy traffic and narrow lanes of harnai fishing village and you can proceed straight towards Anjarle - kadyavarcha Ganpati. There are two view points en-route from where you can see Harnai Village, Suvarna durga fort and vast expanse of Arabian Sea. Best place to catch the sun-set. However, don't stay back here in the night as the road is very lonely and in-habitated.
View of the Suvarnadurga Fort from the "Sunset Points"
Anjarle is one of the finest places in Konkan. It is just 26 km from Dapoli. It is famous for the ‘Kadyawarcha Ganpati’ (Ganesh temple situated on a cliff). This ancient and magnificent Ganesh temple was originally constructed using wooden pillars in around 1150. Later it was renovated during 1768 to 1780 (Peshve era). Earlier people used to cross Anjarle creek (Jog River) in a boat and then climb the hill using steps that go through the Anjarle village. Recently a bridge has been constructed and you can take your car right up to the entrance of the temple.
Kadyavarcha Ganapati, Anjarle. (Ganesh temple on a cliff. Refer to white spot amongst green on left side image)
Confluence of the river and virgin Anjarle beach
The road to the Ade beach is a pleasant one passing through coconut and betelnut groves. The beach is clean and unexplored. There are thick, extensive woods of Kevda alongside this beach. Don’t miss this picturesque beach in your trip to Ade. Viewing the sunset or just lying down in the Kevda woods is a fascinating experience. An ideal tonic to recharge yourself!
Don't miss to take the Ade - Anjarle road which passes along the coast.
Bhargavram Temple Complex and view from Ade - Anjarle road
Along with the Mahalakshmi temple, Kelshi has a long, scenic, unexplored beach. It is calm and peaceful here – with only the sea waves for company. It is about three kilometers in length. Along the coast are thick woods and groves of Kevda, coconut and betel nut. A walk on this beautiful beach listening to the ocean waves is really refreshing. The large black rocks near the place where the Utambare hill meets the sea are a great place to sit and enjoy the ocean.
Located at the base of the Utambare hill, enclosed in a stone wall fortification, this Swayambhu Mahalakshmi temple was built during the Peshwa regime. It also houses the idols of Lord Ganpati and Lord Shiva. This Mahalakshmi Goddess at Kelshi is consodered as equally powerful like that of Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur.
One of the main attractions of Kelshi is a naturally formed sand dune due to the Tsunami. Located on the southern side of the Bharja river, this sand deposit has been accurately dated to September 1524. Experts and archeologists are carrying out research for samples of ancient culture underneath this dune.
There is famous Yaqub Baba darga (Hajrat Yakutbaba Sarvari Rahmatulla Darga) is located in Kelshi at a distance of about one kilometer from the Mahalakshmi temple. It has a great historical significance. It is about 386 years old. Many great rulers including Emperor Shivaji, Emperor Sambhaji and Thorle Bajirao Peshwa have visited Yaqub Baba to take his blessings.
Picturesque beach and Mahalakshmi Temple at Kelshi
Ladghar beach is known as "Tamas Teertha" as some part of the sea appears to be red in colour. It is a rocky beach as compared to few other beaches in the neighbourhood. This beach has religious value and the bathing here is a big attraction. Some part of beach is covered with coloured pebbles and boulders, creating a beach-rock collector's paradise. For those wanting a more strenuous walk this is a spectacular piece of coastline.
The area is undeveloped, has an untouched feel and is beautiful around sunset. Viewing the sunset here is a breathtaking experience as the beach, sea and the horizon get bathed in numerous shades of red colour. One can also participate in dolphin watching trip in boats. This beach has the two beautiful, ancient temples - one of Lord Shiva known as "Veleshwar" and other of Lord Datta situated on a small hill. You can take a 15 min beach walk on the north side to reach this beautiful Datta temple.
On the south side of the beach is a small fishing village called Burondi. The fishing boats with their twinkling lights make the Burondi harbor a fascinating sight to watch in the evenings.
Dabhol town is located on the south-west border of Dapoli taluka. Vashishthi River flowing from Chiplun merges into the sea at Dabhol and is called as Dabhol creek. Chandikadevi Mandir (temple of Goddess Chandika) and a fishing jetty are the major attractions here. The idol of Godess Chandika here, believed to be have formed naturally on its own (Swayambhu) and the temple is underground in a natural cave. To reach the diety, you have to pass through a low darkened passage. No light is allowed inside except that of oil lamp. There is a live spring of fresh water nearby which water all around the year has. Every year pilgrims throng here during Navaratri. This temple is very ancient and used to be frequently visited by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Godess holds a sword in one hand which belived to be belonging to Shivaji Maharaj or his era.
The Dabhol port boasts of centuries old history. Dabhol was of great importance in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. It used to be the principal port of South Konkan region, carrying on trade with ports in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. During 13th to 15th centuries this port was ruled by the Bahamani dynasty and was known as Mustafabad. Later on it was Hamjabad and then it was Dabhol. You can find many religious places of Hindus and Muslims. There is a fine mosque called Anda Masjid with dome and minarets standing close to the port which was built in Adilshah’s Regime. It is said that Adilshah’s Begum spent around 1.5 million rupees for the construction of this mosque. Anda Masjid is an excellent example of Muslim architecture. Dabhol was previously very famous, but of late much ruined by the Wars, and decreased in trade.
This area of mid - Konkan does not have any 3-4 star resorts or hotels like South or North Konkan Coast. However, there are plenty of small resorts and home-stays to take care of your accomodation needs and also provides delicious konkani home-made food. (Veg / Non veg)
Interiors of the Luxurious AC Suites for couples / Families and view from the Balcony
There are 100+ bungalow plots but only 35 of them are constructed and are available on rent
While you are traveling in coastal Konkan, make it a point to sample culinary delights of the region – kurkuron bombeel (crispy fried Bombay duck), Surmai / Pomfret fry, Kombadi-Wade with Chicken Curry, sol-kadhi (a tangy smooth appetiser), kelyache panchamrut (a sweetish medley of bananas and vegetables), tisrya-che kavlan (clams in thick spicy masala), kelphoola-chi bhaji, (a Konkan favorite, made of banana flower), Jackfruit bhaji, Kaju Usal, Ambole (like Appam or thick sada Dosa) and Lord Ganesha’s favorite steamed delight, the Modak* (made up of sugar / Jaggary and rice floor)
Alphonso mangoes (April-May), Mango & other fruit products like Mango pulp, aamba poli, aamba vadi, phanas (jackfruit) poli, Kokam Sharbat, sweet Kokum, Fried Jackfruit Chips (Talalele Gare), Cashews, Wooden toys from Sawantwadi, Malvani Masala, Aachar etc.
Above products are available at Dapoli market Or you can get it near Keshavraj Mandir, Asud and at Kadyavaracha Ganpati, Anjarle
For Home made food products, Contact : Ravi Dabke (Near Keshavraj Mandir Marg, Asud Baug Dapoli) - 02358-234895 / 688448
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