Dabhol town is located on the south-west border of Dapoli tahashil. 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 and have made it increasingly popular as a tourist destination in Konkan. 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.
Before entering Dabhol you can enjoy panoramic views of Dabhol Power Project (Enron), creek and town from the hill top. Dabhol also has a small, amazingly hidden beach of black sand and thick plantation of sheoak (Suruche Ban). This is an ideal place to enjoy the scenery along the Dabhol backwaters and the beautiful port in Dabhol Harbor. Whether you enjoy fishing from the jetty, boating, or just stroll along a tree-lined village street, Dabhol offers something for the whole family to enjoy! Over the past decade, dolphin watching has come of age as an exciting, inspiring activity of growing popularity around the world. More and more people are making dolphin watching a part of their holidays. You have a good chance of seeing dolphins in their natural habitat from the jetty. There are some ferry boats also which take you into Dabhol Backwaters as well as into the deep sea for a ride and dolphin watching.
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 Shahi 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 in Indian currency for the construction of this mosque. Shahi 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.
There are also some other beautiful places across the creek. Half an hour's trek through the woods from the fishing village Anjalvel leads to the historical fort Gopalgad. At the sea side end of the ruined fort there is a beautiful lighthouse and two ancient temples. Ferry service is available to take vehicles across the creek from Dabhol to Dhopave. There are some good hotels and restaurants and they serve very good fresh seafood.
Dabhol is situated around 27 km from Dapoli. State Transport (ST) buses / private shared jeeps, rickshaws run between Dapoli and Dabhol. You can hire an auto rickshaw or drive down. Rented jeeps / cars are available.
Directions from Dapoli to
• From Dapoli Bus Stand, take the second left at 'Kelaskar Naka' towards Dabhol
• Continue on the straight road to Dabhol
(Road Route: Dapoli – Kelaskar Naka – Jalgaon – Nante – Vanaushi – Dabhol)
• Hotel Mayuresh and Suyash Lodge (Phone: 02358 248949) - Very Good
You can also stay in beach resorts or hotels at Karde, Murud, Harnai, Ladghar or Dapoli.