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Dapoli, truly the Mahabaleshwar of Konkan…
(Posted by - Archis Sahasrabudhe, 2nd April 2007)

Hi,

“Weekend Getaways”, “Weekend trips”, “Weekend picnic spots”, “2/3 days outing” and “Getaways near Mumbai & Pune”…tried searching every thing for the sake of arranging a lovely getaway with your loved ones on an extended weekend (just like good Friday…having a bank holiday on Friday with Saturday & Sunday)!

Next time when you’ll search on the internet with the same objective of having a lovely getaway and can not find any thing better than Alibaug, Daman, Bordi-Dahanu, Arnala, Khandala-Lonavala or for that matter even Pune etc. then without wasting any more time just search for “Dapoli – Mahabaleshwar of Konkan” on Google and you will get the encyclopedia of Dapoli (www.konkaninfo.com)

Dapoli, truly the Mahabaleshwar of Konkan; a perfect getaway near Mumbai / Pune; a perfect “escape to” destination for relaxation, fresh air, scenic beauty, lovely beaches, serene temples and on top of it, the Dolphins! A journey of approximately 5 hours from Mumbai by road, enjoying and taking all the desired breaks on the way, will take you to this ideal weekend (extended…!) getaway. And trust me as said earlier for any information on Dapoli, from how to reach, what to see, where to stay, what to eat, whom to meet for car / auto hire etc everything you will get on www.konkaninfo.com Just to give an idea about the extent to which this site provides the information about Dapoli is that, once you go through this site you can authoritatively tell others even about speed breakers and pot holes on the way to Dapoli, leave aside the tourist places in & around Dapoli.

Now, leaving aside this advertisement kind of language (as if I’m selling a plot in Dapoli) let me share with you my Dapoli trip that was full of fun, time pass and enjoyment. Aryawarta - Rentable bungalows at Dapoli With 2 cars and many funny (I mean Fun loving...) people we started from Mumbai at around 6 on Friday morning. Living up to the expectations of true picnic-goers we took our first halt at Panvel at Shree Datta Snacks (there are two of them with almost similar name but the one where you will find a number of people, greater than at least 50, is the one to take a halt) Frankly, it’s a sin if for any reason you are traveling on eastern highway and you reach this junction at panvel from where you can either go to Pune or to NH17 (Alibaug, Dapoli, Goa etc) or to Uran and you do not stop for eating at this Datta snacks. Some of the delicacies from the list of unbelievably tasty dishes that he provides are Batata vada (almost patentised), misal, kande pohe, kothimbir vadi, sabudana khichadi, kharvas, kokam sarbat (truly maharashtrian mouth watering delicacies...!) [I can assure you that you’ll try & find out my number to say thanks for suggesting this place] With charged up batteries we took NH17 from there and reached Vadkhal naka (straight road goes to alibaug from that junction) and took left for Dapoli. Then with few halts, some as stress relievers and some for natural calamities accompanied by non-stop chitchats and antaksharis, we reached Dapoli. Aryawarta - Rentable bungalows at Dapoli There were many best things that happened in our picnic to Dapoli and the most important of them was the choice of the place to stay and eat (again the true spirit of picnic-goers says that you require excellent fresh food, that too served to you = all ladies happy & satisfied = everybody happy & satisfied…!) Amongst many good places to stay and eat we chose “Aryawarta” (a complex of bungalows) and that was the cream on the cake. Aryawarta - Rentable bungalows at Dapoli A 4 BHK bungalow given to us with sit-out and terrace was as good as a terrace flat in Mumbai / Pune (of course without any sort of pollution). Additionally there were few cherries on the cream cake and those were the food delicacies served at Aryawart. (All married men beware; eating at Aryawart and that too without making and serving it to you, can be an addiction to your wife) For next 2 days we never ventured out anywhere else for food as for veggies dalimbi usal, phanasachi bhaji, thalipith (including non-maharashtrian veg dishes) and for non-veggies the fresh seawater fishes were no less than a 5 star buffet (simply yummy…!)

Gomukh at Keshavraj at Asud - Dapoli So main portion of an ideal picnic was covered this way. As far as “in between meals” sight seeing was concerned having our own vehicles was comfort at its best because average distance of any place of tourism in & around Dapoli is 15 kms. There are many lovely places, which one can see there but we chose few of them but the best ones. On Friday evening we went to see Harnai beach / port where you can experience fish auction and take part in it as well provided you have required skill set in that business else you are better of watching it. We spent some time on the lighthouse on the port with a wonderful view of Suvarnadurga (Fort) and beautiful sunset. Shree Keshavraj at Asud - Dapoli Next day was the day of filling your eyes with nature’s beauty all around and filling your soul with the serenity and purity of the temples amidst that natural beauty. For the starters, the famous ancient temples of Shree Keshavraj and Shree Vyagreshwar situated in Asud, merely 5 kms from Dapoli, were the best choice. Bandra - Worli sea link at Keshavraj Keshavraj temple (15 minutes walk for youngsters and half an hour for elders with few steps) situated amidst lush green land, coconut, betel nut, mango, and cashew trees is a ‘COOL’ temple, the above mentioned walk to which, is full of green eyes, a classy one. Shree Vyagreshwar at Asud - Dapoli Next on line was Vyagreshwar mandir with Hemadpanthi style architecture, which is my Kuladaiwat from Maternal side (Ranade – Chitpavan Kokanastha Brahmin). As per our decision of dedicating that morning at the feet of God we then moved on to Anjarle for a Ganapati temple this time called Kadyavarcha Ganapati at Anjarle - Dapoli “Kadyawarcha Ganapati” (Ganesh temple situated on a cliff). To our surprise Anjarle was the most beautiful place with a white sand beach surrounded by palm trees and is presented so well by the Almighty that you straight fall in love with this beauty of nature. With so much purity and serenity accumulated in our souls we returned to Aryawart for much awaited accumulation of food. In the evening we went to Ladghar beach that is called as “Tamas Teertha” as some part of sea appears to be red in colour. Viewing sunset from here was an absolute breathtaking experience with countless shades of Red at your disposal.

Sunrise from our bungalow at Aryawarta - Dapoli Enough of bathing of soul in purity and serenity, the next morning was completely for youngsters (although elders enjoyed equally) as it was time for an actual bath and that too in a huge bathtub with real Dolphins around. (Bathing area of Dolphins is slightly bigger and farther from that of humans...!). We went to Karde beach for playing in seawater and what a sight that was for all of us, Dolphins moving and jumping around. We went in a boat (regular business feature, 100 rupees per person) for Dolphin watching and chasing. ‘A lifetime experience provided free-of-cost by the nature God but charged by his delegates’. Jokes apart, it was worth every currency spent as the sight of dolphins, the most human friendly fish, made us smile all the way back to Aryawart. Then a round of brunch made us smile all the more before we could start our return journey to Mumbai (Port of livelihood) having a feeling in mind that we were still short of at least 1 more day of stay at Dapoli as there were still many places left to be seen and short of at least 10 more days of stay had it been May when the king rules over his birthplace Konkan, the Alphanso Mango.

So what are you waiting for, oh, I know…an off on Friday. Till that comes at least keep an excuse ready for this, like simple relaxing getaway with your nuclear family or a big family get together or all lost old friends rejuvenating their friendship or all ladies / oldies escape from boring daily routine or if you do not find any excuse just read this post once again and wait for that Friday off.

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