Most vacations planned by students are in the mountains or on the beach. The latter because of the complete feeling achieved when the only thing you hear are the waves as you watch the sun kissed beach in all it’s grandeur. Dapoli is a small town in Ratnagiri district where truly “Beaches meet Budgets”
Location: Dapoli is located in the Ratnagiri district and lies in the sweet spot of being 220 km from Mumbai, 200 km from pune and 224 km from Kolhapur. With a seaboard of 50 kilometres, Dapoli has a lot to offer.
How to Reach:
If you are driving from Pune to Dapoli you have the option of choosing from three different routes.
- The shortest route would be via Bhor however considering road condition route via Mahabaleshwar be the better route to take.
- While driving down from Mumbai its a straight forward route via the NH 17.
- By train the nearest train station from Dapoli is Khed which is 40KM away from Dapoli.
- The bus/train fares are pretty cheap and should be not more than 300-400 INR.
- Best Route from Kolhapur to Dapoli: Chandoli – Amba Ghat – Karnjari – Pali – Hathkumbe – Chiplun – Khed – Dapoli
- Best Route from Mumbai to Dapoli: Panvel – Rohe – Mahad – Khed – Dapoli
- Best Route from Pune to Dapoli: Pune – Bhor – Mahad – Poladpur – Khed – Dapoli
Best time to visit:
The best time is anytime between October to February as the weather is great for relaxing. The best part about Dapoli is that you can visit any time of the year and you can have a Budget Trip as the rates are never that high.
What to Do:
Harnai Fish Market
A better marketplace than Flipkart, you can see hundreds of boats at the Harnai Fish Market and the fresh fish sold by the local people at dirt cheap rates.This is assumed to be one of the largest supplier of fish to Maharashtra. The sheer number of boats and people would make you wonder about the logistics involved in this process.
Kanakdurga projects into the sea near the Harnai port. The fort in ruins now can be approached by a flight of steps. Spread over half an acre the main attraction here is the lighthouse. Kanakdurg can be visited along with the trip to the Harnai fishi auctions.
Anjarle 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 AD. It was renovated during the period between 1768 and 1780. There is a magnificent view of the thick plantation of coconut trees, betel nut trees, Suvarnadurg Fort, blue sea and surrounding hills from the top.
Unhavare Hot Springs
After a long day of visiting places, you can relax your feet by visiting Dapoli’s very own Hot
Springs. Unhavare hot water springs is believed to have medical values of sulphur which cures the diseases. There is separate kunds (tank) for man and woman. The temperature in these tanks can be up to 60 Celsius.
These Buddhist caves have the most beautiful carvings from the 3rd century to the 14th century. Located on the Dapoli-Dabhil Pangari road, the Panhalekaji Caves are situated deep in the valley near the confluence of the ‘Kotjai’ and ‘Dhakti’ rivers. It can also be accessed from Khed via Vakavali & Tetavali. There are 29 caves and many sculptures around the area.
What to eat:
If you are a seafood lover, Dapoli is your heaven. You can eat the most fresh fish you have ever eaten, you can even catch your own fish and ask the locals to prepare it for you. Each meal can be approximately 250 INR and even cheaper if it’s vegetarian or chicken.
Where to stay:
Living in Dapoli is pretty cheap, there are ocean facing hotels that can charge upto 2k-3k per day or even cheaper if you book in advance. The homestays in Dapoli are quite popular because the owner becomes your local guide and you get to eat authentic coastal cuisine in the comfort of your own “HOME”. Recommended Hotel – SagarHill Resort.
All the beaches in Dapoli have these characteristics:
- Less crowd, 20-25 people at the most popular beaches have around 70 people and water sports(INR 400 approximately).
- Clear waters(No trash, no littering only the clean water and your peace of mind)
- Clean sand(Only fine sand all around no rocks or sharp objects)
Best reason to visit:
If great food, serene beaches and affordable living is not good enough for you, the maybe a “Sky Full of Stars” could convince you. In the cities we can hardly see a star or two due to the air and light pollution but in Dapoli you can literally see the sky filled with stars from the beach and where the only light is from the stars themselves!
Who should go:
- Students who want to have a beach experience on a budget.
- People who want to have a vacation on the beach without the hustle and bustle of people.
- Families looking for a quick getaway for a long weekend.(There are 14 long weekends in 2017 so pack your bags!)
- Joint families with elderly people and a huge number of people who want to manage a budget.
- Seafood lovers may think of never leaving this place.