Things to do in Dapoli
Dapoli is a coastal town located in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, India. It is situated between Raigad and Sindhudurg and is about 200 kilometers from both Pune and Mumbai. Dapoli is known for its natural beauty, cooler climate throughout the year, and its pristine beaches. The town is often referred to as “mini Mahabaleshwar” and is an important tourist destination in the Konkan region.
Dapoli is famous for its beaches, temples, natural wonders, and wildlife. The town has a rich cultural heritage, and many famous personalities have connections to the region. In this blog post, we will explore the various things to do in and around Dapoli, providing recommendations on activities, sightseeing, food, and local culture. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful beach vacation or an adventurous trip to explore the natural beauty of the region, Dapoli is a destination that has something to offer for everyone.
Dapoli is home to some of the most pristine and beautiful beaches in the Konkan region. Here’s an overview of the different beaches in and around Dapoli:
- Kolthare Beach: Kolthare Beach is a beautiful and secluded beach located in the coastal town of Dapoli, Maharashtra. The beach is not only a popular destination for its soft, white sand, clear blue waters, and lush greenery, but it is also a significant breeding site for Olive Ridley sea turtles. Every year, from November to February, the beach becomes a nesting ground for these endangered sea turtles, and visitors can witness the nesting and hatching process under the guidance of local conservationists.
- Karde Beach: Karde Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Dapoli, located just 15 km from the town. It is a long stretch of clean sand and clear waters, making it ideal for swimming and sunbathing. You can also enjoy various water sports activities such as parasailing, banana boat rides, and jet skiing.
- Murud Beach: Murud Beach is located about 11 km from Dapoli and is known for its scenic beauty and clear waters. The beach has a long stretch of sand that is perfect for taking long walks and enjoying the sunset. You can also go on a boat ride and explore the nearby sea forts.
- Ladghar Beach: Ladghar Beach, also known as Tamas Teertha, is located about 10 km from Dapoli. It is a secluded beach surrounded by lush green hills, making it a perfect destination for a peaceful and relaxing vacation.
- Saldure Beach: Saldure Beach is a secluded and picturesque beach located in Dapoli, Maharashtra. With its golden sand, clear blue waters, and lush greenery, the beach offers visitors a peaceful and serene retreat away from the crowds. Coconut and betel nut trees add to the beach’s natural beauty, and visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, such as taking a leisurely stroll, swimming, or simply relaxing on the sand. The beach is known for its stunning sunsets, which offer a breathtaking view of the horizon, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking for natural beauty and tranquility in Dapoli.
There are plenty of activities that you can do at the beaches in and around Dapoli. Some of the popular ones include swimming, sunbathing, and water sports such as parasailing, banana boat rides, and jet skiing. You can also take long walks on the beach, enjoy the sunset, and explore nearby attractions such as sea forts and temples.
Temples and Historical Sites
Dapoli is not just about beaches, it also has a rich historical and cultural heritage. Here’s an introduction to the various temples and historical sites in Dapoli:
- Keshavraj and Vyaghreshwar Temples: Located in the village of Asud, these twin temples are believed to be over 800 years old. The Keshavraj temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, while the Vyaghreshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temples are built in a unique Hemadpanthi style of architecture and are considered to be an important pilgrimage site in the Konkan region.
- Chandikadevi Temple: Chandikadevi Temple is located on a hill in Dapoli and is dedicated to the goddess Chandika. The temple is surrounded by lush green hills and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. The temple is believed to be over 400 years old and is considered to be an important religious site in the region.
- Panhale Kaji Caves: The Panhale Kaji Caves are located about 30 km from Dapoli and are known for their intricate rock-cut architecture. The caves are believed to be over 1000 years old and are a fine example of the Buddhist and Jain rock-cut architecture. The caves have several sculptures and paintings that depict various scenes from the life of Lord Buddha.
- Suvarnadurg: Suvarnadurg is a sea fort located near Harnai Beach. The fort was built in the 17th century by the Maratha ruler Shivaji and was an important naval base during the Maratha era. The fort offers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea and is an important historical site in the region.
- Dabhol: Dabhol is a small town located about 25 km from Dapoli. It is home to several historical sites such as the ruins of the Dabhol Fort, a 16th-century mosque, and a 13th-century temple.
Each of these sites has a unique significance in the history and culture of Dapoli. From ancient temples to sea forts, these sites offer a glimpse into the rich cultural and historical heritage of the region.
Educational Institutions and Famous Personalities
Dapoli is home to several educational institutions and has produced many famous personalities. Here’s an overview of the educational institutions and famous personalities from Dapoli:
- Dapoli Krishi Vidyapeeth: Dapoli Krishi Vidyapeeth is a renowned agricultural university located in Dapoli. The university is known for its research and development in the field of agriculture and allied sciences. It offers undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programs in various fields of agriculture.
- Alfred Gadney High School, Dapoli: Alfred Gadney High School, Dapoli has a prestigious history of over 120 years and has produced many scholars and leaders who have made significant contributions in various fields. Three such notable alumni are Bharat Ratna awardees Pandurang Vaman Kane, Dhondo Keshav Karve, and Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
Dapoli is known for several famous personalities who have made significant contributions in various fields.
- Sarkhel Kanhoji Angre: Also known as Angria or Conajee Angria, was a legendary Maratha Admiral who commanded the Maratha navy during the 18th century in India. He was a fierce opponent of the European powers, particularly the British, Dutch, and Portuguese, and led a successful naval campaign to defend the Maratha Empire’s sovereignty over Maharashtra’s west coast. With his strategic naval tactics and impressive record of capturing dozens of European trading ships, Kanhoji is considered one of the most skilled Indian Admirals in the maritime history of India. His legacy is celebrated in Dapoli and beyond, including at The Chira Meadows Ecoresort where the auditorium is named in his honor.
- Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak: Known as the father of Indian unrest, Tilak was a freedom fighter, social reformer, and journalist who played a key role in India’s struggle for independence.
- Pandurang Vaman Kane: PV Kane was a renowned scholar and historian who is known for his five-volume History of Dharmasastra, a comprehensive study of Hindu law and customs.
- Dhondo Keshav Karve: D.K. Karve was a social reformer and educator who founded the first women’s university in India, the Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University in Pune.
- Keshavsut: Keshavsut was a renowned Marathi poet who is known for his works that reflect the beauty of nature and the simplicity of rural life.
- Sane Guruji: Sane Guruji was a writer, freedom fighter, and social reformer who is known for his children’s literature and contributions to the Indian independence movement.
- Wrangler Paranjape: Paranjape was a mathematician who is known for his work in algebraic geometry.
- Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar: Dr. Ambedkar had a close relationship with Dapoli, a town located in Maharashtra. He had a home in Dapoli, where he would often go to escape the heat of Mumbai. During his visits to Dapoli, he would work on his writings and spend time with his family. He also established the Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha in Dapoli in 1928, an organization dedicated to promoting the welfare of the untouchable community. Today, Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy continues to inspire people across the country, and his contributions to Indian society are celebrated by people of all backgrounds.
- Mai Ambedkar: Mai Ambedkar was the wife of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, a prominent social reformer and the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. Mai Ambedkar was born in Wanand a Village near Dapoli, a town located in Maharashtra, and spent her childhood there.
During Dr. Ambedkar’s visits to Dapoli, Mai Ambedkar would often accompany him to their home in Dapoli, where they would spend time together. After Dr. Ambedkar’s passing, Mai Ambedkar continued to visit Dapoli and maintained her connections to the town. In fact, she donated a significant portion of her personal savings to support the construction of a community hall in Dapoli. Today, Mai Ambedkar’s contributions to Dapoli and her role in supporting the legacy of Dr. Ambedkar are remembered with great respect and admiration.
Each of these personalities has made significant contributions to their respective fields and have left a lasting impact on the society.
Dapoli is blessed with numerous natural wonders that offer visitors a chance to explore and connect with nature. Here are some of the top natural wonders in and around Dapoli:
- Panhalekaji Caves: Located near the village of Panhalekaji, these ancient rock-cut caves are believed to date back to the 3rd century BC. The caves are adorned with beautiful carvings and sculptures, and are a must-visit for history and art enthusiasts.
- Unhavare Hot Springs: Located about 20 km from Dapoli, the Unhavare hot springs are known for their therapeutic properties. Visitors can take a dip in the natural hot water and relax in the scenic surroundings.
- Suvarnadurg: This historic fort is located off the coast of Harnai beach and offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea. Visitors can take a ferry from Harnai to the fort and explore its ancient ruins.
- Fishing Villages: Dapoli is home to several fishing villages, including Harnai and Burundi, where visitors can observe the daily life of the local fishermen and even participate in fishing activities.
- Wildlife: Dapoli is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including several species of birds, reptiles, and mammals. The area is also a nesting site for endangered Olive Ridley turtles, and visitors can witness the hatching of turtle eggs during the nesting season.
Wildlife and Marine Life
- Olive Ridley Turtles: Visit the Velas beach from February to April to witness the hatching of thousands of Olive Ridley turtle eggs. You can also participate in the conservation efforts and watch as the hatchlings make their way to the sea.
- Dolphins: Take a boat ride from Dabhol or Harnai to see playful dolphins in their natural habitat. The best time to go is from October to March.
- Fishing Villages: Visit the fishing villages of Harnai and Burundi to witness the daily life of the fishermen and their catch of the day. You can also buy fresh seafood and have it cooked for you on the spot.
- Unhavare Hot Springs: These natural hot springs are located 30 km from Dapoli and are said to have healing properties. Take a dip in the warm waters and enjoy the scenic surroundings.
- Suvarnadurg Fort: This historic fort is located on a small island off the coast of Harnai. It was built by Kanhoji Angre and is a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving.
- If you visit the forests and sacred groves near Dapoli, you may see Indian bison, foxes, deer, mouse deer, and if you’re lucky, Malabar pied hobbies and Malabar giant squirrels. Make sure to plan and execute your trip responsibly.
Food and Local Cuisine
Dapoli is not only known for its beautiful landscapes and historical sites, but also for its delicious local cuisine. The food in Dapoli is mainly influenced by the Konkani style of cooking, with a lot of emphasis on fresh seafood, coconut, and rice. Here are some of the must-try dishes and where to find them:
- Fish thali: A traditional fish thali is a must-have when in Dapoli. It typically consists of a variety of fish dishes, including fried fish, fish curry, and sol kadhi, a refreshing drink made from coconut milk and kokum. You can find some of the best fish thalis at restaurants near the beaches, such as Murud beach and Karde beach.
- Ukadiche Modak: A popular sweet dish in Dapoli, Ukadiche Modak is a steamed dumpling filled with coconut and jaggery. It is usually served as a dessert and can be found at local sweet shops and restaurants.
- Amba Poli: A speciality of the Konkan region, Amba Poli is a type of mango pickle that is made with raw mangoes, jaggery, and a variety of spices. It is a perfect accompaniment to the local cuisine and can be found at most local markets.
- Sol Kadhi: As mentioned before, Sol Kadhi is a refreshing drink made from coconut milk and kokum. It is perfect to beat the heat and is available at most local restaurants.
- Dapoli is known for its agricultural produce, including kokam, mango, jackfruit, and cashew nuts.
- Visitors should try these locally grown fruits and nuts in various forms, such as fresh, pickled, and candied.
- Kokam is also used to make a refreshing drink, and cashew nuts are often used to make sweets and savories.
Apart from these dishes, there are a variety of other seafood dishes that you must try in Dapoli, such as Prawns Masala, Bombil Fry, and Surmai Fry. Most of the local restaurants in Dapoli serve fresh seafood caught that very day, making it a truly authentic experience.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway, with plenty of natural beauty, history, and culture to explore, Dapoli is the perfect destination. We highly recommend adding it to your travel bucket list and experiencing all that it has to offer.