Things to do & Places to be in Dapoli
Not just a coastal town but a spectacular holiday destination
Dapoli is probably one of the most under sold tourist destinations along the western seaboard of India. One might think that beaches is all that this small town has to offer, but when you dig deeper in its history and culture you realize that Dapoli is much more than just a coastal town. It is a complete holiday destination which is rich in culture, history and all those other touristy things that such beach destinations offer.
Dapoli is a small coastal town in the Ratnagiri district of the state of Maharastra. History has time and again left its imprint on this town. The British called it Dapoli Camp, as they had a military base in Dapoli during their rule. The Maratha Empire used Dapoli as a key location in its defence against Spanish ships and other foreign invasions from the sea. Dapoli has many holy places which are a century old and some even older.
So, here’s a summary of things to do & places to be in Dapoli.
“From the adrenaline filled beach adventure sports to the calm and quite of Parashurma Bhoomi, from the centuries old holy places to the natural hot springs, from the serene mountain treks to watching a school of dolphins. Dapoli has something for everyone.”
Dapoli is located on the foothills of Sahyadri range. Combine that with a seaboard of 50 kms and you get a place which is full of different and interesting trek paths for the adventure seekers. There are various groups which organize treks along beaches, across mountains & to various forts in and around Dapoli.
Beach sports is one of the most preferred activities by tourists in Dapoli. Many beaches give you the option of riding jet skis, ATVs & banana rides, while some of the beaches also have the option of para sailing. Depending upon the season you might try your hand at snorkeling or scuba diving at certain places.
Unhavare is renowned for its natural hot springs. Nestled deep in the heart of a beautiful valley on the bank of a picturesque river and is surrounded by a majestic forest. The boiling spring water bubbles up from deep inside the earth and cascades down into a series of rock pools. The water is clear and has a hint of taste and smell of sulphur. Sulphur is said to have medicinal value and is said to cure some skin diseases. Surrounded by a beautiful landscape, a bath here is a must as it soothes and energises the mind.
Dapoli has been imprinted upon by many cultures in history. From the Maratha empire to the British, from the Buddhists & Hindus to the Mughals. Dapoli still carries the evidence of all these cultures being there till date. During British rule, Dapoli was a military base and was called Dapoli Camp. You can still visit the graves of various high ranking British officials during the colonial time. Dapoli was a feather in the cap of Shivaji Maharaj as it was a key location for the Maratha Navy. Not only the forts had a ship building facility but it was also critical in stopping European invaders from the sea. The Buddhists left their impression in the form of caves which were only discovered in 1970s. Panhalekaji caves is a complex of 29 caves which are said to have been built around 2nd or the 3rd century.
Dapoli has some of the very admirable and rare temples of Konkan. Some even centuries old. Known as “Parashuram Bhumi”, land of Lord Parashuram, it has one of the two temples dedicated to Lord Parashuram. The other one being in Chiplun. The one in Dapoli is located on a hill in Burondi, 11kms drive from Dapoli, and has a 21 feet tall statue with a meditation dome below it. It attracts many tourists owing to the calm and peace the place offers. One of the most visited temples in Harnai is Durga Devi, another one being Kadyavarcha Ganpati at Anjarle beach. Keshavraj and Vyaghreshwar located in Asud are also worth a visit.
Yaqub Baba dargah, which is nearly 400 years old, is another great attraction and is popular for its annual fest “Urus” which is held in December. Anda Masjid also known as Masaheb Masjid, located near Dabhol, exhibits rich Mughal architecture. Built during the 16th century under the reign of Adilshah, it is one of the two mosques built in Konkan during that time.
Dolphin safaris have become a popular activity along the Konkan coast. Dapoli is blessed with a 50 Km long seaboard which gives many spots favourable for watching dolphins. The best time to go dolphin spotting is early in the morning.
Konkan cuisine, better known as Malvani cuisine, is a food lover’s delight. It has its own distinct way of cooking and is rich with an assortment of spices which are indigenous to that region. Being a coastal cuisine, coconut is used lavishly in most of the dishes both for garnishing and cooking in oil. When in Dapoli, you must try the local cuisine at least once. One can find many small restaurants along the road and along the beaches where locals cook authentic malvani food.
Dapoli has a huge fishing port, hence sea food is available everywhere in and around Dapoli. Although Malvani food is predominantly non-vegetarian there are plenty of options for vegetarians and the taste is as good as of the former.
Being a coastal town fishing is one of the most important trades in Dapoli. Every evening the fishing boats return and setup a fish auction near the Harnai port. It is an awe inspiring sight to see even if you are not there to buy fish. The experience as such is amazing as it is something that you won’t have seen elsewhere. The auction happens in the evening between 4 PM to 7 PM, and trade worth lakhs of rupees takes place in that short duration of time. Besides that, you get to witness so many different varieties of fish.
Harnai Port is not only popular for the fish auction, you have the option of walking up to Kanakdurg fort which has a splendid lighthouse view of the ocean and Suvarnadurg fort. Suvarnadurg fort is not accessible by foot, but one can get a ferry to visit this historical marvel of the Maratha Empire.
If you are traveling with your family or a group of old friends or just solo, Dapoli has a large attractive bouquet of experiences to offer. From the adrenaline filled beach adventure sports to calm and quite of Parashurma Bhoomi, from the centuries old holy places to the natural hot springs, from the serene mountain treks to watching a school of dolphins. Dapoli has something for everyone.
On your next travel to Dapoli, consider staying with us at our homestay, Beachcroft. We have a beach touching property on Palande beach with 5 rooms with sea facing view. We pride ourselves in our hospitality and authentic Konkan food. Being right at the beach gives an amazing view and the sound of sea waves maintain a calm atmosphere. There is also arrangement for an extra room if you are travelling with a driver and we are a pet friendly homestay, so you can bring your pets along as well.
See you soon.