January 15, 2013

Dapoli: 
If you are looking for a holiday with beautiful sun-kissed beaches, away from the hustle and bustle of city, a trip to Dapoli in Konkan should be the right choice. The place, with a very wide and clean beach range, is blessed with intense natural beauty, the tender sand and coconut tree cultivation. We the lovers of this untouched nature thus welcome you at this lovely paradise to experience the warmth of sand, sweetness of coconut and bliss of Lord Suvarnaganesha.

Dapoli and its numerous beaches are just across the Savitri river. The shore, experiences the sacred peace and no threat of dark. Unbelievably long stretch of wide beaches in Dapoli range are the gateway to romantic beaches in Ratnagiri, Konkan region: Velas Beach, Kelshi beach, Anjarle Beach, Harnai Beach, Palande Beach, Murud Beach, Karde Beach. We covered most of them during our visit to Harihareshwar and Harnai village and beach.

Dapoli can be reached from Mumbai, Pune, Alibag, Mahabaleshwar or nearby areas following below route:


Harnai Palande Murud Karde Beaches in Dapoli
Palande Beach:
Palande is a flat beach, typical of the beaches in this region and recently is being promoted as a water sports and adventure destination. Boat-rides dedicated for watching Dolphins is most popular in Palande; and although seeing a dolphin is a matter of luck most of the tourist get to see schools of dolphins here! These beaches, many of them unexplored even by the most ardent tourist, have an uncharacteristic appeal that has started drawing hordes of people from all walks of life. We had lots of fun with friends and spent lots of time at the long stretch of the beach here. Group of small birds can be easily seen at the sea-shore. Crystal clear sea-water provoked us to capture reflection moments. A panoramic display of Kanakdurg fort and Harnai port can be enjoyed from here.


Murud Beach:
Often confused with the Murud Janjira beach, the beach at Murud Harnai is worth a visit. The long soft white sand beach has been remarkably spruced up to realise the dreams of every Water Sports adventure buff. Murud beach is just the option if you are wondering how it feels to cut the waves at 100 mile an hour or Para glide on the surf or even surfing on the clear water waves of Murud. You can enjoy water scooter rides and various other rides here. We opted for Quad-biking! and had a round of it. Camel riding, horse riding are also available with plenty of food options. And if one relishes sea-food, there is no dearth of delicacies to sample here. We had our lunch here. You will probably be able to watch, the white bellied sea eagle, white backed vultures and sea gulls. Dolphins can be spotted near Murud and Karde early in the morning. You have to be lucky enough at the same time. Motor boat rides are available, who take a group of 20 for Dolphin spotting.


Karde (Just Do It) Beach:
Gentle winds, soft sand and inviting waters make Karde beach irresistible to beach lovers. Karde beach is almost an extension of the Murud beach and ahead of it is the Ladghar beach. Some group organize team and family events at this place. Some people prefer a stay at the sea resorts and seafacing hotels and enjoy night parties with music & dance with campfire or simply take a long walk.
Dapoli romantic beaches, temples, seaforts, hotsprings and archaeological sites (that we couldn't cover in this trip) makes it a complete holiday destination. Don't forget to get original Ratnagiri Hapus mangoes for dirt cheap rate from here. Again it was an awesome trip with Meenal, Tara, Komal, Sameer, and Manisha.

January 13, 2013

After Shrivardhan-Harihareshwar trip, we moved to Harnai, and came to know about the quick boat-trip crossing the river that lessened our journey by 1 hour.

Bagmandala to Veshvi Boat Trip:
Just 4 km away from Harehareshwar we also opted for this boat trip. There are regular ferries from Bagmandala which will take you across the river in less than 15 minutes along with your vehicle. Ferry runs everyday, 6 am to 8 pm, and on special need post 10 PM. We reached just on time and could board a ferry in just 10 mins, without waiting. This was an amazing experience with very low rates. 

The sea waves were glittering with the reflection of stars. The sea appeared ready to be painted again by the sun at dawn. We couldn't click more pics, as it was getting darker and darker. Once you reach Veshvi, you have options to explore Bankot fort and Velas beachSearch of hotel for night stay was thrilling and hilarious in itself, as we took some wrong turn. :P Finally we took a breath and stayed at sea facing, "Ocean Palace" near Harnai Beach.


Harnai can be reached from Mumbai, Pune or nearby areas following below route:


Harnai Beach, Village and Forts
Harnai Fishing village with Beach, Port and Forts:
Morning view from our room left us speechless. Kanakdurg fort with a lighthouse standing proudly in midst of the ocean with fishing village adding to the beauty! Harnai is very good place for tourist, most tourist come only for boating & seeing dolphin. This village is mainly a fishing port for seafood lovers which becomes live during evening Harnai Fish market. Watching the life at this fishing hamlet is a great experience in itself, you may have to bear with fish smell all around. Fishermen brings their catch and sell it on the beach during Fish auction at the evening.


The adventure doesn't start at the beach actually, one has the option of trekking down the lovely Harnai port, Harnai lighthouse, and Kanakdurg FortWe also explored nearby Kanakdurg Fort with the wonderful views of the village and Harnai port with colorful boats. There are steps to reach to the top of the fort and reach the old lighthouse point. Just behind the lighthouse we stopped for a while, this is the best point to enjoy sunrise and sunset. Don't be surprise, if you see the fish all around the fort walls, spread for drying.



Harnai houses four forts - Suvarnadurg, Kanakdurg, Goa Fort and Fategad. Fishermen colony situated on Fategad can be seen from Harnai lighthouse. Adventurers can even take a small boat to the other side of the port and explore another sea-fort "Suvarnadurg Fort". Goa fort lies on the way of Harnai harbor. It can be identified by its huge black stoned wall. All in all, each of these places are worth a visit! We moved to explore Palande, Murud and Karde beach in Dapoli.
First weekend of the year, with the winter at its best, we visited Konkan stretch of beaches near Raigad and Dapoli. We started from Pune and paved through Mulshi Lake, zig-zag routes of Tamhini ghat, breaks at some points, and reached our first destination - Shrivardhan

Shrivardhan stands for "increase of prosperity". This little gem Shrivardhan, is located at the connect of three Raigad beaches - Diveagar, Shrivardhan and HarihareshwarWith a long stretch of black sand beach and a village full of beetle nuts, jack fruits and banana plantations, Shrivardhan has a very fresh feel about it.


I decided to enjoy the breeze in the shade of trees, while others took a stroll along the beach. Starfish are observed on shores in winters, whereas crabs can be seen in summers. We could find quite a few Starfish on impregnably silent, "Kondivali beach". Shrivardhan Taluka is an ancient place of historical importance and is mentioned as being visited by Arjun in his pilgrimage. Some people used to visit Shri Laxminarayan Temple, and other temples of Kusumdevi, Somjai, Bhairavnath and Jivaneshwar in the town. Another important accessory to remember is Mosquito net/repellent if you are planning an overnight stay along the sea.


After that we moved to the 'house of God' - Harihareshwar. Below route can be followed if you are coming from Pune or Mumbai.
Pune - Chandni Chowk - Mulshi - Tamhini Ghat - Mangaon - Mhasala - Shrivardhan - Harihareshwar
Mumbai - Pen - Kolad - Mangaon - Mhasala - Shrivardhan - Harihareshwar


Shrivardhan-Harihareshwar Trip

Harihareshwar "The devghar - the house of God":
It is called the Kashi of South India (Dakshin Kashi) because of a Shivling and is an important pilgrim centre. The town is surrounded by four hills named after Lords Harihareshwar, Harshinachal, Bramhadri and Pushpadri. The town of Harihareshwar is known for its tranquil and picturesque beach and is also famous for the ancient temple of Harihareshwar. Harihareshwar beach is also a very clean and excellent beach with many water sports activities. The place offers one of the most splendid melange – deep dark woods, unruffled and silent seashore, pristine beaches and lovely temples by the beach side.


We had a visit to the temple, and then much needed lunch at a nearby resort. Then we followed the less travelled route - Harihareshwar Pradakshina Marg, not to be missed if you are visiting this place. It was a great fun to watch sea from the hillock and natural extravaganza during the sunset. At twilight, its an experience in its own to watch the sun moving towards horizon leaving the sea in saffron colour. 


Pradakshina around the temple is highly recommended. As you keep walking through the Pradakshina route, you get to see some of the most splendid views:

Eye-catching view of the temple from hillock
Eye-catching views of the Harihareshwar beach from hillock
Kaamdhenu Teerth
Shulkateerth
Vishnupad sthan
Interesting rocks having salt threads
Sunset views
Rocks in the face shape
Mountain shaped as rockstar man with specs

Ganesh Gully: It is a culvert which is very narrow of about 3 feet wide in between two hard Rocky Mountains. At the end of the culvert, there is a holy niche, a place where Lord Ganesh Idol is placed, that becomes clearly visible at low tide. As soon as we came to this place, backdrop of natural beauty and smoothening winds refreshed us.

Truly in all sense Harihareshwar is a place of enormous beauty with the pleasant ambience, temples, beach, dense woods and not to be missed Pradakshina route. We had a cup of tea and moved towards Harnai village and the gateway of romantic beaches in Konkan region.

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