Dapoli - where the hills hit the beach
Sometimes, when you set your expectations from a trip to the minimum, you open yourself for some very pleasant experiences. Dapoli, a small town in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, was our pick purely because it was within the driving distance we were looking at, and it had a nice hotel – again something that we wanted as we were traveling with two small children.
Situated 800 feet above sea level, Dapoli is blessed with pleasant weather, which gets only better as winter sets in. Dapoli has a long beach stretch tucked between Bhagmandala in the North and Dabhol creek in the South. Murud Beach, the most popular with tourists and locals is a short driving distance from Dapoli town. To get to the beach you have to drive through Murud village that's full of colour and character. But the highlight of the beach were the ferries that take people to view dolphins. Sitting in the open boats we were stunned at the number and sheer beauty of the dolphins that were swimming around us, completely oblivious to our presence. Surprises lie around every corner, we just have to open ourselves to them.
Getting there: 215 km from Mumbai, Dapoli can be reached via NH17. A large part of the drive is through the undulating Sahayadri range. The town is also well connected to Pune and Goa. The nearest train station, Khed, is 40 km away.
Accommodation: There are a number of hotels in and around Dapoli town, as well as some located right on the beach at Murud. We stayed at the Fern Samali Resort, situated atop a hill away from Dapoli town. The British Navy set up a military camp at Dapoli during World War II and the Fern Samali Resort stands on the actual site of the camp post, the foundations of which are still visible even today.
Text and photos by Chaitali Patel, a freelance writer, researcher and producer in Mumbai who blogs at Off The Map
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