There is no dearth of beaches in India, in fact the country has varied types to cater to different taste pallet/mood of seekers of sun and sand. Inspite of this, for over 5 decades Goa, has been the preferred beach destination amongst the youth which is popularized by foreigners/ hippies for its free culture, amazing nightlife, local booze, cruises, gambling joints, tempting seafood, water sports, and luxury resorts.
There are many unexplored/ hidden gems on the Indian coasts, especially on the Konkan belt, Maharashtra and one such beach is the Karde beach at Dapoli.
Reaching Karde beach:
Dapoli is a small town in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. It is approximately 220 kms from Mumbai (6 hours drive) and around 185 kms from Pune ( 5 hours of drive). The best way to get here is by road, as the connectivity has improved over the years and only small portion of the journey is bumpy otherwise it is a good scenic stretch for a drive.
For those who have motion sickness and do not prefer traveling by road, the next best alternative is the train option. The closest train station, Khed is just 40 kms away from Dapoli. The flight option isn’t worth considering as the nearest airport is (Ratnagiri) is around 100 kms away.
Dapoli is located at an altitude of 800 ft and is surrounded by pristine beaches, many historical temples, forts, historic places, and caves. The prominent beaches around Dapoli are Anjarle beach, Harnai Beach, Karde beach. The weather around the year is cool and this place is also known as ‘Mini Mahabaleshwar’.
Sunset on Karde beach
The best part of Karde beach is that one can indulge in bliss spending an evening by the beach watching the sunset; capturing moments of the most wonderful part of the day with loved ones in the company of the refreshing breeze along with the soothing sound of the waves, which feels like a piece of music for the soul and required nourishment for the wandering mind.
It is not just the place of forts and temples, there is a lot in store for the water sport activity lovers. A lot of activities like Jet Skiing, Parasailing, Banana Boat rides, Water Skiing, etc. can be enjoyed at very reasonable prices compared to other places in India.
For dolphin lovers there is a lot to cheer as well. An early morning boat ride, deep into the sea cutting the storming waves to witness the beautiful dolphins is a must and can’t be skipped.
Flora and fauna: This region is famous for its Alphanso mangos, cashew nuts, and flower specie called champa (Plumeria Rubra).
Prominent places to visit:
Ganapati Temple: Near the Aanjarle village, there is a temple that is built on a huge mountain and is famously known as Kadyawarcha Ganapati – literally translating to “Ganapati of the Hill”
It is being said that this temple must be built in Madhavrao Peshve period i.e. aging back to the 12th century. As per locals, this temple was at the seashore – infact two temples were at the sea in the ancient days. One Temple of Aanjarleshwar & other of Ganapati, which used to get drowned in the sea during high tides. The Ganapati temple was repositioned at the hill-top to prevent damages from the tides.
The 5 feet tall Ganpati idol is mesmerizing, has the trunk folded towards the right side, and is adorned by small idols of his wives Riddhi and Siddhi, on each side.
Also, do not miss visiting the famous fort of Suvarnadurg, which is right opposite to this temple to enjoy the sunset along the seaside.
Panhalekaji Caves: Panhalekaji is another village in Dapoli, which has natural beauty around in abundance and also is poised with a rich heritage. There are ancient caves on the mountain facing the river, thorli-dhakti kotjai. The unique thing about these caves is that they have 28 compartments.
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