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A Day Trip to Srisailam From Hyderabad A Note From My Father's Dairy

December 06, 2018

I have completed Srisailam twice before this trip. They are documented here:

  • 1st Trip with motorcycle with wife-Here
  • 2nd Trip with my my parent's in law-Here
I have written a guideline to venture Srisailam in a methodical way. Read here (top 10 places)
This time in December 2018, we (my parent along with me) opted for a quick darshanam for lord Mallikarjuna. I did not get a chance to write on my own.The below write up is taken from my father's dairy.

We were in here in Hyderabad for last 2 weeks. Being Bengali, we were getting little bored as we have little or no activities here compared to my own area(Howrah,West Bengal). We were planing for a short trip around Hyderabad.My elder son came up with this idea to visit the Lord Mallikarjuna in Srisailam. Initially we were not ready for a long drive to this place. Later we accepted with a condition that we must stay a day to avoid the lag.A nutshell description was depicted for a long journey from Manikonda Hyderabad to Srisailam to visit the famous Mallikarjuna (Lord Shiva).Srisailam is one of the 18 mahashaktipeeth and one of the famous temple of Lord Siva.Our plan was go on 1st December and return on 2nd December of 2018.

We started at 9:30AM from our home at Manikonda after a quick breakfast.We reached ORR(outer ring road) at around 9:45AM. We took the check in ticket.From this place the actual journey started.
We headed towards the Exit -14. Since it was morning, and a holiday,we did nit get traffic in the road.At around 10:30 we checked out ORR and took NH 765 (Srisailam highway) to reach Srisailam.
As we have plenty of water with us , we avoided the small water breaks.

The journey was smooth with very less traffic in the road. We were stopped by cop to check if we were carrying cash for the upcoming election near Amangaol. After that we drove straight to Hajipur.
We stopped at the newly opened Chandra Hospitality Service for some food. At this time at 12 noon we were not that much hungry for lunch. We were looking for Dosa in this region.Unfortunately, they did not offer much. At that time only the thali was available. They could not offer even other items mentioned in the menu card. We started again. After crossing Hajipur crossing we stopped at Hotel Balaji.It was situated right side of the road. They also did not have much items. We took tea here.I must say that they made nice tea. Both Chandra and Hotel balaji had nice toilet facility.

We started again from this place. Being noon and not getting a suitable place to park our vehicle we opted out to visit Dindi dam. We drove straight to the check post of Nalla Malla Tiger reserve forest(now famous as AMRABAD Tiger Reserve forest). At the checkpost,toll plaza , we were given a jute bag to use as dustbin. They requested us not to drop any waste material in the jungle. We were very happy to see the effort of forest department to save the jungle and make it clean and green.After entering jungle,NH 765 became different. There were lot of speed breakers with and without sign. It continued till Srisailam. Enroute, we saw lots of monkeys in different parts of the jungle.Few of the tourists were throwing bananas to these creatures and it seemed they were accepting them and eating with great pleasure,even though forest officials requested us not to feed the animals.  

In the middle of the jungle, we saw a safari gate. We stopped for some refreshment.The adjacent shop was closed.We took few snaps here. We started for the last part of the jungle.On the way to Srisailam,we stopped again and took some snaps for our memory.The jungle became more dense and  greener in this area. After another 45 mins we finally crossed the jungle. We were very much hungry at that time. The clock was ticking 2:30PM by then.We were searching for a decent hotel to finish our lunch. We did not get any.

Finally we stopped at Rajadhani hotel just before the ghat section of Srisailam. The hotel was more of a make shift arrangement. The meal was costing 60rs/head. We ordered double egg omelet. It costed us 80 rs more.It was bit more comparing the quality of the  hotel. However, After the quick meal we started again for srisailam At 3:15Pm we reached Srisailam dam.It was truly a man made wonder,a gem of engineering. I could imagine the view during full monsoon with the gate open. We stopped here for some refreshment and took few snaps. My son and wify took icecream here. The road became narrow here. We were driving very carefully. We saw Patal Ganga from the car.No mistake was taken to find the rows of the boat there.With the grace of Lord Shiva and ma Durga we crossed the ghat sections(both side) without any troubles. I came to know from the signboard that river Krishna was the border for Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. The Andhra section of the NH-765 was having lot of speed breakers. 

We reached Sakshi Ganapati temple by 3:45PM. We parked the car in the temple parking bay.It was Lord Ganesh's temple. We noticed  a very long queue for darshanam. We bow down our head to Ganapati. We requested him in mind, for his blessings and prayed for a safe darshanam of Lord Siva.We also prayed him to note down our names in his notebook as witness of Shiva darshanam.It is said that without taking the blessings of Ganapati , the very purpose of visiting Shiva would be lost. This Ganapati was very unique in style,He was holding notebook in one hand and a pen in another hand.It was said that he keeps note whoever enters into Srisailam. 

There after we reached the holy place at 4:20PM. We parked our vehicle at the parking slot near the temple.  To answer the call of nature we found green toilets for men and women. But I was sorry to see the instructions were not proper. No information was provided on how to  open the gates. Like many others we tried coin of 1 rupee,2 rupees and 5 rupees. All our effort gone in vain for men section. My wife somehow managed to open the gate with 2 rupees and 5 rupees. she was not sure which coin opened the gate.

Now as per our itinerary, we needed to get a room for three of us. We tried all known options like Gouri sadan,Ganga Sadan. There were all full. We tried from pillar to post to have a room on rent.But all our efforts gone in vain. We learned that there was a festival called Karthik Sankranthi from 1st December to 3rd December and all hotels were full. We tried CIR office too with out any result.We were informed by the CIR office that the darshanam would start at 6PM and end at 8PM. We made up our mind and headed towards  temple for Lord Shiva darshanam.

Mobiles and cameras were not allowed inside the temple.We had to deposit our mobile in the mobile deposit area and deposited shoes at shoe rack.Mobile deposit costed us Rs15(Rs 5 /mobile).Shoe  rack was free.There were 3 queues for darshanam. One queue was for free that might take 1 to 2 hours.Next was rs 100 INR queue , the average delay would be 45 minutes to 1 hour and lastly there was a VIP darshanam.

VIP darshanam was rs 300 INR/head.It used to take 20 mins for darshanam. We opted for VIP darshanam. We entered the campus of temple at around 6PM sharp. From distance, we heard the enchanting of Om Namah Shivaya (the famous mantra of lord shiva). When we reached nearby, we saw many disciples of the temple,blowing their khanjani,harmonium, danka and other musical instrument and were singing this mantra.The situation was electrifying and magnificent. It was a very charming sight and we enjoyed with deep joy. We made our darshanam quick.On the way back we saw lord balaji ,lord vishnu etc. We took prasadam and hurriedly came out from the temple.The temple was properly maintained by the authority with lots of security personals in place.We were very happy to see to disturbance from so called pandas. The work force was very friendly and very supportive.It was suggested to wear a dhoti instead of jeans or pants. For ladies it was suggested to wear traditional sari or salwar with urni or chunni. We even noticed that near by shops were selling churnis ranging from 150 to 200Rs.

We were dam hungry at this time and went to a nearby restaurant to grab Masala dosa and tea.At this point we had to take an decision. Either we could wait and search for hotels(locals suggested to search in sunnipenta village as well) or leave the place as the jungle check post would close at 9PM. We decided to leave over table. Accordingly at 7 we started our return journey.Srisailam being a small city, we never had to ask anybody for the roads.The city was well maintained with lots of clear signboards.

The road was pitch dark. With a great patience and again with the grace of Lord siva we crossed the ghat section. We reached the jungle checkpost at 8:30PM.We were given a plastic carry bag this time and charged Rs50. We crossed the gate and stopped for taking some rest. As the previous section was ghat and the journey was anxious. I tried to capture the ghat road with my son's mobile. It is given below:

Frankly speaking, in the pitch dark night with narrow roads,the ghat gave us a thrill.We were frighten too.We could only see the road illuminated by head light and other car's headlight through this zig zag way.On the way back , in a silent area,we spotted a dear ,gently gazing.

At around 10:00PM we came out of the jungle.We stopped for a cup of tea. There were public pay and use toilet available. We re energized ourselves a bit and started again at 10:30PM. The road was again empty. The roaring sound of the car engine was breaking the quietness of mother nature while the headlights were engaged in high beam position for a steady 90KM/hr speed. At 11:10 we reached again near Hajipur crossing at Hotel chandra Hospitality.

This time they  offered us delicious dal tadka,butter chicken,butter nun and butter milk. Food was awesome.At 12 night , we started our last leg of journey to home. At 1AM we checked in the ORR and 1:50 we reached our home with wretched condition.It was a strenuous but successful journey which would vivid to our memory.We thanked Lord Shiva and ma Durga for  arriving safe to our home. We hugged bed and called for the day.

Few Suggestions from my experience:

  • No doubt the roads were very good to Srisailam from Hyderabad. So you can start early if you are planing to come back in the same day. If you start at 4 AM in the morning, even you can do Abhisekham.
  • The road,mother nature were beautiful.So maintain the cleanliness. As cleanliness is next to godliness.
  • Food options needs improvement. While talking to local hotel owner we came to know,only veg meal has a demand that too in the pick time. All other time there are very less visitors. Hence either they close the hotel or keep a minimum options. So I suggest you prepare for this or carry your own food.
  • Srisailam being a holy city does not offer you a Nonveg food. So never ask for it in this city.If you want to take non veg,come back to the border or village next to border.You will get it.
  • Prefer the VIP darshan over free darshan. It will be quick.
  • Do stop around the dam. I am sure that you will. Park your car in such a way that does not disturb the traffic. Being narrow road,one mistake can lead to huge traffic jam. Please plan accordingly.

The summary is given below:

From To Toll Condition
Home ORR via Lanko hill NA Bad
ORR Gachibowli ORR Exit 14 40 Very good
Exit 14 First Toll Plaza NA good
First toll plaza Second Toll plaza 20 good
Second Toll Plaza Forest toll gate entry 30 good
Forest toll plaza entry Forest toll plaza Exit 50 good but lots of speed breakers
Forest toll plaza Exit Srisailam NA good but lots of speed breakers
Srisailam entry 100

A Day Trip to Srisailam From Hyderabad A Note From My Father's Dairy A Day Trip to Srisailam From Hyderabad A Note From My Father's Dairy Reviewed by Animesh Chatterjee on December 06, 2018 Rating: 5

A Memorable Journey to PapiKondalu Weekend Gateway From Hyderabad

November 05, 2018
Do you know the beauty of Papikondalu would vanish?--asked one of my friend over a tea break.
What?? Why are you saying so?? I asked him.
He replied that there was an announcement from the AP government that they were going to build a dam in that area. Once it was built, Papikondalu would be downed. When that chit-chat was going on, he was explaining how beautiful the Papi hills were and I was felling the invitation of Papikondalu. Well, this how it was started. Once back to home, I was telling the same thing to my partner-my wife. She was ready for a quick visit to Papikondalu. As usual, she was quick to go over the internet to find the good hotel. She called them and booked for Saturday and Sunday next. It was early March 2015.
  Rajahmundry(RajaMahendravaram city) is a major city in Andhra Pradesh. We always passed by this city while going to Kolkata. The Havelock bridge always used to invite us to Rajahmundry to spend some time to its lap with mother nature. This time we responded. We started at around 6AM in the morning for Rajahmundry. We avoided the road via city and took outer ring road(ORR) from Gachibiwli. As it was morning, we did not face any traffic on that road. At around 7AM we came out from ORR and met NH-65. The NH65 is almost 20 KM long which connected us to the great Hyderabad-Vijayawada Expressway.

The map is given below:
Map to go to Rajahmundry
After the state highway ended, we entered into Hyderabad Vijayawada Expressway. It was cool in the morning. The road was empty. We drove to Nalgonda. We stopped at 7 hotel for breakfast. It was our regular stop when we go towards Vijayawada. (I was introduced to this hotel by a fellow biker-you can find my bike drive to Vijayawada-here) . The breakfast and tea were awesome as usual. At around 8:30AM started again for Vijayawada.
 at hotel 7
 As the expressway was again empty, we were able to maintain 80KM/hour speed. We missed the Vijayawada Eluru bypass. As a result, we had to go via the city traffic. Vijayawada was still a mess. There were blocked roads, narrow roads, roads without diversions. On top of that, there was huge traffic jam. At 11:30 we reached the PVP mall at Benz circle. After we parked our car we went to the food court straight. We took a seat and freshen up one by one. We ordered for Handi biriyani. A must try for all torturers. At 1:30 PM we started our journey again. We touched NH5 this time(regular road leads to Kolkata). We glided through NH5. After Vijayawada, in some stretches railway passed beside us. We waved our hands to some of the passing trains. Once we reached Nidadavolu.From this point google diverted through a different road. Some portion of the road were good, some were patchy, some parts were bad. The road took us to Rajahmundry via Chagallu Kovvur. This route goes via village, light jungle, empty paddy fields. It gave us a different aspect of Rajahmundry.
Changed direction
Rajahmundry offered a tropical climate, hot and humid even at the start of March. Since it was a sudden and panicked decision, we did not mind much. Best time to visit Rajahmundry would be post-monsoon (October to March). Kovvur being rural of Andhra, we did not get much food items on the road. However, tea stalls were available. Also, we took the roadside groundnut. They were also selling raw mangoes. Telegu is the main and major language but the villagers tried to understand Hindi and communicated with us in their broken Hindi.
On the way-Kovvur
As I told earlier in my post, Andhra was very welcoming and safe for female, we observed the same here. People respected us like their own. They directed me on the bank of the river to get a good point from where I could get a few snaps. After crossing Kovvur bridge we found lot many nurceries full of flowers.
Sunset at Kovvur
While we experienced a new route to Rajahmundry, met new people, experienced village tea, went another side of the lesser-known village of Godavari, it cost us huge time. We finally reached to Hotel RiverBay at 6:30PM. While we stopped for a cup of tea, we were informed by the locals that there was a lot of visiting places around Rajahmundry. They were as follows:

  • Godavari river
  • Kadiyapulanka
  • Papihills
  • Pattiseema
  • ISCON temple
  • Pushkar ghat

Sunset near Rajahmundry
Hotel RiverBay
When we entered into RiverBay, I immediately felt, it was more of a resort than a hotel. They showed us where to park the car. The check-in process was simple. They asked for the email confirmation copy and asked for 50% payment. They offered us two 500ml water bottle as complementary. We were also informed that the breakfast would be complementary and they would arrange a boat ride in the morning for free. The staffs were very friendly and housekeeping took all the luggage from us. The property was pretty old, some parts were rebuilt. We were told that due to heavy rush during that time, all river facing rooms were booked. We got a normal double bed AC room on the first floor. To our surprise they still used the old-fashioned iron made staircase to go to the first floor.  Once we reached there we were pleased to see the room. The room, bed, toilet were clean. Hygiene was maintained properly. Our room was not a river facing one. It was a basic room with TV, AC. There were a lot of mosquitoes in the room. With all our travel experience, we carried a black hit and a mosquito repellent(Goodnight). They came in handy. We sprayed hit and switched on the good night, took a quick bath and started to look for the menu for snacks. We were hungry and tired.
Hotel RiverBay
The food facility was average on that day. There were not many options for snacks. However we talked to the cook, he said that they had a special item called shrimp cocktail. We never had this item before. So ordered one along with coffee. The order was delivered within 20 mins.
shrimp cocktail
The item was really good. It was having all sorts of vegetables with thick cream in the bottom, loaded with shrimps, nuts, egg etc. We instantly fell, in love with, this item and ordered one more -called shrimp cocktail overloaded. It was a gem from the master cook, a truly delicious item. I would like to suggest everyone, to try this item whenever you visit Rajahmundry.

shrimp cocktail overloaded
After some food, we thought to see our car. We came down to the ground floor for a visit to the hotel. Also, they said they had three restaurants in the campus. So we wanted to check all of them. The location of the hotel was very good, just on the bank of river Godavari. It was very close to the railway station. Since it was March, the Godavari was not caring enough water. That created a bad order. It was manageable though. The view of the illuminated bridge from the hotel from the distant horizon was very nice to look at. Also, we caught last 15 mins of Aarti at the bank of river Godavari. While roaming around the hotel, we found a number of statues in the hotel. After looking at the write-ups we figured out that they were great persons who had developed  India in multiple verticals. One of the statues of Sir Arthur James Cotton was remarkable and noticeable. The garden was maintained properly. There were security guards everywhere. It created a great scenic view of Godavari and surrounds. The best treat for photographers.
Sunset from RiverBay
After roaming around the Hotel, we became hungry and wanted to sleep early. We went to the restaurants in the hotel. There were three restaurants available. They used to serve locals as well as us. They were- Avakaya(Veg restaurant for authentic Andhra food), Down Town(Nonveg, north Indian food) and Wine and Dine(mainly for Booze lovers).  We headed straight to the Down Town. There was a buffet facility. But wait!!. We wanted to check the À la carte section. It was having a lot of great items. Being Bengali and seeing so many fish dishes, on the menu, we opted for some fish curries. The cook also gave his recommendations. The cook was very friendly and was ready to make zero spiced nonveg curries for us. The fishes were fresh and we were told that these fishes were from Godavari river itself. The carries were great. We had an awesome dinner. Post dinner we went to the reception to check the boat ride facilities to Papikondalu. They suggested taking Sai Krishna Godavari boat. They assured us that they would arrange an auto the next day. We went to the backside of the Hotel for a walk. There was private lawn for roaming. There were benches to sit back and relax.

Next day, we woke up at 6:30AM and started getting ready for the whole day trip to Papikondalu. We were served tea at room and were informed that the breakfast would be served at Captain's cabin from 7AM. We got ready quickly and headed towards Captain's cabin for breakfast. It was a complimentary breakfast. The breakfast was very refreshing.
View from jetty

Papikondau tour operator and journey towards the jetty
We talked to the reception and they arranged an auto for us and also provided the phone number of the operator. We reached the tour operator's office at 8AM. They issued a ticket for us. It was Rs 750 INR per head including breakfast, lunch and snacks and tea. They had their own bus service to take us to jetty. It was 40 KM away from Rajahmundry. The bus journey was just great via village s, lash green dense forest. We loved the scenery everywhere. The bus was average non-ac though.
Journey started

Papikondau trip
Our scheduled boat arrived at 10AM in the morning. We loved the boat by seeing it. You could refer love at first sight. The boat was well maintained. It was fully air conditioned at ground floor. The top floor was an open area. Once we started from the jetty, snacks(breakfast) were provided at the deck. Considering the money we spent and the open view, it could be comparable to our Kerala trip. The boat window at ground floor was similar to an air-conditioned bus.
boat view
It was having a curtain and was having 2X2 seats. The toilet was clean and ready for use. What I missed here was a guide. Instead of telling the history or importance of the places, the boat operator stated Telugu songs.
The plan of the visit was to cover:

  • Pattiseema 
  • Perantalapalli
  • Gandipochamma Temple
  • Papikondalu

at Pattiseema

After viewing Pattiseema, they started the journey towards Polavaram Project and served the lunch at exactly 12:30PM. It was a veg meal considering all borders. The view from the boat was spectacular. After the lunch, we headed towards Gandipochamma Temple. The scorching sun at 2PM cut shortened the visit to the temple. We hurriedly came back to Boat. Next was to reach Perantalapalli template and village. Perantalapalli template and village gave us a different view of life. The exposure of calm and beautiful nature made our day. The temple and ancient civilization were worth visiting. The journey towards main attraction Papikondalu started at 2:30PM. En route we saw a small fall (very little known) that fed the river Godavari.
falls that fed Godavari
The boat crew members were very friendly(even though they hardly understood Hindi or English). They understood that we were non-Telugu, they played some popular Hindi songs. The route was full of greeneries, different shades of blue and sands.
Different shades of nature
More we advanced towards Papikondalu, the route was lots of turn and twists via Pappihills. Once again it turned out to be a paradise for photographers. Numerous mobile phones, SLRs and point and shoot cameras were busy capturing the route and moments with nature and dear ones.
2nd turn of papihills
   The journey was to go upstream of the majestic Godavari river. The more we advanced towards upstream and valley, it was full of living creatures undisturbed by human habitations. The atmosphere on the boat was electric. All age groups were having fun in their own way. I was introduced by the boat crew to some young crowd who were going to stay the night in the bamboo huts. I was initially interested, but seeing no other female in the group, we dropped the plan.

At around 3:30PM we reached Papikondalu. There was a connecting boat available to carry passengers to Bhadrachalam. As our ticket was till Papikondalu, we stayed back. Unfortunately, the boat crew did not allow us to go to the bank of Papikondalu. They told some bad incidents. (Crocodile attacked one of the tourist and few downed while swimming) . The return journey started after that. Calm breeze, soft sun, the color of mother nature took us to a different world.
Sunset at Papihills
The return journey was even more entertaining. The boat operator arranged games,antaksari, dance competitions, and ramp walk. We enjoyed every second we spent here. The sunset, radish blue water, lush green hills were a treat to our eyes. We took this opportunity to take a few snaps.
View from boat
One suggestion to the boat crew was to install a dustbin in the boat so that we could throw away the remaining foods, waste plates, cups etc. I had seen people throwing them on the majestic river which was a major source of water pollution.
Sunset from boat
RiverBay rediscovered
In the evening, we came back to Rajahmundry and went to hotel RiverBay.The view from the hotel to the Godavari was the best part of the hotel. There was a small park on the bank of the river. It was nice for a walk and sitting and enjoying the song of the river. There were a lot of games facilities available for us. There was a swimming pool(operational between 11am to 4 pm), water amusement park, boat ride, and a gym facility. There was a wifi facility but the signal was very week. They had a 24X7 housekeeping facility but seemed a problem on that day. They were not available on call. We had to carry our drinking water bottle from the restaurant. They did not have an iron facility. So please take plenty of shirts with you. Due to humidity, you may need to change the shirts very frequently.

Iskon Temple
The ISCON blue colored temple of Rajahmundry was well planned and well built on the bank of river Godavari. Since we were tired, we quickly finished Dashavatar, exhibition hall along with the main idols. The enchanting of Lord Rama and Krishna was excellent to hear. The campus was well maintained with beautiful landscaping. It was quiet and calm. We did not collect prasad. It is advisable not to miss it from their outlet. However, there was a restaurant facility. Govinda's restaurant provided a lot many food options. But opted for coffee and alu bhaji only. The museum at ground floor (entry fee-Rs10INR/head) was just okay so as the library which was selling many books.

Boat Facility at RiverBay

Next day, we got up and quickly freshen up by 7AM. We went to take a ride via Hotel provided the boat. The 20 mins journey was refreshing. It was a must on our list. At 7:30AM, we went to the Captain's cabin and completed our breakfast and went to the reception for check out formalities. It was smooth and quick. After leaving Riverbay, we went to Horlicks factory. But we needed the approval to enter there. We left that plan and went to the man-made wonder the Godavari bridge. It was a true engineering marvel. The rail cum road bridge connected East Godavari district to Est Godavari district. It also connected Rajahmundry to Kovvur. We stopped at a small roadside dhaba, parked the car and had one round of tea. With their guidance, we went to explore the bridge. The hotel boy called Vijoy accompanied us. We watched train passing and cars passing through the bridge. It was truly a scenic place. It was very good when we watched the bridge from different angles from different places. We thanked Vijay for his great effort to show us the bridge. The rail cum road bridge was (is) the second largest bridge in Asia, stretching over 4KM long. Vijay took us to the bank of the Godavari for a ride. Since we did not understand Telegu, we dropped the plan. But if you understand Telegu, you can go for a boat ride to the nearby places. Everything was looking great from the road at a distant. When we came near the river, we saw the dirtiness. It was very sad to see that how this beautiful place was getting ruined by all kinds of plastics, waste plate, garbage etc. Any of my Rajamundry friend if looking into my post, please take care of this.
Secondly, since it was a very important bridge, we expected securities around the bridge. On that day, they were not available.
At around 11AM we started our return journey. We reached Vijayawada at 3PM and crossed it. We stopped at Hotel Southern Grand for our lunch. At 4:30 PM we started our journey again towards Hyderabad. We gave 4 stops before we touched ORR.
Finally, we reached our home at Hyderabad at 10:30PM. We were tired and hungry. Swiggy saved us for that day. It was indeed a beautiful and memorable journey.   
A Memorable Journey to PapiKondalu Weekend Gateway From Hyderabad A Memorable Journey to PapiKondalu Weekend Gateway From Hyderabad Reviewed by Animesh Chatterjee on November 05, 2018 Rating: 5

Trip to Dapoli From Hyderabad An alternative to Goa

November 08, 2017

For us beaches are an ideal place to spend our time with mother nature. After reading all travel logs and video about Dapoli, we were convinced that Dapoli was the right place where everything would come together to ensure that we would have all time in  our hand to relax a lazy holiday. Seeing the beauty and activities, we were sure about the fact that Dapoli would offer lots of good visiting places to cover. As Dapoli was one of the less known tourist spot, we considered it for its unpolluted air, cool breeze and non commercialized Konkon thali over Vizag, Mypadu, Baruva(Srikakulam), Suryalanka etc.
As we  travel Kolkata via road, most of the beaches were just in our route. So either we had already visited those beaches or we had  future plan to cover them. Goa being over hyped and over crowded, we did not opt for this. Rather we thought to venture the same Konkan coastal line through Dapoli.

Dapoli was called Mini Mahabaleswar due to it's cool weather, rain and cloud. Dapoli is a town in Ratnagiri district of Maharastra. There are a lot of history associated with Dapoli. Dapoli is also known as camp dapoli as british set up their camp here. There were many high rank officer's graves present here. Natural beauty of Konkan, truly untouched beaches with rocks, clean sand and lazy sunset under coconut trees with chirping sound of birds lured us to travel such a huge distance from Hyderabad. Dapoli is a offering to all from young to aged, family to single, motorists to bikers. It offered something to everyone. Post monsoon, it is an ideal place to visit Dapoli. Since we are beach lovers, we enjoy serenity, natural beauty of beach. That was the reason why we had chosen this place.
Dapoli could be ventured by train, nearest station was Khed(27KM away from Dapoli), by plane, nearest airport was Ratnagiri(100KM away from Dapoli), by road, there were lots of buses from Pune. As wikipedia suggested that BT buses were omnipresent but might not be convenient so we decided to go to Dapoli via our car.

Things to visit in Dapoli:

  1. Shri Ganesh Temple
  2. Keshraj Temple
  3. Parashuram bhumi
  1. Kadre Beach
  2. Murud Beach
  3. Ladghar Beach
  4. Kolthare beach
  5. Tamastirtha Beach
  6. Savane Beach
  7. Anjarle Beach
  8. Palande Beach
  9. Padale Beach
  10. Dapoli Beach
  1. Beautiful ghat and hair pin bends
  2. Small waterfalls
  3. Panhalekaji Caves
  4. Unhavare natural hot springs
  5. Harnai port and fish market

During last Dasera (2017) , we thought to venture Dapoli instead of Goa from our daily hustle bustle life. Google showed us three different routes around 750KM via sholapur. Travel India's recent update about Hyderabad and Solapur gave us lot of information. As I was travelling with my wife, I rejected all other routes and took Solapur route. I took NH-65. As this was the national high way, it was alive during night. There were lot of hotels, dhaba opened during night. I found that travelling with a female member, was safe.We planned to start 7pm but due to heavy rain and some unavoidable circumstances, we started at 8:30PM. We topped up Diesel from Gachibowli Diesel bunk.

We finally hit ORR at 9 PM. Initial journey was very good. We drove till Exit -3 and took Mumbai highway NH-65. We drove till Zaherabad and then took rest for 15 minutes. Road condition in Telengana was really nice. Within 10:30 PM we crossed the Telengana border.Once we reached Karnataka the real drama started. As Travel India users informed earlier that the road condition was really bad with lots of diversions, we experienced the same. On top of this, the Volvos with lots of lights made our journey miserable. We were hardly able to drive 40 KM/hr. Even though there were lots of diversions, they were marked very clearly. Somewhere the road was great but somewhere it was badly broken.
If you drive carefully, you can drive in this route. At around 1 AM we stopped near a veg dhaba. We took dinner there. We started again at around 1:30AM.With great difficulty, we reached Solapur at 3AM. We rested for sometime here. Initially we planned to travel via Pune, but while taking rest at solapur, we changed our plan and took another road via pradhanpur. Google took us via road which was narrow. After 15 mins of driving , we found that we were the only 3 people in the road. We could not see any village nearby. Solapur to Pandharpur stretch was ofcourse traffic free in the night but it was full of potholes. I must thank Ford for making such a fantastic suspension of Figo. We cruised over small and mid sized potholes with ease. Thank again to figo for it's soft suspension. Pandharpur to Satara road was the loneliest road of India. There was not a single soul along the road. Being late night, it was even emptier. However the road condition was just ok. As it was a single road, we could manage to drive around 60KM per hour.

The road went via paddy field. After driving some time at around 4:30AM, we got into a road which was going through a heavy maintenance. There were lots of diversions, muddy areas. I was very scared to drive through this road. I was driving 20Km/hr. This stretch of the journey ended at around 9:30AM when we touched NH-48. We stopped here for a beautiful breakfast. It offered Dosa, tea and coffee in Maharastra style.
Hotel Name-Hotel Namaste
Place name-Masur Phata, Pune - Bangalore Highway, Umbraj, Maharashtra 415109

After an eventful 18 hrs of drive, the food gave us new life. The Dosa was normal without spice (not like Hyderabad).We stopped here for one and half hour. We used Dhaba's toilet to freshen up.At 10:30AM we started again. We crossed 30 KM via NH-48 and took SH-143 for Patan. Once we diverted from NH-48, the ghat road started. Speedometer was not crossing 25KM/hr. At 2PM we reached Chaplun via Alore. Because it was post monsoon session , we enjoyed different shades of greens everywhere throughout the road.The ghat section was really awesome. It was very difficult for us to drive without capturing those scenic beauty and moments.

Road via khed was average with a mixture of bad or good stretch. We reached Dapoli at around 4PM. We were hungry. We stopped at a hotel situated near the Dapoli market. We had a full lunch with rice, chicken curry, fish and prawn. At around 5:30Pm we started our last span of our journey. Dapoli to Kadre beach connecting road was not in great shape . In some areas it was just muddy. We reached kadre beach at 6PM. Kandepoha, Ghavane, Upma, Thalipeeth, Panagi, Ghatale, Dadpe pohe, Kheer, halwa, shira etc were very nice options as breakfast along with freshly prepared tea. During evening, we got few of these items along with fried aloo,different bondas(onions,aloo,michi) etc. No holiday completes, until we taste the local food. Dapoli was not an exception. We tried to consume as many as local Konkoni dishes during our stay.

By the way, even though, we booked an A/C room but later we realized non A/C would be better as the place was cool.

Kadre Beach:
I booked Omshanti Beach resort via WhatsApp. The owner was kind enough to confirm over Whatsapp. But after reaching there we got the bad news that next two days there was no cancellation that meant no rooms for us. The owner was very good and made an effort to search nearby hotels. Unfortunately he could not find one. We rested for sometimes and ordered tea. After the tea my brother in law went to sea. My wife and I made an effort to search a hotel. We went deep inside kadre beach. Fortunately, we got one nice hotel. Our room was at 1st Floor facing the beach. The hotel had a kitchen also. We verbally booked the room. As this place suffered less internet connectivity and network issue, many of the hotels did not exist online. The few were on internet were charging high compared to others. Other good hotels did exist without internet.

We went to sea to enjoy the sunset. We had very little time to enjoy the sunset.We were able to catch glimpse of the sunset sitting on the soft sand of Kadre. Definitely the soft sand,gentle breeze and gentle wave made our mood.This was the first time,we were seeing the black sand.Initially, the black sand did not look very interesting but the panoramic vista of the sea,horizon,hill were simply superb. The calmness during evening refilled us with great energy.There were not much eating options during our visit. But I trusted that during pick season, there would be many. We roamed around 30 minutes and came back to hotel. Om shanti beach resort had a kitchen too. We ordered konkoni thali along with Fish fry.At around 9PM they served the dinner and at 10PM went to bed for a nice sleep.
The beauty of sea beach and visitors disappeared at 10PM. There were no lights in any of the sea beach. The night life was not as beautiful as vizag,Puri or Digha or Goa. We felt very scary post sunset to stay at beach.We called it for a day.

There was no mobile signal available in the hotel room or around the area. Only vodafone or tata docomo had some network in the sea beach. Airtel,Idea,jio had no presence here.Due to this poor network coverage,credit or debit cards did not work here. Internet provider did not invade this area due to less profit. Few of the hotels had internet facility that too in common area. Due to this we had to deal with hard cash in all hotels or guest houses.

Next day we woke up early.We enjoyed the sea in early morning.After some walk on the sea beach, we came back for a delicious breakfast.  During morning hours, Kadre turned out to be a beautiful,serene and quite beach.There were lot of visitors on the sea beach. As per our visiting, Kadre was the second best beach. It was less crowded,offered a nice sea view. It was also having lots of hotels with different budgets. As we opted for little off season or beginning of the season,we did not get lots of food stalls around sea beach.Since we booked the sea facing room, the sound of wave kept us knocking all day long.

The water was clean so as the beach.One more advantage was no matter which group you would be in, everybody could enjoy here. Nobody was interested in other's area.Sea was calm with black sand.The slope was gradual with no rock or sudden depth. The beach was safe enough and clean for swimmers. We did not go much deeper though. It was absolute clean and fun for bathing, playing and enjoying time with my family.We enjoyed the bath in Sea for 2 hours. Kadre beach offered water sports (speed boat pulling parachutes, parasailing, sea sofa, banana rides pencil ride, jet ski, sand biking, beach football or dolphin seeing activities during pick season). In off season it was not available. Kadre was isolated, not much crowded on weekdays,but during weekends and long leaves, it was little  crowded. After taking bath , we walked to the rocky side of the beach which surprisingly offered a handful of fauna, black crabs, fishes trapped in small species inside the rocks waiting for high tide.

Dapoli being a rural place of Maharastra, it was convenient to have our own vehicle. We opted our own car for near by travel. Being hungry, we were looking for local konkoni dishes. We found one nice hotel at Asud. The hotel was in dhaba style.We enjoyed the ambiance, food. I strongly recommend this hotel for a lunch or dinner.As a foodlover, Dapoli offered us different varieties of fish platters. One thing we noticed that they hardly took any food order (lunch/dinner/snacks) over phone. Our orders were only got confirm when we sat in the hotel and ordered. Kokan Sarbat was something, we never had taken. We liked it so much that we could not resist ourselves to order two glasses extra.

All hotels,guest houses had their own canteen to arrange food facilities. Fish dishes were mostly famous.If you happen to taste real konkoni food, you need to go to the near by hotels or restaurants.We went towards Ladghar beach.  Even though the Kadre to Ladghar had a connecting road just about 3 KM, but it happened to be a broken, narrow one. We had taken the main road via Dapoli Camp.

My wife was not up for the seeing those graves of high rank officers so we left that place. During the visit to the ladghar beach, we took Dapoli Market road which took us to the biggest agricultural university of India. While coming back from here, we visited the birth place of bharat ratna Maharshi Annasaheb Kavre. However it was not maintained properly. But a must visit place to all.

Shri Ganesh Temple:
Next place to visit was Shri Ganesh Temple in Anjarle. It was around 35 KM away from Kadre beach. This was one of the oldest ganapati temple. It was told that the ganapati temple was built in 17th century and was renovated in 1996. Throughout the road there was signboard directing us towards temple. It was always better to use GPS and to talk to locals just to confirm the roads. One thing, we noticed that locals were very much welcoming , friendly and helpful. I loved to drive in ghat and we were packed with photography gears, this area offered a great drive and photography. It was a great road parallel to the sea. During our journey we got lots of spots from where we did some photography. Post monsoon season, it was green everywhere. It was a pure treat to the eyes to watch the green meeting deep blue Arabian sea. While we enjoyed the view , the road was not in great shape. Some places were gentle, some places were very rough.We had to drive very carefully through lots of turns, twists, steep ups and down.We took around one hour to reach there. Once we reached there, we found that the temple was having huge parking space. The Temple was a great sign of ancient sculpture. This was also treated as Jagrut devsthan. The darshan time was hardly 15 minutes. The area was well maintained, clean and calm. One could stay over night.(You need to tell the caretaker before hand). There were few stalls selling puja materials(puja-thali, Haliv ladoos) and food items(flowers,candies,coconuts,kokam,Mango pulp,dried jackfruit,jhunka bhaki).  They used to speak Marathi but understand the Hindi very well. This temple was a must visit for us. Visiting the nearby locations, I was spellbound by the beauty of nature. The picturesque location stopped us many times for photography. Once we crossed the temple and went to the backside of the temple,we could see the Anjarle village along with Anjarle beach. The village was hidden inside greenery and coconut trees.Also in the back side we saw the Shree Ganapati Che paul.(The foot print of Lord Ganesh).

There was a small pond , local referred as turtle pond. We did not see any turtle though!!.Once we came out of the temple , there was a big circular cemented area near a big tree. We sat for sometime. Local shops were offering great tea,kokam,awal,karvand juice. They were also selling Poha and rice papad. We tried rice papad along with tea.The shop keeper showed us the paajpandhari and Suvarnadurga in a single frame.He also informed us that the temple was originally built near the sea shore. Every time when water level of sea used to increase, the temple used to go inside of water made a natural immersed processed. Later along with the locals ,government move it to the top of the hill and made it more significant with the foot steps.His wife suggested us to visit during summer for best mangoes in India. We  started our journey to Keshavraj Temple. Sunset from here could have been a treat to eyes. A must try for all nature lovers.

Keshavraj Temple:
Keshavraj temple was around 10 KM away from Asud market. It was an ancient temple of keshavraj and Shree vyagreshwar.Keshvraj name derived from kadyawarcha Ganapati (Ganapati on cliff). This was ujwya Sondecha ganapati or right trunked ganapati considered to be jagrut diwat or live drity. This was a hidden treasure inside hill and jungle. As usual the road was narrow but the villagers were very welcoming and fun loving.The road was through quite lash green surrounding. We had to park the car outside of the village .

The moment , we parked our vehicle, we entered into the village. At the entry of the village ,  it was indeed a different world. The entire area was very clean,clam and quite. There were few snacks stalls . We had taken tea upon arrival. Then we had to walk down side via a lane. The slope was gradual. The huge emptiness of sound reduced our huge stress and fatigues.  We had to go down or climb down to get the get the stream.The more we walked down on the winding lane through a dense jungle of cocnut,beetel and jack fruit trees.The area was very cool. The jungle was so dense in some places,even the sunlight could not penetrate. The surroundings were filling up with new fresh energy. There were lots of birds near by. The chirping of birds was breaking the silence. It was a true mesmerizing experience.We had to cross the bridge.We stopped for sometime in the bank of the stream just to listen the natural music.The bank of the stream and entire area was full of various trees.It was indeed a great place to relax. The road became very spectacular after crossing a bridge at the river.The view from the top of the bridge was great. We had to climb around 50ft to reach the temple. A bit of climbing was required.The temple was clean but lonely. We hardly found any one there. There were accommodation available by provided by locals.Non veg was strictly not available as almost everybody were Brahmin. Coming back to temple, the temple was small and beautiful. A oil lamp was there to illuminate Lord Vishnu. The experience to see Lord Vishnu was great. The gomukh was fascinating with fresh and cold water.The pure water coming out of the bulls was really cold. We were not sure if that was safe to drink. As the backside of the temple was completely locked and nobody was around, we could not know the source of this holy water. Later the villages confirmed that holy water was consumable.It was little lonely , we could hardly got anybody in the route. Also there were no shops in the route.We carried snacks and water bottles along with us. As it was post monsoon season, nature offered the best view of everything. The round trip was completed by 3 hours as we took multiple breaks during our journey. There was not a single dustbin throughout the journey as a result people threw pet bottles,glass bottles in few places which were the only eye sore.As we had to do lot of climbing or sort of trekking, I would not recommend any heart patient,pregnant women or differently able person to venture this. This place offered lots of photography spots. if you were religious,spiritual or atheist, this was a great and must visit place in Dapoli. The whole journey was much better than the destination. The trail was amazing with all sorts of trees and bunch of horn bills.By the way , this area was famous for Alphonso mango,locally known as Hapus Aam.

Unhavare Natural Hot Spring:
It was charm to drive 2 hours drive from Kadre with the road which was not in great shape.We had to drive very carefully.We had lost roads and direction many times.In the entire road we did not get anybody who could suggest us the correct road.We were fully dependent on GPS which misguided us many times.  It was around 40 KM. We did not figure out if we traveled  in wrong season. It was dirty. It was no comparison with the hot spring of Brakeswar of west bengal or mud volcano of Andaman. They were far far better than this. A thin water was coming out of mother nature. Not sure if it was hot or not. It was so dirty we did not encouraged to touch it. However,while coming back , the darkness gave us a beautiful night drive in off road condition.

Savane Beach:
It was a clean beach with full of coconut trees.When we reached there, there was no tourists venturing the area. It was a scenic beach with unlimited quietness. There were no tea stalls available. The air was very fresh and refreshing. Off course the beach and nature offered private moments but loneliness was killing us. There was no water spots. The Sunset was far better than other beach. We clicked some photos and left the place. We were only three.We wished next time we would come back with lots of friends. We wished that we would be doing a Bonn fire.
Agricultural university:
The Maharastra Govt established this agriculture university on 1972.It was named Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth.Later it was named as Dr Bala Saheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth.The area was as usual very green. As we visited during holidays,it was closed. I was sure that the university provided lots of crops to the farmers of the country.

Harnai Port/Harnai Beach/Suvarnadurga/Kanakdurga/Fish Market:
It was situated around 20 KM away from Kadre beach.It was the oldest port in this area.Uncounted numbers of boats were leaving or coming. There were all fishing boat in the area. Being a market place it was crowded. We did not spend time here.If sea beaches were main attraction to go to Dapoli,It offered us few mores!!!.  It was consisted three forts.We could cover only two. They were as below:
  1. Suvarnadurga- Sea fort
  2. Kanakdurga-- Land fort
It was shore fortress encompassed with great Arabian sea on all sides.It was spread over regions of eight sections and had separated the outer world with high wall(divider). It was one of the naval base of Maratha for was boat building capacity. It could be easily identified by it's dark stoned dividers.
It was told that it was built in Adil shah rule and later captured by Maharaja Chatrapati Sivaji. The locals told that there was route(tunnel) between the forts.The road was not available when we visited.The literal meaning of Suvarnadurga was 'golden fort' as it was symbolized as a pride or the "feather in the golden cap of Marathas".There was almost nothing left in the fort. There was a big lighthouse(almost ruined when we visited). It was a gazing place for local cows.There was no ferry service available to go to the sea fort. We needed to book a local fisherman to carry us. As there was no tourists available to go to sea fort. Also they did not offer us life jackets.We cancelled that plan. However there was a fish market available. Harnai was very famous for fish auction.Seeing the volume of fish auction,we were sure it was the major exporter of fish in Maharastra and neighboring states.Being fish lovers,we were thrilled to see the varieties of fish at cheaper price. If we had booked a home stay, we would have ventured the market.However,Harnai  beach was very popular. It was flat bed beach again with gradual slope with gentle wave.

PanhaleKaji Cave:
It was really hidden wonder in Dapoli. It was around 30 KM away from Dapoli. The cave were built during Buddhist period 3rd century AD and discovered only in 1970.There were 29 caves available.The caves were made by cutting the rock.The area was small and was not very popular.Coming back to cave, the caves were having two rooms. They were not maintained. They were damp,quite. Bats , birds, pigpens made  it their home.It was stinking badly. We could identify the models of Ganesh,Sawaswati and scene from Ramayana and Mahabharata.The caretaker was kind enough to take us to different caves like the buddhists cave, the hindu's cave,the jain's cave. Unfortunately, he was not having much knowledge about the cave. Coming back to road condition, the parts of the road was muddy,narrow. It was around 1.5 hours drive from Ladghar beach. The scenario around cave were beautiful having tall grass,lash green surrounding. There were two small snack shops near by. We did not opt for tea here. I could not only say that it was a neglected golden heritage of India. The road was lonely. We got hardly get anybody through the last 2 hours or 20 KM drive.
Murud Beach:
It was a delicate sand , extended beach with lots of palm and coconut trees.It was sheltered and clean beach.Murud was also famous for Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Kadre.Murud beach offered us lots of restaurant that were serving veg and non veg food items. The freshly prepared fish items were delicious.Murud beach was same like Kadre beach with flat bed sea,gradual slope. It was very safe to swim for hours. Few water sports were also available.Distance between Kadre and Murud  was almost 5KMs. They shared the same coastal line. We could take a morning walk to cover both beaches.
Parshuram Bhumi:
This place was in our plan. It was a mythological place , having monument of Lord Parashuram. It was told that Lord Parashuram created konkan. Konkan was formed when Lord Parashuram fought with the sea which being defeated , moved 50KM away to reveal the land. The road was in great shape with lots of flora and the big trees.However it was a private property. It was a mountain view with dense forest around.We statue was almost 40 ft.It was 21 feet copper finished statue.The architecture was very nice.It was a different and unique experience.The structure was made of fiber glass. A collection of Sanskrit shlokas on Shri Parashuram,on the walls around could be worth seen.The earth like dome was actually a meditation hall. We could hear the echo of own voice.The panoramic view of majestic arabic sea,harnai port in the background and the high tides lashing the coast in forefront made our visit worth.  When we visited the place, there was nobody.So far I remember,there was a single snack shop outside.The quality of the food , specially tea, was tasty.There were three bungalows adjacent to this place. Bird watching could have been a good option.Due to time crunch,we had to proceed further.
Keshav Kavra Photo Gallery:
It was not too big but worth watching some rarest and historic photographs of Dr Dhando Keshav Kavre. Government was trying level best to maintain this area. But we felt the effort was not much.
Kolthare Temple:
The shop keeper of Parshuram Bhumi advised us to travel this. But as the GPS could not determine the route, we lost our route in between. Since we could not determine the path ,we dropped the plan.
Durga devi Temple:
It was a nice temple with rural and ancient interiors. It was having a big hall for pilgrims. The area was clean and few shop keepers were selling  puja items.
The ancestral house of Lokmanya tilak was near Pankali Kaji Caves. It was told his marriage ceremony took place here. When we visited, there was a memorial and school. Being holiday the school was closed.

Kolthare Beach:
Kolthare beach was one of the virgin beaches available in Dapoli. It was 20 KM away from Dapoli market.Expect locals,hardly anybody knew about this beach.There were two routes towards kolthare beach. We had taken the adventures route..the ghat one.It was narrow but very nice It was truly untouched scenic beauty. There was no network,no live GPS. We had downloaded the offline map.We had to follow that and ask lots of locals for this beach. The drawings,footprints we made during the last day when tried to visit Kolthare temple,were still available next day.The beach was having many rock/stones. We had to be very careful as they might hurt easily. Since it was not commercialized ,We did not see any tourists here.There was no stalls near by. There was no water sports facility.Overall, the beach was lonely, the sand was silver gray,most picturesque beach covered by three sides.But it was clean and clear beach.However we have seen two three options to stay. Hotel Garawa- The location was great but the quality of the food was just ok. We have also seen one nice home stay called Siddi Resort. We have not taken food here.Afternoon season my bother in law went crazy about fishing by hands. He  almost caught few with bare hands. There were many nurseries around Dapoli . We could buy fruit plants,aromatic plants,money plants,flowers etc at a nominal cost.
Ladghar Beach:
Ladghar Beach was the best beach in Dapoli in terms of activities,number of hotels,beach activities(jet ski,Para sailing  via SUV,Quad biking and camel ride). It was three KM away from Kadre Beach.If you would like to go with family,Ladghar would be the best choice. Clean beach with lots of  small black and red stones made us seat for hours. Lots of activities were there through out the day. Morning , they went to see the dolphin.we missed it though. During noon,lots of hotels offered us great food. Afternoon offered visitors a beautiful sunset. The beach was having lots of stalls. It was not blueish water rather it was having reddish brown water.All-through, it was not completely sandy beach, rather a mixture of reddish mud,stones and black sand.There were lots of hotels , home stays available here.During all seasons, all water sports along with dolphin watching. The place became even more beautiful during sunset(golden hue, sun reflecting on the reddish water enhances the color of the sand and of course the water). We tested the local coconut water and soft coconut.However, one thing we noticed that that the locals and tourists threw away bottles,tetra packs,glass bottles and wastage to the sea beach.Local municipal corporation or villagers committee should take proper steps to make it clean.All hotels provided simply good food.It was a worth visit specially for sea food lovers.Nearly all properties were on the beach with just the road was separating them. We did not notice life guard. One thing , we expected that was fancy restaurants or food joints which we did not get.Expected on weekends, ladghar beach was almost like private beach.A simple morning walk along with the sea beach was very joyful with gentle wave,lash green and water birds and crabs, fish.Even though the sand was soft,few enthusiastic drivers took their car to sea. It looked very risky to me.  There was an alcohol shop here,all brands were available. The hotels offered us more or less same menus for lunch and dinner. They offered us Modak,aloo bhaji,solkadi(common in all most all meals),Kuleeth pitale,bhakri,Kaju masala,paneer masala,black pees curry,usal,papad,pickel along with varieties of non veg options-Pomphret, surmai, bangda, bombil, prawn, oysters,crabs,chicken,egg,mutton.For non veg ,we had both the options fry and gravy.

The beach offered a gentle wave, slow slope , no boulders.By the way the beach was clean so as the water. Few enthusiastic people explored the sea during sunset. Once we reached Ladghar,we did not stop at the beach. We went ahead along with the road. After 2/3 KMs of drive, mother nature offered us a small narrow stream. The stream was coming from uphill.Sunset from that clean and pristine stream made our day successful.
Kelshi Beach:
We drove till the sea line. We finally reached Keshi, a small village best known for Mahalakshmi temple, Yakub baba's dargah and sand hillocks.Yakub baba's dargah was built in the peswar era. It was told to us that Maharaja Sivaji visited Yakub baba and sought his blessings. Also the hindu king awarded 653 avers of land to construct the Dargah. Since then it was a famous place for both the community.The history of keshi village from 1300 B.C. was maintained.The connecting road was via the Kelshi village as a result we got few congestion through the journey. Kelshi village showed us the real village life. Apart from few locals, we did not see any other tourists. The beach was very nice with yellow sand.We found few snack stalls around the beach.  There was no good hotels around but we had seen few home stays owned by locals.The local shopkeeper gave us little nice information about the Kelsi naming. It was originally called as Kadaligram then it was changed to Kadali to Kaelshi to Kelshi.Books of Mahalakshmi temple still had the original name as Kadaligram as a reference to this place.It was the chief seaport during the year of 1600.As the Geyar community settled were for business, it was referred as Geyarwade. Second area to visit was Sand dune called walucha dongar.(A result of a Tsunami during 15th century).When we visited here, we did not see much exists.
Dabhol Beach,Dhabol Creek,Dhabol port:
It was suggested by the second hotel owner in Kadre. It was truly an untouched gem. Dhahol beach offered us three different things,Dhabol beach, Dhabol Creek,Dhabol port. The ferry ride around Dhabol creek added more excitement. Dhabol port was not for us rather it was for fishermen.We visited underground temple of Goddess Chandika. It was told that the idol was formed naturally. As the temple was in cave, we did not go inside. Dhabol was again not much crowded.

Tamastirtha Beach:
Once we visited Ladghar beach, we were talking to locals and we came to know about this beach.It was just 2/3 KM away from Ladghar Beach. Overall, it was a red pebble beach with little unclean but non touristy beach. It was mostly for fishermen.The red pebble beach was good for stone collector(Sea memories). Red pebbles were very good for photography.There were few sea creature crawling here.There were few migratory birds around.The clean water, red pebbles, minerals were flowing into sea at the junction created an unique copper hue. May be that was the reason why it was called Tamastirtha . As it was for fishermen naturally, it was not little muddy,dirty. The outfits of locals were not pleasure to eyes. Since it was muddy and dirty, we did not take bath here. Dipping was little dangerous for skin.There were few tea stalls available here.However, we did not find very interesting here, we decided to leave. I believed that seeing Tamastirtha Beach from hills and taking photo from there would be great.

On Dapoli on SH-4 and coastal Highway crossing, there  was a hotel called Nisarg offers beautiful food.The seating was seaview. We tested lunch here. The taste was great with less spicy. After such a beautiful food, we drove along SH-4 to Anjarle beach and Savane beach. They were mainly for locals. We had seen lots of fishing boats,preparing to leave at night. These beaches were rocky not best for swimmers. These beaches were having occasional tourists venturing the sea beach. As we were not in a gang, we did not enjoy much. We clicked photos and left there.

Try to take main road while commuting from one beach to other as beach connecting roads were broken,narrow and full of traffic and visitors.

There were many atms available in Dapoli market. But if you happened to be near karde,Murud or Ladghar beaches, in Asud there were in operational BOI ATM.

Anjarle Beach:
The whitish sand when reflected sunlight during sunset, we felt lots of diamonds were shining. off course the green cover with various trees created an unique karishma along with deep blue sea.

Shriwardhan Beach:
While driving through the coastal line with our car,we found this beach. Actually it was never in our visiting list. One local friendly person helped and guided us to this beach. It was lonely beach with brown sand ,clean and pristine water.It was truly a virgin beach as nobody,except us ventured the beach.There were no snack stalls nearby.We did some photo clicking and proceed to Padale Beach.

Padale Beach:
It was again not so touristy. Few people were venturing the sea when we arrived here. No water sports were available.No much snack stalls were available. The sea offered us a huge sea beach to explore.The sunset was really nice. Chirping birds,endless gentle wave, very few tourists made the sunset as beautiful as we watched in chiriyatapu in Andaman.

There were two routes to Pune. One from Tamhini ghat, another via Varandha ghat. We choosed the second one that was via Varandha ghat. The reason was even through the ghat road was more but the traffic was relatively less.

We did not take the same route as most of the routes were under construction. Dapoli to Mahabaleswar distance was 100KM via SH-12. We thought to reach there by noon (1PM) but the road was not in great condition and being a ghat section, we finally reached Mahabaleswar at 2:30PM
The road condition from Dapoli to Palgad was just okay, It was two way road with occasional tar  came off.
Mapro Garden Mahabaleswar:
while returning to Hyderabad via Mahabaleswar,this beautiful garden was just beside the road.It was on the route on Mahabaleswas to Panchgani road.We did not miss this.The area decoration was also nice. It was a must stop for all nature lovers.The restaurant facility was awesome with pizza, sandwich,french fries,hot chocolate and coffee.It was having its own Chocolate factory.As per the manager there,Mr Kishore Vora Mapro started this business in 1959.Later the business and garden became popular with his name as Mapro. There were many outlets and processing units(Capacity of 30000 tones per year).  It was also a best place to purchase strawberry products and other fruit crushes,flavor milk shakes,jelly.There were many fruit crashes available like-strawberry, litchi,coconut,peach,grendline,hazelnut,blue curaco,mango.I could not remember all options. Along with the fruit products the strawberry ice cream was very famous.There was a huge queue there,we did not opt for it due to our time crunch.Later my friend Madhurima confirmed that it was nice.We missed that.We wished that we would come back again for this. I heard from Madhurima that during strawberry festival ,hundreds of farmers used to distribute their fresh strawberries for free. There was a area dedicated to children, was also attractive with Banjo Jump,play area,lots of fun rides.We purchased two jelly bottles and couple of flavored milk. this place also offered clean toilet facility.During long journey ,we would need more facility along with food options.  During our short journey,we experienced a traditional dance performance by Mapro authorized locals. There were doing so to reduce the stress and re energize the tourist. Indeed , it was a great initiative by them.
Venna Lake:
When we were crossing this lake,it was afternoon.We had really no mood to go for a boat ride.I wished that we would come for one Mahabalewar trip ,I would cover these in details. We saw the lake from outside.Hundreds of tourists were boating in the lake.The atmosphere was cool so it was really pleasant to use a paddle boat.There were lots of food options were available there(inside and outside). As we had to drive another 14 hours,we dropped the visiting option.

But one thing I must say, the beauty of the ghat road was awesome full of scenic beauty. Google diverted us to a narrow road to connect the great Mahabaleswar ghat road. The ghat road was in great condition with a very occasional bad road. Again the Mahabaleshwar ghat road was green and breathtaking. During our journey to Mahabaleshwar, we did a lot of photo shooting. Lots of up and down, we reached at Mahabaleshwar at 2:30 PM. We saw a few small waterfalls in the route. After crossing Mahabaleswar we stopped for lunch.  The Manager of the dhaba not only offered great food but also provided a route map to reach Solapur. We started again towards wai at 4PM. The road became excellent when we reached NH-48. The road was tempting us to go beyond 80KM/hr but we did only 60 KM/hr. We were preserving our energy for great NH 65 till Solapur.   Somewhere before Pune, Google showed us that NH-48 was meeting NH-65. It was also showing a road via SH-143 towards Solapur. But we ignored that road. However once we reached the junction of NH-48 and NH-65, we could not get the entry point to NH-65. Unfortunately, we had to travel some kms inside Pune. It was a huge traffic jam inside Pune. After great difficulty, we finally touched NH-65 at 7:30PM. Once we crossed the busy Pune city, it was a breeze to drive.

After crossing 80KM we stopped for a break. After we start our journey, our speed got reduced to a great extent due to pitch dark night accompanied by a heavy downpour. Heavy rain reduced our visibility. Even though the road was in great condition, we could not drive more than 40 KM/hr. At 12:30AM we stopped for dinner to a roadside hotel. Rain was also stopped. I was driving almost 13 hours, I needed a break. We ordered roti and paneer curry. As I said earlier that Maharastra food was very nice very low on spice. We enjoyed the dinner. After dinner, I took a power nap for one hour in my car. My wife and brother in law were browsing internet and were busy posting the nice pictures. At around 2:30AM we started again to words Solapur. The power nap gave me a new life. We quickly crossed 100 KM and reached Solapur at 3:30AM. I took a small tea break for 15 minutes. Again the horror movie started with lots of diversions, Volvos. The Volvos were having eight to ten light pointed towards oncoming traffic. They hardly gave any response to the small cars like me. Our speed got reduced to almost 10KM/hour in some of the stretches. Once we reached Telengana border , we got the nice road again. thanks to NH authority of Telengana division to make this stretch beautiful. At 9:30 We touched the ORR and at 10:30 We reached home.

Special Incident: During our return journey one funny thing happened. I was following a car and ignored the diversion signal. After some KMs the car took a small road towards a nearby village. I had to stop quickly. It was a cut in the road. The depth was somewhere 15 ft. There was a construction work going on. I was about to take U turn. I found two cars,followed by three volvos actually did the same mistake . Every driver were smiling  to each others by seeing our mistake. We came to the diversion and took the correct route again. I learnt a lesson that we sould not follow anybody blindly and should not ignore the diversion.

We came with a big smile in our face.The time we spent in Dapoli,worth of every single money we spent on this trip.The entire travel made us that we returned with lots of good memorizes with us.The overall experience was nothing sort of fabulous touring experience.

Road StretchCondition TollComments
Hyderabad to ORR Exit-3Very good 40Excellent Road
Hyderabad to Telengana bordergood NoNot pleasure to drive but ok
Telengana border to karnatakaOccasional good path NoNeed to drive carefully
Karnataka to SolapurVery bad NoLots of diversions and bad patches. Diversions were marked clearly.
Solapur to PadhanpurVery good Rs 55(Range 200KM-250KM)Excellent Road
SH-548C SectionMixed -Good and bad 0One way, lots of roads were being made. Lots of Diversions
Padhanpur to NH-8 CrossingPatchy 0Single road, you would hardly see people, car, lorry
Nh-8 to kadregood 0Single road, you would hardly see people, car, lorry , Lots of ghat section
Kadre to Chiplungood 0Ghat road
Chiplun to Dapoligood 0Ghat Section with lots of bad pathes
Dapoli to Kadre BeachBad 0The road was single lane,sometimes very narrow. It was very tough to give pass to oncoming traffic. Some patches were very bad- No road, Need to drive carefully
Dapoli to Ladghar beachgood 0The road was single lane,sometimes very narrow. It was very tough to give pass to oncoming traffic. Some patches were very bad- No road, Need to drive carefully
Dapoli to Mahabaleswargood 0 but only in Panhgani entrance fee Rs 55The road was single lane ghat road,Some patches were very bad- No road, Need to drive carefully
Mahabaleswar to Yaigood 0The road was single lane,sometimes very narrow. It was very tough to give pass to oncoming traffic. Some patches were very bad- No road, Need to drive carefully
Yai to Pune NH-65 crossinggood 0The road was beautifully
Pune to solapur Stretch-1(0-14KM)good 25The road was beautifully
Pune to solapur Stretch-2(15-40KM)good 25The road was beautifully
Pune to solapur Stretch-3(41-102.5KM)good 65The road was beautifully
Pune to solapur Stretch-4(102.5-150KM)good 65The road was beautifully
Pune to solapur Stretch-5(151-200KM)good 65The road was beautifully
Pune to solapur Stretch-6(201-251KM)good 25The road was beautifully

Hyderabad to Solapur- Lots of toll gates but none were operational hence no toll

Trip to Dapoli From Hyderabad An alternative to Goa Trip to Dapoli From Hyderabad An alternative to Goa Reviewed by Animesh Chatterjee on November 08, 2017 Rating: 5
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