Dahanu: The Land of Chickoos and Beaches

#1 Feb 9th, 2009, 23:26
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Maharashtra, India
Posts:
59
  • barochallo is offline
#1
There are places that one visits for sightseeing. And there are those with the urban delights with zoos, pubs, shopping etc. But if you are interested in doing absolutely nothing except relaxing and unwinding or staring at the sea or fruit orchards, you might want to check out Dahanu. It’s the ideal place to spend two or three days.
After which you are likely to get bored, it’s that quiet. Unless you are author types looking for a hideout where you can finish your latest who-dunnit, undisturbed.

Dahanu is your typical sleepy coastal town, about 150 km north of Mumbai, near the Gujarat border. Not much sightseeing, no shopping, just great weather, sun and sand. Like all sea-side towns in India, avoid Dahanu in summer. It's a delicacy best served cold, in the winter. But Dahanu is simply gorgeous in rains too; when you can see every one of the 692 shades of green (umm..I think there are that many shades in green).

One thing that strikes you first about Dahanu is the freshness, the pure oxygen in the air that one inhales, absolutely devoid of air-pollution. Dahanu is a court-declared ‘green zone’. Angry at a thermal power plant that was successfully set up close to Dahanu many years, the orchard-owners from Dahanu went to court and got a Supreme court order that bans the setting up of any polluting industrial unit in Dahanu thereafter.

There isn’t much too see in Dahanu, except miles of virgin beaches, untouched by the commercialism that has spoilt the beauty of beach-places like Alibag. The beaches don’t have white sand like the oceanic islands, but they’re sparsely crowded (except on Sunday evenings, when the whole town and its aunt wants to congregate there) and lined by rows of palm trees. But that’s only at the main beaches. I’ve found a few beaches a kilometre or two further north, where it's invitingly lonely, even on weekends.

The prescription on the bottle instructs one to lie back in the shade of the trees, listen to the sound of the breeze and sea and gaze at the blue sea for hours, guaranteeing total serenity of mind.
Deep sea swimming is not advisable, but paddling around (or running around like Hindi film heroes and heroines! ) in shallow waters is safe, as the slope is a gradual one. The sea looks beautiful and are dotted with colorful fishing boats during the day and their multicolored lights at night. No, there are no water-sports available (para-sailing/ boating etc.) It’s pure Nature, all the way.

On the road from the Railway Station to the beach, next to the Mahadev temple, there’s a lotus pond with the most brilliantly pink colored lotuses you’ll have ever seen. One can just sit or stand there beneath the boughs; and stare as long as sheep or cows (W.H. Davies’ line, not mine).

The other place worth seeing is the Jain Temple on top of a hill at a place called Kosbad. It offers a beautiful view of the sea-shore on one side and the chickoo-fruit orchards that Dahanu abounds in, on the other side.
And there is the old Dahanu town which has an unattractive fort and which for some unknown reason, houses the Government Administrative Offices and the local JAIL in the same premises. And no, I’m not trying to imply anything here.

But take a walk towards the jetty (about five minutes away from the Fort) and you’ll come to the Dahanu Creek. For about 5 to 10 Rupees, you’ll get a 10 minute ride in a ‘ferry’ across the Creek to the other side called ‘Dhakti Dahanu’ (literally means the ‘younger sister of Dahanu’) There you’ll be able to see what an authentic Maharashtrian fishing village looks like. Avoid doing this in September-October though, for the smell of drying fish is overpowering. And yes, the ferry service closes at 7 or 8 in the evening.

There are two or three reasonably good resorts: Hotel Beach-side, Pearline, Sea-Woods (you can google-search them for further details). The food is the best at Pearline and average at Beach-side (but please, please, please don’t order Chinese food at Beach-side, not if you EVER want to eat Chinese food again! ) Sea-woods doesn’t have a restaurant at all.

Most of the small hotels in Dahanu offer the ubiquitous ‘misal-pav’ and ‘wada-pav’ The Anand Hotel near Sagar Naka is especially good. It also offers tea in two varieties- ‘teen number’ and ‘char number’. The latter is better. A thirty second walking distance away, Marathe mama’s hotel at Jalaram Mansion offers great idlis, wadas and misal. So does Manjunath’s, opposite Chandrika hotel near the Railway Station. The Chandrika hotel itself offers average quality South-Indian snacks (idli, dosa and the like), but the Hari-Krish hotel at Tara Castle building at Masoli naka offers better South Indian stuff, pav-bhaji and his ‘bhel-puri, pani-puri’ (et al) is worth a special visit.

Among the higher grade restaurants, the oldest restaurant ‘Sarovar’ has deteriorated in the past few years, but is popular with those who like their tipple. As mentioned earlier, food at Pearline is good. Surabhi hotel near the Railway Station is also quite good and has a good variety of North Indian dishes. All of the above have a permit room (euphemistic for ‘serve liqour’)
Three bakeries ‘Meher’, ‘Agnee’ and ‘Thakkar’ have great baked stuff and biscuits (ask for their ‘nankatai’ biscuits and puffs). The puffs at Meher Bakery (only available between 4.30 and 6 pm on Fridays and Sundays) simply melt in the mouth.
And in the last but not the least, you cannot miss the ‘Falooda’ at Bholeram’s Ice-cream center at Sagar Naka (open from 7 pm to 10.30 pm)

Excursions include Bordi, a small village about 15 km north from Dahanu, which also has a beautiful beach, but frankly nothing else. The drive to Bordi is spectacular however, as it runs along the sea-shore. Also of note is the bhel-puri (et al) at Shiv’s Pani-puri restaurant. There are a couple of fairly decent resorts (MTDC, Anand Resort), but nothing fancy, mind you. The Irani Bakery at Gholwad Railway station is also commendable. Gholwad and Bordi are like twin-towns.
If one is religiously inclined, one could also go to the Mahalaxmi Temple on the National highway NH8 some 30-32 km away.

You can go to Dahanu by two or three ways. One is by road and the other is by train. You can also try swimming your way up the Arabian sea from Mumbai, but I would not advise it. There is too great a risk of bumping into all those statues of famous personalities that the Government’s planning to build everywhere in the sea!
But that’s just me trying to make an attempt at a political joke…

So I was saying, you could drive up from Mumbai. A very pleasant, uncluttered and scenic drive, once you leave the boundaries of Mumbai. Head north on NH8 and take the left exit for Dahanu at Charoti (arrives about 30 minutes after Manor). Continue west without deviation or stopping till you reach Dahanu (or the sea, if you take my directions too literally! )

The other mode of transport is train. I would not suggest going to Virar by local train and changing into a shuttle/ MEMU train. They’re packed like cans of sardines, to use an old cliche. I suggest the direct northbound outstation trains. In the morning, there’s the Saurashtra Express departing Mumbai Central at around 08.10 which reaches Dahanu at around 11.00. Or in the evening, the Flying Ranee departing Mumbai Central at 17.55 reaches Dahanu at 20.05. Auto-rickshaws would take about Rs. 30-60 to take you ‘special’ (i.e. without taking any other passenger) to the hotels mentioned above. There are many other trains (www.indianrail.gov.in) and I’d suggest making reservations (sleeper/ seating/ AC chair car) in advance for peace of mind. The ‘General’ compartments are sometimes crowded, even from the source station itself.

And finally, when you leave Dahanu, don’t forget to buy what Dahanu is famous for- chickoos. You may get these fruits also in the dried form as ‘chickoo-chips’. Or chickoo-pickle’ which is equally delicious.
Have a nice trip…


barochallo
Sharing is caring...
#2 Feb 9th, 2009, 23:48
Join Date:
Jan 2008
Location:
Pune, Maharashtra, INDIA
Posts:
1,576
  • Swapnil is offline
#2
Nice write-up !
Also one can continue coastal drive from Dahanu to Daman ...passing through picturesque route Gholvad - Bordi - Umargaon -Maroli - Daman .
#3 Feb 20th, 2009, 20:35
Join Date:
Feb 2008
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
4,094
  • snonymous is offline
#3
That is a very comprehensive write up Barochallo. You make Dahanu sound so very much better than what it is!

We visit one of the nurseries between Charoti and Dahanu sometimes, very tranquil area off the main road. The scenery is nice and the drive to Bordi is also very pleasant.

Do you have any first hand information about Asavali reservoir?
Travelpod / Flickr


-----------------------------------------------------
#4 May 7th, 2009, 14:54
Join Date:
May 2009
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
71
  • Travelmonk is offline
#4
By this lovely write up on Dahanu you have revived sweet memories buried somewhere deep in my head long long ago of the time (20 years +) when we went to Bordi in summer month ( don’t remember which May/Jun) to keep my maids son in the boarding school. It was just a days visit, but I clearly remember the train journey, the road travel with palm trees fringed everywhere, the sea far away deep inside, I still cant forget the sight of Lychee trees, farm house growing lemons, radish... then i had just loved the place and was wanting to revisit the place again but was unable to gather courage but your nice write-up has started the thought process going, however, doubts persist, like...but who better person to answer then u.
1) Which is the best place to stay offering sea view, offering good food.
2) Any farm house which one can visit to see kheti or may be stay in one.
3) Is the beach clean or the waste from nearby industrial town has made the beach not worth of going.
4) Last... do the beaches of Dhahanu or Bordi, have sea shells for collection.
#5 May 7th, 2009, 14:58
Join Date:
Feb 2008
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
4,094
  • snonymous is offline
#5
I think you mean Chickoo Trees [sapota] not Lychee, Travelmonk?
#6 May 7th, 2009, 15:18
Join Date:
Sep 2001
Location:
Missing, see bottom of post
Posts:
15,706
  • steven_ber is offline
#6
Hey, Nice write up.

I must have been in India when this first appeared, so I missed it.
.
SOS: Missing Person...

Please look at this thread, even if you are not in India.: Have you seen Jonathan Spollen?

He could be anywhere now: You might have met him, be able to help, or give information.
#7 May 7th, 2009, 16:15
Join Date:
May 2009
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
71
  • Travelmonk is offline
#7

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by snonymous View Post I think you mean Chickoo Trees [sapota] not Lychee, Travelmonk?
Snonymous. There are Lychee trees in Bordi... i have seen it with my eyes. maybe barochallo can vouch for it.
#8 May 8th, 2009, 08:53
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Maharashtra, India
Posts:
59
  • barochallo is offline
#8

answers to your questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelmonk View Post Snonymous. There are Lychee trees in Bordi... i have seen it with my eyes. maybe barochallo can vouch for it.
Hi there Travelmonk and snonymous,
Actually, Travelmonk is quite right. Gholwad and Bordi are also very well known for their luscious lychees.
To answer your questions:
1. In my opinion, the hotel Pearline offers the best stay and food, though no restaurant in Dahanu really excels in Dahanu. You could also consider the MTDC resort and Anand Resort in Bordi. The latter does not have a sea-view, though. Just go to their websites for details. I think someone has reviewed the hotel Anand Resort on indiamike.
2. I don't know anyone with a farmhouse who provides lodging and boarding, but there is a Save Nursery in Gholwad who have started providing facility for lodging and boarding. They also give you an insight into chickoo farming and its details. I can try and find the details if you're interested.
3. The beach is averagely clean, it's cleaner in those areas which are less frequently visited. Just stop at any lonely beach area on the way from Dahanu to Bordi. None of the beaches are polluted by industrial waste, though.
4. The sea shells found on these beaches are very small and not worth collecting
5. No synonymous, unfortunately, I don't have any first hand info about the Asavali reservoir. We once started out to visit it, but the road is very rocky and hell on car tyres, so we abandoned it. But my friends who've visited it say it's nice.
Regards,
barochallo
#9 May 8th, 2009, 11:06
Join Date:
May 2009
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
71
  • Travelmonk is offline
#9

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by barochallo View Post Hi there Travelmonk and snonymous,
Actually, Travelmonk is quite right. Gholwad and Bordi are also very well known for their luscious lychees.
To answer your questions:
1. In my opinion, the hotel Pearline offers the best stay and food, though no restaurant in Dahanu really excels in Dahanu. You could also consider the MTDC resort and Anand Resort in Bordi. The latter does not have a sea-view, though. Just go to their websites for details. I think someone has reviewed the hotel Anand Resort on indiamike.
2. I don't know anyone with a farmhouse who provides lodging and boarding, but there is a Save Nursery in Gholwad who have started providing facility for lodging and boarding. They also give you an insight into chickoo farming and its details. I can try and find the details if you're interested.
3. The beach is averagely clean, it's cleaner in those areas which are less frequently visited. Just stop at any lonely beach area on the way from Dahanu to Bordi. None of the beaches are polluted by industrial waste, though.
4. The sea shells found on these beaches are very small and not worth collecting
5. No synonymous, unfortunately, I don't have any first hand info about the Asavali reservoir. We once started out to visit it, but the road is very rocky and hell on car tyres, so we abandoned it. But my friends who've visited it say it's nice.
Regards,
barochallo
Thanks Barochallo,
I will go with Pearline and for the Farm House i will contact you closer to the date when i am planning to go which should be in Monsoon.
#10 May 8th, 2009, 11:13
Join Date:
Feb 2008
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
4,094
  • snonymous is offline
#10
Lychee trees in Dahanu - Just learnt something new! I always thought they grew mostly in the Gangetic plain.

Actually I am not too surprised because I have bought Avocado tree saplings from Shriram Mullicks excellent nursery near Dahanu. He also had a lemon tree with huge lemons, never seen anything so big before - almost like footballs, he presented us with 2 lemons, they lasted almost 2 months! Ive been to Save's too, long ago, bought some chickoo trees from him which fruited in pots within 6 months - very sweet too, I thought that was amazing.

Do you mean Anand resort opposite MTDC? Havent stayed there but their thali was rather tasty, and I'm not that fond of Gujarati thali usually. They have a large play area for kids.

How is the MTDC Barochallo?
#11 May 8th, 2009, 11:15
Join Date:
Feb 2008
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
4,094
  • snonymous is offline
#11
Travelmonk, another member Pontesm recently stayed at the Pearline, if you pm him or do a search you can go through the thread.

Edit: it is Pontesnm
#12 May 8th, 2009, 12:42
Join Date:
May 2009
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
71
  • Travelmonk is offline
#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by snonymous View Post Travelmonk, another member Pontesm recently stayed at the Pearline, if you pm him or do a search you can go through the thread.

Edit: it is Pontesnm
Thanks Syonymous
#13 May 8th, 2009, 21:57
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Maharashtra, India
Posts:
59
  • barochallo is offline
#13

MTDC resort at Bordi

Quote:
Originally Posted by snonymous View Post How is the MTDC Barochallo?
I haven't seen the rooms in the MTDC resort. The restaurant provides average fare. They start preparing the food only after you place the order. So it takes ages.
#14 May 22nd, 2009, 13:23
Join Date:
Feb 2008
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
4,094
  • snonymous is offline
#14
I found this site with all the hotel details:http://www.vmtravels.com/city/city245p1.html

This thread inspired me to plan a trip to Bordi with my elderly parents, and it was almost on for last week until I read a review which highlighted the "lota brigade in the mornings" on the "otherwise beautiful" Bordi beach. Also, the MTDC and the other hotels I phoned said that there is 7 hours load shedding every day! So decided against it right now, as my folks may not have been too comfortable in the heat.

I think I will do a couple of day trips in the rains and look up our old buddy Shriram Mullick and his nursery.
#15 May 22nd, 2009, 15:35
Join Date:
May 2009
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
71
  • Travelmonk is offline
#15

Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by snonymous View Post I found this site with all the hotel details:http://www.vmtravels.com/city/city245p1.html

This thread inspired me to plan a trip to Bordi with my elderly parents, and it was almost on for last week until I read a review which highlighted the "lota brigade in the mornings" on the "otherwise beautiful" Bordi beach. Also, the MTDC and the other hotels I phoned said that there is 7 hours load shedding every day! So decided against it right now, as my folks may not have been too comfortable in the heat.

I think I will do a couple of day trips in the rains and look up our old buddy Shriram Mullick and his nursery.
The "lota brigade in the mornings" is very much there on beaches at Dapoli / Harnai also. In fact my friend who recently went there told that it was impossible to go to the beach in the mornings because of the lota brigade....
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.Lao Tzu

http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/s...0/ppuser/52785
https://www.flickr.com/photos/anilr/
Reply

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Train from Dahanu/Gholvad toBandra Sunday evening Dec 11th, 2008 03:29 0 1287 Indian Railways
The Best Beaches Nov 26th, 2008 18:15 2 1251 Goa
Beaches in May Apr 10th, 2006 21:24 2 1534 Off the Beaten Trail in India
From the land down under Jun 12th, 2005 18:45 3 969 Introduce Yourself
Beaches Aug 28th, 2002 12:01 1 1712 Chai and Chat


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2014
Page Load Success