“Yes. This is what I was looking for. A serene place, tucked away from the crowded beaches and commercial resorts. This is the real Konkan”. I was very excited to be at Shree Keshavraj Temple in Dapoli (Ratnagiri District in Maharashtra)
Shree Keshavraj Temple is a hidden gem situated on a small hillock near Dapoli at a distance of around 7 km. You can either use the location map or ask the locals for directions. After approx. 5 km from Dapoli turn right towards Shree Keshavraj temple. Road Route: Dapoli – Gimhavane – Asud Baug. Park your car on Asud Baug road and then start a 20 to 30 min walk through Spice plantations, Betel Nut, Coconut, Cashew, Jackfruit and Mango trees. The temperature remains soothing due to this beautiful tree cover. This is an ideal place for people who seek natural surroundings & peace of mind. It is an ideal for meditation and photography.
As you start walking, you will see traditional Konkani Homes belonging to locals. How lucky they are to own a beautiful house in such a natural surroundings. You can place an order for a lunch or snacks like Thalipeeth (It is a traditional recipe of Maharashtra, is prepared with multi grain flour, onion, chilly-spices. It is a power house of nutrition). If you give them enough time, they will even prepare yummy Ukdiche Modak (Steamed dumplings made from rice flour and stuffed with nicely cooked mixture of grated coconut and Jaggery). Once you are back from temple visit, you can enjoy the fresh home cooked food as per your order at a very decent cost.
As you pass by these homes, you can hear a roaring sound of a fresh water stream which flows through these plantations. You can even drink this fresh water at the start of the stream (before it passes through plantations). Splash some water on the face and you will feel invigorated and energetic.
Cross this stream and descend down 50 to 60 stone steps to reach a small bridge on a rivulet. Once you cross this bridge, you will need to climb around 200 steps to reach the temple situated on a small hill. If you have children or elderly people with you then plan properly. Carry a water bottle and few munchies with you. People with any knee or joint problems or any other health issues can simply avoid the walk and relax in the courtyard of one of the houses.
I visited this place with my family. While climbing the hill, I saw the plastic waste thrown by careless tourists (biscuit and chips packets, water bottles etc.). I immediately started collecting this with my son Ishaan and we managed to clear a reasonably good quantity. We dumped this waste in dustbin near temple. Please do not litter any waste at such a naturally beautiful place.
The temple is very old but clean and beautiful. It is dedicated to lord Vishnu. Remove your footwear and first take a darshan of Lord Ganesha. The main temple has low hanging roofs as a Gabhara (the main hall of temple) with few wooden pillars. There is a natural spring which originates from the hill top and flows down in front of temple through a Gomukh (a stone carved cow mouth). The place is so charming and tranquil that you will love to spend a good amount of time here. A glass of fresh lemon water or Kokum Sharbat (a refreshing drink made from fruits of Garcinia Indica plant) sold near temple will instill the energy back.
On your return journey, enjoy the home made and freshly cooked food (for which you had already placed an order), buy some local food items from these locals and drive back to your hotel. I am sure, a visit to Shree Keshavraj Temple in Dapoli will be a memorable experience for you and your family.
Dapoli is approx. 195 km from Pune & approx. 225 km from Mumbai. These are also the nearest airports.
The nearest Railway Station is Khed Railway Station, located at a distance of 29 Kms from Dapoli. It is located on Konkan railway. But major trains halt at Ratnagiri railway station which is approx. 90 km from Dapoli.
Directions from Dapoli to Asud Bag (Shree Keshavraj temple):
• Take the Harnai road from Dapoli
• After aprox. 5 km from Dapoli turn right towards Shree Keshavraj temple (Road Route: Dapoli – Gimhavane – Asud Bag)