Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Disaster in Dahanu

dahanuA national holiday was coming up on account of the Mahatma’s bday it was my day too on the 5th so we decided on yet another camping trip but couldn’t zero in on a destination until our neighbour suggested Dahanu, which happened to be her home town. So six of us set out on the trip.
This holiday however turned out to be a series of goof ups so i name it disaster in dahanu.
We left from Pune in Pragati Express, as a matter of fact we had planned to leave Pune in Deccan queen which leaves Pune one hour earlier than Pragati Express and reach Mumbai two hours earlier than Pragati!!..we had to catch a connection train from Mumbai to Dahanu and we had checked; the official website of Indian railways for booking tickets, which gave us the option  of Garib Rath which would get us to Dahanu in less than two hours.
Once we reached Mumbai we asked at the enquiry about the train. The attendant at the enquiry window gave a blank look at us and then said; scratching his armpit, that we had to go to Bombay Central to catch the train. We took a taxi to Bombay central where we found out that the train that we intended to catch doesn’t stop at Dahanu Rd. We had to catch the Ahmedabad Passenger which got us to Dahanu in four hours!!
Once we reached Dahanu the first thing that struck us was the friendliness of the Auto rickshaw wallahs. We hired an auto and asked him to take us to the beach. While on the way my friend asked about getting booze near the beach to which the auto came to a screeching halt as a response.  With great difficulty the driver turned around, because two of my friends were flanking him on either sides (six of us had fit in that one tiny auto along with the luggage) and with a twinkle in his eyes advised us to get the booze from the town because for the same that we could buy at maybe 1000 rs we would end up paying close to 2500 near the beach.
he took us back, escorted us to the store carried the booze to the auto opened our bags packed the booze in the bags and left us all mere mute spectators to all that he was doing…well i should add here that i dont like even my partner opening my bags or packing anything in it anyways he gave us a bright big smile after doing all this which kind of evened it out.
We reached the bar nakka beach  in about 10 minutes of the joy ride. It again was a flat beach with grey sand. I expected some more waves; i was humungously missing the Kerala beaches and wanted to sea a few waves..anyways the beach here was very calm. The afforestation efforts of the forest department on the beaches gives it a good serene look. We set our tent up on the beach and it was quite a nice evening until the tragedy unfolded.
By about 2 in the night the local police came to the scene and asked us to pack up from the beach because its not allowed to camp on the beach. At two in the night we weren’t sure what to do. Tried talking to the cops and we figured out that it was just another attempt on their part to get some money out of us; to which we refused. We preferred to pack up the tents to bribing them. We walked into the peerline beach resort which was just across the road. Couple of our friends had taken a room in the resort because they weren’t too keen camping and we asked the hotel admin whether we could bunk in with them and pay for the extra beds to which they stated that the rules do not allow them to do that..Made me wonder who made the rules. They told us that all the rooms are packed and only the super deluxe suite which happens to be the most expensive of the lot was available. We had seen the resort quite deserted in the evening and wondered how the whole resort ended up being full in matter of hours. Quite evident that the resort guys were looking at our misery as their opportunity and we weren’t ready to cave in. We walked out of the resort quite disgusted. We put all our bags in our friends room (We weren’t allowed to carry the bags to his room – the rules again – and our friend had to carry it to the room – some customer service huh!) and after that we wandered around ion the raods till about 4 in the morning when we got an auto.
He took us to a lodge in Narpad 3 Km from Dahanu,which cost us 1/10 of what peerline was charging but yes the rooms weren’t the best possible; but managable. The beach here is rocky and landscape around the beach was beautiful. It was a perfect campsite with a small pond and a creek but we did not have the courage to camp again in dahanu!
The next day we had plans to go to the fort; which apparently we found out later that it was converted to a govt office! It started raining and the storms wouldn’t stop! We still managed to get to the fort but again it wasn’t worth the effort.
In all this disappointment the only good thing was the food at Visava dhaba near Narpad and in all fairness the food at peerline also wasn’t bad. All said and done if we had to give a review of the place we would say that the place is a good destination for a weekend and the food is great. But the customer service of the resorts leave a lot to be desired.


  1. Nice description of your travails in Dahanu. Sad that cops spoiled your fun

  2. LOL!!! Seems that was one trip I will never want to make :P

  3. I think visava dhaba serves you the best sea food at reasonable price.and I love sea food esp. Crab n lobster