11 March 2009
We originally belong to the Konkan (west coast stretching from Mumbai all the way up to Goa!). Our family is not staunch about religion, but we do believe in prayers and little bit of devotion. Our family deity is in a town callked Harne-Murud and we do go there once in two years to reconnect with our roots and to indulge in bhakti. Hence the trip to Harne-Murud, home to unexplored beaches, dolphin sightings, mango trees, simple way of life and Durga Devi's (our family deity) temple, i.e. our 'Kul Devat' as we locally call it.
The caves were well maintained, with newly laid steps to climb up. The caves are a protected monument, yet there was no sign board of their name, or history. The caves had ancient carvings, writings and partial remains of stairs and figure carvings. The view from the caves was brilliant, with the green and yellow fields ahead, the road cutting through them and mountains on the other three sides! The caves cost us about 30 minutes, and enjoying a cup of tea, on our descent, we drove ahead.
We stopped for a breakfast of idli, dosa, pohe and bata vada at 'Amantran restraunt' at Pen-Wadkhal naka. The food here is simple and the service is quick. In fact, this place is always crowded and that just proves the trust people have in their food. Though, if you ignore the stained mugs and tea overflowing into the saucer, also a chipped edge or two, you may develop a liking for this place! Not me though! After a sumptuous meal and a leak in the smelly toilet, we set off again towrads the final 3 hour journey to Harne-Murud.
By the time we reached dapoli, we were extremely hungry and our legs were eager to stretch. We drove through the narrow lanes and market places of Dapoli looking for saree shop. It is a custom that when we go to the family deity, we take along a saree/blouse piece(cloth), coconut, flowers and rice for the offering. We call this custom as "Ooti" i.e "offering" in english or "Chadhava" in hindi. Sadly, we missed a turn and ended up on the highway again hoping that we'd find a saree shop in Murud.
By 1:00 PM we were at Murud. We checked into our resort - Silver Sand, beach resort and settled into our wooden cottage called "Jaswand". It was great to whiff the salty . It played with our senses and brought with it glimpses of the discovery ahead.
Read about Silver Sand Beach Resort here