Maharashtrian Beach Town To Promote Sustainable Tourism

Explore the many facets of Dahanu near Mumbai during the weekend festival
Dahanu is known for its uncrowded beach
Dahanu is known for its uncrowded beach

To most visitors, Dahanu, a coastal town, less than three hours&rsquo drive from Mumbai, is known for its uncrowded beaches, chikoo orchards, and old Parsi residences. Chikoo grown in the Dahanu-Gholvad region has earned the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. But there is more to this town than meets the eye, was how long-time Dahanu resident and Convenor of INTACH Dahanu Chapter, Phiroza Tafti, introduced me to this sleepy town in Palghar district of Maharashtra, a few years back.

Now, thanks to the Dahanu Municipal Corporation, visitors can learn more about Dahanu, its people and culture, at a festival organized over March 12 and 13, this year. Named the Dahanu Festival, it will be held at the Seaview Park on Dahanu beach. It will be held from 10am to 10pm and will have free entry.

The core objective of the festival is sustainable tourism and promotion of local culture, according to Ashima Mittal, Assistant Collector, Dahanu.

The two-day long festival includes a lot of activities, such as beach paragliding, agro farm tours (including exploring local chikoo-based food processing units), food festival based on Maharashtrian and Konkani cuisine, art and craft workshops (including opportunities to learn about Warli painting), local folk dance performances, live musical bands, etc. Visitors can go trekking by day and star gazing at night. Visitors will be able to savour the sweet chikoos and carry back chikoo based products as souvenirs. Dahanu is said to contribute 35 per cent of Maharashtra&rsquos chikoo production.

According to Bharat Rajput, President, Dahanu Municipal Council, &ldquoThe need for sustainable tourism is rapidly growing from an ecological point of view as well as to support the local tourism infrastructure in high potential destinations like Dahanu. The area has a rich diversity of flora and fauna, greenery, and a fascinating history. We are confident that the event will help put Dahanu firmly on the national tourism map.&rdquo

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