PS : don't confuse 'Murud' - Harnai with 'Murud' - Janjira near Alibag. Though their names are similar, they are located about 100 Kms apart
The Durga Devi temple right at the start of the way leading to Maharshi Karve beach or the Harnai beach is one of the most important temples in this part of Dapoli and is a must see during a visit to Harnai. The Durga Devi temple was built way back in the 18th century with Durga Devi as the presiding diety with a pyramid-like roof of terracotta tiles, along with a pond and a hanging temple bell to the left of the main entrance.
Named after one of the greatest visionaries the nation has seen to date, the Murud beach or the Marshi Karve Beach, is a vast expanse of sandy beach. A very popular beach with bird watchers the northern end of Murud beach almost always is filled with schools of sea gulls. Paragliding is a regular feature at the Murud beach and you will find many people having fun riding their bikes on the beach here on the Murud beach.
Murud Harnai in a way is the hub of all water sports activities in Dapoli. Palande just ahead of Murud on the way to Harnai is also very popular for water sports. Parasailing is also organised at Murud beach in the evening especially on weekends and holidays. Jet skii rides and other popular water rides like banana rides and bumper rides is available in Murud. Parasailing in the sea is also available in Murud beach in Dapoli.
Located about a quarter of a mile off the coast from Harnai port is the fascinating Suvarnadurg Fort. A rocky island, Suvarnadurg is about 8 acres big with stone wall bastions. There is no landing jetty at the Suvarnadurga fort. However, the landing is on the shores of the sandy beach of the rocky island. Building of the Suvarnadurg fort is credited to Shivaji maharaj. Built for the Maratha Navy Suvarvadurg also had a ship building facility.
Kanakdurg fort is spread over about of 0.25 hectares. The fort is in complete ruins now except for a few things like water tanks, two dilapidated bastions and a beautiful lighthouse. Kanakdurg Fort was built to protect Suvarnadurga slong with Fattegad and Gova fort. Kanakdurga is built on a huge rock and there are rock steps to ascend the fort. There is a lighthouse on the fort.
Goa Fort is built in such a way that a portion of the fort is on land and the other is surrounded by sea. The fort has got strong fortification all over. There is more than one entrance to the fort one of which is on the sea side however it is closed to public and is blocked by bricks. In the middle of the fort, there is a rampart leading to a structure atop it, which offer a 360 degree view of the fort.
Harnai port is the main fishing village. Every evening hundreds of fishing boats come back after fishing and gather to auction their catch. The fish auction is the essential trade step between fish landings and the trade. Business worth lakhs of rupees is carried out daily between 4 pm to 7 pm. Witnessing the fish auctions here is a awe inspiring experience and shouldnt be missed.
Land forts namely Kanakdurg and Goa fort were also built to support the sea fortress which can be visited around the year. There also is a functional light house on Kanakdurg fort. In the past, the land forts and the sea fortress were connected by a tunnel, which is now defunct.
The Fort entrance is grand. Just on the left had side are 2 canons, depicting that the Fort was used by the Maratha Navy during its war conquests. The Fort is flanked by 3 land forts which are visible from the Harnai bunder which are Kanakdurg, Fattehdurg and Goa durg. A visit to Suvarnadurg fort should not take you more than an hour and a half in total. Ideal time to visit the fort is during sunrise