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Home > Mumbai Guide News > Things To Do News > Article > Paragliding to water sports Dahanu Festival is back to celebrate the towns rich culture

Paragliding to water sports: Dahanu Festival is back to celebrate the town’s rich culture

Updated on: 20 February,2024 07:15 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Devashish Kamble |

The Dahanu Festival returns with its second edition this weekend to celebrate the coastal town’s rich cultural legacy

Paragliding to water sports: Dahanu Festival is back to celebrate the town’s rich culture

Dancers perform with the tarpa, a tribal wind instrument crafted using dried gourd, leaves and bamboo, at the previous edition of the festival

As you drive towards the coastal town of Dahanu, you’ll witness the city slowly melt away along the journey. The high-rises are the first to give way, to thick green avenues. The soundtrack of blaring horns cuts to a therapeutic silence a little further away; and as you finally enter the humble town, the dying tradition of greeting strangers with a smile makes a pleasant comeback. A town so tranquil that even the city’s most diligent workhorse, the Mumbai local, chooses to rest here. Dahanu Festival, an annual celebration of the town’s multicultural history organised by the Dahanu Municipal Council, Government of Maharashtra, and local governing bodies, returns on February 23.

The festival will offer expert-guided paragliding sessions
The festival will offer expert-guided paragliding sessions

“The festival is a showcase of the town’s rich cultures that remain largely undiscovered by outsiders,” Vaibhav Aware, chief officer, Dahanu Nagar Parishad, informs us. The highlight, he believes, is the fisherman’s village tour. “The town hosts multiple fisherman colonies. Visitors can step into one to get a first-hand experience of the coastal rural lifestyle,” he shares. Far from the coast, in the interiors live native tribal communities, of which the Warlis are mostly widely recognised. Aware tells us that Warli art workshops and performances with the tarpa, a tribal wind instrument were the favourites last year and will make a bigger comeback this year.

For those who wish to test the waters, the festival will host activities by the sea such as paragliding, water sports, and horseback racing along the beaches. “We ensure these activities are conducted by licensed experts to keep our visitors’ safety paramount,” the officer assures us, further noting that the hunger pangs that might strike after a long day’s adventures will be well taken care of. From homely Parsi staples to seafood traditions preserved by the Kolis, the food section will see a convergence of family kitchens dishing out diverse tastes. “In a way, it is a platform for these communities to meet and catch up as well,” he adds.

Vaibhav Aware
Vaibhav Aware

Aware leaves us with shining a light on a peculiar dilemma the town faces, “Our affinity to the sea attracts a host of regulations, holding us back from developing industries and infrastructure at scale to attract visitors. Hence, we are channelising our efforts towards promoting tourism to put the town on the map, one day at a time. The town has all the makings of the perfect tourist spot — pristine windy beaches, lush green fields, forts and places of worship, and all this just a three-hour’s drive from the city. There is no caveat,” Aware exclaims. For this writer, who grew up in the quaint town, there has always been one. Once you’re there, you might never want to come back.

On: February 23 to 25; 
At: Sea View Park, Ganga Ashram Wadi, Parnaka, Dahanu West.
Log on to: @dahanufestival

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