Dapoli is developing as a tourist destination these days. But truth be told, it must develop more as a historic place. That is because this holy place has given birth to great leaders who served the country and whose glory spread not only in India, but all throughout the world. One of these great men was Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve, or as he was fondly known as throughout Maharashtra, ‘Anna’.
Karve was born at ‘Sheravali’; his ancestral home. But he spent most of his childhood at place called Murud, in the district of Dapoli. He completed his primary education at a government school in Murud. Since childhood, Anna was very brilliant, intelligent and obedient. Apart from good upbringing, daily recitations of religious texts like Ramavijay, Harivijay & Shivalilamrut, made his pronunciations clear and his language pure. It was on his guru’s advice that Karve used to read newspapers in Durga temple near the school, from 5pm till sunset. Cause it was during this time that the devotees flooded the temple, which served the intention of making maximum people aware of public issues. When he started earning, Anna took the lead and repaired the decaying baton of the same temple. His inspiring life as a responsible citizen truly started from this place. He loved Murud with all his heart and hence he did a lot of work for this place through ‘Murud development fund’.
It was Murud where he spent pleasant time with his first wife, Radhabai. R.D Karve (Anna Karve’s elder son) too was born in Murud. After the death of Radhabai, he remarried a widow. This spread far and wide throughout Murud and Maharashtra. The then narrow minded society of Murud did not accept Anna’s decision. It was truly unfortunate. He took it as a challenge and eventually Pune became the place where he did most of his social work for woman’s education & empowerment.
The government awarded the highest civilian honor of ‘Padmashri’ to Anna, for his inspirational social work. The same year the people of Murud organized a huge feast to honor his 100th birthday. Senapati Bapat was present at the celebration and he inaugurated a life size bust of Anna, in his presence. The celebration overwhelmed not just every person in Dapoli, but even Anna himself.
Today, in remembrance of Anna and his work, the people of Murud do whatever they can to honor his name. Murud has a library, a school and a memorial named after him, which is run and preserved by the Vaze family. This has made Murud and Dapoli a historically holy place.
Watch a documentary on Maharshi Karve’s life-