Maharashtra: Ganapatipule and other tourist destinations of Ratnagiri District

 

 

Located on the outskirts of Mumbai, about 374 km away from the city of Mumbai, Ganapatipule, is a perfect destination for a weekend trip. Away from the mundane and noisy daily life, the city, offers fresh air amidst compelling greenery.


The city, Ganapatipule, has derived its name from Ganapati, the Hindu deity. Pule means the sea beach. Innumerable mythological tales are associated with Ganapatipule. It is believed by devotees that before 400 years the deity, Ganapati, had appeared on the holy beach land as well.


Hilly valley and prolonged sandy sea beach are the pretty enticements of Ganapatipule. It seems like Ganapati himself is standing as the pebbly hill. The consecrated temple that pulls crowds in abundance regularly is positioned on the top of the hill, at an elevation of 100 meters. The hilly spiral road moves in a roundabout way through the hilly rocks and takes all the pilgrims to their desired destination to the holy temple.


The place looks amazing during the month of Magh (according to the Hindu calendar year) when famous Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated. All the devotees and visitors feel the divinity of the divine paradise together. It is believed that the well known and sanctified deity, Ganapati, was worshipped by the valiant and heroic leader of Maharashtra namely Shivaji. The deity is residing here on his holy throne since 1600. Later on, the divine temple was restructured and given a new shape by the emperors of the Peshwar dynasty.


Besides the age-old temple of 4000 years, the quiet and hushed sea beach gives pleasure to the hordes of tourists. Hidden in the cool shades of coconut and tamarisk trees, Ganapatipule is a heavenly haven for the holiday makers.


For enjoying water sports along with your family members, make it a point to visit the spot during October- May. The entire sea beach takes a dip in the golden sunrays during the period of sunrise. Sun plays hide and seek most of the times with the foliage of Ganapatipule.


Tourists who travel all the way to Ganapatipule from Mumbai would have an agreeable opportunity to get pleasure in the delightful surroundings. Ganapatipule is said to be the cultural and traditional retreat of Maharashtra. Blue sky, lush green manor of mangoes, jackfruits, bananas and coconut decorate the land of Ganapatipule. The series of homes with red tiles on their roofs look lovely in the middle of the impressive natural locale. Rippling water streams of waterfalls kiss the trunks of the soaring mountains while coming down to the righteous land.


Interested tourists can flock straight away to Malgund to gaze at the memorial of Keshavsoot. Nearby Pawas houses a shrine and Ashram of Swami Swarupananda. The historical Jaigarh fort or lighthouse of 17th century is located at a distance of 35 km away from Ganapatipule. You would cherish the experience of the voyage on a boat through the backwater of the Sangameshwar- Jaigarh cannel (50 km away from Ganapatipule) for a long time. Marleshwar Shiva temple and fountain (60 km from Ganapatipule) are other coveted destinations nearby.






Ratnagiri:


Situated at a distance of 20 kilometers from Ganapatipule, the land of precious stones, Ratnagiri, is a fascinating destination on the Konkan coastal range. Western Ghants hill range, well covered up with green vegetation and blue Arabian ocean are protecting the protracted Konkan valley along the eastern and western corridors of Konkan respectively. Enthralling long-drawn-out sea beach is the charm of the valley. Black Sea Beach, White Sea Beach, Mandvi Beach and Bhatye Beach are few noteworthy beaches which receive accolades for the eye soothing cosmos. British Government had erected a royal palace for the emperor of Burma called Thaibaw in 1910 here. The emperor, however, took his last breath in Ratnagiri in 1916.


Take a walk and climb up a tiny hillock to watch the Thaibaw Point. The Bhagwati port is there at the downside. Other sought after tourists’ destinations of Ratnagiri are the sanctified Bhagwati temple, Patititapawan temple (built by Veer Savarkar), Jogeshwar temple and Fish Aquarium. Another charming destination is the Ratnagiri fort which is spread across two adjoining mountains. It’s a pleasing and gratifying sight to look at.


Alphonso mango of Ratnagiri is quite popular. The land of Ratnagiri also produces cashew nuts, coconuts, bananas, Jackfruits, round pepper, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Savor the taste of prawn and pomfret fish here in Ratnagiri. Vegetarians would love to eat the tasty Kokam Kadhi.


Ratnagiri is a renowned spot where a number of renowned persons, such as, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, G K Gokhel and S L Patil were born. To recall the memories of Bal Gangadhar Tilak a museum has been built in Ratnagiri.


To take pleasure in water sports, you have to drive your car to Bhatye, located at the end way of Ratnagiri.


Trains of Konkan Railways are travelling through the valley of Ratnagiri. Due to which Ratnagiri has now become an easily accessible destination of Maharashtra. Ratnagiri is 355 km away from Mumbai and is 374 km away from Ganapatipule.


Some of the notable hotels where tourists can stay at Ratnagiri are Hotel Landmark, Hotel Kohinoor, Hotel Shree Vihar, Hotel Vivek, Hotel Prabha, Hotel Kanchan, Hotel Mangala and Hotel Shivajinagar. A number of quality hotels are also doing business around the Bus Stand of Ratnagiri.


About 224 km away towards the southern side of Ratnagiri, Sawantwadi, is a likeable destination for the stately Bhonsale palace. Some of the other interesting tourists’ spots of Sawantwadi are Moti Talav and the Darbar hall of the queen Satvashila Devi.


Apart from being connected to various destinations by buses, Sawatwadi is well connected to Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Kudal and Malvan by Konkan Railways.


About 25 km away towards the west side of Sawantwadi, Vengurla, is said to be a paradise on earth for its lingering sea beach which is entirely covered up with white sands. It looks lovely. For a pleasing weekend trip, this is an ideal place, away from the gripe and grime of the city. Array of tamarisk trees offers a heartwarming and gratifying shelter to the swarms of nature lovers and inhabitants here.


To watch the class-apart beauty of Vengurla, walk down to the wharf during the sunrise. The sight of sunset as well would show you another façade of nature in Vengurla. Considering all these aspects together, truly it’s a must visit destination for all. For the stunning panoramic view of Vengurla, you have to climb up the lighthouse during 16-17:30 hours.


Shiroda, about 10 km away towards the southern side of Vengurla, is still carrying the memories of the pre-independence era and the revolt of the great Indian patriot Mahatma Gandhi. This place definitely has its very own identity and uniqueness.


Besides the holy temple of Devi Mouli, numerous other temples are scattered around as well.


Malvan:


The old and popular fishing hamlet of Ratnagiri district is Malvan, about 220 km away from Ratnagiri. The lingering sea beach, hidden in the dimness of mango, jackfruit, coconut and tamarisk trees, can be watched entirely climbing up the lighthouse, lies 2 km off Malvan.


Sridevi and Rameshwar temples would appease the souls of all the spiritual crowds.


Malvan city is located at a distance of 8 km away from the railway station. The tourists’ spot is well connected to various parts of Mumbai by bus. One of the prime attractions of Malvan is the ferry service of Sindhudurg. It is not very difficult to avail a bus and travel to Goa, Sawantwadi and Mangalore from Malvan.


To enjoy a bath, the best place to book your room is Sindhudurg Shova Hotel.


Sindhudurg:


The ocean fort or Sindhudurg, formed by Shivaji during 1644-47, was built on the Kurte Island, about ½ km away from the well-stretched-out sea beach of Malvan.


A 12 feet wide and 30 feet tall fortification around Sindhudurg used to shield the city and its city dwellers previously. An idol of Chhatrapati Shivaji, made up of shimmering black stones, is being worshipped by his followers here in the Srishivchhatrapati temple. Covering 48 acres of lands, the time-honored temple, was erected by the son of Shivaji long back in 1695. Deities, such as, Mahapurush (the own deity of Konkan), Maruti Mahadev, Jarimai and Devi Bhavani are residing in the fort. Later on, the name of the fort was changed to Fort Augustus ever since the fort was captured by British in 1812. But, countless numbers of age-old items of the fort sadly are now in ruins.


The newest allurement of the fort is the Sindhudurg festival. The festival upholds the longstanding Cultures and mores of Maharashtra.


About 611 km away from Mumbai, Sindhudurg, can be accessed by trains from Mumbai CST. The main city of Sindhudurg is situated at a distance of 8 km from the railway station. Buses and autos travel to the city from the railway station. Hire a boat from the Malvan wharf to Sindhudurg for an enticing experience.


Tarkarli:


Tarkarli, about 6 km away from Sindhudurg, is positioned at the mouth of Karli River and Arabian ocean. Crystal clear water, serene ambience and dusty sands of Tarkali would definitely uplift your spirit. The beach, well covered with the dark shades of towering and swaying coconut trees, greets the overseas tourists affectionately.


The pretty sea beach of Tarkarli can be easily accessed from Malvan by bus and by auto. Tourists who are going to Tarkali have to get down at Kudal railway station of Kankan railways before availing a bus/auto/car to the striking Tarkarli sea beach, about 24 km away from the Kudal railway station.


Few worth mentioning hotels where tourists can stay in Tarkali are Resort of MTDC, Bamboo House, Hotel Chintamani and Apoorva Resort.


Kunkeshwar:


About 511 km away towards the southern side of Mumbai, Kunkeshwar, on the Konkan coastal land, pulls crowds for its gripping greenery and white sandy beach. The deity Shiva who was worshiped by Shivaji is offering blessings to his devotees residing on the sea shore. The temple was erected by an Arabian merchant.


Devgarh, about 17 km away from Kunkeshwar, draws attentions of many for the production of Alphonso mangoes. Huge productions along with the taste of these mangoes attract fruit lovers in abundance.


A long-established and historic fort is there atop the soaring hill of Kunkeshwar. A number of holy temples are dotted on the 2 km long sea beach of Kunkeshwar.


Beach lovers should travel to the Tara Mumbri Beach, located towards the southern side of Kunkeshwar, to enjoy its spectacle.


Vijay Fort is situated at a distance of 37 km away towards the northern side of Kunkeshwae. An enamoring beach is there at the back end of the Vijay fort.


Tourists, who want to stay overnight, can enjoy their stay at various hotels of Kunkeshwar, Devgarh and Vijay fort area.


Few notable hotels in Kunkeshwar are Salvi Resort, Bhakti Niwas, Hotel Parijat, Green Villa Guest House and Hotel Alankar.


Amboli:


The hill station Amboli, about 31 km away from Sawatwadi, is placed on a slope of 690 meters tall hill.


For a charming experience, take a walk through the road of Amboli. It is one of the best places of Maharashtra to be at during a weekend. Don’t miss the opportunity to watch the beguiling sights of the sunrise and sunset from the astonishing Amboli.


Innumerable sanctified temples, captivating forts, numerous waterfalls, medicinal plants, riveting summer resort of Bhosale emperors, a dozen view points and Bauxite mine (10 km away from Amboli) are the coveted and interesting tourists’ spots of Amboli.


Even though the tourists won’t be able to catch glimpse of any denizens but they can listen to the roars of wild beer, bison and panthers during nights.


As two of the renowned tourists’ spots, Matheran and Goa are not very far away from Amboli, the numbers of tourists are very few here. If you visit Amboli, then don’t forget to savor the taste of prawns and mutton curry.


Amboli, about 64 km away from Sawantwadi, can be accessed by bus from Swantwadi.


Hotels in Sawantwadi- Konkan Crown and Hotel Tara.


Hotels in Vengurla- Hotel Satya Vijoy, Sea View Hotel, Hotel Laukik, PWD Guest House.


Hotels in Amboli- Green Valley Resort of MTDC, Hotel JRD International, Hotel Kohinoor Park, Hotel Green Palace, Hotel Landmark, Hotel Shiv Malhar and Indian Hotel.


Where to stay at Ganapatipule: Holiday Resort of MTDC, Hotel Abhishek, Hotel Sri Prasad, Hotel Durbankur, Kelkar Lodge, Hotel Kinara, Hotel Sreesagar and Hotel Landmark.


How to reach Ganapatipule: Travel to Ratnagiri from Mumbai or Goa by train. Then avail a bus to Ganapatipule from Ratnagiri. Buses ply directly to Ganapatipule from Mumbai as well. Ganapatipule is also well connected to Pune, Mahabaleshwar and Panaji by bus as well.


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