Ganpatipule is one of the most spectacular beaches along the Kokan coast -an idyllic getaway that attracts peace seekers, beach, lovers and pilgrims alike.
The temple of Swayambhu (self originated) Ganesh is much frequented by thousand every year. The God is considered to be the Paschim Dwardevta (western sentinel God of India) and those who visit Ganpatipule, make it a point to pay their respect to this great deity.
Aside from its clean beach and clear water, Ganpatipule is rich in flora, including mangroves and coconut palms. Here, you can leave the hectic world behind as you laze around on golden sands or explore the many trails that lead from the beach.
Malgund is a small village about 1 km away from Ganpatipule and the native place of the famous Marathi poet, Kavi Keshavsoot. You can visit the poet's house, which has been renovated and converted into a student’s hotel. The memorial to the poet, built by the Marathi Sahitya Parishad is also worth a visit.
The beautiful village of Velneshwar, situated north of the Shashtri river, has it’s own peaceful, coconut fringed beach, where one can relax in tranquility. The Village comes alive each year during the Maha Shivaratri fair, when pilgrims in large numbers visit the Old Shiva Temple.
About 25 Km away Ganaptipule lies the district headquarter town, Ratnagiri. The region has a long illustrious past and is even mentioned on Indian Mythology as the place where the Pandavas settled after their 13 year Pilgrimage.
There are three main attractions here:
The Thibaw palace - King Thibaw ruled Myanmar for almost 7 years and he was the last ruler of that country. The British army overtook the ruling and captured King Thiba’s entire region. In 1885, the British Army transferred King Thiba along with his family from Myanmar to Madras (today`s Chennai) and from Madras to Ratnagiri to make sure that he could not rebel against them. After 30 years of imprisonment, King Thiba who was kept away from his motherland and his beloved people died at an age of 58 in 1919
Ratnagiri was also the Birthplace of Lokmanya Tilak, one of the India greatest freedom fighters . His house, now a memorial called the Lokmanya Tilak Smarak , is diligently maintained by the local community.
The Patit Pawan Mandir is a much revered temple, as it is the first place of worship built for non-brahmins by the revolutionary leader, Veer Savarkar.
Resting on a cliff, at the entrance of the Sangameshwar river just 35 kms away from Ganpatipule is Jaigad fort . This 17th Century fort offers a commanding view of the sea and an almost unique view of Konkan village life.
Lighthouse stands at the southern end of the Jaigad fort. The passage on the side of the Fort wall leads to the Lighthouse.
Besides its scenic natural beauty and serenity. Pawas is well-known for the ashram of Swami Swaroopanand (a spiritual leader who influenced an entire generation of Maharashtrians). A visit to this place is truly a journey through time.
Ratnadurg Fort is encircled by the Arabian Sea from three sides. The dimensions of the horseshoe shaped fort are 1300 m length and 1000 m width. A lighthouse named as the Siddha lighthouse is situated at one of the bastions.
Ganpatipule offers a variety of local preparations like Ambapoli 9thin pancakes of crushed and dried Mango) and Phanaspoli (Thin pancakes of dried and crushed jackfruit). Fish curries and the kokam Kadi ( a pink colored digestive drink) is worth trying. Vegetarians can feast on simple, yet tasty dal, vegetables prepared in coconut and modak ( Sweet dish – and also a sweet offering to Lord Ganesh) . IN summer you can relish Devgad Hapus Mango and Ratnagiri Hapus Mango , the most famous variety of Mangoes in the world .
Language Spoken: Malvani (native language) , Marathi . Hindi and English are understood by many.
Getting there :
By Air: The nearest airport is Kolhapur and or Pune/Mumbai .
By Rail : The nearest railhead is Bhoke on kokan railway . However Ratnagiri stop is more convenient.
Mumbai – Ganpatipule – 375 kms
Pune- Ganpatipule – 331 kms
Kolhapur – Ganpatipule- 144 kms
Keep Exploring .
Cheers , Escapingsoul