Staycation at Ganapatipule #WeekendWorthy

7th Feb 2020

Had I been writing this article a year ago or before that, I might have written about Alibaug, Murud, Shrivardhan or Harihareshwar. Every time I travel to a new place in Maharashtra, it makes me fall in love with it even more. This is how amazingly beautiful Maharashtra is, it makes me feel spellbound with its beauty and tranquility, a perfect blend of Mountains, beaches, history, culture and heritage.

“Logo ke Goa ke Plan nai bante and yaha hamara Ganapati Pule ka Plan nai ban raha” This is how I describe our trip to Ganapati pule. Ever since I stumbled upon a picture on the internet captioned "Aare Ware – The Great Ocean Road", I was urged more than ever to visit this place even after repeated cancellations. This was a long pending trip that got cancelled thrice before materialising in early February.

A little titbit about Ganapatipule. It is a coastal town located in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra along the Konkan coast, having religious importance among Ganesh devotees. The town gets its name from the famous Swayambhu Ganesh temple on the Ganpatipule beach and is one of the biggest crowd pullers here. Ganapatipule is tranquill place surrounded with cliffs, hills, dense forest and is not much commercialized, so you can enjoy the laid back charm of this place.

The Journey:

I was accompanied by four of my cousins on this little adventure and had booked ourselves Karmi Express from Panvel, an overnight train. It was early morning 7 o’clock when our train reached Ratnagiri station. The first sight of the little station itself was so cheering and soothing. This little station was straight out of some novel. The air was fresh and crisp. There are numerous buses and autos that ply from Ratnagiri to Ganapati pule. But the kind of Bike lover that we are, we had rented ourselves two wheelers from Ratnagiri itself for our journey ahead.

With curvey roads, lush greenery and roads covered with trees on both sides and making a half circular green roof on the top, the 50-60 minutes of bike ride was one of the scenic ride I have ever had in my life. After about 45 minutes of ride, the road suddenly opened upto clear blue sky, a bridge in middle, stream below and hills ahead. After going little ahead we realized that it wasn’t just a stream but a stream adjoining the beach overlooking hills ahead. I could see crystal clear turquoise blue water from far, overlooking the hillock above. Aaahaaa ! A sight to behold and a visual treat to eyes. That was Aare Ware beach.

Aare Ware beach

Photo of Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India by Tehesin Agharia

We drove along the coast with the picturesque Aare Ware beach for company. At one point, we halted our Activas to marvel at the expanse of the ocean. I simply couldn’t believe a place like this existed in my home state. Rural Maharahstra is indeed charming and to a large extent unexplored. We kept staring at sea waves furiously hitting the rocks from the beach and from above the hill, trying to take the beauty of the place all in and swallow it. The ride from here was one of the spectacular ride. It sure was The Great Ocean Road as described on the blog I had read before. Hills on one side and Arabian sea on the other side.

Aare Ware - The Great Ocean Road

Photo of Aare Ware Beach., Ratnagiri-Ganpati Pule Highway, Basni, Maharashtra, India by Tehesin Agharia


To our surprise, before reaching Ganapati Pule, we had crossed entire stretch of coastal line having beaches adjoining each other with no crowd at all. So astonished by the beauty of this little hamlet, we decided not to go ahead and kept our stay at Nakshatra by O’ Nest beach resort overlooking Bhandarpule beach, a little ahead of Aare Ware beach. The first impression of the Nakshatra Resort was a Home on top of the Hillock. The location was peaceful and perfect for someone who had come down to take a break from work life monotony. It had Infinity pool overlooking Arabian Sea.

View from our room at Nakshatra by O'Nest beach resort

Photo of Nakshatra Beach Resort, Bhandarwada, Ganpatipule, Maharashtra, India by Tehesin Agharia

Bhandarpule beach is one of the silent, secluded and cleanest beach I’ve ever been to in Maharashtra. It felt amazing as we were the only person on this beach. There is no proper route to reach here, but only a small unpaved path. We spent most of our time at Bhandarpule beach. If you’ve relished the quietness at Bhandarpule, the crowd at the Ganpatipule temple and beach will disappoint you.

Bhandarpule beach view from hill

Photo of Bhandarpule Beach, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, India by Tehesin Agharia


Even though we had a list of things to do, for next two days we ended up doing nothing but took beach walks in the morning, paid our visit to holy Ganapati temple, had wholesome scrumptious Konkani food at nearby local restaurant, played in water and send at beach in the evening followed by breathtaking sunset from the hill. We took a stroll in village at night, rode our Activas until the end of road and appreciated the beauty of the place. It was magical.

There are numerous places to visit in and around this little town. Jaigad Fort, Ratandurg Fort, Velneshwar beach, Hedvi beach and temple, Guhaghar. Since ours was a weekend trip, instead of rushing to tick of places, we instead decided to take it slow, stared at seawaves furiously hitting the rocks, swaying coconut and palms trees and appreciate the tranquility and beauty of the place. As we say, some things are better left incomplete for the next time. Till then we will keep taking a trip down to a memory lane.

On Monday morning we left, returned our bike and boarded Ltt double decker train from Ratnagiri station.

How to reach:

Ganapatipule is well connected by road from Mumbai and Pune. Also, there are many trains from Mumbai till Ratnagiri Station. My tip for people (especially working) who are visiting Ganapati Pule over weekend would be to board overnight train on Friday from Mumbai, reach Ganapati Pule by 10 o’clock on Saturday morning. You will have two full days (Saturday and Sunday) at your disposal to explore this little town and can leave for Mumbai on Sunday evening by overnight train from Ratnagiri station. There are numerous train from and to various parts of Mumbai including Panvel, LTT and Dadar. Journey by Train is quite feasible as it will not only save travelling time but also is light on pocket too.

Other Stay Options:

There are numerous stay options ranging from various homestays, budget hotels to luxury resorts. Also MTDC resort is best place to stay just right on the Ganapati Pule beach with swaying coconut trees around. We stayed at quite luxurious resort, hence the overall cost hit up a little. It can be brought down easily by choosing homestays over resorts and hotels. Along with cost effective option, Homestays also gives you the opportunity to experience local life, food, culture and tradition. From my little experience, homestays can be easily found and booked on arrival for cost as low as INR 800 per night

Getting around:

There are numerous autos and buses that ply between Ratnagiri and Ganapati Pule. For sightseeing autos can be hired from Ganapati Pule for cost ranging from INR 500-600. It will increase depending on the distance and places covered. Cars can also be rented from Ratnagiri. My tip would be to take a two wheeler on rent from Ratnagiri at cost of INR 500-600 per day. We rented our Activas at INR 500 per day with no distance limit. It is quite a feasible option for travelers on a tight budget. In addition to being a cost effective option, it is adventurous and will add to the joy of a scenic ride right from Ratnagiri till Aare Ware, Bhandarpule and until the end of the road.

Sunset from Bhandarpule beach

Photo of Staycation at Ganapatipule #WeekendWorthy by Tehesin Agharia