I have recently moved to this beautiful quaint and scenic konkan city of Ratnagiri for work . So this is not a trip I undertook for a day or two but i will be listing the places that will interest travelers not in the company of kids and families with kids alike...This city took me by surprise after spending 3 years in mumbai..It has so much quality to offer, so much nature and a lot of clean and cool monsoon air to fill your lungs...i hope these simple well maintained, low entry cost points appeal to you for a long weekend get away apart from the trite Goa, lonavala, Pune..a 5-6 hour train journey from mumbai will transport you to Ratnagiri.
FIRST STOP Thiba point/ Thiba palace: The thibaw palace was home to the exiled king of Myanmar, King Thiba. He was kept under house arrest in this palace by the British. It has an entry ticket of Rs.3.00 .There is an archealogical museum inside the palace. around 5 min away is the thiba point..(entry ticket Rs.10) Beautifully maintained , a very fun place for both adults and kids. There is a toy train, colombus, swings, mini boats in a pool , trampoline, round abouts for the kids to enjoy. It also has refreshment stalls. But i would go there again and again for the splendid view of Ratnagiri sea link, bhatye beach and the back waters.
TILAK BIRTH PLACE : The tilak birth place at tilak ali was home to Bal gangadhar tilak till he turned 10 yrs old. There is no entry ticket. The house is well maintained and the feeling of being in the house where such a great man lived is inexplicable.
MARINE MUSEUM : The marine museum has a good collection of live marine fauna- the olive ridley turtle and various fish, alongwith preseved marine life in a separate section. It has a nice area to walk around and lake for boating.
BEACHES : Bhatye beach, Ganpatipule, Arey Warey, Ganesh gule. The konkan drive to ganpatipule is beautiful...something that we really miss in mumbai. You have to go far out to experience a drive like that. The beaches have provisions for refreshments and adventure sports.
RATNADURG FORT/BHAGWATI TEMPLE : a walk along the fort wall will automatically take you back in time.. how these great structures must have been errected.. Just go to this fort and sit and stare into the distance ..look at the light house and the fishing boats in the distance and introspect.. :) There also a beautiful devi temple within the compound..
MARLESHWAR : The drive to marleshwar temple is beautiful. I would strongly recommend going there during monsoons. Even the people without a religious bent of mind will enjoy this light trek. Its sight to behold with the caved temple in the back drop of water falls.
PAWAS : One can visit the swaroopanand samadhi math in Pawas. Its something on the lines on Isckon ..Its a beautiful clean well maintained structure, where my 19 month old happily played. It did not excite me much, but one must go to Pawas for the drive in monsoons. the lush fluorescent and the mini rivers are very calming. You just want to listen to music sit back drive drive drive.... :)
JAIGAD LIGHT HOUSE : I love light houses..love the view with them in it...Another beautiful drive with the JSW township and Jai vinayak temple enroute to the lighthouse.
MANDAVI BEACH/GATEWAY OF RATNAGIRI : This beach deserves a special mention. I havent seen something like this before. This is a jetty well lit with lamps jutting into the water (needless to say). Beautiful view of the flashing lighthouse. Just go there sit and watch quietly ...the kind of place you can easily spend time in alone..Its bang in the middle of the city..An auto will easily take you there..but once you get there and walk to the end of the stoned walkaway you will think 'When did I leave the city'...
All in all a beautiful city where you can getaway from the touristy crowds flocking the regular spots popular during monsoon...will be worth your time ..you can stay put in the kohinoor resort or beach huts on bhatye beach or the many other hotels get a cab or arrange for a self driven car and soak in all the lush and beauty sans the crowds..