If pristine beaches, quiet resorts and serenity is what you are looking for,then wait no more- pack your bags and head to this small and tranquil place located on the Konkan coast- Ganpatipule.The place gets its name from the famous Swayambhu Ganapati temple(sprung from soil) thats located on the beach itself. Customarily, idols at temples face the east, but in this temple, Lord Ganesha faces West.The idol of Ganesha is 400 years old.
Ratnagiri railway station is the nearest railway station to Ganapatipule. One can get here and take an auto-rickshaw to Ganapatipule. The distance is around 35 kms and the rickshaws charge Rs 500 to take you to the resort/hotel that you have booked.Once you are out of the city, you will be travelling along long winding roads which give you breathtaking view, at times of the beach, and at times of the greenery around. This is a long ride you will not regret. We stopped at a few places to look at the mesmerisingly beautiful sea from the top(the roads are kind of cut on the sides of mountains) and offer a cliff view of the sea. There were a couple of beaches we crossed, one of the famous ones being the Arey Ware beach. It gets its name from the two villages which surround it by two sides; and the villages in turn get their names from the surnames of the communities that reside there(Arey and Ware). This little chunk of information was given to us by the friendly rickshaw driver who drove us to the resort. Our rumbling stomachs were excited for some sea food, and guess what, we had some delicious sea food overlooking the sea. Yes, the restaurant had a very good view of the sea. You not only enjoy your food, but also get lost in the beautiful expanse of the sea that is right in front of your eyes.
Although a bit tired, the traveler in us urged us to explore the beach post lunch. We decided to walk(although not a wise choice as the vehicles drive at maddening speeds on the narrow roads). After sometime,thankfully, we got a rickshaw(tuk-tuk) to drop us near the temple.
The same rickshaw driver showed us the above path shown in the photograph (the staircase starts from the opposite road of our resort and takes you directly to the beach). Voila, and the next morning itself we were down at the beach. The beach is a bit rough though, so I would suggest not to venture deep into it, and being less crowded, there are not much people to come to your rescue too.
And while you are at the Konkan coast, make sure to relish some of the best Konkan cuisines with the authentic Konkan flavour. I was in love with one particular dish, Solkadi, its a drink made from Kokum juice and coconut milk. It has an amazing taste and great nutritional properties.
This beach vacation is best for one day or two day trip, where you can relax and come back rejuvenated without drilling a hole in your pocket.
So what are you waiting for? Start packing your bags already.