Ganpatipule – Tranquil and beautiful!!!
Ganpatipule is a small town located in Ratnagiri district on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra. Ganpatipule is approximately 350 KM south of Mumbai. It is a very small town with about 100 houses, having one of the beautiful beaches along the Konkan Coast and an ideal getaway for peace-seekers, beach lovers, and pilgrims. The Swayambhu (self-originated) Ganpati Temple on the Ganpatipule beach is the prime attraction here that draws thousands of pilgrims 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 respects to this great deity. Aside from its clean beach and clear waters, Ganpatipule is rich in flora, including mangroves and coconut palms. There are many villages in Ganpatipule which are full of greenery. The main occupation of the villagers is agriculture. 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.
We have explored many beaches of the Konkan Coast but Ganpatipule had remained long overdue in our list. Finally the time has come to explore this place. The dates were finalized and booking were done in advance. We along with our family friends were up and ready for this tour. We were excited as this trip will fulfill a long overdue visit to the old Ganpati temple and complete our wanderlust of the beaches in Konkan region. We did all the preparation for packing considering the summer season and started our tour on time i.e. at 6 a.m. We straight away headed towards Mumbai – Goa Highway from Panvel and followed the route till Sawarde with a break for Breakfast only. From Sawarde we exited the highway and headed towards Ganpatipule via state highway. Since the highway is under construction and most stretch of the highway is one lane with two ghats as well driving was not fluent. It takes time while traveling through this route and one should always keep sufficient buffer. We followed the below route:
Panvel – Pen – Mangaon – Mahad – Khed – Chiplun – Sawarde – Navadi – Chafe – Ganpatipule
Once again we were fascinated with the sight of a coast just after the hills similar to the other regions of Konkan coast. The best part of the journey was we never felt like heading towards a beach and suddenly we saw it from the hill and final descend towards the base. That view of sea was amazing and it also gives a sneak preview on its vastness. We reached Ganpatipule and headed towards our resort in Malgund just 1 KM ahead. A nice and small town with narrow lanes, and surrounded by greenery. We reached our resort at 2 p.m. We were satisfied with the property in this small village of Malgund. We took a rest after a long and adventurous journey through the Sahyadri hills.
Just at the onset of evening we started our march towards Malgund beach and were eager to have our first glimpse of the sea. In no time we reached the beach through the narrow roads of Malgund and were amazed by the beauty of the beach. The beach was beautiful, long, and clean. Also, the beach is very safe to venture into as it is flat for quite a long distance. The palm and coconut trees alongside the beach were giving an aesthetic feel to the landscape. We took a stroll alongside the beach and sat on the beach to surrender ourselves in the lap of nature. Our kids enjoyed the most from this beautiful beach by getting themselves drenched in the salty water of sea. All the major water rides were also available at this beautiful safe beach but we decided against it. We witnessed the sun disappearing across the horizon making a way for twilight. The sky turned into intense orange and red colour giving us a spectacular view of the sunset. By the time we were out from the beach it was dark and we went to Ganpatipule for dinner.
The next day morning started with a quite stroll through the lanes of Malgund amidst the natural and pure environment. We again went to the beach and spent some time acknowledging the nature. Since it was summer season, we got a chance to taste fresh mango from the tree. The village has plenty of mango trees and finally we bought fresh mangoes to carry back as well. We were ready for our visit to the temple and Ganpatipule beach as well. We visited the temple and were re-energized by the positive energy omnipresent there. The beach was nice and beautiful but was very crowded so decided not to venture out there. We came to know about a museum in Ganpatipule depicting the earlier lifestyle of Konkan and decided to visit it.
Prachin Konkan is a life size museum in Ganapatipule depicting life in yester years in Konkan. The museum provides interesting information about Konkan but also gives employment opportunities to the local people. The entry fee is very nominal and a guided tour takes all through various aspects of life in Konkan in the past. We learned a lot about the yester years of the region. After coming out of the museum we again decided to spend our evening at Malgund beach and our family friend decided to visit Jaigad Fort 15 KM farther from Malgund. The fort is on a cliff that offers a commanding view of the sea and an almost unique view of Konkan village life. We wanted to try the Konkan food and hired a local that offers homemade food services in the area for dinner. The food was amazing and we enjoyed every bit of it.
Here are some of the pics from museum depicting the yester year life of Konkan region…
Next day the plan was to head back to our home but at the last moment we decided a detour via Marleshwar Temple which is around 80 KM from Ganpatipule. Marleshwar is a place in Sangameshwar subdivision of Ratnagiri district and is known for the Cave Shiva Temple, where devotees may see cobra snake in the temple. The route from Ganpatipule to Marleshwar was a scenic beauty with greenery, mountain, and river on the way. The best part was the end of our journey towards Marleshwar where the place is covered by mountains from all the sides and the road comes to an end on the foothills. We climbed the stairs to reach the cave and paid our respect to the almighty. We were not fortunate enough to see any cobra snake in the temple but the environment was very soothing. By the time we came down and started our journey it was almost 3 p.m. The return journey was long and tiring and we reached home at around 11 p.m.
The tranquility of the temple percolates in the whole village and there is an aura of peace at Ganpatipule. Ganpatipule with a series of beautiful beaches apart from the Ganpatipule beach itself makes an ideal holiday destination for beach lovers, peace-seekers and pilgrims. We enjoyed every bit our stay in Ganpatipule i.e. Ganpati & Marleshwar temple, beaches, sunset, museum, homemade food, mango, & the valley.
Facts File about Ganpatipule
Best time to Visit: Winter (late October to mid February) is the most pleasant season, with temperatures dropping at night. The monsoon lasts from June to October, when rains are usually plentiful and regular.
How to Reach:
The town is easily accessible from the port city of Ratnagiri which is well connected by rail and road.
By Road: Mumbai is 350 km away via Mahad and Pune is 331 km away via Satara. For fast journeys, Ganapatipule is also connected with other cities by state transport buses. Buses are available from major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur to Ratnagiri. From Ratnagiri, private cabs also ply to the town.
By Rail: The nearest railway stations are at Ratnagiri and Bhoke. All the express, passenger trains stop at Ratnagiri but Bhoke is a small village and only passenger train stops here.
MTDC Resort is one of the best options to stay in Ganpatipule. Apart from it there are various options available in Ganpatipule i.e. from economy to 5 star luxury resorts.