Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Visit Ganpatipule

If you are looking for a beautiful, clean, pristine sea beach, far away from the mad, mad crowd, you will love Ganpatipule.
If you have the time and the inclination, there are a number of nearby forts to explore.
And of course, the famous 400 year old Ganapati temple is a major attraction.
Ganpatipule is a small village on the sea coast near Ratnagiri – 375 kms south of Mumbai.
It is not too close to Mumbai, not very well known and therefore not crowded.
The beautiful journey
The road to Ganpatipule runs almost parallel to the western coast of India.
You pass through towns and villages scattered across roads lined with red tiled-roof houses having large courtyards with different kinds of fruit trees.
And you get beautiful glimpses of the casuarina lined coast.
The 7 hour road journey is thoroughly enjoyable.
Things to see in and around Ganpatipule
The Beach
The clean, sprawling beach is wonderful.
The blue waters of the Arabian sea and the silver sands transform you into one of the fairy tale islands.
You can play around in the water or walk across the beach in the moon light.
Swayambhu Ganapati Temple 
                  Ganpatipule Swayambhu Temple                            
Swayambhu means ‘self appeared’.
It is believed that the idol of Ganesha in the temple originated by itself.
A lot of visitors take a ‘pradakshina’ or walk around the temple.
The one kilometre walk on the beautiful ‘Pradakshina Marg’ lined with trees and plants is enjoyable.
You get beautiful views of the beach from here.
Ganapatipule Market
Ganapatipule Market is small but interesting.
You can taste the local ‘Kokam’ sherbet, ‘Modak’ , Pav Bhaji, Chaat dishes, Wada Pav, Samosa Pav, Lime Water, etc.
Malgund is a small village, about 2 kms away from Ganapatipule.
It is the birthplace of Keshavsoot, the famous Marathi poet.
You can visit his old house and see his inkpot, writing desk and ‘jhula’ (swing).
Jaigad Fort
This legendary fort is only 35 kms from Ganapatipule.
Ratnagiri, 45 kms from Ganaptipule, is the land of the ‘Hapus’ or Alphonso mangoes.
It is also the birthplace of Lokmanya Tilak, the famous freedom fighter.
His house is now open to the visitors.
MTDC Holiday Resort spread over 45 acres of land near the coast is the best.
The rates are also quite reasonable.
Hotel Land Mark, a little distance from Ganpatipule, is another good hotel.
There are several other cheaper hotels.
Getting there
Mumbai to Ganapatipule – 375 kms
Pune to Ganapatipule – 331 kms
Ratnagiri to Ganapatipule – 45 kms
The nearest railway stations are Bhoke (35 kms from Ganapatipule) and Ratnagiri on (45 kms from Ganapatipule).
But the latter is more convenient.

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