Ganapatipule is one of the most spectacular beaches along the Konkan Coast – an idyllic getaway that attracts peace-seekers, beach lovers, and pilgrims alike.
The temple of Swayambhu (self-originated) Ganesh is much frequented by thousands every year. The God is considered to be the Paschim Dwardevta (Western Sentinel God of India), and those who visit Ganapatipule, make it a point to pay their respects to this great deity. Aside from its clean beach and clear waters, Ganapatipule is rich in flora, including mangroves and coconut palms. 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.
- Malgund is a small village about 1 km. away from Ganapatipule, and the native place of the famous Marathi poet, Kavi Keshavsoot. You can visit the poet’s house, which has been renovated and converted into a students’ hostel. The memorial to the poet, built by the Marathi Sahitya Parishad, is also worth a visit.
- Velneshwar: The beautiful village of Veineshwar, situated north of the Shastri River, has its own peaceful, coconut-fringed beach, where one can relax in tranquility. The village comes alive each year during the Maha Shivaratri fari, when pilgrims in large numbers visit the Old Shiva Temple.
- Ratnagiri: About 25 km away from Ganapatipule lies the district headquarter town, Ratnagiri. The region has a long illustrious past and is even mentioned in Indian mythology as the place where the Pandavas settled after their 13-year pilgrimage. There are three main attractions here: The Thibaw Palace, the Lokmanya Tilak Smarak and the Patit Pawan Mandir. The Thibaw Palace is where Thibaw, the last king of Burma, was incarcerated by the British in 1885. Ratnagiri was also the birthplace of Lokmanya Tilak, one of India’s greatest freedom fighters. His house, now a memorial called The Lokmanya Tilak is diligently maintained by the local community. The Patit Pawan Mandir is a much revered temple, as it is the first place of worship built for non-Brahmins by the revolutionary leader, Veer Savarkar. Today, Ratnagiri is a bustling agricultural town and also one of India’s important ports in the western region.
- Jaigad Fort Resting on a cliff, at the entrance of the Sangameshwar river just 35 km away from Ganapatipule, is Jaigad Fort. This 17th century fort offers a commanding view of the sea and an almost unique view of Konkan village life.
- Pawas Besides its scenic natural beauty and serenity. Pawas is well-known for the Ashram of Swami Swaroopanand (a spiritual leader who influenced an entire generation of Maharshtrians). A visit to this place is truly a journey through time.
- Shopping and food: Ganapatipule offers a variety of local preparations, like ambapoli (thin pancakes of crushed and dried mango) and phanspoli (thin pancakes of dried and crushed jackfruit). Fish curries and the kokam kadi (a pink – coloured digestive drink) are also worth trying. Vegetarians can feast on simple, yet tasty, fare: dal, vegetables prepared with a coconut base and modak – a sweet (and a favourite dish of Lord Ganesh). If you’re here in summer you can also relish Devgad Hapus, the most famous variety of mangoes in the world.