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Travel: Where to head this summer
Mehul Desai |
April 17, 2006
Love to travel? We continue our reader driven series with a hot getaway option for summer.
Mehul Desai, a 27-year-old software architect, loves to drive around and explore the countryside. He recommends Ganapatipule, a pristine beach located on the Konkan coast. It's summer, a time to hit the waters and beat the heat.
While the millions hit the more popular shores of Goa and Kerala, a few folks like me decided to visit a relatively untouched gift of nature, Ganpatipule.
This Konkan coast destination, primarily known for the Swayambu Ganapati temple from which it derives its name, makes for a great getaway from the routine of everyday life.
How to get there
It's a good 7.5 hours drive from Pune and around eight hours from Mumbai along the NH-17 Mumbai-Goa highway. But the drive is very nice and relaxing. The highway is in excellent shape and most of the ghats are easy to manouver.
What's more, you find good stopovers on the journey like Mahad, Khed and Chiplun. At Nivale Phata you exit the Goa highway. It is another 35 km drive to Ganpatiphule from the highway but this is one of the best drives in the country.
Smooth traffic-less roads flow like honey over an ice-cream and you witness the beauty of nature at its pristine best.
Other travel options include taking a train to Ratnagiri station, which is about 50 km from Ganapatipule.
You also have buses (luxury and non-luxury) starting from Mumbai.
Where to stay
The best place to stay in Ganpatipule is the MTDC Beach Resort. They have deluxe rooms and Konkani-style houses, that face the beach. The more adventurous can also chill out in economy tents on the beach.
The balconies are king-size and so are the rooms.
Places to visit
The beach is absolutely clean and the white sand soothing. The water is crystal clear and you can even see your bare feet in shallow water. It is good for swimming or just lazing around the white sands.
Right on the beach is the famous Ganesha temple and a beautiful one kilometre long Pradakshina encompassing the temple.
One can even enjoy the drive from Ganpatipule to Ratnagiri (via Nevre) which is just 25 kilometres. It's the best drive I had in this country in terms of scenic beauty, comparable to Monte Carlo Riviera.
Food is a delight with many small-size restaurants/hutments offering home-style Konkani food. Don't miss the Sol Kadi (made of kokam and coconut milk), and the fresh fish, which is a foodie's delight.
Also don't miss the Kaju Usal (curry of cashew nuts) made in typical Konkani style.
So what are you waiting for?
Hit the road and cool off at Ganpatipule this weekend.
MTDC Beach Resort Ganapatipule
Phones: 02357 (235248/235061)
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