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Rejuvenate in Ganapatipule
Sunita Kamath |
June 22, 2006
Love to travel? We continue our reader-driven getaway series.
Sunita Kamath, a software professional from Pune, recommends Ganpatipule for a rejuvenating experience.
The sudden infrastructure-move holiday declared by my company, proved to be a welcome break for me.
I grabbed this opportunity and set off on a two-day trip to Ganapatipule, a small village with a marvelous coastline in the western region of Maharashtra.
Ganapatipule lies in the district of Ratnagiri, a semi-urban city located around seven hours from Pune.
This is the start of the Konkan area, which is famous for its greenery, vegetation, and dense plantation of jackfruit, coconut, betel nut and, of course, mangoes.
How to get there
State transport semi-luxury buses ply from Pune to Ratnagiri. From here, you have to board another bus to Ganapatipule, which takes about an hour.
Direct buses are also available from Pune. But these are not luxury buses with comfortable seats, so the journney becomes tiring.
Another option would be to travel by the famous Konkan railway. The nearest railway station is Ratnagiri.
And of course if you have your own car, then nothing like it. That would be the way to reach Ganapatipule.
What to see
What is special about Ganapatipule is its untouched, non-commercialised, clean beach. It is a quiet and serene place. Watching the palm trees sway in the cool breeze and the sparkling blue water making huge waves on the shore is a fantastic experience.
The coastline is heavenly. When the sun sets, the sea water looks golden with shades of pink because of the twilight. When night spreads its dark cover, some part of the water looks silvery in the moon's dim white light. I could go on and on�
Ganapatipule is also known for the 400-year-old Swayambhu Ganapati temple. Swayambhu means it was not installed there, but discovered. The temple is on the beach with beautifully painted pillars in plain dark pink. The interesting thing about the temple is that, the one kilometer long Pradakshina bears the shape of Ganapati.
Pawas and Malgund are other places which you could visit.
Malgund is a small village just about a kilometer away from Ganapatipule. It is the birthplace of the famous Marathi poet Keshavsoot. The Keshavsoot Smarak in memory of the poet is worth a visit. The poet's house was recently renovated and converted into a student's hostel.
Pawas, about 16 kilometers from Ratnagiri, is known for the Swami Swaroopanand ashram. The spiritual leader lived here for 40 years and influenced an entire generation of Maharashtrians. The khichdi served here during lunch time is very well-known.
Talking about food, if you are a non-vegetarian who enjoys seafood, this is the place to be. A good variety of fresh fish is available here. Most preparations have coconut and green chilli as the main ingredient.
The sol-kadhi, made of kokum, coconut milk, ginger and green chilli, we had was simply divine. My taste buds are tickling as I write this.
Where to stay
The MTDC resort is the best option at Rs 1,000 per day. All rooms are sea facing and are clean with attached bathrooms.
They have a restaurant (though a bit expensive), but you get a good breakfast of idli, upma, dosas and sheera and nice fish curry for lunch/ dinner. It is, however, advisable to book rooms in advance, especially if you plan a weekend trip.
Another option is to stay at the lodging rooms available just outside MTDC. These are also near the beach and come at a much cheaper rate.
Our trip to Ganapatipule was a rejuvenating experience, away from the traffic, pollution, and crowd.
Don't miss this one if you are looking for a sea-side holiday.
MTDC Beach Resort Ganapatipule
Phones: (02357) 235248, 235061
Web site: http://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/
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