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 Swyambhu 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.
Ganapatipule offers a variety of local preparations, like ambapoli (thin pancakes of crushed and dried mango) and phanaspoli (thin pancakes of dried and crushed jackfruit). Fish curries and the Kokam kadi are also worth trying. Vegeterians 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 are here in summer, you can also relish Dehgad Hapus, the famous variety of mangoes in the world.
STD Code: 02357
Climate: The climate is moist and humid but the air is invigorating and pollution free. From March, the temperature starts rising but rarely crosses 38° C. May is the hottest month. The monsoon lasts from June to October. Rains are usually plentiful and regular. The winter season is perhaps the most pleasant with temperatures dropping at nights. Loose cottons and light woolens during winter nights are recommended. One should not forget to carry your swim wear.
Getting There & Away: How to reach Ganapatipule
Road: From Mumbai to Ganapatipule is 375 km (via Mahad). Pune to Ganapatipule is 331 km (Via Satara) and Kolhapur to Ganapatipule is 144 km.
Rail: Nearest railhead is Bhoke, on the Konkan Railway. However, Ratnagiri is more convenient.
Air: The nearest airport is Kolhapur.
Tourist Attractions in Ganapatipule
Malgund: 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 student’s hostel. The memorial to the poet, built by the Marathi Sahitya Parishad, is also worth a visit.
Velneshwar: The beautiful village of Velneshwar, 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 fair, 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 years pilgrimage. There are three main attractions here: The Thibaw Palace, the Lokmanya Tilak Smarak and the Patit Pawan Mandir. The Thibaw Palace is ehere 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 houise, now a memorial called The Lokmanya Tilak Smark, 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 the 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 Maharashtrian). A visit to this place is truly a journey through time.
Local Festivals: Many festivals are celebrated along the Konkan Coast. Among the most significant are Gauri Ganapati and Magh Chaturthi (the fourth day of the lunar month of Magh, believed to be the birth date of OLord Ganapati). Other festivals like Holi, Gudi Padva and Diwali are also celebrated with equal fervor, and to be here during this time is an experience in itself.
Marleshwar, 60 km away from Ganapatipule, is famous for its Shiva temple and waterfall. Derwan, 85 km from Ganapatipule, is well known for its Shiv Shrihti (an exhibition on Chhratapati Shivaji). Parshuram, 112 km from Ganapatipule, is known for the Parshuram temple.