Blessed with the bounty of greenery, hills, and beaches, Ganpatipule attracts nature lovers, peace seekers and pilgrims alike. Roads running parallel to the sea, clean beaches, Malvan style sea-food, helping nature of people are the key attractions. In addition, there are many secluded beaches in the radius of 5 km which people hardly visit. Aare-ware beach in Bhandarpule, Malgund are to name a few. Prachin Konkan museum is another interesting place which reflects the traditional Konkan life. Ganpatipule was the last place of my visit after Guhaghar and Jaigad Fort and hence instead of hopping to various places, I decided to slow down and laze around the beach.
Read- Standing through tides and times: Jaigad fort and Karhateshwar temple
Ganaptipule derives its name from the famous Ganpati temple. The Ganesh idol is self-originated from the rocks and hence is also called ‘Swayambhu’ Ganesh temple. The temple is situated at the foothill facing the beach. The hill itself is considered holy and there is a pathway (of approx. 1km) for the circumambulation of the hill, as a mark of respect. The legend has it that during the 16th century, Bhide, the head of the village was going through a difficult phase in his life. And so he decided to give up on food until God solved all his problems. He retired in the jungle for penance and worshiped Lord Ganesha, his tutelary deity. One day, Lord Ganesh appeared in Bhide’s vision and told him that He has come to his village to solve all the problems and that the hill itself is His holy form.
During the same period, one of the cows of Bhide had stopped producing milk until one day a cow herder noticed that the milk flowed from its udder automatically where the temple is built currently. Upon hearing the story, Bhide cleaned the area and found the idol of Lord Ganesh which he had seen in his vision and hence, he built a shrine here.
How to reach?
Via Rail– Nearest railway station is Ratnagiri. Google map shows the fastest route from Ratnagiri to Ganpatipule with a distance of 38km. I would advise ditching the bus as they take a different route to Ganpatipule with the views not as good as the old route of Aare ware and hire a cab or autorickshaw from Ratnagiri and take the Aare ware route to feel the wind and chase the sea.
Via Road– Ganpatipule is well connected by roads from the major cities. Also, there are direct buses from Mumbai and Pune on daily basis.
Where to stay?
Ganpatipule is one of the major tourist spots in Konkan and hence there are plenty of options available to cater the needs of different kinds of tourists. Prices start from Rs.500 for 2 people/night.
What to see?
Ganpatipule Temple and Beach, Prachin Konkan museum, Malgund Beach.
Towards the north of Ganpatipule, one can further visit Jaigad Fort and Lighthouse, Hedvi beach, Velneshwar Temple and Guhaghar.