An unscathed Paradise named Ganpatiphule

  • SumoMe

Vast stretches of glittering silver sand; roaring water rushing to meet the coast – as though  desperate lovers trying to get that one last touch of their love; the palm trees swaying as though dancing to the tune of the winds; scintillating aroma of flowers and fruits: this is what nature has in store in its secret little place called Ganpatiphule.

Located around 375 kms from Mumbai and about 331 kms from Pune, Ganpatiphule is one of Maharashtra’s ‘nearly’ virgin beach. Ganpatiphule is a small district of Ratnagiri. The entire 30 kms of Konkan stretch – from Ratnagiri to Ganpatiphule -is no less than heaven. With fresh blue waters on one side and small brick cottages on the other, this path is a breathtaking and mesmerizing sight.

History

As mythology suggests, this is the place where Lord Ganesha took refuge after an offensive remark made by a lady, and so was named, “Ganpatiphule”. The place houses a 400 year old Ganpati idol, which is presumed to have appeared miraculously. Ganpatiphule is also one of the Ashta Vinayaks (eight Ganapatis – one of the 8 temples across Maharashtra dedicated to Lord Ganesha) and is also known as the ‘Paschim Dwar Devta’ (Lord of the Western Sentinel).

Tourist Attractions

Ganpatiphule beach has a picturesque landscape. The beach is not much explored, and thus is clean and not very crowded:

* The main tourist spot for Ganpatiphule is the Swayambhu Ganpati Temple, encompassing the 400 yr old Ganpati idol. The temple attracts devotees from all across the world, every year.
* Malgund: About a kilometer away from Ganpatiphule is the birth place of the famous Marathi poet, Kavi Keshavsut. His house has become the meeting point for all Marathi literati, and has now been converted into a student’s hostel. The area is also  famous for its monument, Keshavsut Smarak.
* Jaigad Fort and Lighthouse: 35 kms away from Ganpatiphule, the fort stands atop a cliff facing the gushing sea waters. Near the fort is a landmark: the lighthouse. The spectacular view, from the lighthouse, can leave anyone aghast.

Cuisine

Since Ganpatiphule is more of a religious place, much of the food here is vegetarian. However, non-vegetarian food is available, on the outskirts of the town. Fish curry, kokam (Konkan fruit), and rice are the popular dishes. For the vegetarians, Ganpatiphule offers a wide range of coconut based curries and dishes.

Culture

Since it lies on the Konkan belt of Maharshtra and Marathi speaking people live here, it  has more of Maharashtrian culture. All Ganpati festivals are celebrated with great pomp and show and the people here are extremely friendly and warm-hearted.

How to Reach

Ganpatiphule is about 30 kms from Ratnagiri, which is well connected by road and rail with all parts of the country. Thereafter, Ganpatiphule is just a one hour road journey.

In all, Ganpatiphule serves you with the right mix of nature’s beauty and spiritual sanctity, and stands as an ideal get away for all.

Aditi Ananthanarayanan

Image Source: [http://farm1.static.flickr.com/6/11911184_4e6649854c.jpg]

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