Nestled along the Konkan coast is Ganpatipule, an exquisite beach with a vibe of its own. Whether you are travelling solo, with your family or your significant other, there’s something here for everyone. What makes this destination perfect for city dwellers is that it’s only about 8 hours by road from Mumbai.
Situated on Ganpatipule beach is a famous temple called Swayambhu Ganesh Temple, which is about 400 years old. According to folklore, an angry Ganpati left home on some pretext to reach a place called Pule, which is how the place gets its name. However, ‘Pule’ also stands for white sand in Marathi which covers the beach. The Ganpati idol is said to have emerged from the earth and therefore called Swayambhu. This ancient temple lay protected by rulers of the Konkan region, including Chhatrapati Shivaji.
While the beach is a popular one, it is not always crowded. Apart from the white sands and bluish waters, there are numerous things to do and see around the area.
Standing magnificently on the beach, the Ganpatipule temple draws both, devotees and tourists, by adding a spiritual fabric to this tranquil backdrop. To experience quietude, choose a weekday over a weekend. And if you’re interested in catching a glimpse of the local culture, try visiting the temple during festival time.
Activities at Ganpatipule Beach
Those looking for a holiday full of adrenaline-pumping activities will not be disappointed at Ganpatipule. You can indulge in a host of activities at the beach including pedal boats, motorboats, kayaking, banana rides, paragliding, jet skiing, snorkelling, scuba diving and more. On the other hand, if water sports are not your thing, you can always lay back with a book or some music and sip on some coconut water.
If you’re up for a day trip, drive to Aare-Waare beach, which is located between Ratnagiri and Ganpatipule. While the drive along the coast is picturesque, the beach is perfect for a quiet swim or scenic walks. The beach is surrounded by hills and has a viewpoint from where you can take in its exquisite beauty. You may even spot a few local eateries along the way, where you can grab a quick snack.
Prachin Konkan Museum
Prachin Konkan museum, which is about a kilometre away, can give you an insight into the ancient local culture and tradition. This open-air museum displays life-sized models in traditional attire, which are set amidst the green canopies of nature, to help visualise a time that once existed. It’s an ideal attraction if you want to learn interesting stories, anecdotes, and folklore of the Konkan culture.
The Jaigad fort, built in 1832, is located about a few kilometres from Ganpatipule beach. Not far from the fort is a lighthouse, which serves as a fantastic viewpoint of the sprawling Arabian sea.
Here’s a fascinating slice of history. Built in 1911 by the British, Thibaw Palace is named after the Burmese (now Myanmar) King, who stayed here along with his Queen during their exile. King Thibaw, the last king of Burma, ruled for six years before being shifted to this palace and kept under house arrest. The palace, which is now maintained by the archaeological department, is a 3-storeyed structure with beautiful slanting roofs and ornate carvings.
Best time to visit Ganpatipule
The winter months from October to February make for an ideal time to holiday at this beach. However, if you enjoy the rains, the monsoon season lends a definite charm to the place.
Accommodation at Ganpatipule
To truly enjoy your time at Ganpatipule, spend at least 3 to 4 days here. You can find numerous accommodation options around the area. One of the more popular hotels in the area is Green Leaf the Resort & Spa by Club Mahindra. Impeccably designed rooms that ensure the utmost comfort make your stay a memorable one. This Club Mahindra resort offers a host of rejuvenating spa treatments to help you relax on your holiday. It also has a state-of-the-art gym, a play area for children and both, indoor and outdoor games, making it an excellent choice for a family holiday.
So, pack your bags and discover this hidden gem. It’s an easily accessible and gorgeous destination that can take beach holidays to the next level!