Konkan is one of my favorite destination. I like to visit there in bits and pieces so that it’s complete area can be enjoyed. You can’t experience the Konkan in 8-10 days tour. The real fun is to visit the internal part through its arterial roads. This time destination was Ratnagiri and Ganpatipule. There is immense natural beauty and amazing driving pleasure. It’s tough to drive in the interiors but equally exciting also.
We started from Pune at 6 in the morning so as to avoid long weekend traffic. There are multiple roads that goes from pune to ganpatipule. It is approximately 330 kms from Pune. We chose to go through Karad where we take a right turn after Karad city on pune kolhapur road. Karad is almost 170 kms from pune. We had a small refreshing tea break at Vitthal Kamat restaurant after Satara. After Karad google maps was the navigator to avoid missing any turn which might increase the journey time. Initially the road was patchy and with diversions due to construction work going on. After 30-35 kms once you reach Amba ghat, the roads were awesome. Ghat section was scenic and was able to maintain a decent speed. By 2 we reached our resort in Ganpatipule. We stayed at Abhishek Resort and Spa and it was really nice.
After taking rest for sometime we headed towards Jaigad fort and lighthouse. Due to time constraints we could not see any of them. Then we moved towards Karhateshwar temple which is at the back side of JSW steel plant. This is pretty old temple situated next to the sea, dedicated to lord shiva and is made of wooden structure. The temple offers scenic view to the eyes of visitors. Also there is small stream of water coming from the mountain called “gaumukh”. While returning we enjoyed a beautiful sunset on one of the serene and spotless beach of Malgund and closed the day in swimming pool of resort.
Next day was packed with sightseeing. It was a relaxed start for the day except the visit to temple. We reached Ganpati temple by 7 and finished Darshan comfortably in 5-10 mins. It is almost 400 years old and the idol is swayambhu i.e. self created. It is on the beach and at the base of mountain. There is nice pradakshina path of around 1kM created around the temple and mountain. We completed pradakshina to pay our respect to the deity.
After temple, we had a breakfast at resort and moved towards Ratnagiri. We took coastal highway from Ganpatipule to Ratnagiri. What an amazing road to drive! With the blue sea besides cutting across mountains we reached Ratnadurga fort. A word of caution here, don’t just follow google maps here, keep enquiring for roads also else one may land up in very narrow lanes not suitable to drive car. It’s a comparatively easy fort to climb and the car goes till the base of the fort. From there, there are just few steps. Surrounded by sea from three sides, the fort offers breathtaking views. There is also one temple of Goddess Bhagwati on the fort.
Then we moved towards Ratnagiri marine fish aquarium as well as museum. It showcases all types of marine beauties and just amazing to watch. They have everything right from fishes, sea horse, turtle with names written there. It is must visit especially for families with kids. They have another section where they have preserved these species. The real whale skeleton drew everyone’s attention there. Amazing world!Thiba palace was next on our list. It was just a walk through for us and we did not spent much time there. Just clicked few snaps and then moved on to Shree Kshetra Pawas around 18-20 kms from Ratnagiri. This was amazing place as it offered peace and tranquility with the spiritual presence of Swami Swaroopanand. The premises is well maintained and they also offer Prasad during noon.
The next destination was Ganeshgule which was around 6 Kms from Pawas. The temple is surrounded by beautiful forest and one can see the huge vallies around. There is no idol of lord Ganesha, however one look alike rock is worshipped as lord Ganesha. We were offered Prasad here by a group of students and teachers. There is also a well approximately 70feet deep open from both sides in front of the temple. It is one of the man made wonders created at that height in old days.
Then we moved towards Kanakaditya temple in Kasheli. The temple is dedicated to Sun and many people are not aware of the same as it is in the interior part of Konkan. The temple is wooden with carvings of flowers, designs and images of various gods. The idol of lord Sun was glorious and we paid our respect to the deity and moved on.
It was time to move on to the beach as demanded by my daughter. We moved towards Bhatye beach and spent the evening there. The beach was not much crowded and hence clean and enjoyable. They have made paid arrangements of clean water to wash yourself so that we do not carry much sand with us in the vehicle.It was a hectic day and we closed the same with sumptuous dinner at the resort.The next day was straight to Pune after having breakfast and few pics at the resort.It was an amazing trip of around 990Kms with temples, sea, mountains, resort and all. Although I can visit Kokan anytime during the year but winter is the best season to enjoy the natural beauties all around. Looking forward for more trips to Kokan.