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Old 22nd December 2016, 23:12   #1
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Default Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more

Where: Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar

When: Dec 15 to Dec 18 2016

How: Ecosport AT


Little did we know when we decided to go for a short trip to Ganpatipule that it would turn out to be more than just a beach vacation. We ended up exploring magnificent Forts, old Temples, fishing villages and of course picturesque beaches along the Konkon coast.


Day 1 (15th Dec)

Bags were packed on previous night when our toddler Viraj went to sleep. In morning we got up early at 4 AM, got ready and packed some food for Viraj. We started from Airoli, Navi Mumbai at around 6:15 AM in our ride Eccosport AT.

Leaving early was good decision as there was very less traffic, we reached (Mathuvali) Indapur around 9 AM. We stopped there for breakfast, and Viraj was also awake by then. We had breakfast at Patel Rasodu, Indapur. Good food and pretty cheap too.

Patel Rasodu.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_20161215_085326.jpg

We started journey again at 9:45 AM, took refreshment break around 1PM at Tural on NH 66 and next stop was Ganpatipule. We reached Ganpatipule around 3 PM. We could have reached bit early but we decided to take a little detour via coastal road. We were in awe at the first look of the Arabian Sea from Arey. It was a postcard beauty.

Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_20161215_145338.jpg

We checked in to MTDC Resort, we had booked Premium AC suits which are value for money. Rooms are spacious and right on the beach. Only bad part was that Premium AC suits are 0.5 km away from main restaurant and road is through forest (dark at night), if you have your own car then there is no problem.

Our room.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_2289.jpg

Premium AC suits.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_20161218_081707.jpg

Huts near Premium AC suits building. There was renovation work going on when we were there.

Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_20161218_081701edit.jpg

Then we had lunch at Tarang restaurant, in fact we had most of our meals there since it was very reasonable and food was good too, very few choices for drinks though.

After lunch, we jumped right into sea at Ganpatipule beach. Since we were very far from the crowd, beach was very clean and so was the water. Let me tell you sea is bit rough here but if you do not go very far into the sea you are good. Viraj had a blast, it was hard to take him out of the water. He played in sand, he dug a hole and was carrying water in his little bucket from sea. This amazing sight of seeing our baby so happy, us together and a beautiful sunset. You cannot ask for more.

Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_2320.jpg

After long drive we all were tired, so we had dinner and quickly went to bed.



Day 2 (16th Dec)

After taking shower, we decided to first visit the very ancient Ganpatipule Ganesh temple, deity in this temple is said to be 400 years old and is considered to be the Paschim Dwarpalak (Western Sentinel God of India).

Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_20161216_095051.jpg

Then we had breakfast and after that drove to Jaigad fort, I felt sad at the plight of such magnificent fort, I wish it was well maintained. Never the less, the view from the fort is amazing, you can see the bay where Shastri river enters the Arabian Sea.

Viraj and I enjoying the view.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc160039edit.jpg

Viraj trying to throw stones into the sea.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc160034.jpg

On the way back from Fort we visited another temple, Karhateshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which was build in Shilaharas reign. It is a very simple wooden structure situated on the sea shore, it also has natural water stream coming out of the hill. Pandit-ji at temple told us that water is fit for drinking, so we drank water from the "cows mouth" to which it is directed.

Temple interior.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_20161216_133616edit.jpg

Water Stream.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc160046.jpg

Then we visited the nearby Jaigad Lighthouse . We had read that you can go to top of Lighthouse by paying little fees. There were no one around when we went there and Lighthouse was locked. We just clicked few pictures and continued our journey.

Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_20161216_135336edit.jpg

Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc160073.jpg

Here is a short video shot from our dash cam while we were returning from Jaigad.



We returned to our resort after that, had lunch and took rest for some time. We spent rest of the evening at the beach like previous day. We collected some marine life and tried to build our little aquarium in bucket, Viraj would toss them in the sea every time we collected something.

Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc160184.jpg

Wife and son enjoying sunset.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pb190032editeditedit.jpg




Day 3 (17th Dec)

Next morning after breakfast we went to Prachin Konkan which is a life size open air museum depicting Konkan life in yesteryears . It is very well maintained and the guides provide lots of information.

Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc170212edit.jpg


After that we went to Ratnagiri city. There we first visited Ratnadurga Fort, it is a horseshoe shaped fort surrounded by Arabian Sea on three sides and also has old Bhagwati Temple. Again the view from Fort is amazing.

Bhagwati Temple.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc170255edit.jpg

View from Fort.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc170266edit.jpg

Throughout the Konkan coast you will find small fishing villages and secluded beaches, the whole drive around here is very picturesque.

Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc160078.jpg

Now we were hungry, we had lunch at Mithila restaurant situated in Ratnagiri city, perfect place for vegetarians. After lunch we visited Thibaw Palace, Palace where the King Thibaw, last king of Burma (now Myanmar) lived in exile. I wish it was preserved in better ways, garden is destroyed and most of the stuff seems missing.

Few rooms inside Palace have been turned into a museum.

Front view of the Palace.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc170309editedit.jpg

Our ride in front of the Palace.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc170318.jpg

Then we went to Thibaw Point, it is nice park with some rides for kids with view of Ratnagiri city. Viraj rode some rides and we moved on to Bhatye beach. Beach was nice but little crowded so we decided not to stay long.

View from Thibaw Point.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc170319edit.jpg

Next stop was Lokmanya Tilak Birth place. We faced some difficulty locating this place as location on Google maps was not correct. Finally with help of locals we reached the spot.

You need to walk barefoot on cow dung smeared floor and you get to see some old manuscripts and pictures. We were happy to see that at-least this piece of history is preserved nicely.

Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc170347.jpg

Now we were bit tired and decided to head back to our resort. On way back we stopped at Arey Beach for sunset. It was hazy that evening, we could not see perfect sunset but beach was pristine and really beautiful.



Day 4 (18th Dec)

On last day of vacation, we checked out from MTDC Resort after breakfast and started journey towards Velneshwar. On our way we visited Kavi Keshavsut (revolutionary Marathi poet) birth place in Malgund village which in converted into library and cultural centre now.

We were in for a surprise while driving to Velneshwar, we had no idea we will have to take a Ferry from Jaigad to Tawsal along with our car.

I had read about this Ferry on T-BHP only but had no idea its on this route. As soon as I saw cars lined up and water body ahead I realized we have to take Ferry. Ferry staff was really helpful in loading/driving car onto Ferry.

That was some fun.

Our car loaded in Ferry.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_20161218_101238edit.jpg

Then we drove from Tawsal to Velneshwar. On way we stopped at another ancient temple, Hedvi Ganpati temple, deity have ten hands (dashbhuja) and is made of very rare stone found in Kashmir region.

Hedvi Ganpati temple
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_2481.jpg


On reaching Velneshwar, we first visited Velneshwar Shiva Temple, there are many small temples dedicated to various deities, Lord Shiva being the main. It is very quite and peaceful place, so is the Velneshwar Beach. We spent an hour at beach so that we soak it all in before we leave to the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Velneshwar Temple
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_20161218_113244.jpg

Velneshwar Beach
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pc180414edit.jpg


Our next stop was Chiplun, where we had lunch at Amraban resort. It was amazing lunch, they served fresh homestyle cooked vegetarian meal. Elderly lady was serving fresh chapatis and you can eat as much as you want. After lunch we visited yet another temple, Parshuram Temple in Chiplun. It is believed that Lord Parshuram created the Konkan area. Architecture of the temple is very ancient and fabulous.

Dining hall at Amraban resort.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_20161218_144607.jpg

Parshuram Temple.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-img_2500.jpg

Now it was time to head back home, it was already 5 PM when we left Chiplun. There was heavy traffic on NH 66 since it is single lane with no dividers. We stopped at Landmark Hotel for dinner and reached Airoli by 11 PM. Viraj was half asleep and we were super tired.

What an amazing vacation it was. It was perfect blend of Konkan beach experience, historical and spiritual places.

Thanks everyone for reading our first travelogue. One last picture till next time.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-pb190068editedit.jpg


Some random observations:
  • Konkan area has lot of potential for tourism and govt. should make some effort to develop it.
  • Around Ganpatipule we saw roads have proper road warning signs e.g. "School ahead", "Speed breaker ahead" etc but all signs are in Marathi only. I think govt. should add Hindi and English warnings as well.
  • Same goes for information display at historical sites, at most places it was in Marathi only.
  • This was our longest driving trip since we bought car in March 2016, we didn't face any issues whatsoever with car. Car covered total 840 km on this trip.
  • We thought traveling with toddler will be problem but thanks to car-seat there were no issues, he slept more than half the journey both ways. Its very convenient on long journeys if your kid sit in baby car-seat and you get safety as added bonus. Key is to take frequent stops which will help you and your kids to get refreshed.
  • I didn't like night driving on 2 lane highway, will try to avoid it in future.

[I want to thank my wife for preparing detailed itinerary and helping with this travelogue and of-course TBHP which is our go to source for trip planning.]

Last edited by Eddy : 26th February 2017 at 16:40. Reason: Corrected some typos
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Old 27th February 2017, 10:31   #2
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.

Last edited by GTO : 27th February 2017 at 10:31. Reason: Bump
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Old 28th February 2017, 16:14   #3
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Default Re: Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more

Succinct and well written. I'm always fascinated by this part of the country and its similarities with my own state (Kerala). This area has lot of tourist potential - just hope they think through and ensure tourism is aligned with the rustic charm of the area and its culture while preserving the pristine coasts.
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Old 28th February 2017, 16:33   #4
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Default Re: Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more

A very well compiled narration browneyes. I had been to this part of Konkan somewhere during July 2011 and the route from Penn all along up to Malvan was mesmerizing. 2-laned but well paved road sorrounded with lush green trees and occassional sight of streams etc.

But with the 4-laning work presently underway, I believe the road surface and the neighboring trees might have taken its toll. Can you please update as how much progress has been done with respect to 4-laning and what is the order of maintenance at the MTDC resorts in Ganapatipule and Tarkarli.

Last edited by King_pin09 : 28th February 2017 at 16:34.
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Old 1st March 2017, 12:20   #5
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Very well written travelogue. I've been meaning to explore Konkan, but haven't been able to figure out how to go about it. I'll use this as a blue print to set out my own itinerary.
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Old 7th March 2017, 12:32   #6
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Default Re: Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more

Quote:
Originally Posted by snan View Post
Succinct and well written. I'm always fascinated by this part of the country and its similarities with my own state (Kerala). This area has lot of tourist potential - just hope they think through and ensure tourism is aligned with the rustic charm of the area and its culture while preserving the pristine coasts.
Thanks! Kerala is at top of our list of next vacation destinations.

You are right there is lot of potential from tourism point of view. Its great that area is not crowded or commercialized like Goa but if govt can help improve infrastructure a bit it will boost tourism further.

Quote:
Originally Posted by King_pin09 View Post
But with the 4-laning work presently underway, I believe the road surface and the neighboring trees might have taken its toll. Can you please update as how much progress has been done with respect to 4-laning and what is the order of maintenance at the MTDC resorts in Ganapatipule and Tarkarli.
If I remember correctly I didn't see any progress with respect to 4-laning on our route.

For a govt run resort MTDC Ganapatipule is well maintained. They have nice garden/open areas. Restaurant is spacious with open and closed section for sitting. Food also tasted good. Only bad thing was they only accepted payment in cash.

Premium suits where we stayed are newly constructed so there were no maintenance issues, rooms were clean and spacious.

We have never been to Tarkarli so can't comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by civic.sense View Post
Very well written travelogue. I've been meaning to explore Konkan, but haven't been able to figure out how to go about it. I'll use this as a blue print to set out my own itinerary.
Sure, I will be happy to help if you have any specific questions.
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Old 31st March 2017, 11:32   #7
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Default Re: Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more

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Originally Posted by browneyes View Post
Then we had lunch at Tarang restaurant, in fact we had most of our meals there since it was very reasonable and food was good too, very few choices for drinks though.
Beautiful travelogue, browneyes! I am travelling to Ganpatipule tomorrow and staying at MTDC; hope it's not too crowded.

Is this Tarang restaurant in the MTDC premises, or in the town? Any other options for food that you can recommend?

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 31st March 2017, 11:56   #8
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Then we visited the nearby Jaigad Lighthouse.
Can you please share which road/route did you take to reach lighthouse? Is it on same road as Jaigad fort?
I missed visiting Lighthouse when I last visited Ganpatipule.
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Old 31st March 2017, 14:59   #9
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Originally Posted by comfortablynumb View Post
Beautiful travelogue, browneyes! I am travelling to Ganpatipule tomorrow and staying at MTDC; hope it's not too crowded.

Is this Tarang restaurant in the MTDC premises, or in the town? Any other options for food that you can recommend?

Cheers,
Vikram
I don't think it will be very crowded at this time of the year.

Yes Tarang restaurant is inside MTDC premises. In Ganpatipule we didn't try any other option as we found food served in Tarang was alright. Only issue was that they were only accepting cash, I hope situation has improved now.

Quote:
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Can you please share which road/route did you take to reach lighthouse? Is it on same road as Jaigad fort?
I missed visiting Lighthouse when I last visited Ganpatipule.
Its on same road but you have to take little detour from JSW plant and go around it to reach Lighthouse and Karhateshwar Temple.

Please see route map below.
Exploring the Konkan coast - Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Velneshwar & more-screen-shot-20170331-2.44.46-pm.png
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Old 1st April 2017, 00:43   #10
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Only issue was that they were only accepting cash, I hope situation has improved now.
Attachment 1624762
They are accepting payment through UPI app. But no cards.
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