It was ages since I longed for a visit to some place, nice and quiet, away from the maddening crowds of Mumbai. Then came a weekend with three consecutive holidays in tow, the third one being an Indian public holiday. Did a little bit of googling to find interesting places to visit near Mumbai.
That is when I happened to stumble upon Ganpatipule, an idyllic coastal town with clean, serene and white sandy beaches, located in Ratnagiri district, on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra, India. It is a must see destination amongst all other travel places in Maharashtra.
Places to visit near Mumbai – Ganpatipule Beach
This spectacularly stunning beach is devoid of bugging commercialization that you get to see on the beaches of Mumbai and Goa.
In fact, Maharashtra tourism website promotes Ganpatipule as a scenic, picturesque beach and a pilgrim center, with many visiting the temple of Swayambhu Ganesha, which is around 400 years old. Situated midst mangroves and coconut trees, this beach with its clear waters guarantees a relaxing weekend besides being an excellent stress buster.
Distance from Mumbai to Ganpatipule
Mumbai to Ganpatipule by road is 375kms. The average time to reach Ganpati pule from Mumbai by road is around 7-8 hours. You can also travel by rail to Ganpatipule. The nearest railway stations are Ratnagiri and Karbude. From there you can take a bus or hire private cabs to Ganpatipule. But the road trip will be a much more pleasant memory than the rail trip. You can get out of your vehicle en route, click pictures, feast on local roasted corn, converse with the local villagers – most of them are hard working, prosperous farmers.
Mumbai To Ganpatipule – Map
Best time to visit Ganpatipule
The best time to visit Ganpatipule beach is just after the monsoon season, from mid October to February. However, we happened to be there during the monsoons. We went there by road, driving all the way from Mumbai to Ganpatipule. The natural landscape and the beauty of the scenic Sahyadris all along, was at its very best.
Places To Vist Near Ganpatipule
Include these places of interest near Ganpatipule in your itinary.
This is a beautiful place at approximately 1km from Ganpatipule and is the birthplace of the famous marathi poet, Narayan Keshavsut. You can visit a memorial dedicated to him, here.
This is a virgin beach with practically no visitors, some 3 km from Ganpatipule. Awesomely beautiful, the ocean view from this beach takes your breath away. But the sea here can be quite dangerous. Do not swim here.
This ancient 17th century fort is built on a cliff, 35 km from Ganpatipule. Located at the mouth of the Sangameshwar river, this fort was built to guard the Jaigad port. Drive your vehicle till the fort entrance and park it outside the gate. You can walk along the ramparts of the fort, enjoying a splendid view of the sea and the port. You can actually hear the ‘Sound of Silence’ here. It is so very peaceful with lush green vegetation all around. This is a must see place for all inquisitive sight seers.
Prachin Kokan Museum
This museum is a treasure trove of ancient Konkan history, artifacts, culture and cuisine. Spread over 3 acres, this place offers a view of practically everything related to Konkan – paintings, handicrafts and indigenous products. You can buy paintings, ayurvedic products and handicrafts from here, among many other things. Feast on Konkan food at Atithya- a konkan restaurant near the premises of the museum
Shopping In Ganpatipule
Shop for local savouries like ambapoli – dried mango pancakes, jackfruit pancakes and chips, kokam kadhi – a sweet sour digestive drink and much more. You can get these from the store attached to hotel Durvankur. Visitors can buy souvenirs and other memorabilia from the Prachin Kokan museum.
Jaigad – Tavsal Ferry Boat Service For Motorists – Ganpatipule To Mumbai
We took our car on a local ferryboat service from Jaigad harbour to Tavsal village, the other side of the Shastri river. From Tavsal, asking the villagers for directions, we drove through some villages and finally reached the NH-17 Mumbai Goa highway. This route saves 100 km i.e. approximately 2 hours of your travel time back to Mumbai.
Advance hotel booking is a must. It is impossible to find rooms in hotels and resorts after you reach there. Ideally, ensure that food is a part of your holiday package. A few restaurants and hotels near the bus stand and near the beach are very very crowded at meal times, so much that you may have to wait for your turn. This is unnerving if you are visiting with small kids. Personally, I found the local restaurant food too oily and spicy. Durvankur restaurant near the bus stand and Ganpatipule MTDC restaurant serve good Maharashtrian food. I loved the “Sol Kadhi” and Maharasthrian fish fry at MTDC restaurant. The MTDC resort rooms offer the best view of the beach.
Things to be noted
Avoid swimming in the sea. It can be life-threatening. The waves are strong, huge and tend to pull away the sand beneath your feet. A local guard goes around whistling and warning the beach goers to be near the sea shore, especially when the high tide sets in.
All in all, a memorable weekend. I would love to be here again!