Ganapatipulé (गणपतीपुळे) is a small town located in Ratnagiri district on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra. The town of Chiplun is to its north. According to a local folklore, the Hindu god, Ganapati, taking umbrage by a remark made by a native lady, moved to Pulé (a few km ahead of the town) from his original abode of Gulé. Thus the region was named Ganpati-pulé. 400 years old Ganpati image at Ganpatipule is said to have sprung up from the soil. This deity faces the West, so as to guard the western gates, unlike deities in other Indian temples who face the east. The temple is at the base of a hill, and pilgrims walk around (pradakshina) the hill as a mark of respect.
Geography and History:
Ganapatipule is approximately 375 km. south of Mumbai, along the Konkan Coast. Ganapatipule is a very small town with about 100 houses, having one of the most spectacular beaches along the Konkan Coast – an idyllic getaway that attracts peace-seekers, beach lovers, and pilgrims alike. The temple of Swayambhu (self-originated) Ganesh is much frequented by thousands every year. The God is considered to be the Paschim Dwardevta (Western Sentinel God of India), and those who visit Ganapatipule, make it a point to pay their respects to this deity. Aside from its clean beach and clear waters, Ganapatipule is rich in flora, including mangroves and coconut palms.
Winter (late October to mid-February) is the most pleasant season, with temperatures dropping at nights. From March, the temperature starts rising but rarely crosses 30°C. May is the hottest month with temperatures reaching 35°C. The monsoon lasts from June to October, when rains are usually plentiful and regular.
With the development of tourism, a number of resorts and hotels opened in this small town, the most significant of which is the Maharastra Tourism Development Corporation resort near the beach. The Best Western Blue Ocean hotel, 4 km away from the heart of the town near Malgund is also near the beach. There are a few smaller hotels in this town, which include Atharva Residency Abhishek Resorts and Tranquility.
Many festivals are celebrated along the Konkan Coast. Among the most significant are Gauri Ganapti and Magh Chaturthi (the fourth day of the lunar month of Magh, believed to be the birth date of Lord Ganapati).
- Velneshwar: The beautiful village of Veineshwar, situated north of the Shastri River, has its own peaceful, coconut-fringed beach, where one can relax in tranquility. The village comes alive each year during the Maha Shivaratri fari, when pilgrims in large numbers visit the Old Shiva Temple.
- Ratnagiri: About 24 km away from Ganapatipule lies the district headquarter town, Ratnagiri. The region has a long illustrious past and is even mentioned in Indian mythology.
- Malgund: Malgund, a small village, 1 km away, is known as the birthplace of famous Marathi poet Keshavasuta, who was born here in 1866. He is regarded as a poet who heralded the dawn of modern Marathi poetry. There is a monument at Malgund dedicated to his work and also a museum where you can find information on most of the modern day poets of Marathi language. The memorial is a real treat for people who are interested in Marathi literature.
- Jaigad Fort: Resting on a cliff, at the entrance of the Sangameshwar river just 35 km away from Ganapatipule, is Jaigad Fort. This 17th-century fort offers a commanding view of the sea and an almost unique view of Konkan village life. Take the back road from Ganpatipule via Malgund to Jaigad. This is about 15 km - but is extremely scenic.
- Pawas: Besides its scenic natural beauty and serenity. Pawas is well known for the Ashram of Swami Swaroopanand (a spiritual leader who influenced an entire generation of Maharshtrians). A visit to this place is truly a journey through time.
- Light House: The Panoramic view from the Light House is just breath taking. It was completed in 1932 and is still completely operational and serving on the coast. To see the Light House from inside one needs to visit the same between 4.00pm - 5.30pm. It is around 6-7 km from Jaigad Fort.
- By Road: Ganapatipule is 32 km from Nivali, a small village on Mumbai Goa Road (NH 17). From Nivali, one has to take right turn for Ganapatipule. Nivali to Ratnagiri is around 20 km. Nivali to Hatkhamba is around 4 km. From Hatkhamba one has to take right turn for Ratnagiri, which is 16 km from here. Sangameshwar is about 25 km from Nivali and from Chiplun, it is 45 km.
- By Rail: The nearest Railway stations are at Ratnagiri and Karbude. All the express and local trains stops at Ratnagiri, being a city. Karbude is a small village and only passenger trains will stop. Bus services are available from Sangameshwar Railway station. Nearest rail junctions are: Pune Junction (Central Railway), Miraj Junction (Central Railway) and Madgaon Junction (Konkan Railway).