February 16, 2014

Quote of the Post: "If you are crazy sea side lover then Velneshwar is the destination. It has all that you can expect, the views will take you to heaven with shimmering water, coconut trees swaying madly in the breeze on the bank of the sun kissed beaches." - Quote about 'Velneshwar' by Sachin Kumar Gupta 

If you are looking to enjoy best sea views in Konkan area, you've reached the right place. It is highly recommended to follow below map for best time utilization and for viewing most amazing sea-side views of Konkan. Just keep following seaside roads. The narrow winding roads show you the glimpses of what is in store at the end of the journey. 


Velneshwar - Konkan Map
We have traveled many places across west-side of India - Arabian Sea cost from Mumbai to Goa: Mumbai - Alibag - Kashid - Murud - Shrivardhan - Harihareshwar - Harnai - DapoliNow it was time to explore Velneshwar - Jaigad - Ganpatipule - Ratnagiri range. After visiting some of the fascinating places in Ratnagiri and Ganpatipule, We started for Velneshwar next morning following Jaigad - Tasval Ferry Boat route. 


Jaigad fort is approx 15 kms further ahead of Ganpatipule. We couldn't visit the fort as we had to reach Velneshwar, so we took ferry route further. 

Jaigad - Tasval Ferry Boat: It is a short 15 minutes journey. The ferry also carry 6-10 four wheeler along-with some 2-wheeler. If you are coming from Ganpatipule, a ferry across the Jaigad creek gets you to Tavsal from where you could visit Hedvi and Velneshwar. This ferry journey gives a feel of Kerela region at times. 

On the way to Velneshwar, Our driver stopped at Hedvi. There is a famous temple of Dashbhuj Laxmi Ganesh Prasanna. This Laxmi Ganesh Temple is not only ancient but also rare. The 3 feet high idol is carved in white stone with ten hands, hence the name 'Dashabhuja Ganapati'. A grand ceremony along with a grand procession held between Shukla Chaturthi to Shashthi in Magh (Hindi month) every year to celebrate the birth of Ganpati. We spent 15-20 minutes at this place and was quite pleasant. 

Velneshwar - Shree Dev Maha Vishnu Devshthan: We kept following the mesmerizing seaside route of Arabian sea views, and reached Velneshwar. We parked ourselves at the temple of Shree Dev Maha Vishnu. The temple is quite colorful, you will love to see this. There is a "well" inside the temple, where one can try drawing some water. The whole temple area is surrounded by walls and coconut trees shadowing in the back. There is an old Shiva temple near Velneshwar which is frequently visited by pilgrims.  


After visiting the temple, we had our much needed tea for the day near sea-side. Its adjoining beach is calm, clean and is ornamented with a row of coconut trees at its beach side. It is possible to swim there as the beach is free from rocks. A small stretch of beach with very few tourists at Velneshwar, is the beach destination in Konkan that you need to head to if you are looking for some time away from everything.

Sunset at Velneshwar: There are quite different rocks if you just walk 200 meters beach-side, this could be an unique place to enjoy sunset. We stayed at this place for long and had my tripod installed first time. We took some wonderful sunset snaps.

A small cove with a pristine stretch of soft white sand beach laced with lush green coconut trees, Velneshwar is yet to feature in the tourist map of Maharashtra. Velneshwar is just emerging as promising tourist destination in the long stretch of Konkan beaches. 
Enjoy other nearby places in Konkan Maharashtra: RatnagiriGanpatipule, DapoliHarihareshwarShrivardhan.

February 15, 2014

Quote of the Post: "The beautiful beach alongwith famous Ganpati temple and the tiny hamlet kissing seaside, add to the picturesque beauty of Ganpatipule." - Quote about 'Ganpatipule' by Sachin Kumar Gupta

We have traveled many places across westside of India - Arabian Sea cost from Mumbai to Goa: Mumbai - Alibag - Kashid - Murud - Shrivardhan - Harihareshwar - Harnai - Dapoli. Now it was time to explore further, Velneshwar - Jaigad - Ganpatipule - Ratnagiri

After visiting some of the fascinating places in Ratnagiri, We reached Ganpatipule following Aare Ware seaside views route. This was our base place to stay throughout weekend trip and recommend to book the hotel in advance. It is highly recommended to follow below path to enjoy most amazing sea-side views of Konkan.


Ganpatipule Konkan Map
Tasval - Jaigad Ferry Boat: If you are coming from Velneshwar, A ferry across the Tasval creek gets you to Jaigad from where you could visit Ganpatipule. While on ferry you may feel like you are in Kerala at some places. It is nice to enjoy this ferry ride. 


Ganapatipule is laced with the evergreen ranges of Sahyadri and an endless stretch of unpolluted silver sand, lined with innumerable trees of mango, cashew, coconut and casurinas at the coastal side of Konkan. This holy place of Lord Ganpati - Ganapatipule derived its name from “Ganapati" or the Lord of Ganas (army) and Pule (sand dune). This place has gained prominence because of its famous Ganpati temple and it is a tourist destination and offers an attractive beach.


MTDC Resort Ganpatipule: We just loved the food here. Whenever we felt hungry, we visited this place. Must say, the best tea of Ganapatipule is available here. We stayed at "Hotel Shree Ganesh Krupa" for 2 days during our visit. 

The narrow streets of Ganpatipule lined with Konkani style cottage, with sloping red-tile roofs immediately transport you to another time. This place is developed and managed in a one-way route so that there shouldn't be any problem of traffic jam like in any other part of India.


Temple: The Swayambhu Ganpati Temple, on the Ganapatipule beach in itself is the primary attraction in Ganapatipule. At the entrance of the temple, there is "Make a wish mouse", you can whisper in the ears and make a wish. There is also a parikarma marg, which devotees use to take a round around the hill. 

Beach: Ganpatipule beach is one of the best beaches in Maharashtra, which is 25 kms from Ratnagiri. It is all a breath-taking view! Ganpatipule beach has a picnic vibe about it with numerous chat stalls, camel rides and horse carts near the beach. One can walk long and narrow stretch of beach with pristine waters and water sports. There are also options like camel ride and horse ride at the beach. We also enjoyed this place a lot. It was amazing to see many flying birds to play with waves.


Next day we visited another less traveled road to Velneshwar

Prachin Konkan Museum: One the last day while returing back to Pune, We visited this place. It is approx 1 KM from Ganpatipule temple area named "Manewadi". Ask locals about this place, if your driver is new to this area. Prachin Konkan, is the brain child of Mr. Sardesai. A guided tour walked us through various aspects of life in Konkan in the yester years.  It has many things to explore, which depict life in past in Konkan. Guide informed about Konkan's society-structure, occupation, custom, tradition and history in last 500 years. For different exhibitions they charge differently. There are additional charges for camera though charges are quite normal. Some of the attractions in this Prachin Konkan Museum are:

Konkankanya small toy train engine at the entrace near ticket window. 
Nakshatra Garden: There is a small garden with trees worshiped depending on a persons sunsign in the garden.
Prachin Konkani Gram Jeevan
Hastkala Vikri Kendra (Handcraft Selling Point): The costs of the items are quite reasonable.
Sea Fort Exhibition
Bird Watching

Sea Fish Exhibition: We also get to see India's biggest conch (Shankh). It was unique to watch and adore for every visitor. They have different kind of conches (Shankh) found in the sea. We shop some of the unique conch made items. 

Enjoy other nearby places in Konkan: Ratnagiri, Velneshwar, Dapoli, Harihareshwar, Shrivardhan.

February 14, 2014

Quote of the Post: "A paradise that offers numerous sightseeing options which are mix of natural beauty, beaches, art, cultures, and history in Konkan." - Quote about 'Ratnagiri' in Konkan, Maharashtra - Sachin Kumar Gupta

In our endeavor to explore the coastal belt of Arabian Sea, we traveled Mumbai - Alibag - Kashid - Murud - Shrivardhan - Harihareshwar - Harnai - Dapoli, and now was the time to move to the next destination:
Velneshwar - Jaigad - Ganpatipule - Ratnagiri. 

While coming from Pune, we first reached Ratnagiri, which is in between Raigad and Sindhudurg district. This region is considered to be one of best region in Konkan. Ratnagiri is well connected by road and railways, and also has a small sea port. It is highly recommended to follow below path to enjoy most amazing sea-side views of Konkan.


Ratnagiri - Konkan Map
You can explore the landscape, art, culture and history of this magnificent land. Ratnagiri is well known for its natural beauty, and there are many places to visit in and near Ratnagiri that attracts visitors, Some prime attaractions in Ratnagiri:

Velas Beach
Bhatye Beach: For Indian Chat Lovers.
Madavi beach: This is a black sand beach. 


Thiba (Thibaw) Palace:
Ratnagiri has a palace named Thiba, where the last king and queen of Burma (Myanmar) stay in exile. This palace has their tombs and now converted into a regional museum. We were fortunate to reach the place during their Annual 3-day festival, which had series of events including Art Exhibitions, Cultural Performances by well-known celebrities and local students. I must mention, every piece of art work exhibited here was a masterpiece in itself and we were surprised to know that these were painted by students from Class V to X. The very next day, event was around the flute performance by Pandit HariPrasad Chourasia. There is scenic Thibaw Point, where you can enjoy Sunset, But I will recommend to watch sunset at Aare beach. [See image below] 


Some of the famous Indians were born in Ratnagiri. One of them is Lokmanya Tilak, an active leader in India's freedom movement. We also get the chance to visit Lokmanya (Bal Gangadhar) Tilak Smarak, and his birthplace. The house has been preserved as it is. After a long time we walked barefoot on the cowdung smeared natural flooring. Some of his personal belongings are also on display within the museum. It is sad that, many localites don't even know this place, though it's at the heart of the town. 


Ratna Durga Fort: Ratnadurga is the primary attraction of Ratnagiri apart from the beaches. The fort has the shape of a horseshoe, with a length of 1.3 KM and a width of 1 KM; with its walls standing against the vast sea on three sides, fourth being connected to land. The place is a treat to photographers, every step forward shows a different, unique, soothing and a wonderful view. We spent about an hour here, and viewed all four sides of this fort from its circumference. On one of the sea-facing sides, part of the cliff has collapsed which leads to a cave. One of the fort's bastions, the 'Siddha Buruj', still has a lighthouse. A picturesque temple of The Goddess Bhagwati is one of the important places of worship in the area of the fort. A well near the temple has steps leading down. One small temple of Hanumanji is at the entrance of the fort. After crossing the first entrance gate there is a door with ancient structure. We have to cross both of these gates while coming from the city of Ratnagiri. From the door itself we could view the entire area of the fort. At the upper fort, on the left hand side we have one Lord Ganesh deity and a deity of Hanumanji on right side. In front of this there is a beautiful temple of Goddess Bhagawati. Due to this Goddess, the fort is also named as “Bhagawati Durga”. Many localities visit this place frequently, and named it as "Bhagwati Killa". Some of the photos of this post could have been greener, had it been the monsoon season.

Nivali Waterfall: This can only be seen during monsoon season. Good luck next time. It is located between the beautiful valleys of Nivali ghats.

Jaigad: Jaigad fort is located on a cliff at the entrance of the Sangameshwar river. We couldn't visit this place, but we had Jaigad - Tasval Ferry Boat to reach Velneshwar. The jetty offers a short trip and splendid views of the sea. At some places, you may feel like you are in Kerala.

Aare Ware Beach:
The views across seaside is amazing, and you will love the drive following the sea all the times. This route is highly recommended. Seaside Ratnagiri - Ganpatipule route passes through the twin beaches of Aare and Waare and the Aare sunset point. It is the best place to enjoy splendid sunsets, pulsating palms and wonderful waves in Ratnagiri ranges. We followed the same majestic views alongwith sunset at Aare, and reached Ganpatipule. Many celebrities own land properties near to this beach. Certainly this beach will be a star attraction for tourist in near future.

Adventurous travelers, holiday makers and nature lovers are drawn to this beautiful paradise. Ratnagiri district is a paradise in India.

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