Written by Gauri Kuwalekar.
Ratnagiri a port city is a part of the Konkan Coast in the southwestern part of Maharashtra, India. The district is a part of Konkan division of Maharashtra which has a rugged section of the western coastal part of India. It is blessed with its natural beauty and is also referred to Devbhoomi which means the land of God’s.
The history of origin told by people of Ratnagiri says that the land on which Ratnagiri is situated is a donation by Lord Parshuram who had a fight with sea and pushed back the sea almost 20 to 30 km away. To reach Ratnagiri you need to get a train from your place and also you can hire a car. There’s currently no airport to reach Ratnagiri, though the nearest Airport is Goa international airport. You can find homestays, hotels almost everywhere easily at cheap rates to make your trip comfortable.
Ratnagiri is blessed with various tourist places and you can experience greenery everywhere. There is no dearth of places to visit in Ratnagiri it is famous for beaches, old temples, waterfalls etc. The best time to visit Ratnagiri is immediately after monsoon ends as this region receives heavy rainfall. The coastal region of the Konkan Coast has paddy fields as the vegetation.
The coastal belt consists of eminent trees like the mango and the coconut and shrubs. The forests have a very high value because they yield teak, bamboo, myrobalan etc. the vegetation is rich in areas which have a good annual rainfall. Supplement your trip by enjoying seasonal fruit like Alphonso mangoes, multi-cuisine, delicious seafood. Jackfruits, herbal plants and various other spices.
Once you start exploring the first place to visit is Mandvi beach which is also called a gateway of Ratnagiri. It is a clean beach with black sand that’s why also called the Black sea.
The best part of this beach is that you have a walkway through the sea and is full of lights which glow almost till midnight. Walking through it and sitting on huge rocks, listening to the beach waves can make you relaxed. Also, you can find a variety of Indian Chaats with a spicy, sour touch. for all epicures out there this place is a must to visit.
The next destination is one of the famous beaches of Ratnagiri, The Bhatye beach also called as the white sea because it has white sand. It is nearest from our first destination and takes almost 30 to 40 rupees to reach out via a private auto-rickshaw. One can have a walk with a beautiful view of the sunset and enjoy tender coconut drinks. The other side of the temple has Zari Vinayak temple.
The interesting part of this temple is that it has a small pond of water in front of it and water fresh flows within it throughout the year. Just a few steps ahead you can have a perfect view above the hill from a place called Table point.
Proceeding ahead there’s an old Horseshoe-shaped Fort from Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s era named as ‘Ratnadurg fort‘. Shivaji Maharaj won the fort in the year 1670. The fort is surrounded with sea from all three sides. It is also called as Bhagwati fort as there’s a Bhagwati temple inside the fort. The visiting hours are still the same from the decades that is from 10 am to 6 pm only. The fort has various secret turrets that are still mysterious and also one secret cave which exits into the sea. Just a distance back you will find a road which leads to the Lighthouse of Ratnagiri. Visiting time here is 4 pm to 5 pm only.
Further, there is another tourist attraction spot called, Thiba palace. It is a historical palace of a twenty-six years old King Thibaw who was immediately sent into exile from Myanmar (Burma), after it was annexed by the British Empire on, January 1, 1886. Along with his pregnant wife, his junior queen, and his two young daughters, he would live out the rest of his life in Ratnagiri, as a prisoner of the British Crown.
Ratnagiri was chosen for its remote location, some 3,000 miles from Thibaw’s former royal seat of Mandalay, accessible only by sea for parts of the year and far from any territory of any rival European power. Palace has a museum which includes various sculptures, utensils and things used by the King. Near Thiba palace, there is a landscape garden–Thiba point, which gives you a scenic view of the confluence of Bhatye creek and Arabian sea.
Somewhat, 25 km away from Ratnagiri you must visit Ganpatipule, a small town located north part of the city in the subcontinent of India and the town of Chiplun is located to its north. According to local folklore, the Hindu god Ganapati moved to Pule (now known as Ganeshgule) from his original abode of Gulé. Thus the region was named Ganpati-pule. The God is considered to be the Paschim Dwarpalak (Western Sentinel God of India) and those who visit Ganpatipule make it a point to pay their respects to this sacred god.
The 400-year-old Ganpati idol 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. Along with its clean beach and clear waters, Ganapatipule is rich in flora, including mangoes farms’, Jackfruits and coconut palms which you can have traditional coastal style cuisine which includes all kinds of sea fishes.
Also, you can buy stuff from nearby shops and also you can find a variety of plants to purchase. You can also enjoy Bullock card, horse, camel’s rides over the beach. On the way to Ganpatipule from Ratnagiri, you witness many other tourist attraction beaches like Aare ware beach which also has tree houses, The bhandarpule beach and so on.
Malgund, a small village 1 km away from Ganpatipule, is known as the birthplace of the Marathi poet Keshavasuta, born in 1866. He is regarded as a poet who wrote modern Marathi poetry. There is a monument at Malgund dedicated to his work and also a museum where one can find information on most of the modern-day poets of the Marathi language.
There is also a museum called Prachin Konkan which shows us the various lifestyle of different kinds of people like farmers, carpenters and so on since the origin of the city. The memorial is for people interested in Marathi literature. Malgund also houses Nirmal Nagari of Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi of Sahaja Yoga fame.
Ratnagiri has a long history, a unique and rich culture, so much delicious food, and stunning architecture of villages. The beaches and its natural beauty will soothe your mind and relax you from stress. I’d recommend spending at least one week here. There’s plenty to keep you busy. I was born and brought up here. Make it part of your next trip to Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.
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Gauri Kuwalekar is a content writer, passionate about creating travel, food, lifestyle, technology-related articles. She enjoys writing blog posts on film industries and entrepreneurship as well. Apart from being an Electronics and Telecommunications Engineer, she is also a solo traveller and an anchor. She believes in hard work and gains, rather than miracles.