Located nearly 7 hours aloof from Mumbai on the western coast of Maharashtra state, Ratnagiri is a beautiful place to travel by. This place is blessed with natural splendour including breathtaking knolls, lively cascades, animated rivers, exotic monuments, beaches, forts and Alphanso Mangoes. For fruit lovers, summer is the best time to be here. However, October-May is the peak time here when Ratnagiri is visited by plenty of tourists from all round the country. If you are also planning to get amazed by the natural exquisiteness of this place, below are the ten popular places to see in Ratnagiri:
1. Swayambhu Ganpati Temple
Located around 20Kms away from the main city, Swayambhu temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is believed that this 400-year shrine boasts an idol of Lord Ganesha, which was self-originated. Swayambhu temple is built of white sand and the idol inside the temple is placed so perfectly that at sunrise and sunset the sunray illuminates the idol. On visiting the temple early morning and after dusk, you can hear cadenced beats from the holy shrine when the idol is being dressed. The best time to visit Swayambhu temple is during Diwali (October or November) when ample of devotees flock here from different parts of the city.
2. Jaigad Fort
Ratnagiri is laid out with plenty of enticing sites for visitors. Situated nearly 14Kms from Ganpatipule of Ratnagiri district, Jaigad Fort is one of these attractions. Sprawled over 13 acres areas on a cliff, Jaigad Fort offers you a picturesque vista of its surrounding areas. There is a temple of Lord Ganesha and the palace of Kanhoji Angre as well in this fortification. At ancient times, Jaigad Fort used to be an eminent place for Marathas; even today travellers visit this place from far-flung areas of Mumbai. For photographers, this is an awe-inspiring site to visit by. This fort is also popular as the Fort of Victory.
3. Ganapatipule Beach
Exploring clean and sandy beaches are always captivating. Stepping into Ganapatipule beach gives you many such valid reasons to feel amazed. This site is predominantly known for its lagoon and lined up cashew, coconut and mango trees along the seashore. A blend of clear and cobalt water along the Ganapati Temple around the beach offers you an unequalled experience here. There was a time when this site used to be a spectacular stopover between Mumbai and Goa. Over the periods of time, Ganapatipule with its natural affluence and amazing sites has turned itself to one of the favourite tourist sites in Ratnagiri. If you want to spend couple of days here, M.T.D.C Resort is an absolute pleasure staying option near the beach. After visiting this location you can say that Ganapatipule is an amazing site for a tranquil time-off.
4. Tilak Ali Museum
This is an offbeat location to explore in Ratnagiri. Tilak Ali Museum is basically an old ancestral abode of iconic figure Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Today, this museum is maintained by the Archaeological Department of Maharashtra showcasing an array of pictures and other belongings of this great freedom fighter. Apart from the preserving various memories of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the Konkani architecture of the house equally allures the attention of all visitors here. So when in Ratnagiri, Tilak Ali Museum is a must visit for you.
5. Ratnadurg Fort
Sprawled over 120 acres areas with Arabian Sea on its three sides, the horseshoe shaped Ratnadurg fort is a leading tourist puller in Ratnagiri. Centuries back, before getting conquered by Mughals, this fort used to have a good command of the Maratha Empire. Moving ahead in 1790, the fort was rebuilt by Dhondu Bhaskar Pratinidhi and ramparts were added. Apart from its eye-catching environs, there is a lighthouse and temple of Goddess Bhagwati that attract plenty of travellers to visit this site in Ratnagiri.
6. Murud Beach
Another enticing location in Ratnagiri is Murud Beach. Sprawled nearly 12Kms away from Dapoli, Murud Beach is one of the popular places to see in Ratnagiri. This beach is located around the small town of Dapoli flanking the sea coast. Murud is one of the longest beaches in the entire Konkan division of Maharashtra. If you visit this location with your family, you are certainly going to fall in love with this seashore. A blend of serene ambience and gentle breeze around the beach leaves you completely spellbound. Besides, a stroll around the coast holding the hand of your soul mate may leave you some eternal reminiscences to cherish.
7. Panhalekaji Caves
If you have been to the Caves of Ajanta, visiting Panhalekaji Caves may give you some similar feel. Located on the banks of the Kotjai River in Panhale Kazi, Karde, the caves of Panhalekaji are one of the favourite tourist destinations around Ratnagiri. According to the local inhabitants, these caves are believed to be thousand years old. Eye-catching rock carving and intricate works depict various figures of Hindu deities and scenes from the epic Mahabharata and Ramayana.
In addition, presence of nearby natural hot springs offers you a spectacular time-off around the region. Many visitors also rush to its adjacent natural hot springs for medical remedial. This place is equally delightful for birding.
8. Thibaw Point or Thiba Palace
One more addition to the list of tourist puller around Ratnagiri is Thibaw point. Perched atop the hill, this point was built way back in 1910-11 for the exile of the king and the queen of Burma. Scaling atop the hill offers you a pleasing panorama of sunset at Arabian Sea. There is a tomb of royal couple as well that tempt many travellers at Thiba Palace. So when in Ratnagiri, make sure you don’t fall short of exploring this striking site.
9. Gateway of Ratnagiri
This is a slopped roof entryway, which was built on the quay of Mandvi seashore. The enticing structure of Gateway of Ratnagiri is a famous place to visit in Ratnagiri. Travellers flock here to catch a glimpse of amazing sunrise and sunset view. A leisure saunter around the seashore leaves you absolutely spectacular. Carrying a camera around the gateway may offer you an arresting landscape to arrest. This place is an absolute wow for the first timer. During weekend, this site is frequented by many Mumbaikars for a relaxing time-off.
10. Aare Mango Farm
Having said the natural abundance in Ratnagiri, the place is surrounded by many mango trees and greeneries. If you visit here in summers, don’t miss the Aare Mango Farm. Located in a small hamlet of Nate at Ratnagiri, Aare Mango Farm is popular for housing more than 2000 mango trees sprawling over 30 acres areas. Because of huge mango plantation here, plenty of mangoes are supplied to various parts of the country. If you visit any nearby fruit stall in Ratnagiri, you can purchase and take home bulk of juicy Alphanso Mangoes at affordable price. Apart from mangoes, the fruit shops also sell good quality cashews, ambolis, aam panna and kokum sharbhat.
These are the top ten places to see in Ratnagiri. Apart from these, there are few other appealing sites as well around the place. Some of these include Keshavraj, Suvarnadurg Forts, Rajapur Ganga, Hot Water Spring, Sri Devi Bhagwati Mandir, Ganeshgule beach, Mandavi beach, Pawas, Pandre Samudra, Bhatye beach and Velneshwar.
How to reach:
To reach Ratnagiri, travellers may prefer any of the following means of transport:
By Air: The nearest airport to Ratnagiri is Mumbai Airport, which is connected to various major cities of the country. From airport you may hire a cab or taxi to travel Ratnagiri. Buses are also available from Mumbai.
By Train: Reaching Ratnagiri from Mumbai by train is quite convenient. Plenty of trains are there that run from some of the major stations like Dadar, Panvel, Lokmanyatilak Terminus, Mumbai CST, Bandra Terminus and Kalyan Junction. Depending on the train, total travel time may vary from 5 hours 40 minutes to 7 hours. Some of the major trains in this route are Jan Shatabdi Express, Kcvl Garib Rath, Mandovi Express, Dadar Tirunelveli Express, Ganpati Special and Ratnagiri Passenger. From railway station you can hire auto rickshaws and taxis to travel further.
By Road: Mumbai to Ratnagiri road connectivity is quite comfy for travellers. There are plenty of government and private buses that run from Mumbai for Ratnagiri. You may reach Ratnagiri by car as well. The driving distance between Mumbai and Ratnagiri is nearly 340Kms that can be covered approximately in 7 hours time.
Places to stay:
Being one of the popular weekend destinations near Mumbai, there are various decent places where you can stay in and around Ratnagiri. Based upon the type of accommodation and amenities you avail the hotel charges will vary. However, by paying an amount of INR 750 to INR 2500, you can avail decent some accommodations in Ratnagiri.
For your convenience, some of the quality hotels are listed here:
1101 Near Ratnagiri Railway Station, Kuwarbav,
Ratnagiri, India 415639
Salvi Stop, Shivaji Nagar,
Ratnagiri, India 415639
#Kohinoor Samudra Beach Resort
Bhatye Village, Near Bhatye Beach,
Pawas Coastal Highway, Ratnagiri, India 415639
#Shanti the grand palace
Ramlane, Ratnagiri, India 415612
#Oceano Pearl By O’Nest
64, Lad Wadi, Near Ganeshgule Grampanchayat,
4kms from Pawas, Ratnagiri, India 415616
#The Mango Villa
Opposite Mseb Office, Behind Gondhalekar Clinic,
Nachane Road, Ratnagiri, India 415612