Month of Visit : February
Weather : Pleasant weather throughout the day, slightly cold in night.
Ganpatipule is a small beach town in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. A Ganesh Temple of mythological importance combined with a beautiful beach makes it an ideal family holiday destination. Spend time near sea and then just walk few steps to reach temple, doesn’t it sound wow ?
Ganpatipule can be reached easily from Mumbai or Pune and plenty of overnight buses are available. To reach from Hyderabad it requires a longer journey and patience :). From Hyderabad you need to take an overnight bus to Kolhapur and then a 5 hours ST bus ride to Ganpatipule. I traveled by Sangeeta Travels which was OK and reaches around 7:30 in morning to Kolhapur. The bus ride is not recommended for people susceptible to motion sickness as route is a Zig Zag one going through westerns ghats of Sahyadri hills but at the same time it’s very scenic for most of the time. Also the road condition on entire route is excellent and good for those who want to travel in their own vehicle.
ST bus will drop you on the street which leads to temple/beach. There is a beach resort built by MTDC but it will be full on weekends/holidays and you need to book in advance. There are plenty of other hotels/lodges located on the way. Most of them have basic rooms and do not expect too much luxury. I stayed in Hotel ShriSagar where a non a/c double room costs around Rs. 750. It also has a garden restaurant and Maharashtrian Thali is very good.
The beach is one of the cleanest crowded beach I have seen in India so far. It’s a long sandy beach and in spite of large crowd on the beach I couldn’t see any garbage in the water which was a very pleasant surprise. The water seen from a distance looks blue in color and currents are very strong here. Please note that this beach is not marked safe for swimming and there has been drowning incidents in the past.There are watch towers and patrolling for the same reason so check with locals before you go too far into water.
Strong Currents of Sea
Warning Board by MTDC
Beach From a Distance
There are lot of stalls selling coconut water on beach side having some chairs to relax and enjoy the views. These also provide chance to interact with locals. I met an electrical engineer who retired from his job and was selling coconuts with his daughter. He was into his fifties and now enjoying remaining days of life in peaceful way while earning money enough for his living. He had lot of stories both about the place as well his own life.
Chairs On the Beach
Long Sandy Beach
As the sun starts setting down the beauty of the beach starts doubling up. You can see sun setting down gradually just in front of you. Finally it gets aligned with horizon and then in few seconds it will disappear. It’s a great sunset point.
Beach in the evening
Sun few inches above the horizon
Crowd Saying Goodbye to Sun
When it starts getting dark the patrolling team on the beach will start asking you to move away from water. In some time you will understand the reason yourself when sea waves start reaching more and more towards shore. It’s time to say good bye to beach and head towards temple. The evening Aarti (prayers) is scheduled at 7 in the evening. Do not miss it as it will be a great experience to attend it along with hundreds of other people.
Temple in Lights
- As stated earlier it’s not a safe beach for swimming. Avoid going deep into sea.
- Try to attend morning/evening Aarti in temple. It will be a good experience.
- Carry an ID card with you as hotels might ask for it.
- To travel on budget use ST buses for travel They are quite comfortable and on time.