INDIA. Ganapatipule, Maharashtra: My greed of experiencing various places, art and cultures, and of course the local food always keeps me back-packed and out on the roads on short notices. After a not so normal 2020 in Delhi, I thought of a beach vacation – and Ganapatipule seemed to be just the right place. The place is a drawcard for the holidaymakers with the undisturbed, unspoiled, and virgin silvery stretch of over 6-kilometer long coastline.
After flying into Ratnagiri, the home to the famous Alphonso mangoes, I took a taxi immediately from the airport and a longish drive brought me into Ganapatipule. The road seemed to travel on and on and I couldn’t even get a glimpse of seawater until from the top of a hill, the magnificent view of the entire beach with white sand and blue waters made all my fatigue vanish.
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Traveling to Ganapatipule by road is a fantastic experience in itself. The entire Konkan region is a paradise. Narrow roads, red soil, roofed houses in a naturally rustic stone and straw ambiance, clean courtyards, innumerable fruit-bearing trees, and casuarinas lining the coast are a common sight.
My first impression of the beach was awesome; it surely was one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to. The sweet feeling of the waves on the sun-kissed beach curling around made me bow my head in respect to the almighty god – lord Ganapati for the favour. As a matter of fact, the town is an important pilgrimage center, home to the 400-year-old temple of Swayambhu Ganapati.
By the time I was through all the basic exploring of the area to get a feel of the place and to quickly absorb the countless local highlights, it was already evening and the sun was all set to call it a day. The view was just magnificent and very difficult to describe; the sky turned red and all the shades of red and orange were displayed in the sky. Suddenly from nowhere the rains came and fell through the night. In the morning the skies were decked in an all-blue school uniform while the tall casuarinas coughed with the overnight cold and exhaled their wetness.
While modern times have brought increased amenities, it has still not robbed Ganapatipule of its simple charm. One can take a deep breath and open his eyes wide to the sunrise over the pure sands and drink in every single ray that stretches tentatively across the bay. The sight lasts a moment or two, but its effect lasts a long-long time.
Tranquility was served in plenty at the cottages of MTDC where I was staying. The first call next morning was that of the koels followed by the caws of jet black crows and I set out for a walk on the beach with the waves curling around my feet. Time at the beach had a surplus-value, allowing me to build sandcastles and collect seashells as souvenirs.
Unknown and unsung beach
For the next four days, I vacationed at Ganapatipule and explored the unknown and unsung beach here. Much has been written and sung about the beaches of Goa, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, but the coastal sands of this beach in the Konkan region are still undiscovered. And that’s the beauty of Ganapatipule.
Sparkling blue waters, endless stretches of golden and silver sand, sunbeams dancing through the swaying palms, waves playing with the sand dunes, a cool breeze whispering sweet nothings in your ears – this is Ganapatipule.
Would I return to Ganapatipule? Oh yes. More importantly, would I recommend Ganapatipule to the countless number of folks who regularly ask me to suggest a place they can go to? Again, Yes.
Ganapatipule is by no means an undiscovered place, it does provide a great getaway from stress where one can have a truly peaceful time.