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Tourist Places To Visit In Ganpatipule
Ganpatipule primarily refers to the resident Syambhu murthi of Ganpati who is a Paschim Dwar Devatha or the God guarding the western side. The temple is a popular pilgrim center for pilgrims and tourists alike, for the unique history of the temple as well as the virgin nature that encompasses the shrine are ideal tourist attractions that draw people to Ganpatipule. Complete with beautiful sand dunes, pristine unspoilt beaches and renowned temples, the coastal town of Ganpatipule is a must visit.
The town itself is a quaint small one, with a simple rustic setting and orchards that grow mangoes, coconuts, betelnut, bananas and jackfruit. Not very far away from Ganpatipule is the city of Ratnagiri known for its Alphonso mangoes and ancient palaces, forts and temples.
We will give you a list of the most charming places you might want to visit in and around Ganpatipule.
Syambhu Ganpati Mandir
The 400 year old Syambhu Ganpati temple is the main attraction of Ganpatipule. According to legends, Ganpati appeared in the dream of a Brahmin called Bhalbati Bhide and indicated his presence amongst the sand dunes of the Konkan beaches. The ochre colored idol of Ganpati faces the west and is considered the guardian deity who overlooks the Western Ghats as well as the sea.
Said to have been built during the rule of the Peshwas, the temple had a Nandadweep in front erected by Nanasaheb Peshwa and a dharmashala built by Ramabhai, the wife of Madhav Rao Peshwa. The temple that has undergone modifications from the original sits at the base of the hill and has steps built all around the hill for circumambulation.
Jaigad Fort and its sister Vijaygad Fort lie at the confluence of the Jaigad Creek where the Shastri River meets the Arabian Sea. Built by the 1300s as a sort of protection for the creek, the fort gives an impressive view of the Arabian Sea at its base and the surrounding countryside.
The Jaigad Fort that had gone through the reigns of the Sultan of Bijapur, Kanhoji Angre, the Marathas under Chhatrapati Shivaji, the Peshwas and the British is a spectacular symbol of antiquity and warfare. Jaigad Fort is about 19 km from Ganpatipule.
A temple becomes more beautiful when it is encompassed by the picturesque charms of nature. The Dhudpapeshwar temple for Shiva is located in such a tranquil surrounding that you would love. The temple lies on the banks of the Mrudani River that forms into a charming waterfall close by.
The temple further snuggles between two hills and is surrounded by a woody forest that is photo graphic. Close by is a temple for Dattatreya. The temple receives tourists and pilgrims on Mahashivaratri and on Mondays. The Dhudpapeshwar temple is in Rajapur taluk of Ratnagiri and is about 83 km from Ganpatipule.
Kshetra Parashuram Temple
Shree Kshetra Parasuram temple for Parashurama, the sixth avatar of Mahavishnu is near the town of Chiplun. The original temple is said to have been built with funds from the Portuguese and Janjirekar and Siddhi Rasul Yakut Khan and was later rebuilt by Swami Paramahansa Brahmendra.
The temple is an architectural wonder which combines a Hindu, European and Muslim sculptural pattern. The main sanctum sanctorum has three idols, that of Shiva, Parashurama and Brahma that were brought to Chiplun by Swami Paramahansa Brahmendra. Behind the temple is a temple for Renuka Devi, the mother of Parashurama.
Prachin Konkan is a museum that takes tourists back to about 500 years to the Konkan way of life and their ancient cultures, religion and their economy. Prachim Konkan is a museum that has an interesting life sized displays of the wildlife of the Konkan region, marketplaces, models of the forts of Konkan and the naval fleets, temples and picturesque displays of the rural life of the villages of that period.
You could also check out the fruit orchards, the Nakshatra Baug or astrological trees garden, indulge in bird watching or buy unique stuff like ayurvedic medicines, handicrafts, Konkani spices, terracotta and paintings at the handicrafts exhibition. Prachim Konkan is just a short walk from the Syambhu Ganpati Temple at Ganpatipule.
Built of black laterite rocks, the Anjavel or Gopalgad Fort lies on a hill overlooking the Arabian Sea. Having once been a stately majestic formidable fortress, the Gopalgad Fort is now partially in ruins, but is still worth a visit for photographers and people interested in history.
Gopalgad Fort is an ideal trekkers’ destination. There are ruins of a palace, a temple and mango orchards in the midst of the ruins. The Fort was occupied by Yakut Khan, Tulaji Angre, the Adilshahi Kings, the Siddhi rulers and the Peshwas. Gopalgad Fort is in Anjavel, about 65 km from Ganpatipule.
Thibaw Palace is a stately three storied palace built for King Thibaw of the Khonbaung Dynasty who ruled over Myanmar for almost 7 years and was captured by the British and kept in exile in Ratnagiri. Incidentally King Thibaw was the last ruler of the Burmese kingdom. Complete with ornate wooden staircases, sloping tiled roofs, a marble floored dance hall and archaic arched doorways, the Thibaw Palace that sits on a small hillock is a must visit.
There is an archaeological museum and art exhibition within the palace that’s a treat for tourists interested in antiquity and art. Thibaw Point near the Palace is a hot tourist attraction for it offers a great view of the setting sun, Someshwar creek, the Arabian Sea and Bhatya bridge. The Thibaw Palace which is open from 9.00 am – 6.00 pm, is in Ratnagiri, about 25 km from Ganpatipule.
Karneshwar Temple for Shiva is an ancient Hemadpanti styled temple built at the confluence of the Varuna, Alaknanda and Shastri Rivers. It is said to have been built by the kings of the Karvir Dynasty and is more than a 1000 years old. You might love to visit this ancient temple for its architecture.
The Karneshwar temple is a fine example of design and one can see on the walls of the temple skilled engravings of dancers, yakshas, Gods and demons. The temple is located in a very quiet, serene atmosphere in a small village near Kasba, just a little off the Mumbai – Goa Highway. The temple is about 4 km from Sangameshwar and about 48 km from Ganpatipule.
Encompassed by the sea on three sides and a light house on the fourth, the Ratnadurg Fort is one of the most picturesque places of Ratnagiri. The Fort is divided into the larger Fort, the smaller Fort and the Lighthouse. From the highest reaches of the Fort, one would get a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea stretching far as the eyes could see.
Check out the Bhagwathi temple as well. The Fort said to have been built during the 1100s, was under the control of the Adilshahi rulers, the Angres, Peshwas and the Marathas under Chhatrapati Shivaji. An impressive huge structure, the Ratnadurg Fort is a photographers’ delight. Ratnadurg Fort is about 25 km from Ganpatipule.
Hedvi Ganesh Mandir
Dasabhuja Ganesh or Lakshmi Ganesh temple at Hedvi is yet another popular temple of the Konkan region. The 3 ft high marble idol of Ganesha said to have been made in Kashmir is portrayed with dasa bhuja or 10 arms. The temple is said to have been built during the reign of the Peshwas. Close by is the Hedvi beach which is a natural cove of black sand that is located between the white sandy beaches of Ganpatipule, Velneshwar and Guhagar.
While in Hedvi you could also visit the Uma Maheshwari temple and the Bahman Ghal, a natural gorge that looks a stunner when the sea crashes against the boulders on either side and make huge waves. Hedvi is about 51 km from Ganpatipule.