It’s been more than a month for a trip and more than 3 months for a bike trip. My last one was of Udaipur.
But why Ganpatipule?
I have been hearing about Ganpatipule for more than a year now, but somehow could not explore that place. It’s serene beaches and the age old temple is a treat to watch. Located in Ratnagiri district has only added to my curiosity. The more I read about the place the more I wanted to go. It’s little too far for a 2-day bike ride and I knew it’s going to be tough. But it’s worth trying this challenge.
Mumbai to Ganpatipule
I have started at 6 AM in the morning from Thane. The route which I have taken is Mumbai-Goa highway through Karnala Sanctuary, Mahad, Chiplun and then to Ganpatipule. The road is very bad from Panvel to Mahad and it gets better once you leave Mahad. Overall it took me 9 hours to cover 350 kms from Mumbai with only one stop at Mahad. The delay is owed to 200 kms ghat road right from Mahad to Ganpatipule.
A simple small temple town famous for its serene beaches. The main beach is clear and calm. As the name suggests it has a Ganpati temple on seashore. The best time to visit the temple is post 5pm when the rays of sunset hits the walls of the temple which gives you a tinge of golden shine. The uniqueness of Ganpatipule is the view of its beach from the adjacent hills.
Ganpatipule to Ratnagiri
The road to Ratnagiri needs a special mention. The view that this 20 km stretch gives you is beyond words. This is also famously called Aarey-Varey road named after two twin villages Aarey and Varey. There are places where you feel that the road directly extends to the sea. The birds eye view of beaches is worth looking forward to. It takes around 30 mins from Ganpatipule to Ratnagiri Fort. There is nothing special to mention about Ratnagiri Fort, so we will skip it.
This 2-storey brick building in Ratnagiri was the exile home for last king of Konbaung kingdom of Burma. Sending defeated kings on exile by British was in vogue in second half of 19th century. The last Mughal, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was exiled from Delhi to Andaman in 1857. The same happened with Thibaw as well. He was exiled from his native Mandalay region in Burma to costal town Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. A detailed account on was provided in Amitav Ghosh’s novel ‘The Glass Palace’.
Things to look out for this ride:
- This is a slightly tough ride and not for amateurs.
- The distance from Mumbai to Ganpatipule is 350kms, out of which 200 kms comprise ghat section.
- Highlight in this trip will be the ride from Ganpatipule to Ratnagiri through Aarey-Varey road.