Friday, April 10, 2009
Fabulous trip to Ratnagiri and around:
Ratnagiri is nestled in Western Ghats with its lush green background, and to the west, the infinite blue Arabian sea in between is vast area of Konkan Valley. Throughout the area are eye soothing coastal lines as well as a beautiful hill station and pleasant natural surroundings. The newly introduced Konkan railway runs right through the Konkan Valley. From Mumbai NH-7 to Ratnagiri is 355 km, Ganapatipule 374 km and Amboli hill station is 549 km. Ratnagiri on the Konkan Coast is one of the Ratnas (jewels) of Maharashtra.
Places to see in and around Ratnagiri:
There is a fort on top of a hillock, the Thaibaw Palace built in 1910 on the slope of the hill and little below is the Bhagabati port. Fish aquarium is an added attraction of Ratnagiri. Alfanso, variety of mango (Hapus) grown here is a delicacy all around the world. Kokam, cashew, coconut and banana are also cultivated widely in Ratnagiri. One should enjoy the taste of prawn and pomfret fish in Konkani recipe. The taste of Konkan Kadhi for those who are vegetarians is unparallel.
Great personalities like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, G K Gokhle, S K Patil and many other stalwarts were born in Ratnagiri. Tilak's own house has now been converted into a museum. At Bhatye on the outskirts of the town water-sports facilities are available for the tourists.
The natural beauty at 690 meters altitude Amboli is breathtaking. It is an ideal location for spending short holidays. The view of sunrise and sunset from Amboli are unforgettable.
Numerous waterfalls and bauxite mines you can see about 10 km from the town.
Amboli is 64 km from Saontwari station on Konkan Railway or, about 4 hours journey by bus from Malvan. Near to Malvan coast , a place to see is Sindhu Fort built by Shivaji Maharaj in 1664. Sindhu Fort festival of Marathi art and culture in the month of May is worth visiting. Nearby railway station is Sindhudurga. Express trains however do not stop here. The town is 8 km from the railway station and is well connected by bus route.
At Tarakarli 6 km from Malvan or, Sindhudurga the Karli river merges with Arabian sea. Tarakarli beach in a calm and pleasant environment with crystal clear water. Foreign tourists love this beach. Buses are available for Tarakarli beach from Malvan. Buses from Kudal (24 km) on Konkan railway are also arriving Tarakarli.
Accomodation at Tarakarli:
Accommodation is available in 20 rooms Collage at sea facing Resort of MTDC, Tarakarli, Dist Sindhudurga, Ph: (02365) 252390
Green Valley Resort of MTDC on Private lease, Amboli, Dist Sindhudurga, Ph: (02363) 276239
JKD International, Hotel Kohinoar Park, Ph: 24769931
Along Mumbai-Goa NH-17, 210 km from Mumbai and 165 km from Ganapatipule or almost midway between the two on the Arabian coast is Harihareswar with silvery coast rapidly being turned into a tourism centre. Nature here is calm and quiet, the surroundings are charming with pleasant breeze and fine sand. There are Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswar and Parvati temple in Harihareswar. The popular belief is that Rishi Agaslhya established this temple on top of the hillock on his journey beyond Vindha mountain range.The idol of Kal Bhairab, the family deity of Peswas is there in the temple. Sukla Tirtha is at the confluence of Savitri river with the sea. Close to it is Gayatri Tirtha. One takes bath in Sukla Tirtha before visiting Kal Bhairab. View of sunrise and sunset are wonderful from Harihareswar.
While surveying the earth, Lord Vishnu's first foot step was placed here, according to the ancient story. The foot-print is said is still there on a stone in the coast. See Pandav Kund opposite to Brahmadeo hill by waliking. It is popularly believed that five Pandavas offered tarpan for the departed soul of their father here.
There are numerous hotels at Malvan. Sindhudurga Shova Hotel is closest to the sea is a nice place to stay.
Where to stay at Harihareshwar:
Accommodation at Harihareswar, Dist Raigarh, Ph: (02147) 226036 is available at MTDC's Holiday Resort.
Tent House and Konkani House.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary:
Interested tourists may also visit Karnala Bird Sanctuary about 80 km from Mumbai on Harihareswar-Mumbai route. During winter the migratory birds and during monsoon more than 150 species of butter-flies together with panthers, langoors, antilopes can be seen in Karnala spread over an area of 4.48 sq km
Ganapatipule from Rantnagiri