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Ganpatipule Roadtrip (Jaigad and Ratnadurg Fort trek)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Maharashtra is home to a number of beautiful places. One such place is Ganpatipule, located in Ratnagiri district.

My family reached Ganpatipule at 4 in the evening. We had snacks at MTDC Resorts - Narang Hotel and then decided to hit the beach. One good thing about MTDC Resorts is that all the cottages give you a great view of the sea. That evening we spent the day at the beach. 

That night We enjoyed dinner at Abhishek Resort at Bhandarpule which is an upcoming place. The authorities are constructing a highway around here which will connect Ganpatipule to Ratnagiri city and save both time and gas.

The ambience at Abhishek Resort was quite nice but since it was far away from the main city of Ganpatipule, there was no one there to have dinner except for the people staying in the resort. We had dinner and headed back to our resort.

Beach at Ganpatipule 

DAY 2: We decided to go and see Jaigad Fort. The fort was around 40 km from the MTDC Resort. It took us two hours to reach it. Although the entire fort is in ruins, the walls of the fort still stand strong. This 17th century fort, perched on a cliff overlooking the confluence of the Sangameshwar River and the Arabian Sea, offers spectacular views of the village and the sea.

There is a moat which surrounds the fort from the land entrance. Inside the fort there is a temple, a few ruins of houses and a resting place for the soldiers. There were two square shaped wells, around five storeys deep, inside the fort. They had some water in them. I shudder to think of the fate of anyone who would happen to fall into the wells. It would not be easy to get out and help would be miles away.

Darwaja to Jaigad Fort

I was hungry again so we decided to head back to Ganpatipule. We had lunch at Krishnali Resort at Bhandarpule. This place was deserted as it is far from the city. Once again we ate alone.

Krishnali Resort serves the most wonderful fish thalis. The fish slices in my thali were gigantic. It was also served solkadi after lunch. After a heavy meal, We decided to head back to our resort where we rested for some time and then enjoyed the evening at the beach.

DAY 3: Ratnagiri city is around 45 km from Ganpatipule. Here we saw Ratnadurg fort which is around 10 km from the main city. This fort was built by the Bahamani rulers way back in 1350 AD. In 1670 Shivaji conquered the fort from Adilshah, the ruler of Bijapur. The fort traded hands a couple of times and at last landed in the hands of the British.

The fort is 1300 metres long and 100 metres wide. It has steep cliffs on all sides. The fort is rather well maintained. It consists of a temple, a few houses and away in a distance, there is a lighthouse.

Ratnadurg Fort

Another attraction there is the Thebaw Palace which was built in 1910-11. The King and Queen of Burma stayed there during their exile. The British let King Thebow build the palace the way he wanted. The palace looked like an Old Portuguese bungalow. The King and the Queen spent a major part of their lives there. A part of the palace has been converted into a museum and old stone sculptures dating back to the 10th century have been kept. It also has the throne of the King and the Queen. The place also includes the tombs of the royal couple. 

Thebaw Palace

All that exploration makes a man hungry. I took leave of the palace and went off in search of some place where I could eat. We had lunch at Hotel Vivek. Everything about this place was good. The ambience was soothing and the food was delicious. The place was crowded and there were still more people waiting outside for their turn. After a heavy meal consisting of fish and chicken, We decided to check out the local bazaar at Ratnagiri.

With any luck, I’d be able to lay my hands on the famous Alphonso mangoes, known locally as Hapus mangoes. But it seemed that lots of hard cash, not luck, was what was needed. The prices were exorbitant. We came away without buying any.

On the last day of our trip, I decided to try some of the water sports that the resort had on its own premises. I had great fun in the speed boat and on the motor scooter.

DAY 4: We left early on Sunday morning to come home. It had indeed been a most exciting and refreshing holiday


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