Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Drive to Ganapatipule

Last week saw us (Sups and I) drive down to Ganapatipule. Ganapatipule lies about 375 kms south of Mumbai, a small detour from the Mumbai - Goa National Highway. We left Mumbai at 6:45 PM. Our first halt was at Karnala for breakfast. The next halt was straight at Chiplun, a 4 hour drive. However, with the good roads, and my love for driving, it did not feel at all tiring. After a leisurely hour long lunch, we reached Ganapatipule at 3:30. We could have reached atleast 30 minutes earlier if we had taken the right turn from the Mumbai Goa highway before we reached the turn off for Ratnagiri.
We stayed at the MTDC Resort. We had not made any prior bookings, and were sort of lucky to find a room. The first night we stayed in a deluxe Non A/C room overlooking the sea, and shifted to a Konkani Non A/C Hut the next day. The hut overlooked the backwaters.
The first evening, we visited the 'Swayambhu' Ganesh temple for which the place is famous. On the second day, we hit the beach before breakfast. The sand was golden and fine, while the sea was clear and warm. It was one of the more pleasant beach experiences I have had.
In the afternoon, we visited the nearby Jaigad fort, Lighthouse, and Karhateshwar Shiva Temple. The last was situated on the edge of a cliff, from where steps led down to a natural spring, below which the Arabian Sea crashed into rocks with a plume of white spray. Swaying coconut palms, and red cliffs provided a beautiful backdrop.
The next day was check out time. We visited Thibaw palace and point in Ratnagiri on our way back. After lunch at Chiplun, we visited the Parashuram temple there.
A great trip, and a great drive!

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