THE SMALL COASTAL village of Ganapatipule derives its name from the 400-year-old temple of Swayambhu Ganapati, where the naturally occurring idol of Ganapati (the local name of Lord Ganesha), is revered by Hindus as one of the eight sacred sites, or “Ashtha Ganapatis”, in India. Despite attracting the usual smattering of holy men and mendicants, its beach has long stretches of pristine white sands and clear waters. Beyond the coast lie groves of fruit trees, including mango, banana, jackfruit, coconut and betel nut.
ENvntoNs: Ratnagiri, 19 km (12 miles) south of Ganapatipule, is famous for its groves of delicious Alphonso mangoes, locally known as hapus. Ratnagiri’s fortress, Bala Qila, is situated along the coast, and is intact, with a notable Bhagavati temple within its walls.