Flanked by the Sahyadri range on one side and the Arabian sea on the other, Ratnagiri is arguably one of the most beautiful places around. Serene temples, historic monuments, juicy alphonso mangoes, azure waters, white sandy beaches and mouth-watering seafood- what more can a tourist ask for? The Mandwi beach is considered by many as the most beautiful beach with its black sand and blue water. The Ratnadurg fort, which is surrounded by the Arabian sea on three sides is a treat to the eyes. The history of the site and standing on the fortifications while watching the waves crash below will awe you. The drive is soul-pleasing and there are many fishing communities around, which will treat you to exquisite, spice-infused Konkani cuisine. Enjoy Ratnagiri at its indigenous best by staying at our homestays and discovering some unfound and well-kept secrets of the region by the locals.
215 kms from Mumbai, Dapoli is a great place to get away from the city. Dubbed ‘Mini-Mahabaleshwar’ owing to its cool climate throughout the year, you can experience genuine Konkan Maharashtra in this region. Coconut trees are aplenty and untapped, unclogged beaches are to die for. There are two forts, the sea fort and the land fort, called Kanakdurga and Suvarnadurga which were built by the Adil Shahi dynasty and later fortified by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Often deemed impenetrable during those days, these two forts were connected by a tunnel. However, now, the only way to reach them is by a ferry with the local fishermen. The Panhalakaji caves are another tourist attraction. Lying deep into the valley at the confluence of the Kotjai and Dhakti river, you surely shouldn’t miss this nature’s phenomenon. Many villagers believe that there are 15-16 crocodiles in these rivers.
Set base at some of our beautiful homestays in Dapoli and have a great time!
- Russian Cottage in Dapoli.
Constructed using the finest Russian pinewood, these cottages offer the perfect melange of modernity and nature. It is built on a farmland and you can amble through the lush greenery and fruit trees. The Unhaware hot water spring is about 35 km away and is a great place to let some ‘steam’ off. The cottages also boast a large restaurant where food can be ordered as per preference and can be savoured in the company of the starry, moonlit night.
- Beachside villa in Dapoli.
Enjoy the perfect vacation as this homestay provides you with whatever you need. After soaking and lazing at the beach, which is closeby, treat yourself to some spa treatment. Specialities like pomfret and lobster dishes are prepared to please your taste buds. The host also arranges boat trips into the sea on prior request. During low tides, a small piece of sand surfaces where you could take a stop-over, right in the middle of the sea.
About 320 kms south of Mumbai lies the culturally rich Chiplun. The word “Chiplun” means the abode of Lord Parshuram and the Parshuram Temple is a worthy visit. Chiplun is situated on the banks of the Vashishtha river, where locals claim that crocodiles thrive. Other attractions are the Walawalkar Shivaji museum, Sawatsada falls and the Govalkot fort. Try some traditional kokam juice which is also a major source of income in these places. The feisty, adventurous ones can try trekking the Western Ghats during the monsoons, when it is beautiful and treacherous at the same time. Our homestay in Chiplun couples modernity and rustic atmospheres in a superb manner and guarantees you a brilliant vacation.
- Hilltop farmstay in Chiplun
If you want to stay away from civilisation and enjoy a quiet, serene vacation, then this homestay in Chiplun is just the place for you. Wake up to chirping birds, enjoy a traditional Maharashtrian breakfast and then go on a Jungle safari and a boat ride arranged by the host. In the evening, you can lie down on the terrace and be awed by the sheer magnificence of the open, star-studded night sky.
170 kms south of Mumbai is Diveagar, which lies in the Raigad district. The Harihareshwar beach in Diveagar is very famous for sand-bubble crabs and rare sightings of dolphins. Some sea-turtles still lay their eggs near the shore. The approach is lined with Belu trees which is otherwise not common. The 500-year old settlements here warrant a visit and a dialogue with the locals will enlighten you a great deal about the history of the place and the secrets surrounding it.
- Luxury Villa in Diveagar
Pamper yourself with 5-star luxuries in this picturesque villa in Diveagar. Make sure you don’t miss the Lord Suvarnaganesha Temple, which is home to the 300-year old idol of Lord Ganesh, and the Harihareshwar beach where dolphins can be sighted. This homestay specialises in Maharashtrian seafood which is without a doubt a must-try.
About 375 kms south of Mumbai is the idyllic Ganapatipule. The striking feature of this place is the Ganapati temple, also called Swayambhu Ganesh, or the self-originated temple. Legend has it that this temple came up from the soil. It is located at the base of a hill, and pilgrims walk around the hill (pradakshina) as a mark of respect. Coconut plantations and rice fields are a common sight here, staying true to the Konkan traditions. The Jaigad fort is a must-visit. Set on a cliff, the fort offers a magnificent, commanding view of the sea and the Konkan village life. Also, don’t miss out on the beautiful, calm beaches and the exquisite sea-food here. History lovers should visit the lighthouse, which was built in 1932 and is still in operation. Ditch the tradition of hotels and resorts and feel at home in our homestays here.
- Beach facing villa in Ganapatipule
Coconut trees, a cool breeze, delicious food and an unpolluted beach at your doorstep. What more can you ask for in a vacation! Whether you are travelling in a group or with your family, you are guaranteed a great time. Water sports can be arranged on prior request. The guests can also cook their own food in the kitchen which is fully provisioned. Oh, and don’t miss out on the scenic drive along the shore to Ratnagiri.
- Cottages in Ganapatipule
Enjoy the rustic hospitality that these cottages offer and treat your taste buds to some genuine, indigenous seafood recipes. The locals around will feed you some juicy secrets about the place which no guide or tour instructor can tell you. Sightseeing tours can be arranged for the guests on request and you can gambol around the Ganapatipule beach nearby.
Guhagar is a perfect example of the Konkan coastline of Maharashtra. Serene, virgin beaches, coir products, coconut plantations, fishing communities and last, but not at all the least, the juicy Haapus Alphonso mangoes. Far away from the hustle bustle of towns, this quiet, lazy place is ideal for a getaway. The Durgadevi and Vyadeshwar mandirs are worth a visit.
- Hilltop homestay in Guhagar
Set upon a small hillock, this homestay is far away from the clogged and polluted city life. Breathe in the fresh air and take in the magic of nature as the setting sun meets the sea and the saffron evening melts into the exquisite star-studded night sky. You can go cavorting with your family and friends at the beach which is at touching distance and have yourself a jolly time.
- Homestay in Guhagar
This homely villa in Guhagar is close to many fishing villages and mango plantations where you can take a pleasant walk. Don’t forget to buy some fresh mangoes right off the produce! Also, befriend these villagers and they’ll treat you to some luscious indigenous food.
Also read: our blog on homestays in Tarkarli, Devbag, Malvan and Vengurla!
About the Author: Aatreya Bhat spends a major part of the day reading, writing and jamming. The rest of the day, he spends explaining his name to others. He loves reading political books and is a big fan of the caped crusader. Skydiving and experiencing a Manchester derby at the Trafford will always top his bucket list.