Ratnagiri, with its beautiful beach towns and friendly locals, makes for a perfect holiday destination in Maharashtra. The Sahyadris border Ratnagiri to the east and farms of rice, coconuts, cashews and various fruits shade the roads, making it a nature lover’s haven. The region also boasts a prosperous fishing industry which allows for some excellent Konkan cuisine. What is also very interesting is the fact that a lot of locals have started family run Homestays, Bed & Breakfasts and Villas that allow guests simple yet scenic stay options during their getaway. If all this isn’t enough reason to drive down to Ratnagiri, we are sharing 8 things to do here that no one told you about before!
While driving from Ganpatipule towards the town of Ratnagiri, the sky and sea blend together to make a blue vista that will keep you company through your travels. The 25 kilometre drive is scenic and calming. A drive to Guhagar (52 kilometres from Ganpatipule) will take you through acres of mango farms and the drive further to Dapoli (46 km from Guhagar) will introduce you to more beaches, small villages, backwaters and shades of green.
#2. Take leisurely strolls on Unspoilt Beaches
If you’re looking for clean, empty beaches, look no further than Ratnagiri. During your drive from Ganpatipule to Ratnagiri, you’ll be tempted to park your car by the road and walk towards the white stretch of white sand. There’s Malgund Beach that remains dotted by migratory birds during winter and Mandvi Beach, which is famous for Ratnadurga Fort at its other end. Guhagar and Dapoli Beach too remain relatively free from crowd and you can enjoy a number of water activities there. Make the time to lounge by the sea-side, soaking in the sun rays of coastal Maharashtra.
Ratnagiri is an ideal district to satisfy your craving for sea food. The Konkani cuisine that is characteristic of Coastal Maharashtra is available in abundance, and is inexpensive, too. These dishes are made by adding generous amount of spices to fares caught fresh from the sea – pompfret, mackerel, surmai, prawns – you name it, you have it. Whether you decide on a beach resort or a roadside dhabba, you will find your tastebuds encountering signature dishes like masala pomfret, Malvan chicken curry and fried prawns with a plate full of rice or stacks of chapati.
#4. Stay in a beautiful Tree Hut in Dapoli
Playing Tarzan has always been a particularly memorable childhood fantasy for most people. Let the dreams of your infancy take root quite literally at Dapoli, where you can wake up every morning and slumber every night high in your own treetop hut. When you do decide to climb down, there are swings and hammocks in the property to lounge in, adventure sports to indulge in, and outdoor activities like bird watching and mountain climbing to experience. It doesn’t get better than this!
Located in a small fishing village about 5 km from the town of Guhagar, atop a small hillock and far away from city life, is this beautiful farm house. It lies nestled between forest cover on one side and a stunning view of Guhagar beach on the other, and makes for an ideal place to experience the unique flavour of Coastal Maharashtra. The simplicity of the rooms is made up for by the large number of activities on offer. Guests can explore the village, go for walks through the forest and opt for bird watching trips with the friendly host who’ll also tell you about the efforts he’s made in the field of agriculture in his village.
#6. Float Along on Ferries
As a coastal district, Ratnagiri has a number of picturesque rivers along which boating is made available. Enjoy the spell of peace and tranquillity while the ferry ride progresses, leaving the heavy pulse of city life behind you at the shores. Instead of driving all the way to different beach towns, the ferry rides can be taken to shorten the length of the journey and enjoy a calm, scenic view. Ferries are available at various locations, such as the Bharja River at Kelshi, Dapoli, and along the Ganpatipule creek.
#7. Relive the Past
Sea forts are one of the many beautiful attractions of this district. Couple your visit to Dapoli’s beaches with a trek up to Mandangad fort. Once there, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the valley and see the centuries old Canyon that it’s known for. There’s also Ratnadurg Fort which is located in the town of Ratnagiri. Built by the Bahamanis in the 16th century, this fort later became the property of the Adil Shahis. It is situated about 4 kilometres from the town’s centre and again, offers a great view of the town and the sea surrounding it.
Located at the junction of the Sangli, Kolhapur, and Ratnagiri District is the Chandoli National Park. The Park is home to nearly 23 species of mammals, 122 species of birds and 20 species of amphibians and reptiles; all of these residing in the forests of Chandoli. Some of these fauna include Bengal Tigers, Indian leopards, Indian bison, leopard cats, sloth bears and Indian giant squirrels, thus allowing it to take its natural place on your must-visit list while touring Ratnagiri.
What are your favourite experiences in Ratnagiri? Share them with us in your comments.
About the author: Alaric Moras spends most of his time reading, writing and interning with industries that read and write. He aims to become a clinical psychologist, providing therapy and catching Freudian slips during the day, writing and reading through the night. He likes all manner of animals, the smell of books, and the oxford comma.