Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Hidden Gems of Konkan - Ganeshgule, Kasheli and unexplored area near Mervi

 The year 2020 was a covid-19 year. Everything was new for everyone and as covid cases go down, we all started with new normal life. Travelling and exploring new places is my passion. Considering the situation, we decided to arrange a small trip for relaxation and explore some untouched Konkan beaches. My first priority was to visit Ganeshgule as my friend owns a beautiful hotel and the place is always less crowded. Our (Me and Wife Renuka) close friend Himanshu-Ketki and their daughter, Ameya, Ashutosh-Sanjana, and their kids were co-travellers. Another couple Tushar-Neha joined us there as coincidently they were on their Ratnagiri trip.

Devghali Beach or Kasheli Beach
Devghali Beach or Kasheli Beach

About Ganeshgule, Kasheli, and surrounding places:
             Ganeshgule, a village few kilometres ahead of Pawas offers you a beautiful untouched beach. Not much explored by tourists hence it offers a sandy beach with crystal clear water. Ganeshgule beach is a km-long beach blocked by mountains on both sides. It offers you peace of mind & freedom to stroll and bath in the blue waters whenever you feel.
Ratnagiri city is the nearest port city to Ganeshgule on the Arabian Sea coast. It is a main city from the Konkan region and famous for its Alphonso Mangoes, Birthplace of “Lokmanaya” Bal Gangadhar Tilak, prime leader of India’s freedom movement, and Shivaji’s Fort. There are many tourist points in the Ratnagiri district that are blessed with untouched and beautiful beaches.

The route to reach Ganeshgule from Pune is –
Take National Highway 48 (Old Number 4) – Drive till Karad city on the highway – Cross Karad and drive for a few km – after Karad, look for the first flyover on the highway – Do not take flyover route – Take right below the flyover – Drive on State highway – Malkapur – Amba – Sakharpa – Pali (Do not confuse with Pali from Ashtavinayak locations) – Drive towards the south for few km on NH – Take left after crossing Patergaon – Ganeshgule.
Alternate route is Pune – Amba ghat – Sakharpa – Ratnagiri – Pawas – Ganeshgule.

The total distance via this route is around 304km.

Other routes are Tahmini – Mangaon – Mumbai Goa national highway OR 
Pune – Umbraj – Koyanagar – Chiplun – Ratnagiri - Ganeshgule.

Day 1: 26 December 2020 - Pune to Ganeshgule
              We woke up early in the morning and left home at 6 AM with our friends. We wanted to avoid the highway traffic and enjoy the morning breeze. Before Khambatki Ghat, we took a pit stop for Wada-pav at Shriram hotel. We decided to go by the Amba ghat route. After crossing Karad, we took right from the Amba ghat route. We had our lunch in Hotel Kasturi which is close to Amba ghat. Considering the number of travellers, there were multiple pit stops and we finally reached Ganeshgule by 4:30ish in the evening. 

Ganeshgule Beach
Ganeshgule Beach

             We reached Oceano Pearl home stay resort. The resort was a mixture of Konkani-modern style with a lot of greenery and with a huge farm of different trees (Wadi in Marathi) like Coconuts, Alphonso, and many more. They have AC rooms and one treehouse (Not in Function due to Covid and maintenance), close to the beach. Management and staff from the resort welcomed us with a smile. We booked 3 AC rooms which were cleaned with all required amenities. When we used to visit the Ganeshgule, there was not a single hotel but now there are a couple of more Homestay/hotels available

Oceano Pearl resort
Oceano Pearl resort

              We took tea coffee and then went to the beach. Ganeshgule beach is around 1.5-2 km long beach and gives you a feel of a private beach. With white soft sand all over the beach, it was very neat and clean. Water was so clear that we were unable to stop ourselves from going into the water. It was a good evening to spend time with friends and their kids on the beach. We had our dinner in Oceano Pearl hotel before our day ends. Ashutosh and his family have stayed at the nearby homestay. 

Sunset from Ganeshgule Beach
Sunset from Ganeshgule Beach

Major Expenses:
  • Car Fuel: INR4000/-
  • Resort Stay: INR4000/- per Room per night for 3 people with breakfast
  • Lunch at Kasturi restaurant, Amba Ghat: INR160 for Veg Thali and INR200 for chicken Thali
  • Dinner: INR2700/- for 3 people with veg and seafood dishes.

Day 2: 27 December 2020 - Ganeshgule, Kasheli
               We woke up early morning and went to the beach. Ganeshgule has a long, scenic, unexplored beach. Only we were on the beach with only the sea waves for a company and it was like we were on our private beach. We spent around an hour on the beach. There is a Small Mountain on the right side of the beach. It takes hardly 20 min to reach the top of the hill. The location of the rocky plateau on the mountain makes this place a perfect location for peace where you can only hear sea waves. One wave after another was seen on the rocky area as if they were trying to climb the rock to meet us. The location is covered by sea from 3 sides and a beautiful sunset on the horizon. The view of the sea from here is breathtaking and this is the best place to witness the sun on the horizon spreading orange-red colour all over the sky. This is one of my favourite places from the Konkan coastal area.

Morning Time on Beach



               We came back to the hotel for breakfast. Today we planned to visit Kasheli. Kasheli is a coastal village in the Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra, with a secluded, unexplored Devghali beach with an amazing view. Kasheli village is especially known for Shri Kanakaditya Temple. Distance from Ganeshgule is around 22km whereas 40-42km from Ratnagiri. 
              You can visit the Purnagad fort which is on the bank of the River. We skipped this place as we all visited earlier. On the way, we took a pit stop at Gaonkhadi beach. Beach is untouched, very cleaned, and maintained by villagers. No tourists and food stall which makes this place very clean and beautiful. The small hill is just aside from the beach so if you want to have a look at the entire beach then a small hill climbing can fulfil your wish. 

Village near Gaonkhadi Beach

              We reached Kasheli and went to Temple. Sri Kanakaditya Temple is one of the few temples situated in Maharashtra that is dedicated to the Sun God. The idol from the temple is 800 years old and is made out of black stone. The temple is rustic with a big sabha-mandap of local architecture. There is a legend about the standing idol of Lord Sun in this Mandir, where a sailor from Saurashtra, carrying the idol of Lord Aditya in his boat, couldn’t sail beyond the sea waters of Kasheli. He had to leave the idol in a cave in the adjacent hills, wherefrom a lady devotee got messages about the idol’s location in her dreams and the villagers found the idol there.

Sri Kanakaditya Temple, Kasheli
Sri Kanakaditya Temple, Kasheli

              Our next spot was Devghali beach which is also popularly known as Kasheli beach. It is around 10-15 min away and you can reach the top of a mountain by car. There is no proper road built up till the parking point. You have to climb down to reach the beach. Beach is very small and nestled in between rocky shore. There is a small cave on one side of the Beach. There are proper steps laid to climb down. At the midpoint, the sunset viewpoint is built to enjoy the sunset. 



             Beach has soft sand, clean water, and a well-maintained area. Better to avoid swimming in the water due to rocky areas and sudden depth in water. Soaking in water is definitely gives you a refreshing feel. We spend around 30-40 min on the beach. you may feel tired while climbing steps to the top. 2 local shops offer you local drink and water.

Kasheli Beach or Devghali Beach
Kasheli Beach or Devghali Beach

              We were hungry by the time we reach the top. We decided to stretch a bit and travel back to Pawas for lunch. We had our tasty lunch at the restaurant Aradhya. They serve tasty veg, non-veg, and seafood thali. After a delicious meal, we came back to the hotel. 

Seafood meal

              We spend the evening on the beach. Kids were enjoying the making of sandcastle and sea waves. we witness the beautiful sunset from the beach and came back to the hotel. Today's dinner was planned at the Atharva cottage where Ashutosh and their family were staying. The food was good in taste. After dinner, we went back to the hotel for a rest.

Sunset

Major Expenses: 
  • Lunch at Aradhya: INR1575/- for 9 people (Veg meal INR100, Chicken meal INR120, egg meal INR100, Kingfish meal INR350, Pomfret fish meal INR450)
  • Dinner at Atharva: Approx INR2500-3500/- for 9-10 people (veg and fish meal) along with Modak in Sweet
Day 3: 28 December 2020 - The unexplored area near Mervi 
              As part of our ritual, we woke up early and went to the beach for a morning walk. Post breakfast, We decided to explore the beach which is south of Mervi. Beach is not listed on google map and there is no road to reach the beach. We took Ameya's UV car which was a good option for off-roading. Our target was to explore 2 beaches, one on the north side of Mervi and another one on the south of Mervi. By the end of our exploration, we land upon exploring one beach whereas we spot the route for the second beach. (By the time my blog is published, someone tagged both beaches by the name Mervi which is not the case). I have shared a tentative GPS coordinate in case someone interested to visit. We Cross Jambhul aad village and then took right turn for Mervi Village. after a certain point, we left the road and started off-roading with XUV car. The entire area is a flat rocky plateau and then we climbed down to reach the beach. We saw an Indian wolf during our off-roading.




Untouched Beach

             We parked the car at a certain point and then climbed down the hill to reach the beach. There is no route/trail to climb down hence take proper care and mind your steps. Beach is small and rocky. Beach was flat and clean. There are plenty of rocky patches hence not recommended for swimming. It's not easily accessible for anyone. Kids are not recommended on this beach. As there is private property from where you can access this beach. Stepping down and again climbing up is not that easy for everyone. Indeed it was a wonderful treat for us to get this opportunity to visit this beach. You can take a walk on the north side of the beach to explore the next beach which looks like Om.

Unknown beach near Mervi




               After exploring this untouched beach, we travel back to Pawas for lunch. We had lunch at the restaurant Aradhya and did a quick visit to Pawas.  Pawas is well known for the Ashram of Swami Swaroopanand and is a few km from Ganeshgule village. Pawas is a prime spiritual place in the Ratnagiri district due to a very long stay of Swami (saint) Swaroopanand. He was born on 15th December 1903 at Pawas. At the age of 20, he had received the initiation (Diksha) from his Guru Sadguru Babamaharaj Vaidya from Pune. From this point, his journey in the spiritual world had begun. At the age of 70, on 15th August 1974, Swamiji took Samadhi (self-immolation) at Pawas. The temple in Pawas is very clean and well maintained.
            For evening time, we went to rocky hill from Ganeshgule beach. Watching the sunset from that point is a treat to the eye. After spending some time on the beach, We returned to the hotel and had dinner. It was a good relaxation break which we are looking for for a long time.

Sunset from Ganeshgule Beach

Major Expenses:
  • Lunch at Aradhya: Approx. INR 1300/- for 5 people
  • Dinner at Atharva: Approx INR1800/- for 8-9 people

Day 4: 29 December 2020 - Ganeshgule - Pune
           We left Ganeshgule via the Ratnagiri route by 11 AM. We took our small break at Ganeshgule temple. This temple is older than Ganpatipule. The Ganesh idol in the temple is the "Swayambhu" (i.e. formed naturally) idol with its trunk turned towards the west. The statue of the mouse in front of the temple is very beautiful and made up of metal alloy. You can see a beautiful valley view from the temple. There is an old ancient well opposite the temple. Local believes that Well was built in Pandava's era.



Ganeshgule Ganesh Temple
Ganeshgule Ganesh Temple

We travelled via Amba Ghat – National highway 4 and reached Pune safely by 10 PM

GPS locations:
  • Oceano Pearl beach homestay, Ganeshgule - 16.870456, 73.294762
  • Restaurant Aradhya: 16.875762, 73.323787
  • Kasheli Beach: 16.726635, 73.310179
  • North Mervi Beach : 
  1. Off-Roading start point - 16.836203, 73.306283
  2. Car parking spot - 16.839083, 73.294883 (Note, you need a good ground clearance car to reach this point)
  3. Beach - 16.838442, 73.294181
Contact Numbers for your References:
  • Oceano Pearl beach homestay at Ganeshgule: 02352-237800, 02352-219400, 8605599789, 9405340784
  • Restaurant Aradhya: 9168522797
Thanks for reading this Travel Blog. Happy travelling.

Pritesh Kulkarni
Pune

33 comments:

  1. The beach shore looks beautiful! Glad you got to travel during the pandemic. I can’t shake the anxiety of getting around within the city yet the wanderer in me wants to break free and travel nonchalantly. The itinerary felt slow-paced and perfect for beachside ventures. Saving this for the future. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I hope we can soon put all this non-sensical flu hysteria behind and continue our lives and travels as usual.

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  3. Very wonderful blog with really nice information.

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  4. Thank you for sharing such a good information. Really outstanding approach. Hopefully getting some good blogs in near future related to Greece Travels and also give some information to euro travelling. Thank you again............

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  22. Nice Post the beach shore looks really beautiful, if I get a chance to visit I will really visit. Thanks for sharing such a valuable post.

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  23. This is nice posting really this is huge beneficially information.

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  24. Very inspiring post. I hope you enjoyed your tour. Beach sides are really awesome. Thanks for sharing travel experience

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  25. Really enjoy your blog....but disappointed there has been no new posts for a long time now

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  26. This looks like such a wonderful trip. All the details you have included are so helpful. I love the beaches you visited, they are lovely

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