(While Apu has a bout of laziness, and is yet to pen her mainland Europe stories, Artnavy brings in a short tale from the Western Indian coast)
On the less advertised Konkan coast, near Ratnagiri, in Maharashtra, lies a serene beach village called Ganapathi Phule.
Named after the Ganesh temple which Chatrapathi Sivaji is said to have visited, the beach can rival, but is not as well known as those in Goa or Kovalam. It is pristinely beautiful with fine white sand and the water is so clear that you can see your toes right through the water. But it can turn hostile – so we were warned against venturing too deep.
This is THE place if your idea of a holiday is drawing circles in the sand, going on long walks, picking up shells and just ruminating on your own thoughts – soul searching.
Back in my teens, a bumpy car ride from Ratnagiri ( about 50 kms ) got us to the MTDC cottages there. The cottages were cosy, a little frugal but clean. They adjoin the beach so you can watch the sea from the cottage. For the more adventurous of spirit you can also hire tents and some water sports are available.
Talking of spirits, back then only beer was served. I guess you could carry your own or go without for a couple of days. The food was not good for a veggie but I am told the sea food is fantastic. Now you could check out Hotel Durvankur, Bhau Joshi’s Lunch home and Kelkar Lodge which offer good Maharashtrian veggie fare.
Apart from the beach and the Ganapathi temple, if you are one of those restless ones, you could explore the Fort at Jaigad, the Light house and Pavas, the abode of Swami Swarupanand, if you are into spiritual stuff.
Kokum juice, cashewnuts and alphonso mangoes are ideal souvenirs – if in season. Srikhand, Thaali Peeth and sol kadi you should get all year round anyway…