Ratnagiri is located in the southwestern part of
Maharashtra State on the Arabian Sea coast. Ratnagiri
became the administrative capital under the Bijapur rulers. It forms a
part of the greater tract known as Konkan. This tract is historically
famous for it long coastline and convenient harbours, together with it
comparative nearness to the Arabian Sea.
The surrounding area is bordered by the Sahyadri Hills on the West; the heavy rainfall results into highly eroded landscape in the coastal region. Fertile alluvial valleys produce rice and coconut as the main crops; fruit and cashew nut cultivation is being promoted.
In 1731 it came under the control of Satara kings; in 1818
it was surrendered to the British. A fort was built during the Bijapur
dynasty and strengthened in 1670 by the Maratha king Shivaji, which is
located on a headland near the harbour. It is one of the ports of the
Konkan coast. It has a palace where the last king of Burma, Thibaw, and
later Veer Savarkar, were confined.
It is also believed that the Pandavas having performed their pilgrimage on the 13th year had settled in the adjoining territory of the Ratnagiri district and when the Pandavas and the Kauravas had the famous war at Kuruskshetra, the king of this region Veeravat Ray had accompanied then there.
Parashuram Temple near Chiplun, Ganapatipule and Pavas draw
many visitors. In Few caves in the Chiplun, Khed, Dabhol, Sangameshwar,
Gauhani Velgaum and Vade Padel are also worth visiting. The Buddhist
legend in the Papanch, Sudan and Srath Appakasini record the conversion of
Konkan to Buddhism and early as the lifetime of Gautama (BC 560-481)
Chiplun, Kol, and Pabol caves indicate that Sarthawalas or Caravan-men
donated some of them.
Ganapatipule is an ancient pilgrim centre located in Ratnagiri district. It has a lot of history behind it while being a very beautiful sea town. Ganapatipule is about 25-km from Ratnagiri and around 375-km from Mumbai, housing a Swayambhoo (a naturally formed idol) of Ganapati.
Ganapatipule is untouched by commercialism; the pastoral beauty of the village is enhanced manifold by six kilometres of virgin beach on the breathtaking Konkan coastline. Ganapatipule is one of the `Ashta Ganapatis' (eight Ganpatis) of India and called the "Paschim Dwar-Dewata" (Western Sentinel God).
Air: Nearest airport is at Ratnagiri.
Rail: Ratnagiri has a railway station, but not many trains pass through it.
Road: The district is well connected by road transport with important towns such as Mumbai , Pune , Kolhapur, etc.
Ratnagiri is a small place, but one can find small hotels where tourists can stay for a night or two.
15° 36' and 18°05'N
Longitude: 73° 05' and 74° 36'E
Population: 1544057(1991 Census)
Clothing: Cotton Clothes
STD code: 02352