Surrounded by the Arabian Sea on all three sides, Ratnagiri is an old port town in Maharashtra. Also known as the ‘City of Kings,’ Ratnagiri has tremendous historic legacy. The city was said to be managed by the Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji before it was taken over by the Britishers in the 1800s. From captivating beaches, forts, and temples, to a wide range of flora and fauna, there’s something here for every traveller.
The most important attraction, Ganapatipule Beach, named after the Hindu deity Ganesha is home to an ancient temple and also offers adventure activities. This white sand beach is known for the many food stalls selling delicious seafood and for the most beautiful cocktail-coloured sunsets. If you think this one’s too crowded, another great beach to hit up is the Mandavi Beach.
Another attraction worth a visit is the Marleshwar Temple, an ancient Shiva temple located on an isolated hill, surrounded by dense forests. Along with offering sweeping views of the vistas, the region is also home to numerous waterfalls.
Even Ratnagiri Lighthouse, flanked by the ancient Ratnadurg Fort on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other, is a 16m tall tower that offers you a 360 degree view of the Arabian Sea. It’s a must-visit for peace seekers and photographers, and is especially a delight to be on during the evenings.
The Ratnadurg Fort, also known as Ratnagiri Fort is primarily known for the Bhagawati Temple in its premises. There is also a pond and a well that are worth seeing, as well as a cave below the fort. Last but not the least, Thiba Palace, the erstwhile residence of the a royal king, houses an archaeological museum with the most stunning collection of ancient idols and other artworks.
Ratnagiri is about 335 kilometres/ 8 hours from Mumbai by road.