Ganpatipule – Ganpatipule Beach – Ganpatipule Temple
Sparkling blue waters, endless stretches of golden or silver sand, sun beams dancing through the swaying palms, waves playing with the sand dunes, a cool breeze whispering sweet nothings in your ear. This is the land of Ganpatipule, one of Maharashtra’s almost virgin beaches.
Nestled in the greenery is a nearly 4000 year old landmark the Swayambhu Ganpati Temple (Swayambhu means a self-originated idol, Ganapati). It is flooded by thousands of devotees and tourists every year. Ganpatipule, the Lord of the ‘ganas’ or army and “pule” means sand dunes. It is one of the ‘Ashta Ganapatis‘ (eight Ganpatis) of India and is known as ‘Paschim Dwar Dewata’ (Western Sentinel God). Ganapatipule is a small village, serene, sedate and unspoilt. The beach here is still natural and pristine as ever. And travelling by road is an experience by itself. The vast ‘Konkan stretch abounds with scenic greenery There are narrow mud-roads, the earth is red and the roofed houses with clean courtyards add a quaint touch to the panorama. The local vegetation includes fruit-bearing trees like mango, betelnut, banana, jackfruit, coconut etc.
The entire western coast is covered with these trees. The locals are as warm and cheerful as their surroundings. Ever ready to chat with the visitors and make them feel at home.
These god-fearing local devotees take a “Pradakshina” around the hill where the temple is located, not just around the temple.
Pradakshina is a form of showing obeisance. The devotees walk in a circle around the idol of the Lord or around the temple, (the house of the Lord).
Festivals Religious Rites and Rituals
1) Festivals, religious rites and rituals from the first day of the month chaitra to the third day (Akshaya Tritia) every evening, puja is performed in the spring season (vasant). During this season, Mahapuja, Arti, Mantra Pushp, eatables given to god at its feet (Prasad) and Dakshina distributed.
2) In the month of Ashwin (the 7th month) from the first day to the full moon day (Tripuri Paurnima) every evening. Mahapuja of Shree Ganesh is performed. On the pillar vertical rows of lamps (Deepmala) is lighted and festival of lights celebrated along with Arti, Mantrapushpa, Prasad and Dakshina Vidhi performed.
3) During Bhadrapad and every other months, on the fourth days (Chaturthi) a palanquin with a silver image of Shree Ganesh is taken around Pradakshina path, by the seashore, and the procession returns to the temple. On its route it stops for a while, in front of the deity on all the four directions, where Arti, Mantrapushpa is performed and Prasad distributed. When the silver image of Shree Ganesh is kept in the central place again the same process is repeated and prayer, for the benevolence of all the devotees, is offered.
As shree Ganesh, throughout the year, is in Ganpatipule, no one brings Ganesh idol in one’s house separately for puja.
As the image of Shree Ganesh is devoid of any form (Nirakar) an hill from where the water trickles is considered as naval point of the idol, that is why it is called Nabhigangodak. There is a perennial flow of sweet water, even though the seawater is very near. This place is to the right outside the temple.
Shree Ganesh bathes in seawater
When Ganesh idol was under grass roof, the sea water bath used to take place. But as the building was constructed opposite to the site of the idol, the water trickling from the hill on the idol was getting mixed with seawater. During rainy season the sea water bath takes place.
Shree Ganesh idol meets the sun
The temple is so constructed that every year during 2nd to 8th February and 2nd to 8th November, at the time of sunset golden rays of the sun falls on Ganesh idol, through the door on the west. This event is very pleasant to watch, due to the vicinity of sea, magnificent and bountiful natural scenery, the vast expanse of the sea water, the rolling and roaring of waves, ships passing at a distance the splendour of the nature makes a man enchanted. The scenic beauty at the time of Sunset makes a man spellbound. The devotee visiting Shree Ganesh temple, returns to his place with the blessings of Shree Ganesh satisfied with heart content, carrying the pleasant remembrance of this sacred place.
Samadhi of persons having deep devotion to Shree Ganesh
At the sacred place of Ganpatipule, numbers of persons have led their lives for deep austerity at the feet of Shree Ganesh. Near the house of Kelkar, running charity dining place – ten to twelve such Samadhis, are well maintained in a triangular walled compound.
Shree Morya deo
When one comes out of main gate, at a short distance on pradakshina – path, one comes across two pillars on which row of vertical lamps (deepmala) are lighted and a small structure with a dome in which an idol is installed – known as Morya deo. One does not know when this installation took place. But the legend is that, near Ganpatipule, at Malgund, one person Bhandari by cast was plying a passenger ship owned by him, to and fro various ports along the coastline. On one such trip when the ship was entering Tiwari port, cyclone took place and all the passengers experienced a frightful state of mind due to its severity. The place of landing became invisible. The waves became so violent that the ship would not withstand its impact and was about to sunk, thought all the passengers. The owner of the ship requested the passengers to start chanting the prayers along with him and Shri Bapat. Shree Ganesh, as if, heard the prayers, an astonishing event took place, before the passengers came to know as to where the ship was it came safely near the sands in front of the place where Morya deo was installed. All the passengers were full of Joy and thanked Shree Ganesh for averting the calamity. According to the advice of Shri. Bapat the owner of the ship erected two lamp pillars and installed the shrine of Shree Morya deo, and for carrying on the daily rites, donated a piece of land at Malgund. This arrangement continues even today, by the descendents of Shri Bapat.
Approximate Distances of other Famous Places from Ganpatipule
|Marleshwar Shiva Mandir & Water fal||l75 Kms.|
|Hot water Spot – [Aravali]||85 Kms.|
|Shiva srusti – Dervan [Chiplun]||95 Kms.|
|Parshuram & Renuka Mata Mandir in Lote Parshuram (Chiplun)||115 Kms.|
|Vyadeshwar Shiv Mandir Sea – Beach.
Hedvi Ganesh Mandir [Guhagar]
|Kanakaditya (Surya Mandir) in Kasheli (Rajapur)||70 Kms.|
Places of Interest In and Around Ratnagiri
Birth Place of Kavi Keshavsut renowned Poet of Maharashtra
Malgund a place two km from Ganpatipule is famous for natural bountiful beauty. At this place Shri Krishnaji Keshav Damle, alias, Kavi Keshavsut a revolutionary poet has his house, where he was born. Recently a monument has been built in his memory. This monument has become a place of pilgrimage, for the Lovers of marathi Literature. The tourist can reach the place by auto or State transport Bus from Ganpatipule.
Jaigad, a port on Konkon coastline is famous as a natural and safe port. It is situated on the mouth of river Shastri. The fort Jaigad is magnificent. The lighthouse and the jaigad creek is spectacular. Inside the walls of the fort on the right is a monument of Jaiba Mahar. The story about Jaiba is splendid. When the construction of the fort was in progress, the arch over the main gate collapsed for number of times. The remedy suggested was Narbali (sacrifice of a human being). This Jaiba Mahar was ready to be the victim, on the condition that the fort be named after him, so it is Jaigad. The king of vijapur built this fort having twenty outwardly curved construction (Buruj). The fort was in the custody of Kanhoji Angre commender in chief of Chattrapati Shivaji’s naval armada. In 1818 English army took over the fort. Near the main gate of the fort, Ganesh temple is there. The fort is Situated 35 to 40 km from Ratnagiri town. The temple of Mahamai Sonsakhli, the village deity is situated in the dense forest near village Tavsal.
The tourist gets spellbound to see astonishing beauty of the nature surrounding Karhateshwar Devsthan. No one could anticipate how splendid the bounty of the nature would be there till he reaches the place. Karhateshwar Devsthan is situated in the village Nandiwade near the coastline 4 to 5 km from Jaigad. The temple is of wooden structure, built during the regime of Shilaharas. In the night, temple is closed for visitors. On the slopes of the hill by the side of seashore between the cuttings of the hill, water springs in small stream, throughout the year. This spring water is stored in two small tanks for bathing purpose. Even during winter the water is warm. One who takes bath gets fresh and energetic. Shri Narayanbhau Jog, a Ramdasi, has described the place in following words.
The deity of Karhateshwar is installed at a beautiful lonely place, at whose feet the roaring sea is there for ever.
From Jaigad this place is at 5 km distance.
Laxmikeshav of Kolisare
The temple of Laxmikeshav is situated in the dense forest on the hills at Kolisare, Twenty centuries ago when Rashtrakut Dynasty was ruling the place, they built number of temples of various gods and goddesses. During the rule of Yadav dynasty, Moghals led various invasions every where. At that time efforts were made to keep idols at a safe and secure place, away from invasions. The idol of Laxmikeshav is one of them. This idol was taken to Kolhapur and was kept immersed in Rankala tank.
Shri Joshi, Vichare and Kane, the devotees from village Waravade had a vision and they came to know about this idol. The idol was taken out and was being brought to original place through warvade creek in a boat. On the way, they took halt at Kolisare. Next day morning when they were to start the journey, the idol became so heavy that it could not be moved from the place. One resident of Kolisare Shri Bhanuprasad Teredesai had a vision and the idol was installed at Kolisare. The temple was built in 1510 at Kolisare by Shri Teredesai, the keeper of the fort.
When digging started for the construction of the temple, the water trickled from the streamlet which is flowing continuously even today. The water of this streamlet contains medicinal attributes. It is said this water was taken to Pawas for Swami Swaroopanand. At this place number of trees, creepers, rivers, streamlets, hills were found in abundance. The natures bounty attracted the man and made him stay there forever. The surroundings of the temple are calm, serene and a place for performing austerity. The climate is cool and pleasant, even during summer, where number of families comes to enjoy the holidays.
The idol of Laxmi Keshav is splendid sculpture carved out of black marble stone, very beautiful and bright, which develops godly virtuous feeling. The idol is five feet in height with four hands holding conch (Shankh) chakra, Gada, Padma (lotus flower), on its right is eagle and to the Left Laxmi and Vijay. Laxmi Keshav is family deity of thirty-eight different family ancestors. This place is at 50 Kms from Ratnagiri.
In the town of Ratnagiri Birth Place of Lokmanya Tilak
One remembers the slogan given by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak that “Self rule is my birth right and I will achieve it.” The challenge given to British Government by Rashtrapurush, the owner editor of Kesari (Newspaper) Lokmanya Tilak was born on 26th July 1856 in the house rented by Smt. Indirabai Gore, in the Tilak Lane His father was a teacher. This house is declared and maintained as a national monument. Where a full size statue has been erected. Lokmanya stayed in this house till 1866.
Patit Pawan Temple
Swatantrya Veer Sawarkar kept in confinement in Ratnagiri by then British Government. During those days he rendered yeomans service to the downtrodden in the society. He worked for restoring respect and emancipation of untouchables in the caste system. In this respect, names of prominent personalities, that come to our mind are Mahatma Fule, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, the name of Veer Sawarkar can also be associated for the social work done in Ratnagiri. His act of keeping open the temple to untouchables was a revolutionary act, in the conservative Ratnagiri. With the help of Shri Bhagojiseth Keer a common dinner both for higher caste and untouchables was arranged. The temple is situated near Swatantrya Laxmi Chowk, where statue of Veer Sawarkar has been erected.
Fort Ratnagiri and Bhagwati Temple
By the side of seashore on the hill this fort is there. It is shaped half Circle like horseshoe. It has experienced, Bahamani, Adilshahi, Shivshahi and Peshwai Rulers. The area is 120 acres with sea on all the three sides. At the end of western side stands a light house. The hill on which the fort is situated has stone walls in a good condition, though at some places it has collapsed. The main part is having a Devi Bhagwati temple. A small tank and a deep well is there. From the first day of the month Ashwin till Tenth day (Navratri) a fair is organised. The temple is spacious and magnificent, recently renovated. At the foot hills the Bhagwati port is there. The state transport buses ply to the Bhagwati temple, it is very pleasant to watch the passing ships from this temple fort.
Thiba was a king of Burma (Now Manmyar). He was not willing for kingship, but he had to, as all his brothers got killed in the revolt, that took place in Burma. I desired to put on saffron colour clothes, preach and propagate, Buddhism. At the age of nineteen, he got married to his sister and ascended the throne.
On 17th April 1886 he was dethroned by British and kept him at a far off place Ratnagiri in isolated confinement. The king collected the wealth and jewllery as much as possible, and had to come to Ratnagiri, in state confinement. He was learned and an authority on language Pali. For him the British got built in 1910-11 a palace on the area with 25803 sq meter. The palace was 60m. by 43 m. in area. The construction was of Laterite Stone with a roof covered with Manglore tiles. The King Thiba used to celebrate the festival of lights (Deepavali) with pomp and grandeur. The candle lights brightened the Palace. Only invited could attend this function.
On 15th December 1919 Thiba died. British took over the custody of the Palace and since 1926 it became the residence of District Collector till 1961. Afterward government polytechnic was housed in this palace. Presently there are hostel buildings, and the palace is taken over by Archeological department.
This place is known as Thiba point, is at a considerable height from Sea level from where the small Rajiwada port can be seen. This place is famous for tourist to observe the beauty of Sunset. Near by, All India Radio Station Building and the Residence of District Collector is situated. The place is accessible by all types of conveyances.
Swami Swaroopanand – Pawas
Pawas, a place of pilgrimage, with beautiful natural greenery is situated at a distance of 16 km. from Ratnagiri. Dnyanehswari by Shree Dnyandeo has been rendered by Swami Swaroopanand of Pawas, in ‘Abhang Dnyanehswari’ (a poetic from of spiritual literature), which made him famous in Maharashtra. Swami has also rendered ‘Amrutanubhav’, besides ‘Amrutdhara’, ‘Sanjeevani gatha’ and other spiritual literature in a very easy to read and follow style for the common man – devotees.
On 15th August 1974, Swami took Samadhi. His sect of disciples is large. In various cities of Maharashtra ‘Adhyatma upasana Mandal’ has been formed by his disciples.
The devotees have built ‘Swami Samadhi Mandir’ a panoramic construction on a very beautiful Landscap. The serenity, cleanliness, discipline at the place is ideal and laudable. The administration is looked after by Swami Swaroopanand Seva Mandal. The Mandal has made available all the literature by Swami at a nominal price.
The period during 1938 to 1974 Swami dwelled in Anant Niwas, house owned by Shri Desai Ambewale, a place of remembrance where all the things used by Swami have been kept and maintained.
The Mandal has made available, Swaroopashram and Bhaktniwas, both lodging and boarding free of cost, to the devotees.
In the village of Pawas, by the side of the river temples of Vishweshwar and Someshwar are situated. Near the temple, Sadhakniwas, a separate building is made available for the devotees coming for, meditation. This place is serene and calm, free from worldly atmosphere. In the noon from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm, the devotees coming to worship at Samadhi Mandir, are distributed ‘Khichadi’ as a prasad.
On full noon day in the month ‘Ashadh’ Vyas Pournima and on the date of birth of Swami festival is organised on a massive scale. Pawas has become a very ideal place of pilgrimage. Every half an hour, ST bus from Ratnagiri reaches Pawas.