Ratnagiri is a port city on the Arabian Sea coast in Ratnagiri District in the southwestern part of Maharashtra, India. The district is a part of Konkan division of Maharashtra.
Ratnagiri district is that 6 out of total 43 Bharat Ratna Awardees (which is India’s highest Achievement Award) are from here.
Ratnagiri district is a birthplace of four Bharat Ratna awardees Dhondo Keshav Karve, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Pandurang Vaman Kane and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. Also, two another Bharat Ratna awardees Sachin Tendulkar and Govind Vallabh Pant have their native places in Ratnagiri district.
The Sahyadri Mountains border Ratnagiri to the east. Heavy rainfall results in highly windswept landscape in the coastal region, but fertile grainy valleys in the region produce abundant rice, coconuts, cashew nuts, and fruits, “Hapus” (Alphonso) mangoes being one of the main fruits. Fishing is an important industry in Ratnagiri.
According to 2011 census of India, Ratnagiri Town had a population of 76,239, males and females constituting 55% and 45%, respectively, of the population. 86% of males and 87% of females were literate. 11% of Ratnagiri’s population was under 6 years of age.70% people in Ratnagiri are Hindus and around 30% are Muslims. Other religions are Buddhist, Christians.
Ratnagiri has a palace, where the last king of Burma (Myanmar), Thibaw, and, later, “Veer” V. D. Savarkar, a freedom fighter in the British Raj days, had been confined by the ruling British.
Ratnagiri is connected by road to Mumbai, Mangaluru, Madgaon, Karwar, Udupi and Cochin by National Highway number 17 (NH-17). The Konkan railway also connects to these places by train along with Delhi and Jaipur.
Roads in Ratnagiri city as well as in many villages is at par above average compared to road conditions in Mumbai. Mumbai Goa National Highway does not run through Ratnagiri city whereas it crosses 13 km away from Ratnagiri at Hatkhamba, and the point of access to Ratnagiri city is Hatkhamba. Ratnagiri-Nagpur National Highway NH-204 connects Ratnagiri to important cities like Kolhapur, Sangli, Solapur, Nanded, Nagpur and eastern parts of India.
Most important cities from MSRTC point of view in Ratnagiri Districts are Chiplun, Mandangad, Dapoli, Khed, Guhagar, Sangameshwar, Ratngairi, Lanja, and Rajapur.
MSRTC operates services from Ratnagiri to distant destinations like Ambajogai, Latur, Akkalkot, Vijapur, Belgaum, Panjim, etc.
Ratnagiri railway station is one of the most important stations and headquarters of Ratnagiri Division on the Konkan Railway. The railway station is situated at a distance of 6 km from Ratnagiri city center on NH-204. Nearly every train running on Konkan Railway stops at Ratnagiri Station.
Most frequently used trains to reach Ratnagiri from Mumbai are
10111/12 – Mumbai Madgaon KonkanKanya Express ,
11003/04 – Dadar Sawantwadi Express,
10103/04 – Mumbai CSTM Madgaon Mandovi Express ,
12051/52 – Dadar – Madgaon Janshatabdi Express ,
50103/04 – Dadar – Ratnagiri Passenger,
16345/46 – Mumbai LTT Trivandrum Central Netravati Express,
12619/20 – Mumbai Lokmanya Terminus Mangalore Matsyagandha Express 12201/02 – Mumbai Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Kochuveli Garibrath Express , 12133/34 – Mumbai CST Mangalore Junction Superfast Express
Also there are two passenger trains 50105 – Diva Sawantawadi Passenger train.
Karbude Tunnel: One of the Asia’s longest tunnels, 6608 meters long, this is situated 5 km before Ratnagiri station from Mumbai. A monument has been built in front of Ratnagiri Railway station in remembrance of the people who lost their lives building this tunnel. Ratnagiri also has a sea port at Mirkarwada, which is important for fisheries industry. Also, Finolex Industries and Ultratech Cement have set up their private jetties.
If you want to visit a cool place and experience peace from the hussle and bussle of your daily life, then you may plan to visit Ratnagiri which is a perfect destination for a weekend trip. Weekend vacation for Ratnagiri can provide you immense peace as here you will find mountains, beaches and greenery.
Ganapatipule is an ancient pilgrim centre on the western coast of Maharashtra known for its serene beach and its Swayambhu Ganapati temple. It is is the only location in the world where Ganesha meets the Father principle, the ocean. During the sixteenth century, a villager left his village. On his journey he stumbled upon the naturally formed Ganapati (Ganesha) swyambhu. He settled there and built a temple. People subsequently gathered and gradually settled in the area establishing the village of Ganapatipule. The temple is on the beach at the base of a hill considered sacred and a perennial spring flows from the hill to a pond besides the Temple.
Aare-ware and Kalbadevi Beach:
Aare-Ware is a safe and blue water beach in Ratnagiri. It is located near Ganapatipule. It is blessed with heavenly seashore with a clear view for many did not know miles across the blue waters. But thanks to the new, shorter road being built to connect Ratnagiri and Ganpatipule, Aare-Ware has found a place for itself on the tourism map of Konkan. At Aare-Ware, the road travels past a 100 feet high cliff, below which sea waves lap ferociously without pause. In fact, the road hugs the seashore for a length of some 7 – 8 Km. As of now, there are no amenities available and only diving sea gulls and barren cliffs greet tourists.
Babar Sheikh Peer: A Muslim Saint Shrine or Mausoleum in Hatis Village of Ratnagiri. In Urs Function there is a large crowd of devotees of Hindus and Muslims to pay respect and tribute to Saint. He is also called as King of Ratnagiri.
Lajul waterfall: A huge waterfall on the main line of Konkan railway. The exact location for getting down to it is at 187 km mile stone of Konkan railway. It is an awesome scene. Lajul waterfall is a very nice site where you can enjoy an awesome natural view.
Rajapur Ganga: Another water spot here is Rajapur Ganga whose site is 3 km from nearby Rajapur.
Shaikh Ali Baba: A Muslim saint shrine or mausoleum in between waters in Purnagar Village and Gaokhadi Village of Ratnagiri. It is a floating shrine in water. It is located in the spot where Goa and Ratnagiri water joints each other . There is no route to visit the shrine so people walk through the water at 3:00 pm to visit the saint’s tomb. There are so many visitors of all religions. It is a famous shrine of Ratnagiri.
Thibaw Palace: The Thibaw Palace was built in 1910–11 for the 1911–16 stay there in exile of the king and the queen of Burma (Myanmar). The place has tombs of the royal couple.
Malgund: Malgund is the native village of the famous Marathi poet, Kavi Keshavsoot. The poet’s house, which is now converted into a student’s hostel, is open for visits. The village also houses a memorial to the poet, built by the Marathi Sahitya Parishad.
Pawas: Pawas achieved prominence after Swami Swaroopānand, a recent influential religious leader in Maharashtra, settled in this town. His residence has now been converted into an “ashram”.
Atulit Bal Dham: Atulit Bal Dham is a holy place. This sacred Dham is managed by Sadguru Shree Aniruddha Upasana Trust, Mumbai.
Ratna Durg: This fort was built during the Bahamani rule. In 1670, Shivaji conquered the fort from Bijapur ruler Adil Shah. In 1790, one Dhondu Bhaskar Pratinidhi rebuilt the fort, and strengthened its ramparts. The fort has the shape of a horseshoe, with a length of 1,300 meters and a width of 1,000 meters. The Arabian Sea surrounds it on its three sides.