The Beauty of Ratnagiri
But first, getting there.... I recommended the Rail link- Konkan Railway. This is because of the superlative scenes of stunning visual appeal that greet you along the way. If you are a photo-enthusiast, I suggest you travel by Sleeper class to get some awesome shots, which are so plentiful that you will be spoiled for choice as to what to capture on camera. No joke, there. Some snaps are given below, taken only with a Sony Ericsson Mobile Phone with 2 MP camera. I did not even have a camera in my hand luggage, since as it was not a sight-seeing tour
Ratnagiri lies on the Konkan Railway line, and is one of the most important stations on that line. The station itself is a distance of 6 km from the mail town, and you will require an auto (@100 - 120) to get to the town. It has decent rail connectivity with several major trains having a halt.
Please note that some lovely scenes were missed - including a couple of other waterfalls as I was not prepared and properly equipped. But these will give you some idea of the beauty of the line
The Konkan Railway is a real treat - I counted 32 tunnels myself, with one being more than 10 minutes in terms of time spent in the tunnel... awesome. Treat yourself - take a trip with konkan railways! At Ratnagiri itself, hotelling is not a problem. Details are easily available on the internet, with contact numbers which you can use to book in advance.
A word about the food: Pure Vegetarians watch out! If you want a pure-veg restaurant, there is only one, but that is very good indeed - Hotel Mithila. The rates are reasonable, the quality is superb and the taste generally is what you would expect.
The Sea Beaches at Ratnagiri are awesome in their virgin beauty and unspoiled calm - no crowds, polythene or general littering, untouched and pristine - a sight for sore eyes tired of seeing crowded beaches. These are beaches you can truly enjoy, in whose beauty you can truly revel.
There are a multitude of locations to visit as per your taste- Theeba Palace, Theeba point, Pawas, Ratnadurg Fort, Ganaptipule, Parashuram Temple, Bhatye Beach, Mandvi Beach to name but a few. For most locations, autos are easily available and indeed recommended - even Ganpatipule and Pawas. In fact, you can even catch a bus to Ganapatipule - it takes 45 minutes by bus, 35 by auto. There are also several pilgrimage spots - Ganapatipule, Parshuram Temple and Pawas, for example
Ganapatipule is famous for the Swayambhu Ganeshji Temple, and is one the most famous pilgrimmage locations in this part of India. What is not too well known is that Ganapatipule is also home to one of the most spectacular, pristine, clean sea beaches you can even clap your eyes upon.
Pawas - a village with visual imagery you will by now have become acquainted to - is 15 km from Ratnagiri town, and is home to the Samadhi of Swami Swaroopanand, now a lovely and awesome temple. It is also home to a Parshuram Temple, and is decidedly worth the visit.
Thiba Point in main Ratnagiri town is home to a lovely stepped garden ( Daytime snaps below is from an online site; we were there at sunset as can be seen from our snap)
Some snaps from my and my wife's mobile camera are given below that will give an idea as to what awaits the tourist.... Plan a trip to Ratnagiri... not for the mangoes, but for the beauty. I have purposely steered clear from mango and its derivative products that are available, and the Mango orchards, since all too many people are aware of that! There is far more to Ratnagiri than mangoes...