Nature meets history, meets religion in the beautiful Maharashtrian district of Ratnagiri. Lined with sandy white beaches that embrace the deep blues of the Arabian Sea, it’s no wonder than Ratnagiri is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state
From black soil beaches and sandy white beaches to ancient red brick temples and imposing forts, Ratnagiri has enough to keep you occupied and mesmerized for days.Though the region has been occupied by many rulers over the centuries, Chhatrapati Shivaji and the Marathas undoubtedly had the strongest influence here. The region also has importance in international history, a fact that most tourists are not well aware of. It was in Ratnagiri that the king and queen of Myanmar stayed during their exile in 1911-1916, making the palace in which they resided a popular tourist spot.The biggest draw of Ratnagiri however is its glorious coastline. With its coastline stretching out for mile after mile, Ratnagiri is blessed with an abundance of beaches, some popular tourist destinations, others less known and therefore even more coveted. Spend a weekend, a week, or a month here and you will still need to make plans for a return trip as you leave.In recent years, scores of people drive down to Ratnagiri, especially from other parts of Maharashtra and neighboring Karnataka for the weekend. Despite the increase in popularity, beaches like Ganpatipule and Dapoli remain serene, clean and almost untouched. That is the beauty of Ratnagiri. Plan your trip with adequate time to visit the various beaches in Ratnagiri. Try and make friends with a local or travel with someone who is familiar with the area to discover the little hidden gems.A number of ancient structures and temples are spread out over the region, and these promise to add some excitement and intrigue to your exploration. Make a trip to the erstwhile Myanmar royal Thiba Palace, which still houses the tombs of the king and queen of Myanmar.Jaigad and Ratnadurg are two grand forts built in the 17th century that served its rulers well, and today, offer spectacular sea views of the coast.Nature has been more than benevolent here, and the waterfalls of Nivali and Lajuli stand as testimony to this. Pack a picnic and head there for the day with your family and friends.If you’re in search of places of religious importance, then take your pick from the numerous mosques and temples that dot the region of Ratnagiri. The Swayambhu Ganpati Temple and the Babar Sheikh Peer are good places to start.Ratnagiri is best experienced in your own vehicle. If you’re driving down from a nearby city or state, take your car to visit the various beaches and tourist spots. Buses and auto-rickshaws are available mostly from near the railway station, which is a bit far from the main tourist areas.Be careful while swimming at the beaches. Some of them are rocky and not suited for swimming so look out for warning signs or check with the locals.Leave your valuables locked up in the hotel before heading out to the beach.Certain stretches on some of the beaches get lonely, especially after dark. Avoid going there alone or stepping into the water at such times
Ratnagiri is not well connected to other major cities of the country via regular flights. The nearest airport is in Goa at a distance of 188kms.
Airports: Goa International Airport
You can easily get regular trains to Ratnagiri from other major cities of the country..
Railway Station(s): Ratnagiri