September 19, 2008
Ganapatipule magnetizes Lord Ganesh’s devotees because he beckons us amidst serenity.
Located in the state of Maharashtra, Ganapatipule derives its name from the Lord and the word Pule denotes sand dunes. This place is accessible by road and Konkan railways. Direct buses are available from Mumbai and Pune. This haunt is best enjoyed by a lazy drive through. The swaying coconut groves, pristine beaches and an ethnic backdrop are bound to mesmerize any city dweller.
The main attraction is the Lord’s four hundred year old temple. This Swayambhu or naturally formed idol takes your breath away if you are lucky enough to get the darshan at dawn. When the first rays of the sun directly fall on the idol, it leaves every mortal in awe. This view can also be witnessed in the evenings before sunset but the dawn casts a special spell. To add to this, percussion instruments or chaughadas and nagaras are played which resonate with the prayers, creating a glorifying state of mind.
The Pradakshina path is one kilometer which is shaped in the Lord’s form. There are six festivals around the year when this placid town becomes a major hotspot. From the Hindu month of Bhadrapad, (August-September) various festivities begin. A Shobha Yatra is organized where a smaller idol of the Lord is bejeweled, placed on a decorated palanquin and taken around the area. Devotees throng in large numbers to carry this divine palanquin and feel blessed to be a part of these rituals.
There are many avenues to enjoy the local flavors. One can stay with the villagers at a nominal price or choose the facilities from a wide array of resorts and beach hotels. For leisure activities, there are row boats available and many exploration grounds like Malgund, Pawas and Jaigard Fort. Further away from here is the city of Ratnagiri and around 170 km ahead is Velneshwar. This quaint village is known for water sports and the famous temple Velneshwar of Lord Shiva.
Ganapatipule is an ideal getaway for those who need to get in with divinity and nature.
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