Primarily a temple town, Ganpatipule has been luring a steady stream of sea-lovers over the years with its warm waters and lonely stretches of sand. Located about 375km from Mumbai, it’s a village that snoozes through much of the year, except during holidays such as Diwali or Ganesh Chaturthi. These are times when hordes of boisterous ‘tourists’ turn up to visit the seaside Ganesha Temple housing a monolithic Ganesha (painted a bright orange), supposedly discovered 1600 years ago.
Activities on and off the beach at Ganpatipule include camel (₹50) and boat (₹100) rides. Neither of which are recommended over a long walk on the sand away from the crowd.
About 40km south, Ratnagiri is the largest town on the southern Maharashtra coast and the main train station for Ganpatipule (it’s on the Konkan Railway). You’ll also find several ATMs strung along Ratnagiri’s main street. But once you’ve refilled your wallet and gone shopping for conveniences, the only sight worth checking out – apart from a dirty beach – are the remnants of the Thibaw Palace, where the last Burmese king, Thibaw, was interned under the British from 1886 until his death in 1916.