Location: In Southwestern Maharashtra On The Arabian Sea Coast, Maharashtra
Administrative Capital Of: Bijapur Rulers
Surrounded By: Beautiful Hills Of Sahyadri
Ratnagiri is located in the southwestern part of Maharashtra State on the Arabian Sea coast. Ratnagiri became the administrative capital under the Bijapur rulers. It forms a part of the greater tract known as Konkan. This tract is historically famous for it longs coastline and convenient harbours, together with it comparative nearness to the Arabian Sea.
The surrounding area is bordered by the Sahyadri Hills on the West; the heavy rainfall results into highly eroded landscape in the coastal region. Fertile alluvial valleys produce rice and coconut as the main crops; fruit and cashew nut cultivation is being promoted.
History: In 1731 it came under the control of Satara kings; in 1818 it was surrendered to the British. A fort was built during the Bijapur dynasty and strengthened in 1670 by the Maratha king Shivaji, which is located on a headland near the harbour. It is one of the ports of the Konkan coast. It has a palace where the last king of Burma, Thibaw, and later Veer Savarkar, were confined.
It is also believed that the Pandavas having performed their pilgrimage on the 13th year had settled in the adjoining territory of the Ratnagiri district and when the Pandavas and the Kauravas had the famous war at Kuruskshetra, the king of this region Veeravat Ray had accompanied then there.
Parasuraman Temple near Chiplun, Ganapatipule and Pavas draw many visitors. In Few caves in the Chiplun, Khed, Dabhol, Sangameshwar, Gauhani Velgaum and Vade Padel are also worth visiting. The Buddhist legend in the Papanch, Sudan and Srath Appakasini record the conversion of Konkan to Buddhism and early as the lifetime of Gautama (BC 560-481) Chiplun, Kol, and Pabol caves indicate that Sarthawalas or Caravan-men donated some of them.
Ganapatipule: Ganapatipule is an ancient pilgrim center located in Ratnagiri district. It has a lot of history behind it while being a very beautiful sea town. Ganapatipule is about 25-km from Ratnagiri and around 375-km from Mumbai, housing a Swayambhoo (a naturally formed idol) of Ganapati.
Ganapatipule is untouched by commercialism; the pastoral beauty of the village is enhanced manifold by six kilometers of virgin beach on the breathtaking Konkan coastline. Ganapatipule is one of the `Ashta Ganapatis' (eight Ganpatis) of India and called the "Paschim Dwar-Dewata" (Western Sentinel God).
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: Nearest airport is at Ratnagiri.
Rail: Ratnagiri has a railway station, but not many trains pass through it.
Road: The district is well connected by road transport with important towns such as Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, etc.
Latitude:15° 36' and 18°05'N
Longitude:73° 05' and 74° 36'E