A couple of weeks ago, as the summer heat started to set in, the kids and I started talking about the beautiful places we had visited and wondered which ones we might go back to. My older son loves the beach… he can spend hours just chilling and enjoying the water… often the rest of us have to drag him back to the hotel or our next destination. So, I asked him, if you had a weekend to spare, where would you go? He thought for a moment and then said: Ganapatipule, Maharashtra! We visited Ganapatipule as part of our offbeat Sahayadri Trip (see details here: https://wanderingtalestraveldreams.com/2017/10/30/offbeat-sahyadri-escape-maharashtra-india/ ).
We all looked at each other – surprised by the answer. To be honest, Ganapatipule is not really known for its beaches… so, why? We spoke for a bit and then realised that (1) it is a very low key place, (2) there is something magical about the temple vibe by the beach, (3) there are places to explore close by… and the list goes on. Given that Ganapatipule is only 7 hours from Pune, we realised, it could in fact make an awesome weekend trip. So, keeping that in mind, this is what we would recommend:
Day 1: Start off from Pune after breakfast. One option is to travel via Satara to reach Ganapatipule while the other is to travel via Mahabaleshwar. In fact, we did it as a circuit – and spent time in each place as outlined in the blog post mentioned above. However, you can go directly to Ganapatipule and reach there by early evening.
Once you reach there, you can check into your hotel and then head to the temple or beach. There are a number of hotel options available but most of them are modest — perfect if you are on a tight budget.
The beach at Ganapatipule is calm and serene. Please remember to dress modestly. The beach is right next to the temple, so, you can do both if you have enough time.
Day 2: Enjoy the morning at the beach and visit the famous Ganapati temple. After brunch, head towards Jaigad fort. It is an interesting stop over where you have an opportunity to see a river meeting the sea.You can easily spend the evening on another stretch of beach close by. There are lots of things to do…camel rides to gliding.
Day 3: After a morning walk along the beach, you can head back to Pune via Mahabaleshwar after breakfast. You can reach Mahabaleshwar in the afternoon.… perfect time for lunch! After lunch, continue your journey towards Pune and you can reach by early evening. Perfect long weekend indeed!