Road Trip To Ganapatipule from Navi Mumbai
It was supposed to be a train trip but somehow tuned into an adventurous road trip, no regrets as it was an amazing one. But, try to avoid it if you are travelling with a toddler. Mr. Google will show you that it not more than 6 and a half hours but trust me it will take a minimum of 8 hours if you are taking the road. So, prepare in advance and create a cozy corner for yourself in the car to sit and relax. I pity the husbands who are there in the driving seats. But as usual everything has it pros and cons and I am sure the driving experience is equally satisfying.
Ganapatipule is nearly 375 Kms from Mumbai. The first 150 Km stretch may not be the best one to experience during the peak time so try to cross it during the wee hours of the morning. We started at 5:40am from Sanpada, Navi Mumbai and start as early as you can so that you cross the Pen stretch as soon as the traffic starts hitting, ideally before 9 am. Because the traffic at that stretch is worse and can give you a nightmare.
The route we took was, Panvel => Rohe => Mahad => Khed => Chiplun => Sangameshwar => Nivli phata => Ganapatipule
You are going to love the stretch after you cross Mahad. So if you are travelling from Mumbai, take a halt at Mahad (It’s an approx. 3 hrs drive from Mumbai) and enjoy some refreshments at Vithal Kamath, freshen up and buckle up your seat belts again for an amazing ride. The zig-zag stretch along Khed and Chiplun may make you a little sick, be extra careful if you are travelling with your little ones. Take breaks in between and enjoy the scenery. Pahi (Our 2 ½ year old monster) just didn’t like the bends her daddy was taking again and again. She got a lil sick too and refused to eat anything. Don’t force to eat because I did and she vomited. So, it was a lesson learnt. We travelled during the summer and on our way I was getting lured by the juicy mango stalls all though the way. They were just so tempting and I told myself to hold back my cravings until I come back after a good vacation. The route ahead Sangameshwaram is breathtaking. The hill accompanied by coconut trees, lakes, huts appears like a poster in the background. I was very excited to stop and capture them but then hold myself back as it would delay our arrival at Ganapatipule.
We had booked the MTDC Resort and reached there exactly at 1:30 pm. Stay at MTDC resort only if you are panning to go to Ganaptipule because is just bang opposite the beach. The whole of the beach is taken by the resort so don’t go to Ganapatipule if you don’t have a reservation at MTDC. Book atleast a15 days to a month in advance because the resort is always full. It is for sure a value for money and you won’t regret you stay there. MTDC has got both AC and Non AC rooms as well as Cottages. 90 percent of the rooms are sea view rooms and it’s awesome to wake up with the roar of the sea with a magnificent view. If you stay at the cottages it will give you a feel of a private beach. The cottages are located at the far corner of the beach with nothing around so go for it if you don’t want to get disturbed. If you are with your family then go for the AC rooms which have got nice lobby’s and sitting arrangements’ bang opposite the beach. MTDC has got a huge play area for toddlers but we barely managed to go there as we were always on the beach and at night there are no lights there.
The check in timing is 9am so by the time we reached, our room was ready. The room was good with a huge washroom. Each room has got a decent sitting area outside where you can sit and watch the sea at your comfort. There is no room service at MTDC. You can only order tea. But the restaurant is well in placed inside the resort and is value for money. You get everything you which you desire to eat. MTDC booking gives you 2 breakfast coupons for a single person. So, it’s a good deal after all. Go for it and don’t forget to book make your reservation in advance.
After a good meal at Tarang restaurant (which operates inside MTDC), we took a stroll around the resort and then it was time to hit the beach. I would rate the beach 3 out of 5 when it comes to cleanliness. But it was ok we had a nice time there. There weren’t too many people around except for the crowd staying in MTDC resort. When we walked towards the temple the beach became all the more messy and overcrowded. There is nothing much to do there at Ganapatipule except for the beach and temple. So we decided to relax and spend the 2 days just playing at the beach. There is another beach named Malgund which is about 3 kms from there but we didn’t go there. Beaches everywhere are the same 😀
The temple is worth visiting. Early morning and late evenings are the best time to go as it is not crowded. You even get prasad served inside the temple premises in the evening.
You won’t find too many water sports at Ganaptipule except for water bikes. So, go prepared and don’t get disheartened.
After 2 days of relaxing we finally decided to head towards Mumbai. We wanted to extend our stay for one more day but we somehow got rid of our emotions and started our journey back. It was a very relaxing journey back home as it started to drizzle a little on the way. Pahi enjoyed it too and spent the entire journey sleeping and waking up at intervals to check if we have reached our destination yet or not. It was overall a good relief from the scorching Mumbai heat. 🙂