Velneshwar, Ratnagiri Overview
Velneshwar is a small village situated in the district of Ratnagiri and south of Guhagar town in Maharashtra. The village is popular for its Shiva Temple and a clean and untouched crescent-shaped beach, which is suitable for swimming as well. A lot of devotees and visitors travel to this town during the month of Feb-March in order to witness the grand Mahashivratri celebrations at the temple. Apart from carrying out interesting activities at the beach including swimming and sunbathing, the beach also provides the visitors with an opportunity to observe dolphins in the sea.
In addition to religious significance, Velneshwar is known for its natural beauty. The clean sands, coconut trees line up across the shore, blue seawater and a picturesque sunset view over the horizon will mesmerize you to the fullest. This place serves as a perfect weekend escapade for the residents of Mumbai and Pune.
More on Velneshwar
Best Time to Visit Velneshwar
Due to the presence of sea, Velneshwar experiences a tropical climate with high levels of humidity and cool weather throughout the year. However, the ideal time to visit this place is during the winter season i.e., during the months from November to February. In fact, you should plan your trip around Feb-March in order to witness the elaborate celebrations of Maha Shivratri across the town. Summers can get very hot however, monsoon rains might bring relief to the travellers.
Travelling Around Velneshwar
The transport system in Velneshwar is well-developed and you can easily hire an auto-rickshaw or take a bus to commute through the town. You can visit the nearby villages and local markets by auto-rickshaws.
Hotels near Velneshwar
There are quite a few accommodation options available near Velneshwar. Nonetheless, you can stay at MTDC which is the best and affordable place to stay in the region. Equipped with all modern facilities, the state-owned resort is known for its excellent hospitality. Positioned on a hilltop, the view of the beach and nearby dwellings from the resort is simply mesmerizing.
The hotel also has a fine-dining facility with an in-house restaurant that serves both local and continental dishes. Apart from MTDC, you can stay at the Kinara Beach House of Navneet Thakur, or at Jeevan Sugandh. There are also homestays provided by the locals at reasonable rates.
Sightseeing around Velneshwar
The main attraction of Velneshwar village is the ancient Shiva Temple which is believed to be 1600 years old. Moreover, you can also travel to a nearby village named Hedvi to explore the Dashabhuja Ganapati Mandir. The village is 5km away from Velneshwar and can be reached by foot. The path is covered with lush greenery and is a sort of mini-trek in itself.
There is a place called Baman Ghal on the outskirts of Hedvi. It is a valley where the seawater gets accumulated and is projected upwards, up to 20 ft during high tide. In addition to this, you should not miss out on Velneshwar beach.
Activities at Velneshwar
Despite being a small town, Velneshwar offers a lot of interesting activities to its visitors including swimming, sunbathing, watching dolphins and savouring the local Konkan delicacies from the food stalls spread across the town.
Shopping At Velneshwar
Few of the prominent market places in Velneshwar are Mahaveer Market, Chitni Bazaar, etc. You might also spot a few street shops selling traditional artefacts and souvenirs.
Local People of Velneshwar
Velneshwar is largely dominated by the fisherman community. The locals are amiable and very hospitable. Marathi is the most widely spoken language, however, Hindi and English are also used by a few sections of the population. Few shops are open till midnight but this place does not have a happening nightlife.
Food at Velneshwar
The restaurants and food stalls in the town offer traditional Konkani cuisines. Seafood such as salmon, prawns, mackerel, kingfish, pomfret, and black-pomfret are widely available in the region. Other specialities of the town are chicken curry served with Bhakri, which is rice-bread, and Solanki. For vegetarians, mouth-watering delicacies such as Valachi Usal, Pithla Bhakri, Modaks, and Ghavne are available.
There are plenty of restaurants situated near to Velneshwar. For seafood, the most popular restaurants are Shamkant Khatu, Hotel Shraddha, and Annapurna Hotel. Vegetarians should visit Hotel Musale and Hotel Suruchi in order to savour the purest vegetarian dishes.
Travel Itinerary for Velneshwar
Day 1: Once you reach Velneshwar, check into your hotel and freshen up. After a delicious brunch at the hotel, you can hire a taxi and visit the famous Shiva Temple. Later, you can head to the beach and spend the rest of the day relaxing, swimming or sunbathing. Later in the afternoon, you can visit a good restaurant to relish the delicious Konkan dishes and seafood.
Day 2: On the second day, you can visit the nearby town of Guhagar. Alternatively, you can visit Jaigad to see the famous lighthouse which was constructed during the colonial period. To reach Jaigad, you need to travel 15 km to Tavsal, which is a backwater. You can also visit Ganapatipule village, which is located 20 km away from Jaigad.
Tips for Visiting Velneshwar
It is better to read about the temples before visiting them. Take care of your belonging as the tourists have reported instances of pickpockets and theft in the past. Carry an effective sunscreen and a comfortable swim gear.
How to Reach Velneshwar?
Air: The nearest airport to Velneshwar is situated in Mumbai at a distance of about 330 km. From here, you will have to hire a taxi that will take you directly to your resort.
Rail: The nearest railway station is Chiplun situated 65 km from Velneshwar. It will take 4 hours to reach Chiplun from Mumbai by Konkan Railway. From Chiplun you will have to take a state bus to reach Guhagar and from here, you can hire an auto-rickshaw to reach Velenshwar.
Road: State transport buses run from neighbouring cities such as Pune, Mumbai and Kolhapur to Guhagar town. From here, you can either take an auto or state bus to reach Velenshwar.