If you ever happen to go to Ganapatiphule beach village in Ratnagiri district in south Konkan, in monsoon, you absolutely must visit Marleshwar! Lord Shiva is known to select the absolute awe-inspiring terrains that mother earth has to offer, as his abode, and this one is no different! The (swayambhu – self appeared) Shivlinga is situated in a cave that you would need to stoop low to enter, and is understandably filled with smoke emanating from the dhoop and agarbattis that constantly keep burning inside. Outside the cave, the temple premises are surrounded on three sides with lush green tall mountains while a furious river flows on the other side. After parking your car, you would take the 400 odd steps to the shrine along this forceful river. When the famous Konkan monsoon is in full bloom, all the surrounding mountains have tons of small to large waterfalls gurgling down to merge into the river! There is a large podium for you to enjoy this spectacle of mother nature – It’s a sight to behold! And you will certainly get more wet inside Shiva’s cave from to the water seeping through the mountaineous rocks above. All in all, the best outing you can do in Konkan – just 60 kms of picturesque drive from Ganapatiphule (but 3 hours owing to small and quaint village roads) and you are in this slice of heaven!
Om Namah Shivay!
Jaigad lighthouse (Jaigad is another day trip from Ganapatiphule)