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26 February 2016

Driving Down The Coast, via Kasheli: Ratnagiri Trip 5/5

The decision to drive to Ratnagiri was an impromptu one. When we set off, the expectations were quite high, with pictures of Konkan etched in our minds. However, the season we chose to go in, was not the right one. The harsh sun burning down on one's neck is not the best of times to go sight-seeing. Plus, three days with okay-ish food was gradually beginning to make us impatient! 

And these were reasons enough to cut short our stay in Ratnagiri, cancel our plans to drive on further, and to simply return back to Goa. Since we drive to Goa almost every year, the place feels like home. We hardly do anything that would remotely come close to 'sightseeing', save for a day spent visiting family temples in Ponda. Instead the days are just spent lazing at the resort, taking long evening walks around Panjm City, or driving through pretty little villages. Food is always the main agenda; we start thinking about lunch soon after breakfast, and start planning dinner over lunch! 

So, Goa beckoned, and we decided to leave. The extremely courteous people of the home-stay, had one suggestion for the return journey- to visit the very old Kanakaditya Mandir at Kasheli. This temple is dedicated to the Sun God- one of the few such temples in our country. Since the distance for the day was just above 200 kms and we didn't have any other specific plan except to reach Panaji for lunch (the idea of going to Sindhu-durg was dropped at Ratnadurg itself!), we decided to visit this place. We set off, after having kande-pohe for the last time on that trip. 

To get to Kasheli, on must take a small detour from the state highway. The roads were quite narrow but surprisingly very well maintained. The drive was quite scenic too. The temple was located quite interior to the main road, and we finally found the place after asking around a bit. Wasn't I glad I came here!
Lots and lots of trees surrounded the place, it was very cool. On entering the premises, I realised the temple was being renovated, and the work was on full swing. However, the workers were nice enough to clear nails and shards of wood to create a path for me to enter. By the looks on their face, I realised this temple did not see many visitors, except for the locals. Inside the temple complex, the d├ęcor was neat and simple, yet beautiful. Again, what struck me was no priest tried to fleece me citing reasons like pooja or donation. My respect for the people of Konkan grew immensely. I paid my respects at the temple and set off. 
We drove back discussing our experience in Ratnagiri. There is a general feeling that people from this region are rough, and also, are considered to be rude. However, we didn't experience anything like that on our trip. Probably, the rough terrain of the land, and the harsh living conditions, have made them so. Even though the region is blessed bountifully with fertile land and abundant rain, this belt has not seen much development. Now development does not mean building large malls and buildings, but here it would simply mean safe bridges, connectivity, etc. 
Thus ended our short trip to Ratnagiri. We were back to Goa, to feast on this Pomfret Racheado, and with a long lazy week stretching ahead!
Have you been to the Konkan region too? What memories would you like to share?

Read also: RATNAGIRI: Getting There & Around (1/5)GANPATIPULE- (Part 2 of 5)Ganeshgule Beach (Ratnagiri Part 3 of 5)Oceano Pearl (Part 4 of 5)

This is the last post of the trip-report series on Ratnagiri. Did you find the posts useful? 

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