Varanasi is considered the holiest of India’s seven holy cities. It is the capital of Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest ion India. Varanasi is referred by many sobriquets including, “the city of light” and “the city of learning”. Gautama Buddha is believed to have delivered his first sermon in Varanasi. It is sometimes called Benaras or Kashi.
Places to Stay
Many hotels in Varanasi are suitable for budget travellers which include the City Inn (Rs 900), Hotel River Place (Rs 700) and Hotel Padmini International (Rs 1200)
Dhrupad Mela, celebrated every year in February-March is one of the major events in Varanasi. Mahashivrathri held in February is one of the major festivals celebrated here.
Hindi is the local language spoken in Varanasi. English and Urdu are commonly used languages.
Places to Visit
The interesting places to visit in Varanasi are Ramnagar Dashashwamedh Ghat, Annapurna Temple all located within 15 kms.
How to Get There
Varanasi is served by Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, which is approximately 26 km from the city centre in Babatpur. Domestic flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other cities are available here.
Varanasi Junction, commonly known as Varanasi Cantt Railway Station, is the city's largest train station. It is one of the busiest train stations with over 200 hundred passing through each day.
NH2, NH7 and NH56 run through Varanasi connecting it to major centers such Delhi, Kanpur, Kolkata and Agra as well as Lucknow. The best bus operators that offer quality service include UPSTRC, Online bus ticket booking facility can save you a lot of time and energy.
A town in the Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra, Ganpatipule is located 375 kms away from south Mumbai and 25 kms from Ratnagiri along the Konkan coast. The origin of the name Ganpatipule is attributed to the belief that Hindu God Ganapati resided in a place called Pule, near the town.
Places to Stay
There are good budget hotels in Ganapatipule. Some options are Atharava Residency (Tariff – Rs. 1240), and Shree Sagar (Tariff – Rs. 1000).
The most spoken language in Ganapatipule is Marathi. The other languages spoken are English and Hindi.
The significant festivals of Ganapatipule are Gauri Ganapati and Magh Chaturthi (Birthday of God Ganapati) which falls either in the month of January or February every year. Other festivals celebrated are Holi in March and Gudi Padva and Diwali in November.
Places of Interest
Ganpatipule has some well-known and attractive tourist spots. The Swayambhu Temple in Ganpatipule (20 kms from the town of Ratnagiri), where God Ganapati’s idol is said to be self-originated from soil, is a famous Hindu pilgrimage site. Besides this, the Jaigad Fort (15 kms from Ganapatipule), Thibaw Palace (23 kms from Ratnagiri), Gaywadi Beach (2.5 kms from Ganapatipule) and Prachin Konkan (0.5 kms from Ganapatipule) are also a must visit.
How to Get There
The nearest airport to Ganapatipule is the Kolhapur Airport. It is situated 114 kms away from the town.
Ganapatipule is connected to Ratnagiri with the Konkan Railway line. Ratnagiri Railway Station is 18 kms away from Ganapatipule.
There are private bus and state bus services to Ganapatipule from Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur. Bus ticket booking discount coupons are available online on several bus booking portals. Make use of them while booking your tickets.