Velneshwar is a small village 16 kms from Guhagar in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. It is located near the Velneshwar beach. Velneshwar Shiva Temple is the main landmark of the village. The road to the village is narrow with some bumpy ride but on reaching the desitnation, you will find the effort was worth taking.
Just behind the temple is the sea shore. The beach, however, is not well maintained with plastic items scattered along the beach and the sand inundated with some black powder content. The beach is a little better down the slope.
How to reach?
Velneshwaris 305 kms from Mumbai (via NH 17) and 262 kms from Pune (via Bhor Ghat). It is 8 hours journey from Panvel to Velneshwar by bus.
From Mumbai : There are two routes :
(1) Via Panvel on NH 17 upto Chiplun and turn to SH 78 (Chiplun-Guhagar Road) for a further drive of 56 kms to Velneshwar (Total distance - 305 kms) or
(2) via Khopoli on the Expressway - after the toll take the left turn for Khopoli and from the service road drive towards Mangaon. From Mangaon - Khed-Mahad-Chiplun.(Total distance - 321 kms). Even though the distance is more through Khopoli route, road condition is definitely better. At Chiplun take the Chiplun-Guhagar Road (SH 78) and drive for about 41 kms (passing through Chikli, Shringhartali, upto Palshet. At Palshet, take a left turn for Velneshwar which is at a distance of about 15 kms.
2) Pune - Mulshi-Tamhini Ghat-Mangaon-Khed-Mahad-Chiplun-Velneshwar. (The road condition from Mulshi to Tasgaon is bad at present). (263 kms)
3) Pune - Satara - Umbraj - Kumbharli Ghat - Chiplun -Velneshwar (297 kms). This road is better even though longer considering the road condition of other two options.
Where to stay?
MTDC has a resort at a distance of about 500 meters from the beach at a slightly higher altitude with a good view of the sea. There are other smaller resorts like Athithi Beach Resort, Kinara Velneshwar Beach House, Privilege Resort etc. but the facilities may not be the same as available at other tourist centres.
Where to eat?
Vivek Gokhale's eating house provides the best vegetarian home made food on prior order. Other eating place will be MTDC Resort. There are no restaurants in Velneshwar village.
What to see there?
This is a 20 ft deep gorge in the black rock wherein the sea water gushes in and when it hits the end of the gorge, rises as high as 20-30 ft.particularly during high tide. Before the gorge there is Uma Maheshwari temple.
Dashabhuja Ganesh Mandir, Hedvi
This temple is an ancient one with the idol of Ganesha carved out of white stone with ten hands. Devotees throng this place between Shukla Chaturthi and Shashthi every year to celebrate the festival of birth of elephant God.
Dashabhuja Ganesh Mandir
Jaigad is connected to Velneshwar through a ferry. The speciality of the ferry is that your vehicle whether it is a car or a bus will be taken aboard the boat and ferried to the other end.
Another temple to be visited is Kanhateshwara Temple at Nandiwade, Jaigad. This temple is located behind the Dhabol Power Plant. The view of the sea shore from the temple where the waves lap on to the rocks is breath taking.
Next item to see is Jaigad Light House : This is near the Kanateshwar Temple with a good view of the sea around.
This is a hill with 65 steps and some trekking through the forest to reach the top of the hill. There is a temple on top of the hill and the sea is visible on all three sides. Spending an evening on top of the hill was a experience by itself!
Guhagar Beach :
Gulhagar beach is just 16 kms away from Velneshwar. There are a number of Bhel puri shops on the shore. Sree Durga Devi Temple is most visited religious place near Guhagar beach.
Sree Durga Devi Temple,Guhagar
Ganpatipule beach is 80 kms. from Velneshwar.
Although Velneshwar is on the Maharashtra Tourism map, infrastructure-wise a lot needs to be done. After Ganpatipule and Guhagar, Velneshwar will turn out to be the next destination for tourists as a beach desitnation and green land.