The famous beach temple of Ganpatipule in Maharashtra' Ratnagiri district will be revamped into a world class tourist destination, Tourism Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said here on Monday.
The four centuries old beach temple, considered one of its kind in the state, enshrines a 'swayambhu' (self-evolved) stone idol of Lord Ganesha, facing the west, against a backdrop of lush green hills of the Konkan region.
It is located around 340 km from Mumbai.
The tiny Ganpatipule village of 150 homes, with a population of around 450, presently attracts a whopping two million pilgrims and tourists annually, the minister said.
"It is one of the most revered sites for not only Maharashtra but the entire country and tourists flock here from all over India. However, it lacks amenities like proper roads, parking spaces, public transport and other requirements of a major tourist destination," Mungantiwar said.
The government plans to make arrangements for sufficient drinking water supply and sewage systems, underground drainage, proper public toilets, recycling plants, a sound and light show to attract more tourists to the region, the minister told a delegation of BJP leaders led by state spokesperson Madhav Bhandari.
The proposed tourism development plan of Ganpatipule would include other facilities like more hotel accommodation, direct booking centres for railway and buses, hotels and lodging arrangements by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.
The government would also explore options to operate seaplane or coast guard flights, create a theme park, a world class aquarium and beach safety and cleanliness arrangements, said Mungantiwar.
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