Ratnagiri district is located in the south western part of Maharashtra state on the Arabian sea coast. The surrounding area is bordered by the Sahyadri hills on the East and the Arabian Sea on the West. It forms a part of the greater tract known as Konkan. Total area of the district 8,2498 sq.kms. It ranges between 16° 30’ to 18 4' North and 73° 52' to 73° 53' East .As per 2001 census survey total population is 16,96,777,out of which 7,94,498 male & 9,02,279 females. It has a north-south length of about 225 km and average east-west extension of about 64 km. Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur districts are along the eastern border of the district, Raigad district in the north, the Arabian Sea in the west and Sindhudurg district in the south. Ratnagiri has nine tahsils; Mandangad, Dapoli, Khed, Chiplun, Guhagar, Sangameshwar, Ratnagiri, Lanja and Rajapur. Ratnagiri is the district headquarters. There are three administrative subdivisions in the district namely Dapoli, Chiplun and Ratnagiri. It is having 1515 villages & 8102 habitations.
Total geographical area of the district is 8249 sq.kms. Over 85% of the land surface in Ratnagiri district is hilly. All rivers in the district originate in the Sahyadri ranges and flow from east to west and merge in the Arabian Sea. The important rivers of the district are Vashisthi, Jagabudi Bav and Naringi. On the basis of the topography of the area, it can divided into three major zones .
1. The hilly zone (Sahyadri)
2. Middle zone (Balat Patti )
3. Coastal zone (Khalati)
Hill area Zone (Sahyadri):
This area includes the western slopes of Sahyadri and extends up to about 10-15 km. It generally has medium to high altitude with high rainfall of about 3500 mm. A large area in this zone is covered by forest although it is deteriorating very fast. A substantial drop in temperature is experienced at places exposed to the rising western breeze.
This area lies between the coastal and hill areas and generally has a medium altitude. It is more accessible due to the Bombay-Goa-Highway as well as the Konkan railway. Area in this zone is also having moderately to highly undulating topography
This zone extends to about 10-15 km from the seacoast and generally has low altitude and about 2500 mm rainfall. Most of the activities in this area are connected with sea. This area contains numerous beaches, creeks, sea forts, harbors, hot water springs, caves.
There six important creeks in the district are Jaitapur, Purnagad, Jayagad, Dabhol , Bankot. The whole district comes under high rainfall zone. District gets rain from North West monsoon. June to October is main rainy season. The average rainfall is 3175 mm/year. Rainfall increases from costal area (West) to hilly area (East)
Geological information of the district is as follows:
% to total area
River sand &silt ,beach sand deposits
River banks & sea beaches
Western portion of Dapoli, Guhagar, Ratnagiri, Lanja, Rajapur tahasil
Besalt (Deccan trap)
Eastern portion of Khed Chipalun , Sangameshawar,Lanja Rajapur tahasil
Sandstone, shell (Kaladgi)
Watul, oni villages of Rajapur tahasil
Ratnagiri district is hilly , 85 % area of the district comes under hilly zone. There is very less potential for ground water development. Most of the wells in the district are domestic wells. Eastern portion of the district covered by Basalt and heavily eroded due to highly undulating topography & high rainfall. Weathered mantle is very thin, hence most of the wells in this area are seasonal. Average depth is about 8 to 10 mtrs. Western portion of the district is mostly covered by lateritic plateau. Laterite thickness ranges between 6 mtrs to 60 mtrs. Laterite is highly porous & permeable hence water table fluction is more. Wells in this zone are deep. Lithomargic clay located bellow laterite acts as a aquiclude. Existing bore well data indicates that deeper aquifer is also not promising. Average depth of bore wells is about 50 to 60mtrs. Bore well success ratio is also poor & percentage of high yielding bores is very less.
Birth places Honorable Lokamanya Tilak, Keshavsut , Sane Gurugi are in this districts .Thiba palace is most important palace in the district . Honorable king of manmar was kept in this palace.
Ganapati & holi are important festivals in the district.
Hot water Spring :
Hot water Springs are found in various parts of the district. Tempareture of these springs ranges between 33.5 °c to 61°c.Unhavare, Aravali, Unhale, Rajavadi, Sangameshawar, are important hot springs.
Ratnagiri district offers the most diverse attractions for the tourists. Ratnagiri is blessed with hills, sea shores, creeks, beautiful rivers, hot water springs, forests and water falls among many others.
Several Places to Visit :
- Places of worship: Ganapatipule, Velneshwar, Marleshwar, Hedvi, Hatis, Parshuram [Chiplun], Rajapur
- Caves: Panhalekazi, Sangameshwar
- Palace: Thibaw Palace [Ratnagiri]
- Sea Shores: Kelshi, Murud, Guhaghar, Palshet, Ganpatipule, Velneshwar
- Beaches: Mandovi [Gateway of Ratnagiri], Bhatye, Guhagar, Anjarla, Ganapatipule
- Birth Places of eminent personalities: Ratnagiri, Malgund, Dapoli, Palgad
- Forts: Bankot, Mandangad, Ambolgad, Jaigad, Ratnadurg, Mahipatgad
- Sea Forts: Ratnadurg, Harne, Purnagad, Jaigad
- Timeless Landscapes: Goval, Hatlot Ghat, Tivare Ghat, Amba
- Water Falls: Parshuram, Prachitgad, Marleshwar