Ratnagiri district has been shown below on the map of the state of Maharashtra. The district is in the western part of Maharashtra.
To the north of Ratnagiri district lies Raigad district. To its east are the districts of Satara, Sangali and Kolhapur. To the south is Sindhudurg district. on the west of Ratnagiri district is the Arabian Sea.
There are different land forms in Ratnagiri district. The different land forms in a region constitute its physical set-up. If we consider the physical set-up of Ratnagiri district, we see that there are three physical division.
1. The Mountainous region of the Sahyadri : Ratnagiri district stretches from north to south. In the east of the district are the Sahyadri ranges. This part is mountainous, and at considerable height above the sea level. It is region of the hill-forts of Mahipatgad, Sumargad, Prachitgad. Also there are the ghats of Kashedi, Kumbharli and Amba.
2. The Foothill region : There are stretches of more or less flat land in the foothill region. In some places in this region, the soil is alluvial and fertile. In others, the soil is red.
3. The Low land or Coastal region : Along the coastline on the west of the district, the soil is sand-mixed. Near the coast is flat lowland. This is known as the coastal region or the lowlands. Near the coast are the sea forts of Suvarnadurg, Jaygad and Poornagad.
The important rivers in the districts are the Savitri, Vashishthi, Jagbudi, Shastri, Muchkundi, Kajali and Shuk. These rivers have their source in the Sahyadri. They flow westwards and meet the Arabian sea.
At Sangameshwar in this district is the confluence of the Shastri and Bay rivers. After the confluence, the river is known as Shastri. There are a number of creeks in the districts. They are the Kelshi, Borya, Bankot, Dabhol, Jaygad, Bhatye, Sakhartar, Kalbadevi and Jaitapur.
Ratnagiri District is on the sea coast. The climate here is hot and humid. This district receives heavy rainfall. In the Sahyadri ranges the rainfall is even heavier. The amount of rainfall increases as we go from the west to the east.
There are dense forest in the foothills of the Sahyadri ranges in this district. The teak, ain, kinjal, khair, undin and other trees are found in abundance in these forests. We also find many medicinal plants in this district. There are dense forests in Khed, Sangameshwar, Lanje and Dapoli taluka. There are forests in some parts of Chiplun and Mandangad talukas.
Animals such as leopards, wild boars, jackals, wolves, monkeys are found in the forests of the districts. Birds such as egrets, peacocks, cuckoos (koels), pigeons and parakeets are also found here.
Limonite, silica and bauxite are the most important minerals found in this district. Besides, stones of jambha (literite), kalither and shirgola variety are also found here.
Limonite is found in Ratnagiri taluka along the coast from Poornagad to Malgund. Deposits of the silica are found in Rajapur taluka while deposits of bauxite are found in Mandangad and Dapoli talukas.
The laterite stone used for building houses is quarried in Ratnagiri, Dabhol, Harnei, Poornagad and Devrukh. Kalithar rock, used in construction of buildings, is also used to make various kinds of simple grinders used in the kitchen. Rangoli is made from the Shigola stone. It is found around Vatool village off Rajapur taluka. Sand which is needed in the construction of buildings is also available in abundance in the district.
Silt is found in Rajapur , Dapoli, Chiplun and Devrukh. Silt is used for making roof tiles, bricks and eastern post.
The sea adjoining the district is a source of abundant marine wealth. In the lagoons and creeks along the coast are found many kinds of fish. A variety of shell-fish called mussels is found in Ratnagiri, Jaitaur, Harnei,
etc. Crabs too are caught along the coast.
There is a demand for prawns from foreign countries. The Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth runs centers for breeding these marine animals. Hence, fisherman get new information about research, breeding and catching of fish.
Wells, lakes, rivers and bunds are the sources of water in this district.
In Dapoli, Ratnagiri, Rajapur and Guhagar, the number of wells is greater. There are percolation tanks in Guhagar and Lanje talukas. There are bunds at Natuwadi at Khed taluka, at Kamathe at Chiplun taluka and at Panval, Kaljhondi and Harchiri in Ratnagiri taluka.
There is a big dam on the Koyna river in Satara district. The water from this dam is used to run a power house at Pophali in Chiplun taluka. There is a similar power house at Kolkewadi in Chiplun taluka.
There are tube wells at many places in the district. These are public wells and the water drawn from them is used mostly for drinking.
Karif crops: The main crop of Ratnagiri district is rice. Although rice is grown in all the talukas, the production of rice is especially greater in the talukas of Khed, Chiplun, Sangameshwar, Rajapur and Ratnagiri.
In the eastern part of the district, nachani (ragi) and vari is grown on the mountain slopes. Sangameshwar, Chiplun produce greater quantities of nachani. Beside these crops, sesame beans, val, kuleeth, turad and chavli are also grown.
Important fruit trees
Coconut : We are all familiar with the coconut tree. It is named after it's fruit, coconut. We see coconut groves along the coastline. Sandy and saline soil and hot and humid weather is favorable for the coconut tree. Since such a climate precoastal areas of the district, dense groves of these trees are found here.
There is 'Coconut Research Center' at Bhatye near Ratnagiri. Coconuts come in a number of varieties such as the Banavali, Singapuri, T.D. etc. Guhagari coconuts are especially famous.
Areca palm: The areca palm grows tall like the coconut tree. This tree needs plenty of water. Large plantation of areca palms are found at and around Dapoli, Guhagar, Ratnagiri,. The fruit of this tree is called supari, betel-nut, or areca nut.
Mango : The 'Alpahnso' mango of Ratnagiri is famous. Mango trees grow well in the red soil and saline atmosphere on the mountain side of the lowlands. the mango season is from March to June. There is a demand for mangoes in the foreign countries, too.
Cashew nut: Cashew nut is an important crop of the district. Cashew nut trees grow in rocky land having red soil. The cashew seeds are roasted and the edible portion is separated. This is the cashew nut. There is demand for cashew nut both in our country and abroad.
Jackfruit : The jackfruit is a specialty of this district. This fruit is thorny outside but sweet and juicy inside. The jackfruit season is from March to June.
Ratambi : The ratambi tree grows in less fertile but moist soil. The fruit of this tree is called kokum. Amsuls are made from kokum.
Other fruits: Beside those mentioned above, fruit such as bananas, papayas, pineapples, avalas, tamarind, jambhuls, chikkus, ramphals, bors, karvandas, lemons etc. are also grown in this district.
Most people in this district are engaged in agriculture. Beside this, people are also engaged in making articles of wood, leather, iron, earthenware, etc.
Rice is the main crop in the district. Churmure (puffed rice) and pohe (rice flakes) are made from rice. There are rice flakes mills in many places. There are many floor mills too. Extracting oil from coconut, making ropes, brushes, mats from coir, as also brooms from the veins of the fronds and decorative articles from coconut shells are all coconut related industries found in the talukas of Guhagar, Dapoli, Ratnagiri and Rajapur.
Pickles, jams, mango pulp and mango sweet meats are made from mangoes. Canning mango pulp is also an important industry. This industry is found in Chiplun, Ratnagiri, Rajapur and other talukas. Mangoes are sent to various other towns and cities. Many people are occupied in making wooden crates and bamboo baskets required for packing these mangoes. Making Amsuls from kokams is another industry.
Medicines are prepared at Anjarle in Dapoli taluka, and in Chiplun and Rajapur talukas. Earth ware pots and pans are made in Ratnagiri and Lanje talukas and at Patgaon and Devrukh in Sangameshwar taluka.
Tiles for roofs are made at Konsar Budruk in Rajapur taluka and at Chiplun and Gavhe in Dapoli taluka. People are also engaged in making clay statues of Lord Ganapati.
People are occupied in drying and selling fish and exporting canned fish on large scale in Dabhol, Harnei and Ratnagiri. Fish powder is made at Nate in Rajapur taluka and at Ratnagiri and Jaygad in Ratnagiri taluka. This powder is used as fertilizer. Other small scale industries in this districts are poultry and dairy farming.
At Lote in Khed taluka there are factories of chemical products. Paper, card-board, cement flooring tiles, aluminum and stainless steel utensils are made at Chiplun. Many industries such as those making steel files, preparing cement, building ships and boats, making iron windows, doors, trunks etc. are found in Ratnagiri.
There are industrial estates at Ratnagiri and Chiplun.The industrial Estate in Chiplun is at three Places. Lote, Ganekhadpoli ,Kherdi.
The Lote Industrial area consist of 155 working factories and this is having an area of 519.40 Hectors.
The Ganekhadpoli Industrial area is 96 Hector and it consist of 46 working factories.
The Kherdi Industrial area is having the area of 81 hectors and it consist of 64 working Factories.
** Information on this page is contributed by Mr. Rohit Bodhe