The Speciality of Ratnagiri district is that 6 out of total 43 Bharat Ratna Awardees, (which is India's highest Achievement Award) are from here.
The Sahyadri mountains border Ratnagiri to the east. Heavy rainfall results in highly eroded landscape in the coastal region, but fertile alluvial valleys in the region produce abundant rice, coconuts, cashew nuts, and fruits, "Hāpus" (Alphonso) mangoes being one of the main fruits. Fishing is an important industry in Ratnagiri.
A few illustrious Indians, including "Lokmānya Tilak" (or Bal Gangadhar Tilak), a prime leader in the nation's freedom movement in the British Raj days; Bharat Ratna "Maharshi" Dhondo Keshav Karve, a social reformer and educationist; and Wrangler Paranjpe i.e. Wrangler Raghunath Purushottam Paranjpe, a mathematician and educationist, were born in Ratnagiri or its vicinity. Ratnagiri district is a birthplace of four Bharat Ratna awardees Dhondo Keshav Karve, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Pandurang Vaman Kane and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. Also, two another Bharat Ratna awardees Sachin Tendulkar and Govind Vallabh Pant have their native places in Ratnagiri district.