The geographical division of India mentions of a narrow coastal strip on the west coast facing the Arabian Sea. It starts from the Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Kambhat and extends right till Kanyakumari, known by different names in different regions.
In the region south of Maharashtra and covering Goa it is known as the Konkan coast while as we continue our tracing even southwards in the state of Karnataka it is known as Kanara coast and then further down it is called as the Malabar coast. But the point of interest of this post is the Kanara coast and a town nestled in this region.
The Kanara coast comprises of three coastal districts known as Dakshina Kannada, Udipi district and Uttara kannada. The Uttara Kannada region is characterised by swaying palms and swift rivers running towards the placid Arabian Sea.
The headquarters of Uttara Kannada district is Karwar and it is this town that this article centers upon. The town is bounded by the Western Ghats on one side while ringed by the Arabian Sea on the other side. The town lies in the Sahyadri foothills in the evergreen glade slopes of the perennial forests and beckoned by the blue Arabian Sea. The Kali river flows prominently alongside and has a natural harbor which historically led to the formation of the Karwar port. A center for fish business and golden ornaments, tourism is still underdeveloped out here, maybe that is why there is still the vibe of a small coastal town fresh and vibrant.
So here is a one-day itinerary in case one is visiting this region and plans to spend some hours looking around
- Rabindranath Tagore beach: the most prominent beach that greets the traveller once he/she arrives. In the recent times the administration has been taking efforts to develop the beach front as a recreational place for visitors as well as town folk. As a result one can find benches, few eateries , wind sport activities and parks constructed and placed in a thoughtful manner. Best time to visit is sunset.
- Warship museum: INS Chapal ,(K 94) was an soviet OSA class missile boat of the Indian Navy which served with distinction from the period 1976 till 2005 thereafter which it has been preserved and handed over to the administration at Karwar after being converted into a warship museum. The museum is well maintained, and ship is set in a beautiful garden. The visitors are shown a 5 minute video about the Indian navy and there is a national anthem which is played inside the warship which leaves a very deep connect with each and every one who is visiting . A great knowledge intro for adults and children alike. Best time to visit is around mid-morning prior to the heat building up making outdoor visits difficult.
- Durgamma temple: An ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Shakti , Maa Durga is built on the edge of the ancient Sadashivgad Fort( built in 1715 ) . The fort is no more a worth visit because of hardly any preservation done, however would recommend a visit to the temple for the sense of simplicity and well being that it offers. The view if one would like to see of the Kali river meeting the vast ocean is an added bonus. recommended time for visit is before breakfast when the weather is pleasant, and the feeling is fresh
- As the sun moves across the sky the temperature builds up and hence the next best activity to do is to browse the local markets for a while as well as maybe have a look at the local fish market and do some water sports and thereafter head out for a relaxed lunch. For lunch my recommendation would be three places. Out of the three two are within the town itself and they specialise in sea food cuisine in addition to vegetarian fare as well. These are Hotel Amrut ( Amrut Hotel ) and Shweta Lunch Home. Shweta Lunch home is all about local simple décor eatery with no frills while Amruth restaurant has different seating sections depending upon the customer choices. Both serve great local cuisine. However in case one wishes to sit under the shade and gorge on exclusive awesome sea food cuisine with some drinks, my recommendation would be Fish land restaurant ( google maps ) which is across the border in the state of Goa, 30 min car ride.
- Gokarna Beaches. For activities post lunch I would suggest heading out to the beaches of Gokarna which an hour are driving time from Karwar. Do visit Om beach as well as Kudle beach ( 10 vibrant themed visuals to inspire a visit to the beaches of Gokarna, the alternate to Goa to experience some surreal sunsets as well quality time with self or with the company you are hanging with and follow it up with some lovely diner at the various shacks that are dotted along the beach. I would recommend a stay here and explore the next day either the beaches of Gokarna or the various ancient temples for Gokarna is an age old temple town (Lord Rudra & Gokarna – going back in time ) before the travelers discovered the beauty of its beaches.
So, this is a short itinerary for those who would like to know about Karwar and maybe have a brief stopover while on their travels. There are many interesting places in and around Karwar to plan a comprehensive holiday out here notable among them being Dandeli western Ghats( read here ) , Anshi tiger reserve, Gokarna temple town , Yana rocks ( read here ) , syntheri rocks ( read here ) , the various splendid waterfalls like Jog , Magod, Sathodi ( read here ) etc .
So, do think about visiting something new the next time you planning a short holiday.