One of my dear friends got posted in North Kannada district of Karnataka as Deputy Commissioner some time back. He invited me to visit him. I promptly accepted the invitation and was in Karwar a few weeks later.
Karwar is the administrative headquarters of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka. It is a seaside town situated on the west coast at 15 kilometres south of the Karnataka-Goa border and 519 km north-west of Bangalore. The national Highway No.17 and the Konkan Railway passes along the coastal areas in this district, facilitating good communication and transport.
A perspective about the other places worth visting nearby
Karwar is 13 kms from goa border (polem ) & 1 hour by train from margoa, 12 hours by bus from Bengaluru and 12 hours by train from Mumbai on Konkan Railway route. It is just 107 kilometres from Panjim (Goa), 540 kilometres from Bengaluru, 117 kilometers from Dandeli, 881 kilometres from Chennai, 701 kilometres from Mumbai.
A lovely, lazy beach is the main attraction of Karwar. This beach (Rabindranath Tagore Beach) was an ancient site of sea trade visited by the Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, French and later the British. Ibn battuta passed through this route during one or more of his journeys.
The British made this place their district headquarters in 1862. The reknowned poet Rabindranath Tagore, who visited Karwar in 1882, dedicated an entire chapter of his memoirs to this town. The 22 year old Rabindranath Tagore stayed with his second brother, Satyendranath Tagore, who was the district judge in Karwar.
An amazingly long and broad beach…clean…very few people
A quiet ‘machaan’ to enjoy the sea view
Look at how wide the beach is…
Anshi National Park, located at a distance of about 60 kilometres, is a habitat of Bengal tigers, black panthers and elephants besides other distinctive fauna. Anshi National Park and Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary were together granted the status of Project Tiger Reserve in 2007. Dandeli, surrounded by thick jungle with river Kali passing it presents a lovely sight. Jungle Lodges Resorts has a fine tourist complex called ‘Kali Wilderness and Adventure Camp’. This is the only place in South India where tourists are offered white water rafting.
A cool cottage in the nearby Anshi National Park
Every year, a festival called the “Karavali Utsav”, is held near the Rabindranath Tagore Beach, lasting 3 to 4 days. It consists of stalls, cultural programmes and fireworks.
Fireworks at the Karavali annual festival
Navy’s Warship Museum right on the beach
An amazing sunset view from Karwar beach
Thats me (right) with the dashing Munish Moudgil (left), Deputy Commissioner, ouside his bungalow which one of his predecessor had imaginately, though somewhat presumptuously christend as “Xanadu” after the summer capital of Kublai Khan (grandson of the Mongol ruler Changez Khan) . Lord Tennyson also made a reference to ‘Xanadu’ in his poem ‘Kubla Khan':
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree:
I especially enjoyed the local version of curd-bhat which is served with a generous helping of dry-fruits
How To Reach Karwar:
BY ROAD: There are buses to Karwar from Bangalore (520 kms) and from Panjim, Goa, 107 kms) from Mangalore (273 kms) and Belgaum (167 kms).
BY RAIL: The nearest Railway station is Shirwad/Karwar 2Km From Karwar on The Konkan Railway. BY AIR :Nearest airports are Goa 100, Mangalore 273 and Belgaum 167.
Useful website: http://uttarakannada.nic.in/
Photographs and text by K.J.S.Chatrath.
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