Karwar ( Karnataka , South India)


A journey through the North Canara or Uttar Kannada starts from Karwar as the base. There are many interesting places in this region of tourist and religious interest. The coastal region of North Canara constitutes some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world. Dotted with innumerable islands, tall light-houses, legendary relics and the Karavali are enchanting places for the tourist.

Karwar, one of the best beaches of Karnataka, is a port town where many ships arrive from foreign countries. Kali river joins the sea at this place and forms a lake of back waters. Tourists can enjoy going into the sea to visit Oyster Rocks where the Light House is located. The Arab traders who came first to this place called it Bait-e-Kol, the Bay of Safety, as it has a chain of five islands protecting it from storms.

The beauty of the beach was appreciated even by Poet Rabindranath Tagore who stayed at Karwar for some time and was inspired to write his first play. The Historical Sadashivghad Fort with the Durga temple visited by Chatrapathi Shivaji is nearby. The famous Dargah of Peer Shah Shamshuddin Kharobad, a Sufi saint from Baghdad and the Octagonal Church at Sunkeri are interesting places. A visit by launch to the Kurmagad island which has an old fort and a Narasimha shrine are worthy of visit.

Belekeri: This ancient port has long stretches of unexplored beaches. Situated at the bay of river Belekere, the port has flourishing marine trade shipping bamboos, timber and wood. This place has two temples of Jenubeera and Shiva and also a few inscriptions of the 15th century.

Bhatkal: This ancient port is the gateway to the Vijayanagar empire. It is inhabited by Navayats, the enterprising Muslim traders of Arab origin. The place has temples of Vijayanagar times, notable amongst them being Khatappaya Narayana temple with five finely sculptured Ramayana panels. This is also Jain centre having the Parswanatha Basadi and Banda Basadi of the 16th century. Haduvalli, 16 kms from Bhatkal, was an ancient capital of the Jain rulers and it has many interesting ancient Jain monuments.

Dandeli Wild Life Sanctuary: 40 kms from Karwar, this is a fast developing industrial centre with a ferro-manganese factory and a few ply-wood factories. Around are several interesting places such as Syntheri Rocks. Nagzhari Valley, Vincholi Rapids, Kavla Caves and Kanheri Bridge. The wildlife sanctuary has been developed as a fine forest resort where elephants, bisons, tigers, panthers, sambar and chital can be seen in natural surroundings. The forest lodge provides accommodation for overnight stay. There are six rest houses also. The best time of visit is form December to April.

Ulavi: 75 kms from Karwar, Ulavi is situated near Supa. This village is closely associated with Sri Channabasaveshwara of Kalyan. Thousands of devotees come here to pay homage to the Samadhi of Veera Shaiva Kalachuras. Very near are other spots like Akka Nagamma's cave and Mahamani Gavi.

How to reach Karwar:

Karwar is now connected by rail by the Konkan Railway. Excellent roads connect this port town with the hinterland from many directions. Very good lodging facilities and convenient transport system are available here to visit all the interesting places. Most of the interior places have good lodging facilities.

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