Known as ‘Kashmir of Karnataka’, Karwar is a port town in the south Indian state of Karnataka. Encompassed by green Sahyadri forest in the east, blue Arabian Sea to the west, and Kali River on the north, Karwar is a border town with Goa; 15 km from Karnataka-Goa border. Home to a surplus golden sand beaches, backwater islands, museums and forts, Karwar is a popular tourist destination of Karnataka.
How to reach:
By air: At a distance of 58 km, Dabolim Airport, Goa is the nearest airport to Karwar.
By rail: Karwar Railway station is well connected to all the major cities across the country.
By bus: Regular buses from major cities ply to Karwar, including Mangalore, Bangalore, Panaji, Pune, and Cochin.
Also known as Rabindranath Tagore Beach, it is the most popular beach in Karwar. It is said that Rabindranath Tagore once visited Karwar and mesmerized by its beauty, derived inspiration for his first play from this beach; hence the name. Clear seawater and a long stretch of golden sands, Karwar beach is a perfect spot to sit back and relax, enjoying the cool evening breeze. Shallow depth of the water makes it an ideal place for swimming. With no other beach activities, visitors relish sunbathing and leisure evening walks on the soft sands. The beach has a play park, a toy train, an aquarium, and a lovely musical fountain. Every year between December and January, Kairali Utsav, a 4-day event, is held at the beach which attracts thousands of visitors.
INS Chapal Warship Museum is one of the 3 warship museums in the country. Situated near the Karwar beach, it is one of the popular sightseeing places in Karwar. A star of the 1971 Indo-Pak war, INS Chapal was decommissioned after its long tenure of dedicated service and turned to a museum ship in 2006. The museum provides enormous information on sea warfare with the artifacts and other collections put up for exhibition to visitors. Mannequins dressed as doctors, sailors, and captains as well as replicas of the missiles used and the food served onboard are also showcased inside the museum. Visitors can enjoy watching documentary filmed depicting the entire process of setting up the museum ship.
Situated on a small island called Devakar, Devkar Falls is nearly 80 km from Karwar. Gushing down from a height of 300 ft, the falls glow like a diamond; hence it is locally called as Vajramala Falls. Surrounded by Kadra dam backwaters, visitors have to cross the reservoir to reach Devakar village by boat. The falls are visible from the village. Due to lack of proper road connectivity, the falls are inaccessible during the rainy season. The 5 km trek from Devakar village to the falls is where the fun begins. The trek runs through muddy tracks amidst thick forests. Devkar Falls is a hidden gem for visitors looking for some thrilling experience.
A tortoise-shaped island, Kurumgad is at a distance of 4 km off the coast of Karwar, in the Arabian Sea. It is one of the five islands in the region. It bears an old fort built during the reign of Sonda rulers to fight off the British, which is almost in ruins now. Every year in early January, thousands of devotees flock to Narasimha Temple located on the hilltop of the island, to offer prayers to Lord Narasimha. Visitors trek to through the mountains to reach the temple. Despite located in the mid of the Arabian Sea, the island has a sweet water pond.
Kurumgad Island is famous for water sports. Visitors can indulge in beach volleyball, boat ride, dolphin spotting, swimming, fishing, bonfires, and exotic beach walk. With coral reefs extending nearly a kilometer, Kurumgad is also a snorkeling site. The sight of the grey sea and tall standing palm trees along the coastline is simply soothing to the eyes.
Connecting Karnataka with Goa, Kali Bridge is built over the Kali river just outside the Karwar town. Standing on the bridge, visitors enjoy the awe-inspiring view of Karwar beach, ruins of Sadashivgad Fort, encompassing mountains, majestic Kali River, nearby islands and mesmerizing sunset. The Kali bridge overlooks the point where the Kali river merges into the Arabian Sea, which is a sight to behold unto itself.