Karwar – The Pristine untouched beaches and the Scrumptious Sea Food

The west coast of India in Karnataka state stretches from Mangalore to Karwar. The 300 km stretch of this coastline also known as Karavali makes for one exhilarating road trip dotted with plenty of quaint beach towns and lush green landscapes. Karwar had always been on cards for its pristine untouched beaches well hidden from the touristy crowds. The most awaited road trip began from our hometown Hubli to Karwar with our first stop at the Belekeri beach.

Belekeri Beach

Belekeri is a popular detour on the way to Mangalore from Karwar. The secluded beach 30 km from Karwar is a prominent industrial port frequented by fishermen. We parked our car on the hill bounded by the beach. The only company we had on this long stretch of deserted beach was a couple of guys who waited at the tip of the rocky terrain preparing to unload the arriving fishing boats.

We walked towards the left shore of the beach past old rickety boats bare of any paint and a few dried fishes scattered in the sand. The beach was much cleaner but thronged by hundreds of crabs running into their holes as we walked closer. Small huts punctuated the beach shading the colorful fishing boats. Chhavi had a wonderful time frolicking in the waves.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

The road extending from the exit was lined with piles of fishing nets with bright colored floats and a group of fishermen cleaning their nets preparing for their next fishing trip.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

Karwar city lies at the mouth of Kali River which flows into the Arabian Sea. In the course of the journey through Karwar, we came across several small bridges running over the meandering emerald river lined by the dense coconut palms which more often reminded us of our trip to ‘God’s Own Country’ Kerala.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

We entered into the city of Karwar by lunch time and the first task to on list was to devour on some scrumptious seafood. We headed to the popular restaurant Hotel Amrut where we savored the spicy fish masala and fish fry with delicious thali. The 40 years old restaurant is jam packed even on weekdays, plan accordingly.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

DevBaug Beach

DevBaug is most popularly known for the beach resort. The secluded stretch of white sandy beach and the cottages set amidst the casuarina trees and its turquoise waters are an ideal getaway. One can also indulge in water sports activities like Kayaking, banana boat rides, and parasailing or hop onto speed boat cruises for dolphin sighting and to capture the surreal vista of sunset.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

Majali Beach and Beach Resort

We found the DevBaug resort a little costlier hence we drove further to Majali beach looking for stay options. There wasn’t much information on the internet so we decided to look for ourselves and if nothing worked out we were all set to go back to our hometown and head back again next day. But fortunately, we found the Majali beach resort right on the beach separated by a mud road.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

The room was spacious with clean attached bathroom which had 24 hrs running hot water. The resort has a small man-made pond set amidst the towering trees where one can go boating. The resort also offers wooden huts and tree houses. The Resort offers complimentary breakfast with the stay.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

Sunset at Majali Beach

The sunset at the Majali beach was one of the amazing experience. While Chhavi had a great time playing with her dad I had an awesome time capturing the dipping sun turning fiery red to paint the sea in golden strips, the silhouettes of the fishing boats and the people chasing the waves.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

The resort also arranges for a boat ride to the nearby Kurumgad island which has an ancient temple dedicated to Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu atop the hill which could be reached by trekking. The mountain is visited by thousands of devotees in the month of January for the annual fair held at the temple.

We gave the island a skip and headed to the Tilmati beach. We continued further from the Majali beach for around a couple of km along a gorgeous stretch of white shimmering beach dotted with fishing boats and a couple of fishermen at work with a backdrop of green mountains.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

Tilmati Beach

We drove into the village until the Gabitwada beach where the long stretch of beach ended at a small hill. 

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

The fishermen on beach informed us that the Tilmati beach was on the other side of the hill and could be reached by hiking the hill ahead. The climb was a bit challenging but accompanied with breathtaking scenic vistas. The beach is well secluded bound by rocky cliffs. The beach is named Tilmati after the fine grainy black sand of the beach which is similar to sesame. Read more on Hiking to the Tilmati black beach.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

Kali River Bridge

Heading towards the city of Karwar we drove through the famous Kali River Bridge. We decided to make a stop and take in the surrounding views of the neverending blue horizon. On the right one can spot the Devbaugh beach and the confluence of River Kali and the Arabian Sea.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

War Memorial

INS Chapal played a prominent role during the 1971 Indo-Pak war and today sits with pride on the shores of Rabindranath Tagore beach in Karwar. The exhibits and the documentary video presents its visitors with information on life on board the warship and the Indo-Pak war.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

Rabindranath Tagore Beach

Rabindranath Tagore beach or the Karwar beach is the most popular beach with the locals. The beach is named after the famous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore who was inspired by the natural beauty of Karwar for his poems. An annual festival called Karavali Utsav is held on Rabindranath Tagore Beach in the month of January or February.

Street Food Stalls

At dusk, the street running along the Karwar beach is lined with street food stalls serving Indian chaats, fast food, ice creams, and juices.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

We woke up to a lovely bright morning. The beach was bustling with the fisherwomen loading their baskets with fresh catch and heading towards the fish market.

Top Things Karwar Karnataka

With a promise to return back we bid farewell to this beautiful land and headed to our next destination the beach town Gokarna.

If you are looking for a getaway from the chaotic beach towns and experience a quintessential fishing village head to Karwar. Karwar will pamper you with its golden sandy beaches and spoil you with delicious flavors of seafood.

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19 Comment

  1. Karwar is amazing. The beaches look so serene. Untouched and beautiful. The seafood looks amazing as well.We loved it when we were there a few years ago. The Devbagh beach resort which is an island has some amazing stretches of untouched sand beaches which we really enjoyed.

  2. Tatum Skipper says: Reply

    That nightly street market looks like a carnival! So many fun things to do here. I could use a nice beach right about now, I’m so tired of the cold here!! The sun setting doesn’t even look real!!

  3. Karnataka keeps amazing me again and again. Till a few years ago, I didn’t know how beautiful the state is and how much there is to see. I am yet to travel there, but all traveller posts about different parts of the state make me feel so wonderful.
    Karwar seems to be not crowded and pretty peaceful from the pics and the food reminds me of Goa. Rabindranath Tagore beach and the war memorial remind me of Vizag, faintly. Loved the quaint cottages and how each cottage has its own lounge chair in the front!

  4. Karwar looks like a really cool beach to visit with all of the fishing boats and colors. I also love the progression of the sun setting you captured. It seems like a pretty, quiet, and very peaceful place to spend a few days.

  5. This whole route is on our bucket list of road trips. The beaches look so untouched, clean and unexplored. The sequence of your sunset pictures is really amazing and the seafood looks so tempting. Looking forward to exploring these areas some day.

  6. neha says: Reply

    I had heard about Karwar. But never knew in so much detail how much it has got to offer. The place is amazing. It’s like a green oasis. We had not prioritized exploring this part of Karnataka and the coastlines along the west. But after having read your previous article on the udupi-mangalore stretch and now this one, we are having double thoughts on our ignorance of the area 🙂 will soon make plans to explore

  7. Karwar looks like a lovely place for a beach vacation. The beach is spectacular. I would love to go out on one of the boats. You know I had never been in a hotel that didn’t provide 24 hour hot water, so I was surprised it was something you mentioned. Is it common in India to have hotels or resorts that do not provide 24 hour hot water in the rooms?

  8. Heard a lot about Karwar when I used to work in Bangalore but never made it. It looks much more serene and idyllic compared to what Goa has become now. Those things that looks like oranges, are they just plastic floats for the nets?

  9. Indrani says: Reply

    For long I have been planning to tour around these places never materialised. 🙁
    i Had read Rabindranath Tagore too had visited this place and had described its beauty but never knew locals have named a beach after him.
    The food looks good and great pictures.

  10. It just gets more evident each day and I don’t think that it will be resolved before I actually do something about it. I just know way too little about India and especially its geography. Never heard about either Mangalore nor Karwar previously. I will probably have to visit the huge country one day to learn more.

    The coast between these to for me mysterious towns seems like a perfect place to relax. I really like the fact that there seem to be more fisherman than tourists along the beaches. I wouldn’t for that matter not mind sitting on one of those beaches and watch the sun set in the west. 🙂

  11. What an absolutely beautiful place Karwar is! I love the resort being right on the beach and the views of the sunset were simply stunning. Just a great place for a hiker and lover of nature, which is what I am all about. I would love to see this place for myself one day.

  12. Zinara says: Reply

    Your photos are so beautiful and the beaches in Karwar looks amazing. I love the thali with spicy fish masala and the fish fry. And then the beautiful magical sunset at Majali Beach. So serene.

  13. Great beach getaway. I love that the resort can also arrange for a boat ride to nearby islands. I am surprised that you can just show up and get accommodations without a prior reservation.

  14. Karwar looks like it would be a fun place to explore and take pictures! The beaches looks so beautiful, seems like you could just stay there all day =) Hoping to make it to India one of these days!

  15. Leah says: Reply

    I’ve never heard of this area, but wow! The photos are stunning. Isn’t is awesome to find beaches that aren’t packed with tourists? Also, the food looks just scrumptious!

  16. Pinned this for when we make it back to India! It looks so serene and beautiful, love your photos especially the ones of the sunset. We are massive beach lovers and DevBaug Beach looks like my idea of paradise! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Wow Karwar is ideal place for a holiday. Thanks for introducing it. We’d never heard of it before, but now we will try to work it into our Indian itinerary. Thanks for all these insider tips. Especially about Majali beach resort. It sounds perfect.

  18. That must have been a site to see, all the crabs running into their holes! There is something about fishing boats on beaches, they photograph so well. It must be interesting to see remnants of the Indo-Pak war!

  19. Have been to Mangalore not beyond that. 🙁 But have heard a lot of great things about Karwar. The beaches looks so pristine and love your write up. Karavali Utsav sounds interesting too 🙂

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