Hiking to the Tilmati Black Beach in Karwar, Karnataka

Karwar in the Karnataka state of India has a bounty of pristine untouched beaches lesser known to the touristy crowds. Bewitched by miles and miles of golden sandy beaches of Karwar we were now all set to explore the unusual black beach Tilmati. Tilmati beach is a secluded beach bounded by rocky cliffs set amidst the lush green near the Goa-Karnataka border.

We started early morning from Majali beach resort where we stayed. We drove for around a couple of km along the Majali beach looking for directions to the black beach. The beach all along the route was beautiful shimmering white sand dotted with colorful fishing boats and few fishermen at work. The road winding through the Majali Village ended abruptly at the Gabitwada beach. We enquired with few fishermen on the beach and they directed us towards a hill at the end of the beach. The only way to reach the black beach was to hike up the cliffs.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

It was a bright beautiful morning. The balmy shore was punctuated with the cranes combing the shores for food. We could spot the silhouettes of the fishing boats sailing afar on the neverending blue horizon. The hill ending the beach was laced with astounding black rocky terrain at its foot.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

We crossed a small stream skirting the hill and started climbing the black volcanic rocks at the foothill. The climb was a bit challenging as the rocks would get slippery at points. And we had to step with caution as there were many crabs crawling over the rocks pouring into the nooks. We even feared if the rocks were home to snakes that would pop up from cracks.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

Once we reached the altitude we took a moment to have a look around and stood awestruck gawking at the breathtaking blue Arabian sea on the left of the trail. The terrain at altitude was mostly flat which mostly needed walking and no climbing.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

We made our way through the landscape covered with dry grass and the only sound was of the waves crashing at the foot of the cliffs. There is no dearth for vantage points along the hike offering with mindboggling scenic vistas.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

The trail would intermittently end at small gorges which needed to be crossed. We had to literally clamber onto the rocks to get down and then again climb up. Thankfully there was no much water flowing into these gorges and the rocks were pretty dry for safe crossing.
Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

The flat terrain would descend further onto small pretty beaches set amidst the hillocks. We walked through an area full of sea shells into a beach dotted with the basaltic rocks.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

Chhavi was having fun frolicking around practicing her hiking skills. The beach though dotted with small rocks was much shallow and safer. We decided to take a short break taking in the views before continuing our hike.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

After spending some fun time chasing the waves we started walking further. Our climb was now dotted with pretty wild flowers against the backdrop of blue waters of Arabian sea.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

After hiking for some ten more minutes and a couple of more gorge crossing we reached the wonderous black beach. It was astounding as this small stretch of beach was completely black though the neighboring beaches we drove through all along in the Majali village were purely golden or white in color. The golden sand in interesting wavy patterns on the coarse black sand spread was spectacular to behold.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

The sand of the black beach alike other normal beach is made up of fine grainy black sand which makes it unique. The name Tilmati actually translates to Sesame sand in the local language. The black sand is believed to be formed by the waves hitting the basaltic rocks concentrated at the shore. It is also said that the Kali River flowing into the Arabian Sea deposits this unique grainy sand onto the Timati shores.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

There was another family on the beach who seemed to have come from some other route we were unaware of. So if you plan to visit you may want to check in Majali village about the route to avoid the small hike up the mountains.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

On our way back we surprisingly found a path climbing up the hill which looked like a paved path for the hikers. The return was much easier and faster as we could avoid the slippery rocks and the gorges. Walking at the height rewarded with more splendid scenic vistas of the perpetual blue horizon and the Gabitwada beach lined with boats.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnatakay

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

The path descended from the back of the hill where the stream was much deeper.  We could spot several bunches of small pretty fishes swimming in the crystal clear waters of the stream. We spent some more time at the beach and headed to continue our Karwar city sightseeing.

Tilmati Black Beach Karwar Karnataka

The gorgeous stretch of sandy beaches of Karwar and the picturesque lush green landscapes easily make for a great addition to the travel bucket list especially if you are looking for some laid back experience. So when are you heading to Karwar?

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8 Comment

  1. This is a lovely discovery. The black beach looks uniquely beautiful. The trek and the route that led to it must have been a wonderful experience. When we were in Karwar, we had been only to the Devbagh beach, which is also really serene and beautiful. Your pictures capture the enchanting environs in vivid detail. Great to see that you were able to negotiate the trek with your kid.

  2. You had me at beaches and less touristy! Seriously, Gabitwada Beach looks absolutely lovely. How fun would it be to take the outrigger canoe in the picture out on the water? Now you have me wanting to go to Kawar!

  3. Joanna says: Reply

    I live next to the sea and I love hearing the waves crashing into the rocks too when I go hiking on top of the cliffs. The Tilmati beach looks so lovely and I really like that there are no other people around. These are the best beaches, where you can enjoy the unspoiled nature and its beauty.

  4. Ha says: Reply

    Those pictures are so lovely. Great to see that you had good time with your family. The beach looks beautiful and peaceful with less tourists. I would love to go there one day!

  5. Gareth says: Reply

    Always great to find to find a beach with less tourists around and even better when it is one such as this. Certainly, as you mentioned, the beach has a very unique aesthetic and it looks as though Chhavi had a great time exploring! Perhaps it won’t be long before more tourists start heading to this beautiful part of the world

  6. That is the best and most rewarding part of exploring off the beaten path! You have the opportunity to discover new sights and routes that you never even knew existed! That beach is gorgeous and it’s such a perfect spot to explore – love secluded beaches and coves!

  7. I would expect a black beach in Costa Rica or Iceland but never in India. It’s interesting there are volcanic rock formations there too! It must have been so easy getting up and down when you found the path!

  8. Julianne says: Reply

    I’ve visited a couple black sand beaches in the US, so visiting Tilmati sounds up my alley! I love discovering places that are less touristy — it’s so nice to enjoy a place with peace and quiet and just soak it in. Sounds like a great way to spend a day with family. Love the shot with the purple flowers!

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