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.
Relishing the Karwar Beaches and Seafood
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We drove into the village until the Gabitwada beach where the long stretch of beach ended at a small hill.
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.
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 never ending blue horizon. On the right one can spot the Devbaugh beach and the confluence of River Kali and the Arabian Sea.
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.
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.
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.
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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