Beaches of Karnataka
Along the stunning coastline of about 320 kms of Karnataka, the playful waves of the mighty Arabian Sea echo across the miles of vegetation and greenery so typical of Karnataka State. The well-known beaches of Karnataka are Karwar, Malpe, Murudeshwar and Maravanthe beaches are the most popular.
The Karwar beach is truly virgin in the sense that it lies unspoiled and secluded. This beach which lies on a thin strip of tropical land tucked cosily between Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea has palm fringed shores providing a serene ambience for any visitor. Photo finish landscapes dotted with distinct islands offer a spectacular view for the tourists.
In fact, Karwar beach inspired the genius of Rabindranath Tagore to write his first play. The Devbagh beach located just about 3 km away on the north of Karnataka is just about 2 hours drive from South Goa. A number of small islets around this area are popular for snorkeling and diving.
Near the Karwar beach lie other tourist attractions - the Dandeli Game park, the Sadashivgad Hill fort, the Octagonal Church and the Naganatha temple. The Venkataramana temple which is claimed to be about 300 years old is located here. This temple houses fine ochre paintings of yesteryears.
Historically, Karwar was the headquarters of Uttar Kannada, sacred as a pilgrim centre. In fact thousands of pilgrims assemble at Ulavi which is 75 kms from Karwar every year to pay homage to the samadhi of Veera Shiva Saint Channabasavanna. Akka Nagamma cave and Mahamani Gavi Jathras are nearby attractions.
India has a modern naval base in Karwar - INS Kadamba built in several phases as Project SeaBird. This major naval facility will eventually berth the 44000 ton INS Vikramaditya (formerly Gorshkov of the Soviet Era) and the Indian Built Aircraft Carrier. Karwar was chosen as it is the safest natural port in the Indian west coast which has a hill jutting into the sea and the fury of the sea is tempered by the 5 islands - Dev gad, Anjidiv, Mogral, Kurma gad and Shamshigudda. When finally completed, this naval facility will be the largest in Asia.
The Shivganga fall which is 140 kms from Karwar is where river Souda falls into a deep valley from a height of 74 meters. The wildlife sanctuary which is 93 kms from Karwar is full of rare animals and birds. A cave with Shivalinga-like laterite formations is worthy of mention. The tourist cannot miss the Magod falls which is a few kilometers from Karwar offering absolute scenic delights. It should be splendid to watch the Bedti River plunge into a 180 m rocky valley in two powerful leaps.
Malpe lies about 6 kms from Udupi in Karnataka. The golden sands among the swaying palm and casuarina trees with the clear blue sky are hallmarks of this beach. Malpe is a natural harbor and is an important fishing centre contributing to the riches of Karnataka.
This beach beckons tourists longing for an ideal and idyllic holiday. Boating, fishing and swimming abound in this beach. Near Malpe is the St.Mary's island, an enchanting holiday destination. Boat cruises can be taken from here to reach Malpe beach resorts. Awe inspiring views of the distant sunset add merit and charm to this water destination.
Other tourist sites worth visiting in and around the beach include the Balarama Temple and a tile factory which is claimed to be the oldest in Malpe. The island of Darya Bahadurgarh across the Malpe bay can be well appreciated. Malpe is simply idyllic with its breathtaking views of the sea.
Maravanthe beach which is about 50 km from Udupi in Karnataka attracts a huge number of tourists every year. The red sky with golden rays with the resplendent sun at dusk converts this entire locale into a fairyland, whose scenic beauty is simply awesome. The highway of the Maravanthe beach is bordered on one side by the Arabian Sea and the Satuparnika River on the other side. Kodachadri hills form the natural backdrop.
Of all the beaches in Karnataka, Maravanthe beach is an ideal location for those wishing to indulge in water sports activities. Seawater is quite safe here for swimming with tides very gentle. This beach is also a popular picnic spot notably with youngsters.
A drive along the stretch of the Maravanthe beach on the National highway, with the Arabian Sea and the Satuparnika River bordering on either side, against a backdrop of Kodachadri hills is an experience of a lifetime.
The Murudeshwar beach is closeted between Honnavar and Bhatkal, a kilometre off the National Highway in Karnataka. Murudeshwar is about 386 km from Bangalore, 180 kms from Mangalore and 151 kms from Karwar.
A tale few centuries old is attached to this beach which makes it special. Historically this beach was said to be purified by the piece of Pranalinga of Mahabaleshwara thrown by Ravana. The Linga which is embodied in this temple is believed to have erupted when Ravana flung his cloth to cover the Atmalinga at Gokarna while lifting it.
The gorgeous temple shrine of Jattiga seated on a horse is situated on the hillock. A huge fort said to have been renovated by Tippu Sultan stands majestically behind the temple. Two life- sized elephants in concrete guard the steps leading to the temple. While traveling in Marudeshwar the traveler can witness quaint rituals like Bhuta worship, the Kambala or buffalo race or Korikatta the cock fight.
The sea is an intrinsic part of the temple of Marudeshwar with giant Arabian waves rocking the temple shores. The sea also surrounds the temple towering on the small hill called Kanduka Giri on all the three sides. Shimmering sea and rolling hills delight the discerning tourist visiting this beach ...
Partake of the mouth watering cuisine and delicacies so native of Karnataka with spicy fish curries and a variety of rice preparations, savor the wide variety of fruits including the mangoes, jackfruit, cashews and bananas amid memories of panaromic beaches.... inspirations of a very different sort indeed!