Karwar is a town situated in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka state. Located about 86 km away from Goa by road, this port city has got some amazing beaches, temples, and forts. It’s also home to many beautiful rivers, mountains, and evergreen forests. A treasure trove of culture, history, and adventure, Karwar should definitely be visited once during your trip to southern India.
What’s interesting about this town is that apart from coming to explore Karwar, tourists flock here to experience the peace and serene vibes of the coastal paradise. If you were planning on traveling to Karwar but aren’t sure of how to take it forward, here’s a Karwar travel guide that will give you all the necessary information. Let’s dive right in!
Karwar city has an interesting history. It dates back to the 1800s when the Britishers inhabited the port town. Apart from the Britishers, Karwar has also been ruled by Portuguese, French, Marathas, and some Muslim traders. Some sources also trace back the history of Karwar to the rule of King Shivaji during the 17th century. It is said that he visited the Sadashivgad Fort located near Karwar, and that’s when he wanted to take control of the region. However, it was soon taken over by the Britishers and now you can see that the vibrant and diverse culture of Karwar is a result of the different rulers that have influenced the region.
The culture of the city is simple as the majority of the people of Karwar are fisher folks or farmers. Fishing and farming are the main occupations in most parts of Karwar. You’ll find people speaking mostly in the local languages of Kannada and Konkani. When it comes to the food, you’ll be amazed by the variety they have in seafood. Rice, coconut, and cashews are a part of most of their staple dishes. You must try oysters, clams, dishes like bangada fry, and karle ambat (crab masala) when in Karwar. The culture and traditions of this port town are also reflected in the arts and crafts of the city. You’ll find rural paintings, handicrafts, and souvenirs crafted on wood that will represent the best of Karwar. Don’t forget to get your hands on a few of these on your visit to Karwar!
Karwar does not have its own airport. The closest airport is Dabolim Airport in Goa, which is around 86 km away from Karwar. This international airport is connected to all major cities and has flights operating on a daily basis. Once you get down at Dabolim Airport, you can get a bus or a taxi to Karwar. This trip will take you around 2 hours.
Getting to Karwar by train is very convenient as the town has its own railway station. Karwar Railway Station is a part of the Konkan Railway zone. As an important railway station in Karnataka, most trains that pass through halt at Karwar, and it is well connected to all major cities in India. If you don’t want to get stuck in traffic and would love to enjoy the view at the same time, then traveling to Karwar by train could be your best bet!
Karwar has great road connectivity with other major cities in India, which makes it easily accessible by road. NH 66, which runs all the way from Mumbai to Kanyakumari, passes through Karwar. It runs through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, connecting the major places to Karwar. There are plenty of bus services running daily between Bangalore and Karwar as well as Goa and Karwar if you’re traveling from these places or making a pit stop here.
Also read: Places To Visit In Karwar
The winter months of October to February are the best time to visit Karwar. The weather is in the comfortable range of 17°C to 29°C. This makes the beachside activities in Karwar all the more enjoyable without the fear of getting sunburnt! You also get to explore the city at its best and enjoy sightseeing in the pleasant weather.
You may not want to visit in the summer months as the temperatures in Karwar range between 27°C and 34°C, and it becomes really hot. However, if you’re planning a trip during those months, you could avail of better deals as it’s the off-season. You can also indulge in all the water activities during this time.
Karwar does experience mild to moderate rainfall that could hinder beachside activities. But if you want to experience the coastal city at its natural best, then visiting Karwar during the monsoon season could also be a good idea.
Auto rickshaws and taxis are the local public transportation options available in Karwar. You can easily hop onto an auto or a taxi to get around the different places in the city. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, bicycles are also available for you to explore the city. Buses are available for long distance travel from Karwar to other cities within and outside the state.
Also read: Experiencing Goa During New Year
One of the must-visit places in Karwar is Devbagh Beach. Nestled between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, this beach can be the perfect spot for everyone visiting this town in Karnataka. The golden sand, clear water, and pleasant atmosphere of the beach are very inviting to locals and tourists alike. Apart from soaking up the natural beauty of this place, you can also indulge in some water activities at Devbagh Beach. Activities like parasailing, jet skiing, banana boat riding, snorkeling, and scuba diving will definitely quench your adrenaline thirst. There are also a few local eateries from where you can enjoy regional snacks while taking a stroll on the beach. If you were wondering how to reach Devbagh Beach, know that it is at a distance of around 8 km from Karwar Bus Stand and is easily accessible by road.
All water babies would want to visit this unique island, which is around 20 minutes away from Karwar by road. Shaped like a tortoise, the scenic beauty of this island coupled with the activities it offers makes Kurumgad Island an interesting place to explore. You’ll spot a lot of devotees too, who come to visit the Narasimha Temple, a popular attraction located on the island. It’s usually during the month of January that the temple is flooded with devotees because of the Pushya Purnima annual yatra. There is also an old fort and a deserted lighthouse that you can explore on the island along with enjoying some water activities like swimming, diving, snorkeling, etc. You can reach Kurumgad Island by road from Karwar or you can also take a jetty from River Kali to the island.
A relatively recent attraction in Karwar is the Rock Garden. Located near Rabindranath Tagore Beach, this garden gives you a glimpse into the life and culture of Karwar as well as the Uttara Kannada district. The rocks in this garden have been carved to depict the lifestyle of Karnataka tribes. You’ll find sculptures of fishermen, their families, and their pets in addition to the sculptures of villagers engaged in different activities. With most sculptures, you’ll find brief descriptions attached to them, giving you some insight into the history and background of that sculpture. The garden is usually open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm on all days and has an entry fee of INR 40 per person. You’ll need around an hour or two to explore the garden in its best form.
Also read: Best Historical Places In Goa
Is Karwar Worth Visiting?
Nestled in the state of Karnataka, Karwar has got a unique charm of its own. It’s a perfect spot for water babies and adventure lovers and should definitely be visited once for a laidback holiday.
How Many Beaches Are There In Karwar?
Karwar is known for its beautiful beaches. Talking about the number, there are about 6 beaches in Karwar and these are Devbagh Beach, Majali Beach, Karwar Beach, Kodi Bagh Beach, Tilmati Beach, and Binaga Beach.
What Language Is Spoken In Karwar?
While Kannada is the main language spoken in most parts of Karnataka, people in Karwar converse in both Kannada and Konkani. Tourists could also converse in English as many locals are familiar with that language as well.
Is Karwar A District?
Karwar is not a district but it is a taluk, city, and administrative center of the Uttara Kannada district.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Karwar?
The best season to visit Karwar is the winter season. And the ideal months are from October to February as the weather is perfect for sightseeing and indulging in some adventure activities at the beautiful beaches of Karwar.
Which River Is In Karwar?
The Kali river estuary is the river in Karwar that connects Karnataka and Goa via a bridge.
How Many Rivers Are There In Karwar?
There are 41 rivers and lakes in total in Karwar city.
What Can Tourists Buy In Karwar?
Karwar is famous for silk sarees and muslin cloth, apart from this you can also shop for incense sticks made from pure sandalwood.