Serene beaches of Karwar Day 1

"The sea beach of Karwar is certainly a fit place in which to realize that beauty of nature is not a mirage of imagination, but reflects the joy of the infinite and thus draws us to lose ourselves into it. Where the universe is expressing itself in the magic of its laws it may not be strange if we miss its infinitude; but where the heart gets into immediate touch with immensity in the beauty of the meanest of things, is any room left for argument?"

Rabindranath Tagore,1916. It is said that Rabindranath Tagore had visited this beach and was inspired by its tranquil beauty to write his first play.

With Labor day approaching(an extended weekend) we were looking for a decent destination with all the hill stations being full, we hit upon "Karwar". After reading excellent reviews we planned a trip down to Karwar. There are a several ways to reach Karwar from Bangalore, we took the Hubli route. We reached Bangalore city railway station at around 7.15 Pm to board 6589 Rani Chennamma Express which leaves at 9.15 PM. I was very hungry and since we had couple of hours before the train would leave we decided to have dinner at "Shree Raghavendra Hotel" at the Majestic bus stand. After checking a few options I settled for set dosas. After dinner we boarded the train which left at right time 9.15 Pm from Bangalore City Railway station.

It was scheduled to reach Hubli by 5.30 AM but was late and reached at 6.45 AM after getting down from the train we started enquiring about the way to Karwar and we were directed to take a bus from the 'old bus stand' of Hubli. We took an Auto though the guy asked Rs. 30 initially but when we told the actual fare as Rs.15 he smiled peevishly and agreed. Thanks to the shop owners who not only directed us but told the actual fare as well.

In Hubli the primary language spoken is Kannada but people speak Hindi also very well so we didn’t have any communication issues. On reaching the bus stand which is maintained NWKSRTC we were told that buses are available for Karwar or we can hire a car/taxi but it'll be costly and they are run by travel agents. Since it was 7 AM in the morning none of the travel agents were open so we had to opt for the bus. We were told by the man at the enquiry counter to wait at platform 8/9 for buses going to Karwar. At around 8 AM a bus for Karwar came and we had to scramble to get in to secure a seat for all of us. Buses run every half an hour to 45 minutes from Hubli to Karwar. The fare is Rs.110 per head for a distance of about 160 Kms and it takes 4 hour 30 minutes to reach Karwar with 2 stops at Yellapur and Ankola.

As it was month of May it was hot but the road from Hubli to Karwar passes through the lovely Western Ghats. The ride through thick forest was very pleasing and my friends slept but I was constantly looking out of the window. The trees were dry and dull but still they were blocking the sun and it was quiet cool. Along some portion of the road a river (almost dried) flows. One remarkable thing I noticed on the way was that, there were a number of trucks which had broken down alongside the way also a number of tire retreading/vulcanizing plants beside the road. The road to Karwar from Ankola is up the Ghats alongside the Arabian Sea but the Navy's "Project Sea Bird" has blocked the breathtaking view of the Sea from the ghat road.

We reached Karwar Bus stand by 12.30 Noon, It was really hot and humid and we decided that we can't do without A/C rooms. We hired an auto-rickshaw and told the driver to take us to a good Hotel with A/C rooms. He took us to Hotel Navarathna on Karwar Main Road. It was a good hotel and we were charged 1250/- per A/C double room (this was way beyond our budget but the weather didn’t allow anything within our budget). After check-in we freshened up and went for lunch at Hotel Sai International just across the street. The food was quite nice with lots of variety from North Indian and Chinese cuisine. We returned to our rooms and thought of resting a while before going for local Karwar sightseeing.

Around 4 PM we got out of the Hotel and it was still hot and terribly humid. We hired an auto-rickshaw for Devbagh beach which is about 5 Kms. from hotel but the man started asking Rs.150/- he told "you see the place where I'll take you and then give whatever you like". He took us to a place from where we walked about a kilometer and half through the beautiful casuarina grove to reach the Log huts of the Devbagh Beach Resort from there we went on to the Devbagh Beach it was really serene with a few people having fun in the sea. We walked through the white sand in the backdrop of casuarina trees and clicked pictures of the setting sun.

Casuarina Grove at Devbagh Beach

Sunset at Serene and calm Devbagh Beach

Lone boat at Devbagh Beach

The driver asked whether we want to watch the sun set from there or from a "better" spot near the Kali River Bridge. We opted for the "better" option naturally and he raced the Auto as the sun was descending rapidly and the driver was racing with the sun so that we reach vantage point before sun god calls off the day. We reached Kali river's bridge when the sun was still above the horizon but was hid behind the clouds so we could not see a 'perfect' sun set but clicked the pictures of the picturesque River Kali, the bridge in the background of the western ghats and houseboats in backwaters (yes they do have a kind of backwaters). Then we ate the local ice-creams you know like the baraf-ka-gola sort of thing.

River Kali Bridge

Backwaters of River Kali near the beach

Then the Auto Driver took us to the Karwar beach or the Rabindranath Tagore Beach by now sun had set and dusk had set in. We paid the Auto Driver Rs.200(50 extra for his excellent service and keeping us entertained throughout with stories from his life) The beach is nothing special almost a mini version of Marina Beach of Chennai but much cleaner. Small children were enjoying the sea water and we got down till knee-deep water to feel the Arabian Sea. Then we sat on shore to watch the vastness of the Sea in twilight. Sitting there I was trying to figure out exactly where Rabindranath Tagore might have sat and seen the famed ‘beauty’ of nature which was non-existent now. Gazing at the sea, we didn't realize When the watch had turned to 8 Pm, we then walked back to our Hotel which was close to the beach. Actually the main Karwar town is quite small you can literally walk around.

It was very warm and humid we were sweating like hell, actually my body had forgotten what sweating was after staying 3 yrs in Bangalore. I was reminded of my hometown the way I used to sweat profusely there. Then after cooling ourselves at the Hotel we returned to the Hotel Sai International for dinner with super chilled beer. After dinner we walked along the main road for ice-cream but all the shops were closed by then so we returned to our Hotel to find that they have ice-cream and we had our fill. I also enquired with the hotel staff for a cab to Go-Karna for next day and they referred us to a cab driver who agreed after some bargaining for Rs. 1500/- including a trip to OM beach. So after confirming the cab I hit the sack, exhausted but content with the day’s experiences.

To be continued…

A post by Dhiman who blogs at Chronicles of a Techie

comment 1 comments:

shwetabhagat_4 on November 1, 2010 at 3:37 PM said...

i am too from karwar and i can know the beauty of it.thank u.

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