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Karwar Beach

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Karwar Beach


Coconut palms on the beach, Karwar

Coordinates: 14°48′N 74°08′E / 14.8°N 74.13°E / 14.8; 74.13Coordinates: 14°48′N 74°08′E / 14.8°N 74.13°E / 14.8; 74.13

Country India
State Karnataka
District Uttara Kannada
 • Commissioner Imkongla Jamir
 • Total 10.9 km2 (4.2 sq mi)
Elevation 6 m (20 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 110,000
 • Density 2,319.45/km2 (6,007.3/sq mi)
 • Official Konkani, Kannada, Marathi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 581301
Telephone code 91-8382-XXX XXX
Vehicle registration KA-30

Karwar is the administrative headquarters of an eponymous taluk and of Uttara Kannada district in the Indian state of Karnataka.[1] It was the chief town of the North Kanara district in British India.

Karwar is a seaside town situated on the banks of the Kali river which is on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. The town lies about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of the KarnatakaGoa border and 519 kilometres (322 mi) north-west of Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka.


Karwar is known by the nearby southern villagers as Konkani word "Kone", Marathi word "Karwan" meaning the corner of the landmass before the river Kali. Karwar derived its name from the nearby village of Kadwad, which was prominent during the British Raj. The present Karwar is a new settlement. During the pre-Indian independence era, Karwar was spelt "Carwar".[2]


Karwar was an ancient site of sea trade visited by the Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, French and later the British. Ibn Battuta passed through this route during his journeys.

Significant and picturesque, the historically important fort Sadashivgad is now a popular tourist destination located by the Kali river bridge at the confluence of the river and the Arabian Sea.Kot Siveshvar, a fortress in proximity of the town of Karwar, is an attraction that visitors should stop by if their itinerary permits. The fortress, built by Bijapur Sultanate, falls within a small village named Siveshvar. According to historians, Kot Siveshvar was constructed to safeguard the northern extremes of Canara. Though the site is in dilapidated condition now, a well, a Muslim graveyard and a tunnel located at the eastern gate are still visible.


Cintacora, as it was known to the Portuguese, was a very old port and was also known as Chitrakul (Chittakula) and Sindpur. When Sadashivgad was built in this area, the village also came to be known by that name.

A fort existed at Cintacora which was captured and burnt by the Portuguese in 1510. They called it Pir fort due to the Muslim Dargah (Tomb of a Sufi Saint Shahkaramuddin) they found there – that was known in Portuguese as Forte de Piro or Pito.

The creek at the mouth of the Kali River was a trading center from early days. It came into greater prominence after Sadashivgad was built and the Portuguese realised the advantages of its sheltered harbour.


In 1638 a rival English trading body, the Courteen Association, established a factory at Kadwad village, 6 km east of present-day Karwar. It was frequented by traders from Arabia and Africa. Baitkhol port (the current civil port of Karwar) was famous for its natural harbour. The name Baithkhol is an Arabic term, Bait-e-kol, meaning bay of safety. Muslin was the chief commodity along with pepper, cardamom, cassier and coarse blue cotton cloth. In 1649 the Courteen Association united with the British East India Company and Karwar became a Company factory. British East India Company used Karwar port to build fighting ships like Britannia (during 1715) with 18 guns, to defend Bombay, mainly from the attacks of Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre.[3]

Kingdom of Mysore

In the Treaty of Mangalore signed in 1784, between Tipu Sultan and the East India Company, one finds reference to Karwar and Sadashivgad written as Carwar and Sadasewgude respectively.[4]

Maratha Empire

Sadashivgad part of Karwar was a part of the Maratha Empire during the 18th century. After the defeat of the Marathas in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, it became a part of British territory. It was a part of the Bombay Presidency until 1950.

The British Empire

The British made Karwar their district headquarters in 1862 under the Bombay Presidency.

The renowned Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who visited Karwar in 1882, dedicated a chapter of his memoirs to this town.[5] The 22-year old Tagore stayed with his second brother, Satyendranath Tagore, who was the district judge in Karwar.


The town is sandwiched between the sea on one side and the Western Ghats on the other.

Kali river (Kalinadi) is a west flowing river which takes its birth at a height of 600 m in the Western Ghats at the village of Bidi. Kali River is a prime source of irrigation in Karnataka and has a total length of 153 km. The Kali river flows through Karwar town and empties into the Arabian Sea.

—===Taluk=== Karwar Taluk/Tehsil comprises the following blocks/villages:

  • Ambrai
  • Amdalli
  • Angadi
  • Arga
  • Asnoti
  • Baad
  • Baitkol
  • Balni
  • Bhaire
  • Bhaire
  • Bhandishitta
  • Binaga
  • Binaga
  • Birtulbag
  • Bore
  • Chendia
  • Devabag
  • Gopashitta
  • Gotegali
  • Halebag
  • Halekote
  • Halga
  • Hankon
  • Hankon
  • Hapkarni
  • Harwada
  • Hosali
  • Hosalli
  • Hotegali
  • Hotegali
  • Kadra
  • Kadwad
  • Kaiga
  • Kajubag
  • Kalaswada
  • Karkal
  • Kathinkon
  • Kerwadi
  • Kerwadi
  • Kharga
  • Kinner
  • Kodibag
  • Kolage
  • Kunnipet
  • Lower Makeri
  • Majali
  • Mallapur
  • Mudgeri
  • Nandangadda
  • Nargeri
  • Sadashivgad
  • Sakalbalni
  • Sanmudageri
  • Shejebag
  • Shejwad
  • Shirwad
  • Siddar
  • Sunkeri
  • Thoralebag
  • Ulga
  • Upper Makeri
  • WailBalni

Demand for merger with Goa

Uttara Kannada district was a part of Bombay Presidency during British rule. Before reorganisation of the States, the district was in Bombay State. The local Konkani-speaking people had close connections with Mumbai during that period. Many Marathi-medium schools were established in Karwar and Joida taluks. Marathi films were released in Karwar. The visit of Marathi drama troupes from Mumbai and Pune was an annual feature. However, Konkani-speaking people were disenchanted when Marathis began to claim that Konkani was a dialect of Marathi. They asserted that Konkani had independent status as a language. Led by late P.S. Kamat, they argued before the Mahajan Commission that Karwar was an integral part of Karnataka.[6]

The Goa State Konkani Ekikaran Manch (GSKEM) was launched with Asha Palankar as convener in Sadashivgad in 2006. According to members of the Ekikaran Manch, their aim is to organise a movement for the unification of Konkani language speaking Karwar and Joida taluks with Goa. The local unit of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES) at Sadashivagad and its leaders such as Vishnu Kalgutkar and Shivanand Rane joined with the GSKEM and said they would dissolve the MES unit and fight for merger of Karwar and Joida in Goa. The activists demanded that Karwar and Joida be merged with Goa, the only Konkani state in the country.[7]

MES had a long history of pursuit for Karwar alongside Nippani and Belgaum in their quest to merge these areas into Maharashtra. However, this demand is not taken well by local people and prominent citizens did not support this separatist demand.[6]


The climate in Karwar is hot in summer. The nearby Arabian Sea has high temperature through the year. During summer (from March to May) the temperature reaches 37 °C and in winters (from December to February) it is usually between 32 °C and 24 °C.

The Monsoon period is from June to September with rainfall averaging more than 400 centimetres (160 in) every year along with heavy winds.

Climate data for Karwar
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 32.8
Average low °C (°F) 20.8
Precipitation mm (inches) 1.1


  • Hindu High School, Karwar
  • Govt Polytechnic, Karwar
  • Shivaji College, Karwar
  • Shivaji High School, Karwar
  • St. Joseph's School, Karwar
  • St. Michael's Convent, Karwar
  • New High School, Karwar
  • Government Arts And Science college, Karwar
  • Divekar College of Commerce, Karwar
  • Government Industrial Training Institute, Karwar
  • Bapuji College, Sadashivgad
  • Shri Somnath ITI college, Binaga, Karwar


As of the 2001 census, Karwar had a population of 75,038 in 17,391 households.[1] Females constitute 48% of the population. Karwar has an average literacy rate of 80%, higher than the national average of 74%: male literacy is 85%, and female literacy is 75%. In Karwar, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

The majority is Hindu. In the 17th century, due to rampant persecution by the Portuguese, over 20% of Goans migrated to Karwar.. The prominent castes and subcastes include:

Halakki Vokkaligas living in the foot of Western Ghats are known as the "Aboriginals of Uttara Kannada". They have an administrative system of their own and the headman is called "Gouda". Their way of life is still traditional; the women adorn themselves with beads and necklaces, heavy nose rings and distinct attire. Goulis are a nomadic tribe who migrated to Karwar from Maharashtra. They are mainly cattle and goat herders. They stay on the fringes of the forest. Some have taken up agriculture. Kunabis are said to be the most backward tribe of the district. They live in small groups deep inside forests in bamboo huts built in a row sharing common walls. Not having access to medical facilities due to seclusion, mortality rates among them are very high.

Partly due to the presence of the British, who had a major presence in this town and proximity to the then Portuguese-controlled Goa state, Christianity has been in existence here since the 18th century. A majority of Christians here are descendants of converts who fled the Portuguese Inquisition, which demanded complete rejection of native rituals.

Muslims, mainly as part of the trading community, migrated from the Deccan (Bahamani) kingdoms to Karwar, and are known to be seafarers. Muslim influence created the Karwar port is known as "Baithkol" meaning the House of Safety, or Place of Safety ("Bait-e-kol" in Arabic). Major Muslim villages were Shiveshvar, Kadwad, Sunkeri, Chittakula, Sawar Pai and Hotegali. It is believed that two brothers who were descendants of Prophet Mohammed's son-in-law Ali were settled in Shiveshvar and this village became a citadel of Islamic learning. In this village three shrines of Muslim saints (Gaiby Pir, Nizam Pir and Shamshuddin pir-In Kot) are visited by worshippers.


Konkani and Kannada are the major languages of Karwar.[7] Kannada, the state language, is taught in school and the people use it for official purposes. Marathi is widely understood and spoken in Karwar due to the prevalence of Marathi literature and arts in the area. Hindi, Urdu and English are also used in social communications.[8]


The main occupation is agriculture.. Rice, groundnuts, Fresh green vegetables, onions, watermelons etc, flowers called Kalya chendu., animal husbandry, sericulture, horticulture, beekeeping, Gathering & Lumbering, Homeopathy medicines

Another major industry is fisheries. Though the district is located along the coast, its marine products are not much renowned. Activities connected with fisheries are carried out on a large scale by fishing communities like Harikanth, Konkan Kharvis, Gabiths, Ambigas.

Daivadnya Brahmins engage in jewellery design and manufacture along with Goldsmithing. Leather works are also prominent.

Now Aditya Birla Chemicals Group previously known as Solaris Chemtech (originally constructed n maintained by BILT — Ballarpur Industries Ltd.) at Binaga manufacturcaustic soda Lye & flakes, chlorine liquid & dry, hydrochloric acid and phosphoric acid [, kestra pipes and bromine, THE OTHER MAJOR INDUSTRIES INCLUDE [Nuclear Power Corporation of India]] operates a nuclear power plant at Kaiga around 50 kilometres from Karwar town. And project seabird the largest naval base in Asia, KPC... Kadra hydro electric power corp. 33 kms from karwar, the dam is between Kadra n Mallapur All these organisations contribute to the economy of Karwar.

Karwar is situated on the Konkan Railway route. The railway station is located at Shirwad, 6kms away from Karwar Town at Shirwad.


Karwar port is located in Baithkol on the edge of Karwar bay. The mountain range opposite the port towards the Arabian Sea protects the ships berthed at the port from the sea, making Karwar among the world's best natural harbours.

Karwar port is one of the main ports of Karnataka, serving the hinterland of northern Karnataka, Goa and southern Maharashtra, with a total length of 355 meters. The quay has two berths with a draft capacity of 9.25 meters each for berthing of ocean-going ships. It is maintained and operated by the Government of Karnataka. The Government of Karnataka has a proposal to develop Karwar port on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis for 6 additional berths, a container terminal, and a rail link to Shirwad railway station. The port was cleared to handle all types of commodities, including "B" and "C" classes of petroleum products.

There are Liquid Storage Tanks for Storing Liquid Cargo at Karwar port Area. Bitumen, Furnace Oil, Molasses, HSD are mainly stored in this tanks. After the ban of Iron Ore Mining & Export from Karnataka State the congestion at Karwar Port is minimum. The port has arrangements for berthing coastal vessels. A fishing jetty attached to the port berths fishing boats.

Part of the 2008 Hindi film Golmaal Returns was shot in the port.

In 2012 Government of Karnataka has carried out Maintenance Dredging at Karwar Port, Port approach channel & Karwar Anchorage for removing of silt for safe movement of Ships at Port & for Anchoring of Ships.


Prominent places of tourist interest in Karwar are:

  • Anshi National Park
  • Binaga Beach
  • Chaitanya Park
  • Chendia Falls – Nagarmadi Falls (a small waterfall which passes under a huge rock)
  • Devbagh Beach
  • Devkar Falls
  • Durga Devi Temple
  • Guddahalli Peak
  • Habbu Mountain (opp. Venkateshwara Gas Agencies)
  • High Church
  • Hyder Ghat Pass
  • Jai Santoshi Maata Temple, Nanadangadda
  • Jamba
  • Jamiya Mosque,Shiveshvar
  • Kali Bridge
  • Shri Kalimata temple Island in river Kali, accessible from Santishimata temple at Nandangadda
  • Karwar Beach
  • Kodasall
  • Kot Shiveshvar
  • Kurumgad Island
  • Majali Beach
  • Maruti Temple
  • Mudgeri Dam
  • Naganath Temple
  • Oyster Rock Lighthouse
  • Sadashivgad Fort
  • Saimandir, Near Narshiv Temple, Kodibag
  • Shahkaramuddin Dargah, Sadashivgad (Tomb of a Sufi Saint)
  • Shirve Ghat
  • Shri Ayyappa Temple, KEB Road
  • Shri Kshetra Gurumath, Baad[9]
  • Tilmatti Beach
  • Ganpati Ravalnath Mahamaye Temple, Asnoti (Bhagat wada)

Shri veer Ganapati Temple At Amadalli

Naval base

Main article: INS Kadamba

A bay near Binaga has become a new naval base for the Indian Navy called INS Kadamba, its third-largest. The base was initially developed as part of Project Seabird. Beautiful beaches including Casurina Beach (at Binaga) – now christened as Kamat Bay by the Navy — and Arga Beach are now transformed and are off limits to the public. The navy opens its portals for the public during Navy Week in December and for visiting educational groups.

Defence Minister A.K. Anthony commissioned a civilian township at Amadalli marking the completion of all Phase-I construction activities. Completed at a cost of Rs 24 billion approximately, phase one included the commissioning of ship INS Kadamba in 2005 and a ship-lift facility in 2006 along with a hospital.

Phase II has begun and is expected to create large-scale employment opportunities for local youth. In the next 10 years, a number of infrastructure projects are expected to come up for construction in Karwar and Ankola. The cost of Phase II will not be less than Rs 1,250 billion, five times that of Phase I.



Karwar is famous for a variety of seafood delicacies. Fish curry and rice is the staple diet of the locals, cashews and coconut

  • Kurle and Sungta Ambat – Crab and shrimp prepared in coconut, red chillies and tamarind paste.
  • Bangada Fry – Mackerel fried in masala and semolina.
  • Gojju – A vegetable dish made of capsicum, carrot, cucumber and eggplant fried in butter.
  • Kalwa Sukka – Kalwa is just like sea shell (oyster) but it is grown on the edge of the sea shore on the stones to which it will be firmly attached to. It cannot be removed, the shell must be broken with a hammer to get it out. And it is prepared using coconut, red chillies and tamarind paste.
  • Tisaryachi (shell) Ekshipi – Clams with one shell on.
  • Masli Kadi – Fish cooked in coconut gravy.
  • Miri Phanas Chi Bhaji – Breadfruit cooked with grated coconut, spices and either shellfish or shrimp.
  • Shagoti – Chicken or mutton cooked in coconut gravy and shagoti masala.
  • Sukhe Masli – Dried, salted fish like mackerel (bangada), Bombay duck (bombil), sardine (tarle) and others.
  • Paez – Parboiled rice (ukhde tandul) cooked in water and salt. Is eaten with ambat or masli kadi.
  • Sutryan – Boiled rice shaped into a disc or vada-like form. Is eaten with prawn (zinge) gravy.
  • Kakadi chi Roti
  • Ghanshya shak, Terya shak, Taikilya Bhaji
  • Allambya ambat (Mushroom masala)
  • Luckha sukka (Squid chilly)
  • Mungachi Kheer
  • Sakhroli
  • Chile
  • Ghavane (Neer Dosa or Rice dosa)
  • Bhaje Aambat
  • Shevaya – Vermicelli noodles made from boiled rice. Is eaten with coconut milk and jaggery.
  • Patoli – A sweet prepared by wrapping the ingredients in turmeric leaves and steaming them.
  • Patrado
  • Sukrundo – A sweet prepared during Ganesh Chaturthi. People believe that this is Lord Ganesh's favourite.
  • Bhinda Kadi – A drink prepared from the kokum fruit.


Ganesha Chaturthi Festival is a major festival, celebrating the birthday of Lord Ganesha. Two to three months prior to Ganesh Chaturthi, lifelike clay models of Lord Ganesha are made for sale by skilled artisans. They depict Lord Ganesha in various poses. The size of these statues varies from .75 inches (19 mm) to over 25 feet (7.6 m). Ganesh Chaturthi starts with the installation of these Ganesha statues in colourfully decorated homes and temporary structures called mantapas (pandals). The pandals are erected by the people of a specific society or locality or group by collecting contributions. The mantapas are decorated especially for the festival, either by using decorative items like flower garlands, lights, etc. or are theme-based decorations, which depict religious themes or current events. The statues are worshipped with families and friends.

Diwali is celebrated as the return of Rama, King of Ayodhya, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana to Ayodhya after 14 years exile, and a war in which he killed Ravana. It is also called the Festival of Lights. All homes, shops, establishments & offices are arrangements are made for night lighting.


Maha Shivratri

Holi all about Holika dehan n d festival of colours.

Gudi padwa the Hindu new year

""""Dasara"""" to celebrate the killing of demon king Ravan at the hands of God king Ram]]

""""Navaratri"""" to celebrate d slaying of demon king Mahishasur the bull headed demon. It is celabrated vid pomp n show, Garbha and Dandiya lasting Navratra, Nine days, d Goddess takes 9 different forms n destroys all demonic forces who had made life miserable for mother earth.

Kurumgad jatra

The Muslim community celebrates Id-ul-Fitar (Ramdan Id) on the completion of Ramadan month & Id-ul-Adha (Bakri-Id) in the remembrance of Prophet Abraham's sacrifice of his son Prophet Isaac/Ismail to th e will of Allah and completion of Hajj rituals at Mecca.

The Christian community celebrates '''Christmas Day''' on 25 December, as the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Sao Jao z celebrated by decoratin heads vid freshly derived local fruits leaves n flowers n jumpin in d wells n water ponds, rivers, lakes etc.

Anjedweep island festival

Good Friday Easter

Every year, a festival called "Karavali Utsav" is held on Rabindranath Tagore Beach, lasting 3 to 4 days. It is organised by the Uttara Kannada District Administration as a cultural-social festival. Many shops and stalls are installed at the Tagore Beach. People from all parts of the district and from all over the state and neighbouring Goa state participate. Many cultural events are held in the evening in which regional, national and international artists present shows; they include Bollywood stars, Kannada film stars, Goan artists and local artists.


The sea beach of Karwar is certainly a fit place in which to realize that the beauty of Nature is not a mirage of the imagination, but reflects the joy of the Infinite and thus draws us to lose ourselves in 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[5]


  • Karwar eNews[10] is the major online local newspaper.
  • Karavali Munjavu, a Kannada daily published from Karwar is the most popular local daily.
  • Karwar has a District Press / Media Center (Zilla Varta Kendra).
  • A Government District Library Near District Court is located next to Mitra Samaj.
  • All India Radio (Akashwani Kendra) Karwar is situated on Gurumath Road Kajubag Karwar.
  • Real TV's reality show, Sarkaar Ki Duniya was shot at Ambe Joog island.


Karwar is well connected to Bangalore Margao (Goa), Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mangalore, Kannur, Kozhikode, Kochi, Trivandrum and other important places through the Konkan Railway. The three railway stations falling under Karwar Taluka on Konkan Railway route are Asnoti, Karwar (Nandangadda) and Harwada. The Nearest Goan station is the Canacona station after the asnoti station at a distance of 36 km. The next being the Madgaon station towards the North. Karwar is 68 km from Madgaon.[11]

Notable people

See also


External links

  • Karwar Online
  • Karwar City Municipal Council
  • Zilla panchayat Karwar
  • Karwar eNews
  • for karwar people's
  • form karwar
  • karwar konkan maratha
  • Shree shetra Baad Gurumath karwar
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