Coastal Hamlets

Guest post by Raj Niranjan Das.



My wonderful stay in Gokarna, close to Goa gave me an opportunity to explore the lesser known destinations on the Karnataka coast. After enjoying the lovely secluded beaches of Gokarna I went further south on NH-17 towards the temple town of Murudeshwar. The place is famous for the humungous Shiva statue and the famous temple.
Cruising past the fishing hamlets of honnavar and kumta, I reached Murudeshwar in the hot and humid climate. The gopuram or the entry gate at the temple is a stunner, standing tall with carvings which are so intricate. Even more stunning was the massive statue of Lord Shiva which can be seen even from the national highway. The statue which is more than 120 feet tall is the second tallest Shiva statue in the world and is beautifully created adjacent to the sea. The Lord sitting besides the Arabian sea, towering over his devotees and blessing them is a mindblowing sight. After a quick temple darshan, it was time for fun and frolic. Murudeshwar beach has a lot of water sport options and one of them is water scooters which I had always wanted to ride. Hopped onto one, and off I went deep into the sea, with water gushing all over me. At one point I could see land far with just the blue sea all around me. That was one hell of an adrenaline rush and its a must for all the adventure lovers. Boatmen also take you further to the nethrani island which is famous for snorkelling. However I decided to give that a miss.
After a quick bite at the sea facing Naveen restaurant, I was out of Murudeshwar and through the dusty small town of Bhatkal, headed further south on NH-17 to Ottinene sunset view point. A small dirt track off the highway led me to the viewpoint. I was awestruck at the breathtaking scenery and surprisingly the place looked deserted. Situated on a high plateau, it gives a mind blowing view of Baindoor beach way down and also of the beautiful river (don't know her name) disembarking itself into the Arabian Sea. I had a wonderful feel of peace and serenity gazing at the picturesque landscape.  This beautiful view is famous for sunsets, however I was too early for the same.
Ottinene view point
A further 20kms from Ottinene and I was at Maravanthe. This is in fact a spectacular and rare scenery where national highway has the roaring Arabian Sea on one side and the serene Souparnika river on the other. The road  actually separates these two water bodies. A few kiosks is all what the neat and clean Maravanthe beach can boast of. A few photo shoots of the mesmerising view of the horizon made me realise that both the sun and the sea were deeply in love.
My next destination on the coast was Karwar, which is approximately 55 kms north of Gokarna. The roads were winding and smooth all the way till Karwar. Hardly 5 kms ahead of Karwar town lies the Sadashivgad view point. This is located immediately after the Kali river bridge. This bridge which is almost a kilometer long gives a panoramic view of the the beautiful sea. The bridge gives a mesmerising view of the sunset and also of the ferocious Kali river disgorging into the sensuous Arabian sea. A sight that left me awestruck. Devbagh and Kurumbgad are two lovely islands which are located off Karwar. Travellers can stay over night at these islands with the Jungle lodges and resort.  
Tagore beach, Karwar
The Tagore beach in Karwar gets its name from the fact that Rabindrnath Tagore was quite impressed by this beach and had written his first play sitting on its shores. The sky looked quite colourful and the beach was swarming with evening walkers and kids all around. I had a quiet evening on the beach with vada pavs,pani puris and the setting sun. With darkness engulfing all over it was time to head back to the Gokarna.


Distances-
Gokarna to Karwar- 57 kms
Gokarna to Murudeshwar- 77kms
Murudeshwar to Marawanthe- 55 kms.

Raj Niranjan Das' blog can be found at http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.com/

Comments

  1. First photo is amazing. Nice piece of info. Have bookmarked it. How did you go? bike?

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  2. @ Nisha.. Thank you. Yes, I went on bike.

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  3. These pictures are simply amazing!!! Also great information.

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  4. Ottinene view point looks so gorgeous... would love to travel sometime...

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  6. read earlier about what gokarn and murudeshwar have to offer, but nowhere did i hear an account of the places and sights featured above.spectacular! thanks.

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