The confluence of river Kali and the Arabian sea marks the location of the coastal town of Karwar. It lies on the west coast of South India, at the mouth of the Kali River near the Goa – Karnataka border. Just 50 km before Goa, Karwar is the underdog of holiday destinations; still untapped but replete with breath-taking beauty. Rabindranath Tagore bestowed on Karwar the title of “Kashmir of Karnataka”, and rightly so. He was so inspired by the tranquillity of the place, so much that he even dedicated a chapter to it in his biography. The place is adorned with pristine sand, dense forest, waterfalls, temples, and an embellished mythological history. Karwar has a number of untouched beaches that will blow your mind away. It is a place of choice for both kinds of holidays; one that brings along the beach lovers and the other which has people seeking to explore the spiritual side of Karwar.
The temples of Karwar form an important part of its heritage. The most famous one is the ancient Durga Bhavani temple, situated on the peak of Sadashivgad hill fort in Karwar, on the north bank of river Kali. Also known as Shanthadurga Temple, it pays homage to Goddess Durga. The temple was constructed around 1665 CE and is known for its architectural beauty. Standing at its threshold, one can enjoy the picturesque beauty of the island and its surrounding areas. Historians believe that Raja Shiv Chhatrapati found this temple and gave the rights of worship to the local Bhandari family. The temple hosts an annual fest here which is celebrated by the locals with great enthusiasm. Several cannons line the entrance to the temple adding to its grandeur. It is also an Estuary point which offers a terrific view of the city, Arabian Sea and Kali river.
Another equally famous pilgrimage located on the banks of river Kali is the Nagnath temple. This temple is a protected monument maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. Sanctum sanctorum to Lord Shiva, Nagnath temple gets thousands of devotees every year to worship Lord Shiva and an ancient anthill. This anthill is believed to be the home of the Nag Devta. Maha Shivaratri and Kartika Poornima are the major festivals celebrated at this temple.
The Maruti temple is located on the Karwar main road. It is home to Lord Hanuman who was a devotee of Lord Sri Ram and also known as Maruti as per Hindu mythology. The architecture of the temple is of the north Indian Nagara style and it is built with white marble. The giant statue of Lord Hanuman apart from being the revered idol is also a popular tourist attraction of Karwar. The temple organizes an annual rangoli fest in December. Local artists decorate the streets around the temple with beautiful and innovative Bengali rangoli designs. The designs are not only restricted to Indian mythology but the artists also unleash their creativity by making portraits of celebrities and sportspersons.
Jai Santoshi Mata Temple
The banks of river Kali are lined with a number of temples and the one located at Nandangadda is the Jai Santoshi Mata temple. As the name suggests, the deity housed in the temple is Santoshi Mata. Hindu mythology states that Santoshi Mata was the daughter of Lord Ganesha and the reincarnation of Goddess Durga. For these reasons, the temple also has the idols of Goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha in its premises. Tuesdays and Fridays see the temple lighted with hundreds of lamp to mark the celebration of Deepotsava. During the month of Shravan as per the Hindu calendar, Ugadi Lakshadeepotsav is held at Jai Santoshi Mata Temple.
Your spiritual sojourn in Karwar will not be complete without a trip to the three decades old Venkataramana temple. Located in the vicinity of the Karwar beach, the temple is famous for its unique ochre paintings. The temple also goes by the name of Puthutirupathi.
The historic Narasimha temple situated on top of a hill at Kurumgad should add to your spiritual voyage as well. Kurumgad is a tortoise-shaped island, which is about 6 km from Karwar and about one kilometre from Devbagh beach. Dedicated to Lord Narasimha, who was one of the 10 incarnations of Lord Maha Vishnu, the temple can be reached after crossing a trek on a hill. The island plays host to the Yathra held in January which brings thousands of devotees to Karwar.
The spiritual side of Karwar doesn’t downplay the fact that it is a popular beach destination as well. It’s a paradise for all the water sports lovers out there. Karwar is famous for its woven cotton fabric, the fine muslin. Dive into some delectable Konkani sea-food along with Indian, Chinese and other multi cuisines while staying at Sterling Karwar. The nearest International Airport is Dabolim Airport, Goa, which is about 98 km from Karwar. There is air connectivity between the airport and all major cities of India. It is well connected by the Konkan Railway network between the cities of Bengaluru, Hubli, Belgaum, Goa, Mangalore, and Mysore.
Embark upon this spiritual journey to Karwar by booking your stay with Sterling.