Saturday, December 22, 2007

Island Tourism in Karnataka

Quick Travel Guide to Islands and Islets of Karnataka

Karnataka’s Tourism has always been know for its World famous Heritage sites but very little information is available in one place on all the Islands one can hop and the related activities from beach picnics to water sports.

The famous Rivers of Karnataka River Kali and River Cauvery not only create some the world’s greatest waterfalls in Karnataka they also carve out beautiful islands and Islets. These desolate and sometimes inhabited islands create some of the most unique travel experiences for Nature and Beach enthusiasts.

Island around Karwar

An archipelago of islands along the coast of Karwar offer some of the most beautiful coastal beaches, enchanting natural splendor and arguably the best diving sites in India. Making Karwar and further up on the West coast Gokarna the new hotspots for beach Tourism in India.

Popular islands near Karwar are DevBagh Island, Anjadiv Island, Kurumgad Island, Oyster Rock (Devgad Island), Sanyasi Island, Sadashivgad Island and Madlimgadh Island. Karwar know for its sparkling azure waters is where there is confluence of the Kali river with the Arabian sea.

DevBagh Island

The most beautiful of all the Karwar Island, this resort is just 22 km south of the Goa border and 2 and half hours from Goa. It can be reached by boat from Karwar. The beaches are pristine and private.

Thickly populated with green casuarinas trees the name literally means the garden of gods.
A great spot to watch Dolphins, it is also a popular Water sports destination. Alternatively you can take a Trawler trip and Island hop across the Kumaragarh Island, Oyster Rock, Anjadiv Island or Anjudeep Island and Sanyasi Islands.

An extremely serene and romantic place it is very popular with Honeymooners. Devbagh also had a great influence on Rabindranath Tagore who stayed here in his younger days. He also penned a poem “Prakritir Pratishodh” about this place.

Devbagh's most popular resort is the Jungle Lodges Devbagh Island Beach Resort

Kurumgad Island

A tortoise shaped island 4 km off the coast of Karwar (it takes a 20-minute motorboat ride to reach this desolate Island).

The Island is now privately owned and belongs to a Coffee Planter Suresh Mathias. It was ruled by different dynasties including the Vijayanagar Empire.

Atop a hill there is an old Narasimha temple that draws thousands of devotees every year during a annual jatra.

An ideal place to spot seals this rock formation according to Geologists was formed from Earthquake activity 300 million years ago.

The Kurmagad Island nearby has an old fort and a Narasimha shrine, worth a visit.
Great Outdoors Island Resort at Karwar is located at Kurumgad Island at 45 mins ferry ride from Karwar

Sadashivgad Island

This Island is connected with a 1 Km long bridge. This densely populated hamlet is a few Km from the mainland of Karwar. The Island has a famous fort and Durgadevi temple. The fort leads to a hill from where you get great views of the sea and Islands including Devbagh. The fort itself is quite dilapidated and very little remains.

Estuary View Resort is an Ayurveda Resort located at on a hill overlooking the Devbagh Island and Kali River at Sadashivgad, Karwar (Karnataka, India).

Anjadiv Islands (Anjadip or Angediva)

With an area of 1.5 sq km, it is the largest of the karwar Panchdiva chain of five Islands. Anji stands for five in Tamil and it denotes the fifth Island.
It is a 30 min boat ride 4 Km. This idyllic Island is home to the Indian Navy.

The island has some remains of the bygone Portuguese era, some old houses and Chruch ruins. Portuguese poet Luis de Camoes described it as the "Island of Amours".

Map of Anjadiv Islands

Madlimgadh Island

This Island is used as a Picnic spot; both Wild Buffalos and the British have inhabited this small island.

Sanyasi Island

Most of the Island resorts provide a complimentary boat trip to the Sanyasi Island. There is an interesting legends about this Island, in ancient times, a sage sought refuge on this island for penance and hence the name.

Devgad Island

Also know as Oyster Rocks these are a group of islands and rocks, There is a Lighthouse on the main summit at Devad gudda. There is thick forest growth on this hill top.

Map for Devgad Island

Map of Kawar

Best time to Visit Karwar and Karwar facts

Islands around Murudeshwar, Bhatkal and Honowar

Nethrani Island (Netragudo, Netrani or Pigeon Island)

Nethrani is a small uninhabited island, 18 km southwest off a small fishing village Murdeshwar and is shaped like a upturned boat with some vegetation along the rocky outcrop. The Island is famous for its Shiva temple and for having some of the best dive sites in world (You do have to travel to far of sites in Andamans or Lakshadweep).

You can see everything from Turtles to Barracuda. The diversity of marine life here is truly amazing and great spot to watch whales (August is the season when Tiger sharks come to Netrani Island).
Nethrani is also an excellent picnic spot.

The dive sites range from 6 to 40 metres deep and are famous for their clear waters (Visibility from 15 to 30 meters). Nethrani’s rich coral reefs are teeming with schools of marine life including Barracuda, Jacks, Snappers, Red tooth triggerfish, Indian Bannerfish, large shark- like Cobia, Groupers, Honeycomb Moray Eels, Pufferfish and Napoleon Wrasse.

Netrani Island, a coral reef, 18 km off Murdeshwar in the Arabian Sea, will be a national marine park, according to a proposal to be submitted to the Centre.

To reach the island you can take a boat from Murudeshwar or optionally hire a trawler from Bhatkal/Honowar. (Watch the colour of the sea change from turquoise to crystal clear dark deep blue as you cross 9 km range from Murdeshwar)

Distances from closeby travel destinations

Goa 220 Km (Four hour drive)
Bhatkal 16 km
Mangalore 165 Km
Bangalore 465 km
Karwar 120 Km
Shimoga 195 Km

BMIC and Barracuda Diving, Goa, organises weekend tours to the island.

Basavaraja Durga Island

It is situated about 3 kms from Honnavar. The island is famous for its historical Island fort, built during the regime of Shivappa Nayaka, king of Keladi dynasty.

Island of Mallikurve

Islands around Udupi and Malpe

St. Mary’s Island, Panna Island and Darya Bahadurgadh Island are few of the Islands you can visit from Maple.

St. Mary’s Island

St. Mary's Island is 300 m long and 100 m wide and its uniqueness is in the basalt rock formations that rise abruptly from the sea bed in various shapes.
It is a popular picnic spots with locals and tourists alike.

More about Boat rides to St. Marys Island in this post.

Panna Island

This is small situated nearly 5 kms from St. Mary's Island

Darya Bahadurgadh Island

Daria-Bahadurgad Island the northern-most island also close to near Udupi or Malpe is famous for its export of processed fish. While on this Island you can visit the Balarama Temple and Malpe's oldest tile factory.

Map of Udupi

Best time to Visit Udupi and more Udupi Facts

Islands around Dandeli

Dandeli is famous for the many tiny islets that exist in the midst of the extensive back waters from the Supa reservoir. All these islands are uninhabited and provide a serene environment for Camping.

You can find more about Boat rides in this post on Water sports.

Resorts near Dandeli – (Jungle Lodges Kali Wilderness Camp, Bison River Resort, Jungle Camp Resort)

Map of Dandeli

Best Time to Visit Dandeli and Facts about Dandeli

Islands around Mysore and Bangalore

The river Cauvery and its tributaries form many islands along the way from Coorg down to Tamilnadu. The main islands of Srirangpatnam and Sivasamudram are easily accessible from both Mysore and Bangalore. It is recommended that you base yourself in Mysore if you plan to visit these islands.

Srirangpatnam Island

Srirangpatnam 140 Km from Bangalore and 15 Km from Mysore is one of the Islands formed by the river Cauvery. The Island is 5 kms long and 1 km wide with the River Cauvery forming a natural moat. The breach on the Islands’s fort wall made by the British forces, which brought down the Sultan, can still be seen near the bridge. (The original bridge called the Wellesley Bridge is the only link with the fort).

All the dynasties, of whose kingdom this island had formed a part, have left their relics and monuments here – the Hoysalas of 11th century, the Vijayanagar kings of Chanidragiri in 17th century, the Hyder Ali-Tipu Sultan clan, then the French and finally the British. Thankfully after the battle for Sriragpatnam the Britsh ransacked the city and destroyed Tipu’s palace but they left the religious structures intact Popular relics are the temple of Shri Ranganatha which is a blend of Hoysala and Vijayanagar architecture, a Jain basdi dedicated to Adinatha, houses images of all the 24 tirthankaras and the Jama Masjid with two minarets built by Tipu(He lies buried beside his father in the tomb Gumad-e-Ala).

To have complete view of the island, you can go up to Karighatta Hill where the British had placed their cannons during the siege of Srirangapattana. From this hill about five kilometres away you will get a good view of entire landsacpe. There is also a small temple on top.

Some Home Stays and Hotel options in Mysore

Map of Srirangapattana

Best time to visit Srirangapattana and Facts about Srirangapattana

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Island

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, 4 Kms to the South West of Srirangapatna is situated on the banks of the Cauvery River. Ranganathittu attained the status of a bird sanctuary in 1940, courtesy of the visions of India ’s famous ornithologist. Dr. Salim Ali who, during his survey of the birds of Mysore , advocated for the establishment of such a sanctuary.

It includes six isolated islets, which provides abundance of aquatic insects during the monsoon making Ranganathittu a favorite destination for migratory birds. Some species of birds that have made Ranganthittu their home are spoonbills, open bill storks, darters, white Ibis, little cormorants, egret, heron, partridge, river tern, stone plougher, snake bird, and other exotic bird species that fly to the sanctuary in large flocks. The birds begin arriving in the sanctuary in December every year, breed and move out with the little ones in August.

The best time to visit this Sanctuary is between June - November.

Ranger-guided boat tours of the isles are available throughout the day, early mornings and evenings are best times to catch all the birds. You can also get to see crocodiles, otters and bats

Sivasamudram Island

80 km from Mysore, 27 km from Somanathapura and 40 km from Mandya is the island town Sivasamudram. The river Cauvery bifurcates forming the sacred islands of Sivasamudram,

Around Sivasamudram are the scenic twin Sivasamudram Falls of Bhar Chukki and Gagana Chukki, plunging 320 ft and reaching a width of 1,000 ft in the rainy season (the most alluring sights on the Island). The falls supply hydroelectric power to Mysore and Bangalore. There are temples dedicated to Ranganatha, Someswara, Veerabhadra and Mariamma.

Islands around Coorg

Cauvery Nisargadama

The river Cauvery originates at the foot of Brahmagiri hills at a place called Talacauvery, the meandering river has created a cluster of islands and islets teeming with greenery, flora and bird life. Nisargadhama is one of the biggest and most picturesque.

2 km from Kushalnagar lies on the highway linking Madikeri and Mysore is where you can find this riverine island carved by the Cauvery river in the plains. Nisargadhama teems with lush foliage, thick bamboo groves, teak, and rosewood trees. A wooden bridge (75-metre high), fixed with steel cables to trees at both the ends, is the only approach to this islet from this mainland. The snady beds of the river provide for a great picnic spot, you find deer, elephants and can take boat rides. Do not miss the 45-min walk along the rim of the island.

Map of Coorg

Best time to Visit Coorg and more Coorg Facts


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katrina said...

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Michael said...

So far my concentration was limited to the fabulous islands on the other parts of the world and these were the places where I intended to visit. Now the information supplied here about the islands are no less fabulous I see. Just wanted to know if I can get some Holiday villas so that I can arrange a group travel and spend some wonderful days there.

sowmya said...

Hey this was good post and gave a nice intro to islands of karnatka...I had visited to devbagh island it was jst awsome.
@Micheal I donno about home villas near devbagh but i am sure devbagh resorts can make realy happy u can find more info on

sasi said...

wow!that's looking good

Raj said...

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KK said...

Fabulous information indeed. Very interesting.


Kings Kourt said...

fanttastic and useful we blog thanks for piblisling his ti's usful and informahie keep up the great.

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reshma M said...
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snigdha G said...
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reshma M said...
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snigdha G said...
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pawankalyan said...

dear really i am very glad to your blog news..i went to kgudi resort with my parents really it was amazing in that forest we all enjoyed a lot and we stayed in Kgudi Resorts it was very good to stay i wish to vist again and stay there

Nishitha KM said...

hi friends..well written post.keep blogging.planning a trip to br hills resort and also near by place bandipur resorts..its really an awesome place.their sevices and Wildlife Safari really really visit once in your life tome..

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Raksha Varma said...

Excellent Post! Rejoice life during holidays through Dandeli Resorts; located in Uttara Kannada, Karnataka state.

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farheen s said...

There are two forms of Dandeli's history. The first goes back to the introduction of a legendary animal called Dandakaranya, said in the epic, Mahabharata.
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