- When hiring a car from Hubli be careful about the rates that the driver is offering you. They just “forget” to mention that they will charge you for the roundtrip although you will be travelling just one-way.
- The route from Hubli to Karwar, till the diversion towards Mangalore is also the route for trucks going towards Mangalore. So the trip takes longer than you might think.
Thursday, 21 February 2008
Divine Devbagh ... Kaptivating Karwar
Our trip to Karwar was in the first week of December, 2007. Karwar is a small town in North-coastal Karnataka, about 300 kms from Mangalore & about 100 kms from Goa. To reach Karwar from Bangalore, we travelled by the Rani Chennamma Express and got down at Hubli. From Hubli you can hire a car or take the bus to go to Karwar. We had booked ourselves a place at the Devbagh Island Beach resort (a Jungle Lodges & Resorts property). After reaching Karwar, we reported at the forest office & they took us to the boat jetty from where we were taken to this island resort by a motorboat. On reaching the island we were taken by eco-friendly cars to the reception which is basically a loghut. We had booked a loghut for ourselves at the resort, to which we were taken soon after we checked in.
The view of the place that we got by the time we checked in was just great & our hearts pulled us towards the sea. But we were told that we had to go for lunch soon and then there were some water sports. So we freshened up and after a really sumptuous lunch, I lolled around on the hammock (oh yes, every hut has it’s personal hammock) with a P.J. Wodehouse in hand… read some, dreamed some – with eyes open & closed, while S went for a walk by the sea & played badminton with some other guests at the resort. :-)
3.30 p.m. we went for the water sports. There are quite a few options like kayaking, water-biking, motor boating and then there’s the banana boat. The banana boat looked like a lot of fun & a little scary too. It is basically a huge banana-shaped float on top of which people are made to sit. Then this float is pulled by a motor boat to some way down into the sea & the riders are dumped into the waters … of course, with their safety suits on. They are then helped back onto the float & brought back to shore. No, we didn’t go for a banana-boat ride but we did do some kayaking … which was really tough work, I tell you & then headed to the beach for a swim. We also planned to go snorkeling, along with another couple (A&M) who were also interested in snorkeling, the next morning (provided the sea & weather conditions were good, we were told).
After a dip in the sea, it was time to freshen up & get ready for a barbecue by the beach. It was extremely relaxing to just sit by the sea with a nice cool wind blowing, eating barbecued fish & chatting with A&M. A&M are very interesting people. We came to know that A was getting transferred out of the country. So they packed up at his last posting (which was Delhi), sent the kids ahead to their hometown (somewhere in Kerala) & were taking the road down from Delhi to Kerala & stopping at whichever place took their fancy. S suggested that they should go to Gokarna too & we learnt later from M, by e-mail, that they loved the beach at Gokarna too, though Karwar really was their favourite.
Next morning there was a planned nature walk at 7.00 a.m. It turned out that everyone was tired after the festivities the night before & only S & I turned up for the nature walk. But it was really worth it !!! Our nature guide took us around the island showing us the different flora & some fauna on the island. We also went to the point where the Kali river meets the Arabian Sea. After an hour long walk, we returned for breakfast, and also got to know from A&M that are snorkeling plans had been cancelled since the sea was very choppy. That was really sad but safety first & all that, so… We said goodbye to A&M & after breakfast went for a ride into the sea to see Dolphins. Well, yes it seems that the sea here has Dolphins too !!! And we did get to see a few, albeit fins only.
Now it was time for us to leave Devbagh Island & we did so with a longing to return. However our Karwar trip was hardly over. We went back to Karwar by boat where we visited the famous Rabindranath Tagore beach. It seems that when Tagore visited this place, he was so captivated by it that he wrote a poem dedicated to the place. Well, I would too, if I could … but Alas, I can’t write poetry. Karwar is also famous for its huge naval base & right on the Rabindranath Tagore beach is a War ship museum with a real ship kept on display. Sadly though, it was closed when we visited. So we took the bus back to Hubli from where we were scheduled to catch our train for Bangalore.
I can honestly say that this was my best and most relaxing holiday till date !!! Three cheers to Karwar & Devbagh Island Beach Resort.