Honnavar: The hidden paradise with backwaters and beaches

Honnavar's picturesque landscapes and islands formed by the confluence of the Sharavathi River and the Arabian Sea make it a unique tourism destination in Karnataka. Boating in the town’s blue backwaters offers an other-worldly experience

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Honnavar: The hidden paradise with backwaters and beaches

Honnavar: The hidden paradise with backwaters and beaches

A quaint coastal town in Karnataka, Honnavar boasts of lush greenery and is home to one of India's longest railway bridges. This scenic town sits between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, unveiling its hidden treasures to those who venture off the beaten path.

Easily accessible from Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Goa, and Shimoga, Honnavar stands out for its suspension bridges, waterfalls, coastal cuisine, hiking trails, and mangrove forests. But as of now, it is a little-known paradise not part of the Shimoga or Udupi-Mangaluru itinerary of most tourists.

Honnavar's picturesque landscapes and the formation of islands by the confluence of the Sharavathi (also Sharavati) River and the Arabian Sea make it a unique tourism destination. And the backwaters boating and kayaking experience in the blue Sharavathi is unparalleled.

The Sharavathi Railway Bridge, an engineering marvel built in 1994, is the longest in both Konkan and Karnataka. A morning walk on the bridge is enough to rejuvenate the most tired soul.

Sharavati railway bridge
The picturesque Sharavathi Railway Bridge is an engineering marvel. Pic: Flickr

Hoonavar is home to Eco Beach, which is one of the 12 Blue Flag certified beaches in India. Blue Flag certification is a global eco-level tag given to beaches that meet 33 environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria. Earlier known as Kasargod Beach, this 5 km long stretch offers a serene picnic spot with eco-friendly amenities including a jungle gym, swings, and play areas.

Also Read: The floating islands of Loktak Lake in Manipur

Pond of Angels and more

Apsarakonda, meaning 'Pond of Angels,' is a scenic village just 7 km from Honnavar city centre. A mesmerising sunset, a stunning beach, and intriguing Pandavas caves make this place interesting. The Apsarakonda beach also houses the ancient Maha Ganapati temple and Ugra Narasimha temple.

Another hidden gem here is the Kodlamane Shree Vishnumurthy Temple, which is accessible through a short trek. It features Vedic Hindu architecture, with the Garuda Stambha at the main gate being a notable attraction.

The ancient Basavaraj Durga Fort and temple, dating back to the 16th century, sit on an island around 7 km from the main town. Accessible by boat, the temple is surrounded by the Arabian Sea and River Sharavathi.

backwaters of honnavar
Boating in the backwaters of Honnavar. Pic: Karnataka Tourism

A recent addition to Honnavar's attractions, the Mangrove Boardwalk, or Kandla Vana, is a nature lover's paradise. Located about 3 km from Honnavar, near Eco Beach, this boardwalk educates visitors about the region's mangroves, showcasing the diverse flora and fauna.

While summers can be hot and humid, and monsoons bring heavy rains, the ideal time to visit Honnavar is during the winter months, from October to February. The coastal town experiences a soothing breeze during this season. With holidays around, it’s time to explore this unexplored destination.

Also Read: Maravanthe: The pristine beach between a river and a sea

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