Info And Facts, Karwar

About Karwar

The capital of Karnataka state is thriving modern business center, dubbed the 'Silicon Valley' of India, whose gracious garrison town features are being remodelled in the image of India's mall-loving middle class. It likes to think it's more in tune with Mumbai and Manhattan rather than the rest of Karnataka, and has been scathingly described as a city ' in search of a soul '. The pace of life, like the intellectual and political climate, is brisk. hardly a day goes by without some new controversy boiling over across the front pages of it's also regarded as one of India's most progressive and liberal cities, as far as social attitudes go. Tourist brochures call Karwar the 'Garden City', but nothing could be further from the truth. It's attractions are limited, but it does have a congenial climate and good transport connections, and it's a useful place to arrange trips to Karnataka's national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. If you need a break from life on the road, it's bars and restaurants can provide some much-needed light relief. While you are sinking a few beers and munching on pizza, you can contemplate the pros and cons of modern India's cionfused but headlong rush into the 21st century.

Karwar was an ancient site of sea trade visited by the Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, French and later the British. Ibn Battuta passed through this route during one or more of his journeys.

Significant and picturesque, the Sadashivgad fort of historical importance is now a popular tourist destination located by the Kali river bridge, which has been built at the confluence of the river and theArabian Sea.

In 1638 a rival English trading body, the Courteen Association, established a factory at Karwar actually the village named Kadwad, situated 6 km eastwards on the banks of the Kali river. It was a trade port frequented by traders from Arabia and Africa. Baitkhol port the current civil port of Karwar was famous for its natural harbor. The name Baithkhol is an Arabic term, Bait-e-kol, meaning bay of safety. Muslin was the chief commodity purchased but Karwar was also a source for pepper, cardamom, cassier and coarse blue cotton cloth. Situated on India's west coast, 50 miles south-east of Goa, Karwar was noted for its safe harbour. In 1649 the Courteen Association united with the British East India Company and Karwar became a Company factory.

In the Treaty of Mangalore signed in 1784, between Tipu Sultan and the East India Company, one finds reference to Karwar and Sadashivgad written as Carwar and Sadasewgude respectively.

Karwar was a part of the Maratha Empire during the 18th century. After the defeat of the Marathas in theThird Anglo-Maratha War, it became a part of British territory. It was a part of the Bombay Presidency until 1950.

The British made Karwar their district headquarters in 1862. Since 1862, the time from which it came underBombay Presidency, Karwar was described as a first rate harbour between Bombay and Colombo.

The renowned Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who visited Karwar in 1882, dedicated an entire chapter of his memoirs to this town. The 22 year old Rabindranath Tagore stayed with his second brother, Satyendranath Tagore, who was the district judge in Karwar.


The town is sandwiched between the sea on one side and the Western Ghats on the other. It is rich in flora and fauna.

Kali river (Kalinadi) is a west flowing river which takes its birth at a height of 600 m in the Western Ghats at the village of Bidi. Kali River is a prime source of irrigation in Karnataka and has a total length of 153 km. The Kali river flows through Karwar town and finally empties into theArabian Sea.

Fairs And Festivals

  • Rabindranath Tagore beach: Karavali Utsav: This is the biggest cultural event in Karwar, held on Rabindranath Tagore beach for four days. Recitals by famous artists lighten up this cultural extravaganza.
  • Shivaratri: Every year on the day of Shivaratri, Lord Shiva is worshipped at Yana, accompanied by a colorful fair. Thousands of people visit the fair.