Karwar Redirected from Karwar, Karnataka

Heading for a new journey at Tagore Beach.JPG
Bridge, Sadashivghad (1496158).jpg
Arabian sea from Sadashivgarh fort.JPG
Majali Beach, Devabhaga, Karwar.jpg
Clockwise from the Top:
Tagore Beach, Arabian sea from Sadashivgad fort, Majali Beach, Bridge over Kali River
Karwar is located in Karnataka
Coordinates: 14°48′N 74°08′E / 14.80°N 74.13°E / 14.80; 74.13Coordinates: 14°48′N 74°08′E / 14.80°N 74.13°E / 14.80; 74.13
 • MLARoopali S Naik, BJP
 • Total27.9 km2 (10.8 sq mi)
Elevation6 m (20 ft)
 • Total151,739
 • Density5,563.18/km2 (14,408.6/sq mi)
 • OfficialKonkani, Kannada
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code91-8382-XXX XXX
Vehicle registrationKA-30

Karwar (formerly Carwar) is a city and administrative centre of Uttara Kannada district in the Indian state of Karnataka, lies on the west coast of Southern India at the mouth of the Kali river.


Karwar derived its name from the nearby village of Kadwad (Kade Wada, the last wado). Kade means last and wado means precinct or area in Konkani. Before Indian independence, the name Karwar was spelt Carwar.[2] The name Baithkhol, is an Arabic term Bait-e-kol, meaning the bay of safety. This is in the Indian History for maritime trade wherein pepper, cardamom and muslin were exported from this Kadewad port and after the war with Veer Henja Naik (1803), the port activities were shifted to Baithkol. Thereafter the port of Kadwad was isolated and Kurmagad Fort was activated by the Portuguese.


Kali River and Sadashivgad fort as seen from Nandangadda village
Kali river bridge, Karwar, Karnataka
Leisure boats on Kali River

Kot Siveshvar, another fortress, was built near Karwar (in Siveshvar village) by the Sultan of Bijapur to counter attacks from the north. At the ruins of Fort Siveshvar are a Muslim graveyard and a tunnel at the eastern gate.

Portuguese traders knew Karwar as Cintacora, Chitrakul, Chittakula or Sindpur. In 1510, the Portuguese captured and burnt a fort at Karwar. They called it Fort Pir, Forte de Piro or Pito due to the presence of a Muslim Dargah (tomb of a Sufi saint, Shahkaramuddin). In the 17th century, refugees from Portuguese rule in Goa moved to Karwar.

In 1638 the English trading Courteen Association established a factory at Kadwad village, 6 km east of Karwar and traded with merchants from Arabia and Africa. The common commodities were muslin, black pepper, cardamom, cassier and coarse blue cotton cloth. In 1649 the Courteen Association merged with the British East India Company, and Karwar became a company town.

The East India Company built fighting ships in the Karwar harbour. For example, the Britannia (1715) which had 18 guns was built to defend Bombay from attacks by Maratha Koli[3] admiral Kanhoji Angre.[4]

In the 1700s, Karwar was a part of the Maratha Empire. In 1784, at the time of the Treaty of Mangalore between Tipu Sultan and the East India Company, Karwar and Sadashivgad were spelt Carwar and Sadasewgude, respectively.[5] After the defeat of the Marathas in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, Karwar was captured by the British.

The Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who visited Karwar in 1882, dedicated a chapter of his memoirs to this town.[6] At 22 years, Tagore stayed with his second brother, Satyendranath Tagore, who was a district judge in Karwar.

From 1862 until the re-organisation of the Indian states after Independence, Uttara Kannada district was a part of the Bombay Presidency. During this time, major public works carried out included improvement of roads, building of a wharf, wharf road and a sea wall at the Karwar port as well as the construction of a multi-floor storage building, staff housing, a post office, kutcheri (kutcherries or zamindar's offices) and a Christian burial ground.[7]

At the same time, the local Konkani-speaking people had close connections with Mumbai. Many Marathi middle schools were established in the Karwar and Joida taluks. Marathi films were released in Karwar. The visit of Marathi drama troupes from Mumbai and Pune was an annual feature.[citation needed]

During World War II Karwar was an Indian Naval training site.[8]:172

The local unit of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES) at Sadashivagad and its leaders including Vishnu Kalgutkar and Shivanand Rane joined the GSKEM and said they would dissolve the MES unit and fight for a merger of Karwar and Joida in Goa.[citation needed]

Karwar Town was built by the British in the year 1857 after the Mutiny. Kawar is also known as 'Kashmir of Karnataka'. There is only Karwar Market [i:e Karwar city], Habbuwada, Kajubag, Kodibag, Kone village, Baad Village, Kathinkon, Sunkeri village, Shirwad village and Binaga village. Earlier to 1857 there was no existence of Karwar city. Before that, Honnavar was the District Head of Canara District consisting up to Mangalore to Kodibag Karwar, till Kali river. After that the bank towards the north was under the rule of Sadhashiv Nayak and Maratha province. After the mutiny of 1857, the British made division of Canara District into two parts as South Kanara [Dakshin Kannada] with headquarters at Mangalore attached to Madras Province and North Kanara [Uttar Kannada] with headquarters at the newly built town Karwar, which was attached to Bombay province. It is one of the well planned cities like Goa, Mumbai, Dharwad, Bangalore. After the rule of Indian Government from 1947, Karwar is more or less neglected politically and kept without major development. Kot Siveshvar, another fortress, was built near Karwar (in Siveshvar village) by the Sultan of Bijapur to counterattacks from the north. At the ruins of Fort Siveshvar are a Muslim graveyard and a tunnel at the eastern gate.

Marathas: Having marched from Bednore in the south, visiting on his way the sacred temple at Gokarna, Shivaji seized Ankola and the next day came to Karwar (then known as Kadwad). Both the East India Company and Sher Shah, the sardar of Bijapur, were very much alarmed at this sudden development. They collected huge amount and offering it to Shivaji, praying that they may be spared. Satisfied at the recognition of his authority, Shivaji crossed the Kali River and conquered Sadashivgad on 21 February 1665.

The Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who visited Karwar in 1882, dedicated a chapter of his memoirs to this town.[6] At 22 years, Tagore stayed with his second brother, Satyendranath Tagore, a district judge in Karwar who was also India's first ICS . Satyanedranath Tagore lived here with his erudite wife Jnanadanandini Devi and their two children, son Surendranath (1872–1940) and daughter Indira Devi Choudhurani (1973–1960). Rabindranath also spent few months in Karwar with his newly married wife Mrinalini Devi in 1883.

A famous shrine (Sansthan) is Shri Kshetra Baad Math, Gurumath Karwar.

Shri Kshetra Gurumath is a pilgrim institution that was established in 1906. This spiritual centre was set up by Srimath Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya Padmanabh Teerth (also called as Maharaja by localities) in the Sahyadri Hills, where visitors can view the Kali river meeting the Arabian Sea which is called as "Sangam" in local language. Maharaja built a Dattatraya temple on the land donated by a True devote at Baad, Karwar and started a Gurumath, Otherwise called the Shri Kshetra Baad Math, Karwar. The centre was established with the aim of spreading knowledge about vedantic subjects among the masses. It should be visited by those who are interested in learning about Shri Padmanabhateertha's teachings, such as thinking beyond the definition of 'concepts' and receiving good from everybody and anybody.

Every year the 2 festival (utsav) named after "Gurudwadashi" held in the month of October and Maharaja's Punyatithi held in the month of august are celebrated with 13000+ devotees. The Maharaja did not nominate any heir to the math but constituted a managing committee to look into its principles. The Maharaja, who was an Advaita scholar, has written 43 books on Vedanta, including 32 in Marathi, 5 in Kannada and 6 in Sanskrit.


Local bird, Sturnia blythii. Karwar is rich in flora and fauna

Karwar is a seaside city on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. To the east are the Western Ghats. Karwar is situated on the banks of the Kali river (Kali nadi) which flows west to the Arabian sea from its headwaters at Bidi village in the Western Ghats. The Kali river has a length of about 153 km and is the main source of irrigation in the region. Karwar is 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of the KarnatakaGoa border, 519 kilometres (322 mi) north-west of Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka, and 272 kilometres (169 mi) north of Karnataka's chief port city Mangalore.

Baitkhol port at Karwar is a natural harbour with land side hills and ocean side islands protecting it from cyclonic weather. The four fathom mark lies close to the shore. The tidal range is 1.2 to 2.5 metres (3 ft 11 in to 8 ft 2 in).[8]:172


Several small mangrove covered islands lie off the Kali river estuary including Anjadip Island and Devagadaguda Islands. The sub-tidal regions of the islands have a high biodiversity, although the waters off Karwar have recorded higher than normal faecal coliform counts.[9]:248


Karwar lies on a coastal strip known as the Monsoon Coast.[10] Karwar has hot summers from March to May where the temperature may reach 37 °C. The Arabian Sea is warm throughout the year. Winters from December to February are very mild (24 °C and 32 °C). The windy monsoon period from June to September has an average rainfall of over 400 centimetres (160 in).

Climate data for Karwar (1981–2010, extremes 1901–2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 38.2
Average high °C (°F) 32.8
Average low °C (°F) 19.2
Record low °C (°F) 12.7
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0.1
Average rainy days 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.6 4.5 22.6 26.5 24.3 13.6 7.3 2.1 0.5 102.2
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 60 63 68 68 71 82 85 85 81 76 65 59 72
Source: India Meteorological Department[11][12]


The total population in Karwar is 157,739 as of 2014 by Indian Government. Karwar had an average literacy rate of 85%, higher than the national average of 74%: male literacy was 85%, and female literacy was 75%. In Karwar, 10% of the population were children under 6 years of age.


Though Kannada is the official language of the state of Karnataka, Konkani is the native language of Karwar and is widely spoken among the locals. Bhandari (mix of Konkani and Marathi) is also spoken by locals. While Marathi holds a sizable diaspora in the taluk (township), the advent of Kannada traders from nearby places of Hubli and Dharwad created a spur in spoken Kannada. With English and Hindi also being part of the curriculum in many schools and colleges, influx of people from outside the state for business or career, and exposure of the local population to movies, TV and media, these languages are also understood or spoken by sizable number of locals in Karwar.

Border issues

Karwar taluk is ethnically Konkani, however it was historically ruled by the Kannada kings of Karnataka. It was part of the Bombay Presidency during the British rule, before the reorganization of states. The native Konkani speakers had close connections with Bombay which extended to matrimonial relations too. Many Marathi-medium schools were also established in Karwar and Joida taluks. Marathi films were often released in Karwar. The visit of Marathi drama troupes from Bombay and Pune was an annual feature. However, Konkani-speaking people were disenchanted when Marathis began to claim that Konkani as a dialect of Marathi. They disputed it and asserted that Konkani had independent status as a language. It was the native Konkani-speaking people led by late P.S. Kamat who argued before Mahajan Commission that Karwar was an integral part of Karnataka.


Karwar at dusk

Most people in Karwar are Hindu. Christianity was introduced to Karwar by the British and by the Portuguese in Goa in the 17th and 18th centuries. Muslim seafaring traders migrated to Karwar from the Deccan (Bahamani) kingdoms. Karwar was called Baithkol meaning the house of safety or "Bait-e-kol" meaning place of safety in Arabic. Muslim villages in Karwar include: Shiveshvar, Kadwad, Sunkeri, Chittakula, Sawar Pai and Hotegali. Islamic tradition holds that two brothers, descendants of Ali, the son in law of Mohammad, settled in Shiveshvar and made the village a place of Islamic learning. In Shiveshvar, there are three shrines dedicated to Muslim saints: Gaiby Pir, Nizam Pir and Shamshuddin pir-in Kot. Christianity was introduced to Karwar by the British and by the Portuguese when ruling Goa in the 17th and 18th centuries. Portuguese also visited Karwar in those Days.


Primary industry

Fishermen returning home at sunset, Devbagh, Karwar

Karwar is an agricultural region. The common crops are rice, groundnuts, green vegetables, onions, watermelons and flowers. Other primary industries include animal husbandry, sericulture, horticulture, beekeeping, gathering and lumbering and the growing of homeopathic medicinal plants.

The coastal location of Karwar lends to fishing and fisheries which are concentrated in Harikanth, Konkan Kharvis, Gabiths and Ambigas. The common types of fish are mackerel, sardines, hardheads and prawns. Fishing is done from land with nets or from boats such as pandy (motor launch) and dhoni (dug out canoes). There is also mechanised trawling. The brackish water of the Kali estuary is suitable for prawn farming.[13]

Secondary industry

Muslin used in dress making

Members of the Daivadnya Brahmin caste are engaged in jewellery design, manufacturing and goldsmithing. Leather works are common. Since 1638 when William Counten opened a mill, Karwar town has been a producer of fine muslin.[citation needed] In 1660s the factory was prosperous, exporting the finest muslins in Western India; the weaving country was inland to the east, at Hubli and other centres, where as many as 50,000 weavers were employed. Besides the great export of muslin, Karwar provided pepper, cardamoms, cassia, and coarse blue cotton cloth (dungan). I[14][citation needed]

In Binaga township, a chemical company Aditya Birla Chemicals (earlier owned by Ballarpur Industries Ltd / Solaris Chemtech), manufactures caustic soda lye and flakes, chlorine, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, kestra pipes and bromine.[9]:246

Tertiary industry

At Kaiga, 50 kilometres (31 mi) away, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India operates a 880 MW nuclear power plant. The Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. operates a dam and 150 MW power house between Kadra and Mallapur townships, approximately 33 kilometres (21 mi) from Karwar town.

Karwar Airport

The proposed Karwar Airport will be built by the Indian Navy at Alageri village[15] near Ankola, in Karnataka. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will operate a civil enclave at the naval air base which is part of the Navy's Rs 100 billion Phase 2 of Project Seabird.

Konkan railway

The Konkan railway connects Karwar to most major towns and cities. Karwar has three railway stations: Karwar, Asnoti and Harwada. The nearest Goan station is Canacona, 36 km away. Madgaon station lies 68 km to the north.[16] and Mangalore station 253 km to the south.

INS Kadamba

The Indian Navy operates a naval base at a bay near Binaga township. It is the navy's third largest base. The base was founded as part of Project Seabird. Casurina beach near Binaga (now called Kamat Bay) and Arga beach were incorporated into naval property. The public has access to the base during Navy Week in December and in visiting educational groups. The naval base includes a civilian support community at Amadalli, a ship lift and an hospital. INS Kadamba is the homeport of India's largest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

INS Vajrakosh

INS Vajrakosh, commissioned on 9 September 2015, is the latest establishment of the Indian Navy at Karwar which will serve as special storage facility for specialised armaments and missiles. INS Vajrakosh will have all the required infrastructure and will be manned by specialists to provide specialised servicing facilities for these sophisticated missiles and ammunition.[17]


Karwar beach looking towards Madlimgadh and Kurumgad Islands

Karwar port is located at Baithkol, Karwar Bay. Hills and coastal islands make the port a natural harbour, sheltered from the Arabian sea. The port which is operated by the Government of Karnataka, services the hinterland of northern Karnataka, Goa and southern Maharashtra.

The length of the port is 355 metres (388 yd). The quay has two berths, with a draft capacity of 9.25 metres (30.3 ft). Karwar port also berths coastal vessels and there is a jetty for fishing vessels.[18] The Government of Karnataka has planned to develop Karwar port on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis to provide six additional berths, a container terminal, and a rail link to Shirwad railway station.

The port is able to handle all types of commodities, including "B" and "C" class petroleum products. There port has liquid storage tanks for bitumen, furnace oil, molasses, and HSD. A ban of iron ore mining and export in Karnataka state reduced congestion at the port. The port has arrangements for berthing coastal vessels, and a jetty for fishing boats.

In 2012 the Government of Karnataka carried out maintenance dredging in the port, the approach channel and the nearby anchorage. The port may be closed from 16 May to 15 September (the monsoon season).[18] Part of the 2008 Hindi film Golmaal Returns was filmed at Karwar port.

Aditya Birla Chemicals

Aditya Birla Chemicals (India) (ABCIL) is a unit of the Aditya Birla Group.

ABCIL has also acquired chlor-alkali and phosphoric acid division of Ballarpur Industries Ltd / Solaris Chemtech Industries Limited, based in Karwar, Karnataka.


Rabindranath Tagore beach

Rabindranath Tagore Statue at the Beach
Tagore beach
"The sea beach of Karwar is certainly a fit place in which to realize that the beauty of Nature is not a mirage of the imagination, but reflects the joy of the Infinite and thus draws us to lose ourselves in it. Where the universe is expressing itself in the magic of its laws it may not be strange if we miss its infinitude; but where the heart gets into immediate touch with immensity in the beauty of the meanest of things, is any room left for argument?" – Rabindranath Tagore[6]

Places of interest

Maritime museum at Tagore beach, Rabindranath
Sadashivgad Fort from the Kali River Bridge


  • Kali River Garden, Kodibag
  • Rock Garden, Karwar
  • Binaga Beach
  • Devbagh Beach
  • Kali Bridge
  • Karwar Beach
  • Kurumgad Island
  • Majali Beach
  • Oyster Rock Lighthouse, a round white masonry construction with red trim protects ships from the rocks of Devgad Island, the largest off the Kali Estuary.[18]
  • Tilmatti beach, A black sand beach


  • Anshi National Park
  • Kadra & Kodsalli dam
  • Chaitanya Park
  • Chendia and Nagarmadi falls (a small waterfall which passes under a large rock)
  • Devkar Falls
  • Guddahalli Peak
  • Habbu Mountain
  • Hyder Ghat Pass
  • Mudgeri Dam
  • Shirve Ghat
  • Makkeri

Historic sites

  • Kot Shiveshvar
  • Shri Narasimha temple, Siddar
  • Sadashivgad Fort
  • Shahkaramuddin dargah, Sadashivgad (tomb of a Sufi saint)
  • Maritime museum



Karwar is known for its seafood cuisine. Fish curry, with cashews, coconut and rice is a staple dish. Karwar curries use ginger and turmeric but not always garlic.[19]

Kurle Ambat (crab masala), a local dish

Local Festivals

  • Kurumgad jatra
  • São João where garlands of freshly picked fruits leaves and flowers are worn and people jump into wells, ponds, rivers, and lakes.
  • Anjedweep island festival
  • Karavali Utsav, an annual three of four-day festival at Tagore beach, Rabindranath. It is organised by the Uttara Kannada District Administration as a cultural and social event. Many shops and stalls are installed at Tagore beach. People from all parts of the district and from all over the state and neighboring Goa state attend. Many cultural events are held in the evenings where regional, national and international artists including Bollywood stars, Kannada film stars, Goan artists and local artists perform.
  • Karwar utsav in summer season where local artistes and celebrities come and perform.


Media outlets include:

  • Karwar eNews, online local newspaper.[20]
  • Karavali Munjavu, Kannada language daily newspaper.[21]
  • Zilla Varta Kendra media centre.
  • Namma Karwar Page on Facebook (Swaroop Talekar).[22]
  • District Library, near the district court and next to Mitra Samaj.
  • All India Radio (Akashwani Kendra), Gurumath Road, Kajubag.
  • Real TV's reality show, Sarkaar Ki Duniya was filmed at Ambe Joog island.


Karwar has. a Govt and private Engineering College and Govt Medical college Which is only Medical college in Entire District

The city has private and Govt Schools Pu colleges Diploma college And ITI colleges too

Notable residents


Villages of Karwar

Karwar comprises the following blocks or villages:[citation needed]

  • Ambrai
  • Amdalli
  • Angadi
  • Arga
  • Asnoti
  • Baad
  • Baitkol
  • Balni
  • Bhaire
  • bargadda
  • Bhandishitta
  • Binaga
  • Birtulbag
  • Bore
  • Chendia
  • Chittakulla
  • Devalmakki
  • Devabag
  • Gopashitta
  • Gotegali
  • Halebag
  • Halekote
  • Halga
  • Hankon
  • Hapkarni
  • Harwada
  • Hosali
  • Hotegali
  • Kadra
  • Kadwad
  • Kaiga
  • Kajubag
  • Kalaswada
  • Kanasgiri
  • Karkal
  • Kathinkon
  • Kerwadi
  • Kharga
  • Kinner
  • Kodibag
  • Kolage
  • Kurnipet
  • Lower Makeri
  • Majali
  • Mallapur
  • Mudgeri
  • Nandangadda
  • Nargeri
  • Sadashivgad
  • Sakalbalni
  • Sanmudageri
  • Shejebag
  • Shejwad
  • Shirwad
  • Siddar
  • Sunkeri
  • Thoralebag
  • Todur
  • Ulga
  • Upper Makeri
  • melina Balni

Geographical orientation from Karwar

See also


  1. ^ "Sub-District Details". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  2. ^ History Of Gingee and its rulers
  3. ^ LT GEN K. J., SINGH. "As NDA cadet, I was witness to Vice Admiral Awati's kindness". ThePrint.In. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  4. ^ Biddulph, Colonel John (1907). The Pirates of Malabar And an Englishwoman in India Two Hundred Years Ago (Reprint 2005 ed.). London: Smith, Elder & co. p. 40.
  5. ^ "Treaty of Mangelore" Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine Project South Asia.
  6. ^ a b c Karwar in Tagore's memoirs. online-literature.com
  7. ^ "Report of proceedings at the conference held at Poona, 1865." Department of Public Works, Bombay Presidency, 1866 p. 251 (Original held at Oxford University). Accessed at Google books, 5 April 2014.
  8. ^ a b Hiranandani G. M. "Transition to Eminence: The Indian Navy 1976–1990." Lancer Publishers, 2005. ISBN 8170622662, 9788170622666.
  9. ^ a b Sahoo D. and Pandey P. C. "Advances in Marine and Antarctic Science." APH publishing 2002 ISBN 8176483478, 9788176483476.
  10. ^ Outlook Traveller Outlook Publishing July 2008 8(7)
  11. ^ "Station: Karwar Climatological Table 1981–2010" (PDF). Climatological Normals 1981–2010. India Meteorological Department. January 2015. pp. 397–398. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Extremes of Temperature & Rainfall for Indian Stations (Up to 2012)" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. December 2016. p. M98. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  13. ^ Qasim S. Z. "Indian Estuaries." Allied Publishers 2003 p270 ISBN 817764369X, 9788177643695.
  14. ^ http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/The_Imperial_Gazetteer_Of_India-Vol.15-tu-red.pdf
  15. ^ "Project Seabird all set to enter Phase-2". Times of India. 5 December 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  16. ^ "Karwar/KAWR Railway Station – Today's train departure timings, a busy junction for travellers and rail enthusiasts". India Rail Info. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  17. ^ "रक्षा मंत्री ने कारवाड़ में आईएनएस वज्रकोष को राष्ट्र को समर्पित किया". पत्र सूचना कार्यालय, भारत सरकार. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  18. ^ a b c "Prostar Sailing Directions 2005 India & Bay of Bengal Enroute." National Geospatial-intelligence Agency, ProStar Publications, 2005 p. 53 ISBN 1577856627, 9781577856627.
  19. ^ Tennebaum T. D. "A Sense for Spice : Recipes and Stories from a Konkan Kitchen." Westland ISBN 938261849X, 9789382618492.
  20. ^ [1] Archived 4 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine Karwar e news online newspaper
  21. ^ [2] Munjavu daily newspaper website
  22. ^ [3] Namma Karwar Page

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