Honnavara is a quaint beach town in Karnataka which has not gained popularity till now. Yet, the town has been mentioned in journals which go back as far as the 13th century. It has been mentioned in Portuguese journals too, which has been written in the 16th century. If you want to enjoy Karnataka’s charming coastline and also the rugged charm of the Western Ghats, Honnavara offers a good mix of both and it serves as the perfect spot for experiencing both. The river Sharavathi merges into the Arabian Sea in this coastal town. Sharavathi is the river from which Jog Fall originates. On this same river, the longest railway bridge of Konkan railways has been built, which is also in Honnavara. Honnavar is really one of Karnataka’s hidden gems, especially of the Western Ghats. It lies in Karnataka’s northern part, in Uttar Karnataka specifically. The Mangalore-Goa highway is well-connected with this port of Arabian Sea. Trains running on Konkan lines cross this town.
There is an old-world charm here as the way of life is laidback and even the architectures show no influence of modern life. If you are feeling tired with life in the city and want to be at a quiet place for a weekend, then book this trip without wasting any time. Post-monsoon is the best time to visit Honnavara because the streams fill up with rain water and become playful, the greenery of the Western Ghats looks lively and energizing after getting bathed with rain. This one is a completely leisure and easy trip without any difficulty. And actually the charm here is enhanced if you put in simple homestays. Spending a couple of days with like-minded strangers is a great opportunity to make great friends!
Honnavara beach is primarily Kasarkod beach, which is also known as Eco Beach. Kasargod is also India’s first certified Blue Flag beach. Now, if you have been thinking about blue flag beach meaning, think it to be the best award that a beach can get. It is a certificate which is given by Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). It is a non-profit NGO which is made up of 65 organisations of 60 participating countries. The certification is an eco-label and once awarded, the beach has to follow stringent criterias and has to make available to tourists things like hygienic and clean water to bath and other facilities. Eminent jury members decide on which beach is fit for this label.This eco-label is one of the most prestigious recognitions that beaches, sustainable boating tourism operators and marinas can get, only when they meet the required standards.
It is a thing of pride that Honnavara beach has received this iconic certification, which means the water quality is excellent here and the sand is clean. The water generally on such eco-beaches are calm and it is a good spot for families to visit. The Kasadkod beach has a park too where one can enter after paying a small fee. It is a good place for spending time, especially for children and teenagers. There is a solid waste management system on the eco-beach and also grey water treatment plants. The facilities present here are seats, clean toilets and changing rooms, drinkable water, bathing area, washrooms for specially-abled, solar lights, solar power plants and parking space.
This 5km long beach can give a good competition to any Goan beach as it offers a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea. A visit to this pristine beach will offer your mind some tranquility. It is such a clean and well-maintained beach that undoubtedly this will be one of the best beaches that you will ever visit in your whole life. With the vast expanse of the sky and with hills on one side, Kasadkod’s seashore is a treat to the eyes. The best way to explore the area is by walking. After receiving the Blue Flag certification, this beach is gaining steady popularity and travellers from around the world now come here for a visit. It has become a chosen spot for many photoshoots.
When people come to this town, they also visit Apsarakonda waterfalls which is located in a tiny village of the same name, but a small amount of trekking is required to reach the waterfall. From the top of this hillock, tourists can get a top view of the whole Kasadkod. The tourism department has clearly marked the trail to reach the base of Apsarakonda waterfalls.
The best time to visit Honnavara is monsoon and winter. The clear sky during winter makes viewing the sunset a captivating experience, especially from Honnavara beach or near the mouth of the Sharavathi river. When people plan for a Honnavara trip, they also include a visit to Jog Falls, if they have enough time. We will not be able to do so as it takes two hours to reach Jog Falls from Honnavara, so we will visit secret waterfalls and uncrowded beaches.
Next, we are going to share some information on two other top attractions or best places to visit in Honnavara. These are going to the Murudeshwar beach and then visiting the Murudeshwar beach temple. Well, Murudeshwar is not exactly in Honnavara but very near it. In the North Karnataka district, in the Bhatkal Taluk, the small town of Murudeshwar exists. If you are coming for a longer duration, then you must include Murudeshwar in your itinerary. It is a crowd puller for all kinds of travellers and especially for religious tourists. This town sees a huge number of Hindu pilgrims because it has the 2nd largest statue of Lord Shiva. Followers of Shiva love coming to this town and the usual tourists also enjoy seeing the different monuments present here. This small town has something for the religious people, no-religious people, adventure lovers and beach lovers. Rarely does this town disappoint any tourist.
Murudeshwar Beach – The Murudeshwar beach is a small beach and the beach is somewhat clean and well-maintained too. One can enjoy water sports here if they are adventurous and there are boating facilities on the beach too. So visiting this beach will certainly be a fun experience. You can even do jet-skiing here! If you want a totally leisure trip, without the will to do any adventure activities, you can just relax on the beach, taking in the beautiful sight the beach offers. The humongous statue of Lord Shiva and the Gopuram of the temple makes for an amazing view here. If you are someone who would not mind going for a trek, you can go see the remnants of the old Murudeshwar Fort too.
If you visit Murudeshwar’s Netrani Island, you will also have the opportunity to do snorkelling and scuba diving! People who thrive on thrilling experiences flock here for the underwater adventure sports. Quite a few scuba diving companies have sprouted up here. If you visit Honnavara and Murudeshwar beach in winter, they will help you with the water sports. But in monsoon, the weather conditions prohibit tourists from these opportunities. If you are an experienced scuba-diver or have had snorkelling experiences previously, you might not be impressed with the scale or arrangements here. But if you want to enjoy these water sports for the first time in your life, then doing so at Netrani Island will be a life-changing moment for you.
Murudeshwar Beach Temple – You will see that the Murudeshwar temple has been built on a protruded island and it is totally awe-inspiring. The 20-storey temple is adjacent to the Lord Shiva statue. The temple’s gopuram, which means the huge ornate entrance tower, has twenty storeys and two elephants, as if they are guarding the door. This gopuram or gopura is 250 feet tall and taller than any other gopurams that you will find in other places. Out of all the landmarks that Murudeshwar has, this is the second most important one.
You can go to the top of the temple with the help of the elevator that has been built inside the temple. You will be able to see the towering idol of Lord Shiva as he overlooks the whole town of Murudeshwar. The Arabian Sea flowing around the gigantic statue is a sight which you are going to cherish for a lifetime. This is a place where you should not forget to take your camera to, if you are an avid photographer. Even if you don’t own a camera, you surely are going to fish out your mobile and click multiple pictures using the camera of your phone. There is also a statue park in the area, where based on a lot of mythological events, various statues have been built. There are man-made ponds and a man-made waterfall too.
Murudeshwar will provide you with a unique and mind-blowing sight, as it is here that you will see the statue of Lord Shiva being surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides. The beauty of the landscape is unimaginably beautiful and on the top of a hill, the statue has been built, making it more grand. It looks as if Lord Shiva is guarding and keeping his watchful eyes on the whole Murudeshwar town. The statue has been built showing Him in a meditative state. The statue has an unbelievable height of 123 meters!
There is a legend based on this town, which is quite interesting. It was Ravana, the demon king, who had brought the Atma Linga (Shiva Linga) from the Kailasha mountains. When Ravana was proceeding towards the Lanka island, Lord Ganesha puzzled him. He got fooled by the tricks of Ganesha and had placed the Linga down here.After Ravana realised this, he became mad with anger and had tried to uproot the Linga, but he was unsuccessful.
The best time to visit Murideshwar is between October and March, from Autumn to Spring, and since this is also the best time to go to Honnavara, you can easily include Murudeshwar beach and Murudeshwar Beach Temple in your plan. Summer at Murudeshwar is quite hot and unbearable. We would not suggest going there during the months of April and May at all. Because of being in the coastal area, the humidity level becomes extremely high. You should also be avoiding the monsoon, from June to September. Water sports and trekking both can be hazardous.
If you are a Shiv bhakt, then obviously the best time for you to visit would be at the time of Shivaratri festival which generally falls in the month of March. Expectedly, this temple town celebrates the festival with a lot of grandeur.
This is a waterfall which we are certainly not missing out on our trip to Honnavara. Like Murudeshwar, Magodu Falls or Magod Falls is also located in the district of Uttar Kannada. This is one of the tourist spots here which becomes crowded during the monsoon season. The Magod Waterfalls is a two-tier waterfall which is located opposite another waterfall named Sathodi Falls. The Magod Falls has been created by two rivers – River Shalmala and river Bedti.
You can go to the base of this waterfall but getting to the bottom is a bit dangerous if you try it in monsoon. There are viewpoints from where it is best to have a look at the waterfalls safely during the rainy days. There are actually two viewpoints but the first viewpoint will stop you from having a view of the full waterfall because of shrubs and rocks. If you want to get a bird’s eye view of the waterfall, then you must go to the second viewpoint. From here you will also be able to see the mountain range surrounding the Magod Falls.
There is a pathway which will help you to reach the base if you are really stuck on the idea. During heavy rain, the rocky path is slippery and it would be foolish of anyone to be walking down.The total height or length which the falls cover is 650 feet! During the monsoon, the waterfall turns into a powerful one, filled with force.
Magod is at an approximate distance of 18 kms from the town of Yellapur and 88 kms from Hubli. The waterfall is about 3 kilometers away from the village having the same name. If you are on a solo trip yourself and not travelling with any group, knowing how to reach the falls would be helpful. If you try reaching here from the Yellapur town, your options are hiring private vehicles or going by autos. From the nearby towns, the falls are easily accessible by trains or by roads.
Magod Waterfalls is actually a group of waterfalls. It is the river Bedti (also known as Gangavalli river) in Karnataka, India, falling from a height of almost 200 meters. The river falls from rocky cliffs. After falling from this height, the river or waterfall gets divided into two parts. Magod Falls is situated in the middle of a thick forest. As you move towards the falls, you will come across a lake spread across an area of 60 acres. This is the Kavede Kede lake.
For people visiting Dandeli. Magod Falls is a must-go-to place. It is one of the top tourist spots not only because of the beautiful view but also because it is situated in the countryside among dense forests. The gushing water of this waterfall seems like it is almost roaring. Nature-lovers and photographers come down to this place a lot and the area around the waterfall is also a popular picnic spot. There are also some tea-sellers and tourists can sip on some hot and delicious tea while they marvel at the beauty of the waterfall.
It is also a remarkably good trekking spot. To reach the Magod Waterfalls, one has to climb through a rocky path filled with boulders. The path will be mud covered and it will go through green forests. Not many people visit the Falls and by 5 pm, you will find the place starting to get empty. Morning would be the perfect time to go to this waterfall. Jenukalu Vudda, which is 6 kms away, is a good place to view the sunset from.
When people visit the Magod Waterfalls, they also visit the Ghante Ganpati temple. The temple has bells tied all around it as it is a temple which is more than 700 years old and people have been tying these bells to make their wishes come true.
October to January is the best time to visit the waterfalls. But for some people, the months of July to September are the best time because everything looks lively and refreshed with green and blue hues after the whole area gets cleaned with the water of rainfall. During the summer months, the water dries up and during the rainy season, it gets misty or foggy. The waterfall can be visited on any day of the week and no entry fee has to paid to see it.
Heading towards Hubli at 4pm from pickup points
Arrive at Hubli and start the journey in a hired vehicle
Reach the Western Ghats after an hour. The mountain ranges and the winding roads will keep us amazed.
Visit the less-crowded Magod Falls.
Leave for the beach after seeing the waterfall and go to the backwaters for viewing the sunset
Wake up early in the morning and visit hidden waterfalls. We can go to the bottom or base and enjoy ourselves.
Go to Kasargod Beach/Honnavara beach.
Go for a photowalk - visit the backwaters and a charming village.
Leave for Hubli to board our train to Hyderabad.
Reach Hyderabad at 10 am