ISLANDS IN KARNATAKA
Karnataka has also always drawn attention for its rich heritage. There is very little information about Islands in Karnataka which provides activities from beach picnics to water sports.
ISLAND AROUND KARWAR
Coast of Karwar offer some of the most beautiful coastal beaches, enchanting natural splendor and arguably the best diving sites in India. Popular islands near Karwar are DevBagh Island, Anjadiv Island, Kurumgad Island, Oyster Rock (Devgad Island), Sanyasi Island, Sadashivgad Island and Madlimgadh Island. Karwar know for its sparkling azure waters is where there is confluence of the Kali river with the Arabian sea.
DevBagh Island is the most beautiful of all the Karwar Island. This resort is just 22 km south of the Goa border and 2 and half hours from Goa. It can be reached by boat from Karwar. The beaches are pristine and private.
DevBagh Island is thickly populated with green casuarinas trees the name literally means the garden of gods. A great spot to watch Dolphins. It is also a popular Water sports destination. Alternatively you can take a Trawler trip and Island hop across the Kumaragarh Island, Oyster Rock, Anjadiv Island or Anjudeep Island and Sanyasi Islands. An extremely serene and romantic place it is very popular with Honeymooners. Devbagh also had a great influence on Rabindranath Tagore who stayed here in his younger days. He also penned a poem Prakritir Pratishodh about this place. Devbagh's most popular resort is the Jungle Lodges Devbagh Island Beach Resort
Kurumgad Island is a tortoise shaped island 4 km off the coast of Karwar (it takes a 20-minute motorboat ride to reach this desolate Island). The Island is now privately owned and belongs to a Coffee Planter Suresh Mathias. It was ruled by different dynasties including the Vijayanagar Empire. Atop a hill there is an old Narasimha temple that draws thousands of devotees every year during a annual jatra.
An ideal place to spot seals this rock formation according to Geologists was formed from Earthquake activity 300 million years ago. The Kurmagad Island nearby has an old fort and a Narasimha shrine, worth a visit. Great Outdoors Island Resort at Karwar is located at Kurumgad Island at 45 mins ferry ride from Karwar
Sadashivgad Island is connected with a 1 Km long bridge. This densely populated hamlet is a few Km from the mainland of Karwar. The Island has a famous fort and Durgadevi temple. The fort leads to a hill from where you get great views of the sea and Islands including Devbagh. The fort itself is quite dilapidated and very little remains.
Estuary View Resort is an Ayurveda Resort located at on a hill overlooking the Devbagh Island and Kali River at Sadashivgad, Karwar (Karnataka, India).
Anjadiv Islands (Anjadip or Angediva)
With an area of 1.5 sq km, Anjadiv Islands (Anjadip or Angediva) is the largest of the karwar Panchdiva chain of five Islands. Anji stands for five in Tamil and it denotes the fifth Island. It is a 30 min boat ride 4 Km. This idyllic Island is home to the Indian Navy.
The island has some remains of the bygone Portuguese era, some old houses and Chruch ruins. Portuguese poet Luis de Camoes described it as the "Island of Amours".
This Island is used as a Picnic spot; both Wild Buffalos and the British have inhabited this small island.
Most of the Island resorts provide a complimentary boat trip to the Sanyasi Island. There is an interesting legends about this Island, in ancient times, a sage sought refuge on this island for penance and hence the name.
Also know as Oyster Rocks these are a group of islands and rocks, There is a Lighthouse on the main summit at Devad gudda. There is thick forest growth on this hill top.
ISLANDS AROUND MURUDESHWAR, BHATKAL AND HONOWAR
Nethrani Island (Netragudo, Netrani or Pigeon Island)
Nethrani is a small uninhabited island, 18 km southwest off a small fishing village Murdeshwar and is shaped like a upturned boat with some vegetation along the rocky outcrop. The Island is famous for its Shiva temple and for having some of the best dive sites in world (You do have to travel to far of sites in Andamans or Lakshadweep).
You can see everything from Turtles to Barracuda. The diversity of marine life here is truly amazing and great spot to watch whales (August is the season when Tiger sharks come to Netrani Island). Nethrani is also an excellent picnic spot and a populardestination for weekend getaways.
The dive sites range from 6 to 40 metres deep and are famous for their clear waters (Visibility from 15 to 30 meters). Nethrani's rich coral reefs are teeming with schools of marine life including Barracuda, Jacks, Snappers, Red tooth triggerfish, Indian Bannerfish, large shark- like Cobia, Groupers, Honeycomb Moray Eels, Pufferfish and Napoleon Wrasse.
Netrani Island, a coral reef, 18 km off Murdeshwar in the Arabian Sea, will be a national marine park, according to a proposal to be submitted to the Centre. To reach the island you can take a boat from Murudeshwar or optionally hire a trawler from Bhatkal/Honowar. (Watch the colour of the sea change from turquoise to crystal clear dark deep blue as you cross 9 km range from Murdeshwar).
Distances from closeby travel destinations:
Goa to Nethrani Island: 220 Km (Four hour drive)
Bhatkal to Nethrani Island: 16 km
Mangalore to Nethrani Island: 165 Km
Bangalore to Nethrani Island: 465 km
Karwar to Nethrani Island: 120 Km
Shimoga to Nethrani Island: 195 Km
BMIC and Barracuda Diving, Goa, organises weekend tours to the island.
Basavaraja Durga Island
Basavaraja Durga Island is situated about 3 kms from Honnavar. The island is famous for its historical Island fort, built during the regime of Shivappa Nayaka, king of Keladi dynasty.
Islands around Udupi and Malpe
St. Mary's Island, Panna Island and Darya Bahadurgadh Island are few of the Islands you can visit from Maple.
St. Mary's Island
St. Mary's Island is 300 m long and 100 m wide and its uniqueness is in the basalt rock formations that rise abruptly from the sea bed in various shapes. It is a popular picnic spots with locals and tourists alike.
Panna Island is small situated nearly 5 kms from St. Mary's Island.
Darya Bahadurgadh Island
Daria-Bahadurgad Island the northern-most island also close to near Udupi or Malpe is famous for its export of processed fish. While on this Island you can visit the Balarama Temple and Malpe's oldest tile factory.
ISLANDS AROUND DANDELI
Dandeli is famous for the many tiny islets that exist in the midst of the extensive back waters from the Supa reservoir. All these islands are uninhabited and provide a serene environment for Camping.
ISLANDS AROUND MYSORE AND BANGALORE
The river Cauvery and its tributaries form many islands along the way from Coorg down to Tamilnadu. The main islands of Srirangpatnam and Sivasamudram are easily accessible from both Mysore and Bangalore. It is recommended that you base yourself in Mysore if you plan to visit these islands.
Srirangpatnam 140 Km from Bangalore and 15 Km from Mysore is one of the Islands formed by the river Cauvery. The Island is 5 kms long and 1 km wide with the River Cauvery forming a natural moat. The breach on the Islands's fort wall made by the British forces, which brought down the Sultan, can still be seen near the bridge. (The original bridge called the Wellesley Bridge is the only link with the fort).
All the dynasties, of whose kingdom this island had formed a part, have left their relics and monuments here the Hoysalas of 11th century, the Vijayanagar kings of Chanidragiri in 17th century, the Hyder Ali-Tipu Sultan clan, then the French and finally the British. Thankfully after the battle for Sriragpatnam the Britsh ransacked the city and destroyed Tipu's palace but they left the religious structures intact Popular relics are the temple of Shri Ranganatha which is a blend of Hoysala and Vijayanagar architecture, a Jain basdi dedicated to Adinatha, houses images of all the 24 tirthankaras and the Jama Masjid with two minarets built by Tipu(He lies buried beside his father in the tomb Gumad-e-Ala).
To have complete view of the island, you can go up to Karighatta Hill where the British had placed their cannons during the siege of Srirangapattana. From this hill about five kilometres away you will get a good view of entire landsacpe. There is also a small temple on top.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Island
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, 4 Kms to the South West of Srirangapatna is situated on the banks of the Cauvery River. Ranganathittu attained the status of a bird sanctuary in 1940, courtesy of the visions of India 's famous ornithologist. Dr. Salim Ali who, during his survey of the birds of Mysore , advocated for the establishment of such a sanctuary.
It includes six isolated islets, which provides abundance of aquatic insects during the monsoon making Ranganathittu a favorite destination for migratory birds. Some species of birds that have made Ranganthittu their home are spoonbills, open bill storks, darters, white Ibis, little cormorants, egret, heron, partridge, river tern, stone plougher, snake bird, and other exotic bird species that fly to the sanctuary in large flocks. The birds begin arriving in the sanctuary in December every year, breed and move out with the little ones in August.
The best time to visit this Sanctuary is between June - November.
Ranger-guided boat tours of the isles are available throughout the day, early mornings and evenings are best times to catch all the birds. You can also get to see crocodiles, otters and bats
80 km from Mysore, 27 km from Somanathapura and 40 km from Mandya is the island town Sivasamudram. The river Cauvery bifurcates forming the sacred islands of Sivasamudram
Around Sivasamudram are the scenic twin Sivasamudram Falls of Bhar Chukki and Gagana Chukki, plunging 320 ft and reaching a width of 1,000 ft in the rainy season (the most alluring sights on the Island). The falls supply hydroelectric power to Mysore and Bangalore. There are temples dedicated to Ranganatha, Someswara, Veerabhadra and Mariamma.
ISLANDS AROUND COORG
The river Cauvery originates at the foot of Brahmagiri hills at a place called Talacauvery, the meandering river has created a cluster of islands and islets teeming with greenery, flora and bird life. Nisargadhama is one of the biggest and most picturesque.
2 km from Kushalnagar lies on the highway linking Madikeri and Mysore is where you can find this riverine island carved by the Cauvery river in the plains. Nisargadhama teems with lush foliage, thick bamboo groves, teak, and rosewood trees. A wooden bridge (75-metre high), fixed with steel cables to trees at both the ends, is the only approach to this islet from this mainland. The snady beds of the river provide for a great picnic spot, you find deer, elephants and can take boat rides. Do not miss the 45-min walk along the rim of the island.
Karnataka Tourism Place Islands -