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Basavaraja Durga Island – The fort island of antiquity

    Categories: Honnavar

Far away from the maddening bustles of human settlement stands the Basavaraja Durga Island. Located off the coast of Honnavar Taluk in the Uttar Kannada District, the island is trying to hold on majestically to its half-forgotten history.

The Island. Image courtesy Kumarcnaik

Cradling in green and golden hues on the Arabian Sea only 4 km from the Honnavar town, the Island holds stories of the past among the significant ruins of a fort on the island.

Basavaraja Durga Island: The Overview

The place stands at an elevation of 45 to 50 meters above the sea level. Spread over an area of 19 hectares, the island appears green with lush vegetation from a distance. Whereas, the crown of the island resembles a plateau replete with golden-hued dry grasses, and trees. The island is also dotted with a number of miraculously fresh water wells.

Around 36 km from the holy temple town Murudeshwar, this place is separated from the Honnavar town by a distance of 4 km, from Sharavati Bay by 3 km, from the Pavinakurva village by 1 km, and from the Tari Bagilu village by mere 700 meters. It takes a sail of 30 to 45 minutes from Honnavar, and 5 to 10 minutes from Tari Bagilu to reach this beautiful relic island.

Basavaraja Durga Fort wall at south-east part of the island. Image courtesy Kumarcnaik

A Fort Island

The Island got its name quintessentially after the Basavaraja Durga Fort built on the island during the Vijayanagar rule in 1690. When the Keladi king Shivappa Nayaka of Bednur captured the fort, he named it after the Keladi prince Basavaraja. Consequently, the island came to known by the name of the fort.

The place is entered through the southern end flanked by a stone entrance, which was once the architectural entrance to the Basavaraja Durga Fort. One can see from outside the stout laterite blocks raised as fortification of the old citadel along the brinks of the island. It’s nothing less than a regal feeling to be welcomed by the relics of eight mounted guns on the island.

Quick Facts about Basavaraja Durga Island

  • Best Time to Visit: October to May
  • Visiting Hours: 9 am – 5 pm (Mon to Sun)
  • Conveyance: Boats and Small Coasters
  • Festivals: Makar Sankranti (14 January)
  • Don’ts: No private vehicles are allowed on the island, Not conducive to visit the island during the monsoon season
  • Location Honnavar Taluk, Uttar Kannada District (MAP)

Basavaraja Durga Island: Things to Do

Being swathed in hues of nature as well as the antiques, spending a day at here is worth the effort that it takes in reaching the island.

Stroll around the place: Enjoy a leisure walk on the island, absorbing the wondrous sights of nature. Notice how the azure hue of the sea transforms into greenery along the fortification on the island, eventually giving in to the dry golden grasses on the top of the island. You will surely be convinced about the magical power of nature.

Explore the Basavaraja Durga Fort: Exploring the Fort is the most obvious thing to do. With an entire day in hand, do not leave a single stone unturned in exploring every nook and corner of the remnants of this historical fort.

Drop by at the Temple: The place houses a quaint Hindu temple of Nagadevata built between 16th and 17th centuries. The boatmen and boat owners assemble at the temple with their families and offer extensive prayers during Makar Sankranti (14 January), seeking protection and guidance of the deity against nature’s wrath while making a living off the sea.

How to Reach Basavaraja Durga Island

The place can be reached on boats and small coasters from the Honnavar town as well as from the nearby Pavinakurva and Tari Bagilu beach villages. Both these villages could be accessed on road from Honnavar.

By Air

Hubli is the nearest airport. From there, one has to catch a bus or a taxi to Honnavar.

By Rail

Honnavar is well connected by intra-state as well as inter-state railways.

By Road

Buses ply in frequent intervals between Honnavar and all the other major towns and cities in Karnataka.

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