Bhatkal is around 16 Kms from Murudeshwar, is an old port town. A predominantly Muslim town with 42 mosques. During the Vijayanagar kingdom in the 16th century this was the main port. It also famous for Jain Chandranath Basadi with its stone tiles and a temple dating back to the Vijaynagar kingdom. The temple is known for animal carvings and intricate work.
The Khetpai Narayana temple at Mudbhatkal has interesting engravings on the wall, is the best example of its rich heritage. There are nearly 10 temples here all built by Konkani merchants from Goa.
The mosques here are really elegant with great architecture especially Sultani Masjid, Jamia Masjid and Khalifa Masjid which are a few centuries old.
A holiday experience to Bhatkal means soaking oneself in white sand beaches and enjoying the blue sea. There is a old light house on top of a hill where you can get a breathtaking view of the sea.
Where to Stay
Hotel Kola Paradise
Phone: 08385-226357, 225291
Hotel Danish Regency
Honavar is a port town, located 20 Kms from Murudeshwar. It is believed that Honavar is existing from Ramayana days. It was then known as Honnuru or “Golden Town”. when Rama shot an arrow he created a perennial spring called Rama Teertha. Even till date water still flows after thousands of years even if there is a severe drought. Here you can also find vast stretches of empty beaches.
It is also known for the Sharavathi Bridge, the longest bridge in Karnataka. Apsara Konda Falls is another must see here. It is a visual treat to watch the sun go down in the Arabian Sea from the Apsara Konda hillock. The hillock offers a beautiful view of nature from here.
Apsara Konda falls is just before you get to the hillock, from here you can get a glorious view of sunset which is one of the best you can get to watch.
In case you are in Honavar during festival time, you might get a chance to see the very popular dance drama form of Yakshagana. In the night, it is one of the finest cultural treats one can get on the coastal journey in Karnataka.
Where to Stay
Kamat Executive Inn
NH- 17, Honnavar,
Phone: +91-8387 – 222030/222010
Nethrani Island or Pigeon Island is located 20 Kms from Murudeshwar and 6 Kms from Bhatkal. It is considered as one of the finest diving and snorkeling sites in India. It is decorated with amazing coral reefs. Nethrani is just a boat ride away from Murdeshwar. It has one of the best beaches in India and is known amazing underwater life.
Locally known as Netragudo, Nethrani Island is a place where one can enjoy all the serene beauty of nature. The Island is decorated with Long stretch of silver beach, clear blue water and other natural surroundings.
People coming here should come well equipped with scuba gear. One of the Major tourist attraction here in the Island is Jenny’s Aquarium, it is the best diving spots in Nethrani. Here the visibility underwater is average, but you get to see amazing marine life, like squirrelfish, parrotfish, triggerfish, fusilliers etc.
Another diving spot is the Grand Central Station here the seascape is littered with honeycomb morays and the odd snowflake eel. You can also spot the Hawkbill turtles and huge batfish basking in the sun. As you come across a large number of fishes you begin to understand why it is called the Grand Central Station. The maximum depth at this place is about 20 metres.
The Nursery has maximum depth of 10 meters. The visibility here is great and this diving spot is perfect for advanced divers as well as beginners. It is also a great site for maco photography. The main attraction in this spot is moray eels. This is a good spot to see Parrotfish, triggerfish, scorpionfish, gobies and yellow shrimp.
The deepest diving spot in Nethrani island is the Abyss which has a maximum depth of 35 meters. This is the favourite spot of deep divers. The gravel bottom has a gradual slope heading towards the island where we complete our safety stop in Dinny’s Delight.
Dinny’s Delight the diving site dept ranges with a maximum dept of 8 Mts. Here the bed of the sea is made up of cowrie shells of many varieties. You can spot porcupine pufferfish, Angelfish, parrotfish, sergeant majors, butterfly fish swimming in all directions.
Best time to visit: December and January
Things you can do here
- Scuba Diving
Turtle Bay Resort located in Kundapur, organises Diving, Snorkeling and Trekking trips to Netrani Island and other spots in the region. You can contact them at:
Turtle Bay Beach Resort
Gujjadi P.O. Trasi
Kundapur – 576235,
Phone : 08254 – 265422
Mobile : 09900461609
Fax – 08254-265761
The Bangalore Mountaineering Club in Bangalore arranges for adventure and snorkelling trips to Netrani Island among other destinations in Karnataka. Check with them beforehand as they may require a minimum size group to arrange for the trip. You can contact them at:
The Bangalore Mountaineering Club
No, 69, K. R. Garden, 3rd Main,
Bank colony, Murgeshpalya,
Vimanapura Post, Bangalore – 560017
Mobile: (+91) 99807-61262 / (+91) 93419-61262
Email : team at bmcindia.org
Gtalk/Yahoo/AIM/MSN ID : neerajmalve