Previously known as North Canara, Uttara Kannada is one of the important districts in Karnataka that is famous for its breathtaking landscape. Right from verdant forests to perennial rivers, waterfalls and massive coastline, this charming district in Karnataka is endowed with myriad attractions for the tourists. It is among the best travel destinations in Karnataka that is perfect for adventure seekers, nature lovers and every sort of travel enthusiast.
The district also boasts a strategic location as it shares the borders with popular Indian states of Goa and Maharashtra. The main highlights of Uttar Kannada’s Tourism are wildlife tours, untouched beaches of Gokarna, white water rafting in Dandeli, hiking near Yana Rocks, Scuba Diving in Netrani and much more. Besides these attractions, Uttara Kannada also has a significant role in history which gives travellers an opportunity to delve in its rich ancient past. So be ready for an enriching adventure in Uttara Kannada.
The best time to visit Uttara Kannada in Karnataka is between September to March. The overall temperature during this time of the year is perfect to explore the top attractions of this beautiful district.
The Kadamba Kingdom was prevalent in the Uttara Kannada region during the 3rd to 5th centuries. Kadamba rulers were defeated by the Chalukya kings and the region came under the rule of several kingdoms thereafter. Rashtrkutas, Hoysalas, and the Vijaynagar empire ruled the region after the Chalukyas.
After India’s independence, Uttara Kannada remained a part of Bombay state and it was later in the 1970s when the southern part of Bombay State got separated and Karnataka was formed. Later the district developed as a popular tourist Destination for its serene waterfalls, exotic beaches, ancient temples, and vibrant festivals.
The district is home to many ancient and naturally beautiful sites that are visited by people from across the country. The Karwar city is its headquarter whereas Dandeli and Bhatkal are some of the major towns of the district. Check out the best tourist attractions of Uttara Kannada that should be on every traveller’s wishlist.
1. Kurumgad Island
Kurumgad Island is one of the most interesting places to visit in Uttara Kannada district as the island has a tortoise like shape. It is a privately owned island belonging to a coffee planter, Suresh Mathias. It is one of the five islands that are present in the region and can be accessed by tourists. The other four islands in the region are Devbagh, Sanyasi, Anjadip, and Oyster.
Gokarna is an unmissable place if you are a beach body. This place in Uttara Kannada district is known for its pristine and untouched beaches. Om Beach, Kudle Beach, Majali Beach, Paradise Beach, Rabindranath Tagore Beach, Devbagh Beach, the town is dotted with myriad beaches that are perfect for unwinding.
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3. Anshi National Park
The Anshi National Park is situated in the Uttara Kannada District in Karnataka. The park is home to a variety of animals such as Bengal Tigers, Black Panthers along with Indian Elephants giving an opportunity to spot these denizens in their natural habitat. It is a perfect place for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and photographers as they can gather an exciting experience of wildlife here in this park.
4. Unchalli Falls
Located in Sirsi Taluk, the magnificent Unchalli Falls is one of the best places to visit in Uttara Kannada district especially during the post monsoon season. This stunning waterfall emerges from River Aghanashini and falls from the height of 116 metres. There is a deck for the visitors to catch the sight of this waterfall that instantly calms the senses with its captivating beauty.
5. Basavaraj Durga Island
Basavaraj Durga Island is a must visit place to discover a spectacular fortress that is situated near Honnavar. The legacy of Vijayanagara kings, this massive fort is built over 19 hectares of area on the island. Other attractions of this Island are fresh water wells that are dotted around the island. You can also pay a visit to a beautiful temple here at the island which holds importance for the locals living on the island. Makar Sankranti is a major festival celebrated at the temple and it is the best time to witness the cultural diversity of this place.
6. Netrani Island
One of the popular destinations in Karnataka where scuba diving and other thrilling water sports activities can be enjoyed is Netrani Island. It is known for stunning corals, pristine waters and spectacular marine life which makes it absolutely irresistible for divers and adventure junkies. It is also known as Pigeon Island as there are curved rocky formations and verdant grasslands that are perfect for breeding and habitation of these birds.
7. Yana Rocks
A paradise in Karnataka for trekkers, hikers and adventure seekers, visiting Yana Rocks is totally indispensable if you are any of these. It is quite a popular place in the climbing circuit as it is visited by trekkers and hikers from around the world. This trekking trail is about 16 km long and takes you through the evergreen forests along the Western Ghats.
It is a popular place in Uttara Kannada district that gives an opportunity to the travellers to pump their adrenaline. Thrilling white water rafting in Kali river makes it the best adventure sport destination in Karnataka. Also there is a wildlife sanctuary in Dandeli which is a delight for wildlife enthusiasts. This sanctuary is reckoned as the paradise for bird watchers as it is home to about 200 species of birds.
Away from hustle and bustle, Murudeshwara is a beautiful place in Uttara Kannada that is strategically positioned between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. This charming town is popular for an ancient Shiva Temple that boasts a stunning Dravidian architecture. The temple houses a tall statue of Lord Shiva which is considered as the tallest Shiva statue in India. There are beautiful sculptures from the Chalukya and Kadamba era which are typically the work of art.
10. Kavala Caves
If you are visiting Dandeli Sanctuary then don’t miss the beautiful Kavala caves that are located in the park. These naturally formed caves are a sight to behold as these are a number of ancient limestone formations that are created by the water seeping through porous rocks over millions of years. It is also visited by a large number of pilgrims during Maha Shivaratri due to naturally formed Shivling inside the caves. You can also grab an enchanting view of Kali River valley from the caves.
Uttara Kannada is an important district that lies in the Indian state of Karnataka. The capital city of the district, Karwar is located at a distance of 520 kms from Bengaluru and 271 kms from Mangalore. The district shares its borders with Goa and is well connected by rail, road and air. Check out the easiest way to reach Uttara Kannada through all means of transport!
The nearest airport to Uttara Kannada is Dabolim International Airport in Goa which is about 4 hours away from the district. You can also consider flying to Bajpe Airport in Mangalore which is the second nearest airport. Both the airports remain busy as there are frequent flights from all major cities in the world.
You can cover the onward journey from any of these airports either by cab or bus depending on your budget.
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Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available to Uttara Kannada
The Konkan Railway Line connects Uttara Kannada with other Indian states and prominent cities. The nearest station is in its capital town, Karwar. Konkan Railway line also passes through Kumta and Ankola. After deboarding at the station, you can hire a cab to reach your desired destination or take a bus according to your comfort and budget.
North West Karnataka Transport Corporation is the main transport agency within the district which operates on various routes from surrounding cities and districts as well. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and a few private travel services make road journeys to Uttara Kannada easy and swift.
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The district is connected through highways and roads are well maintained so you can also consider driving down in your own vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions About Uttara Kannada
Q 1. What is Uttara Kannada famous for?
A 1. Uttara Kannada is famous for its breathtaking landscape and natural wonders.
Q 2. Which is the richest Taluk in Uttara Kannada?
A 2. Sirsi Taluk in Uttara Kannada is considered to be the richest as it has the highest per capita income in the district. Karwar is considered as the second richest Taluk in the district despite being its capital.
Q 3. Which district is Uttara Kannada?
A 3. Uttara Kannada falls under Konkan district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It shares its border with the Indian state of Goa.
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