Wild Wonderful Karnataka

A Weekend in Devbagh


Devbagh situated around 10 kms from KARWAR. One wouldn't have asked for a better place than Devbagh for relaxing during the weekend.

Oct 8th 2004: Boarded the bus to karwar via Hubli from Bangalore city bus stand. It was not too cold but manageable. NH 4 has been recently converted into 4 lane express highway.But the NH 4 highway is much better now. I was unable to sleep since I had slept during the day time. It was around 7 am Oct 9th when I reached Hubli, just had a breakfast and tea @ the hubli bus stand.

Oct 9th 2004: It was around 9 in the morning when I reached Yellapur. The distance between hubli and Karwar was 160 kms. The road was good besides some traffic on the way. It was a good drive to karwar just through the jungle, not a thick jungle though. One could see lush green fields everywhere on the roadside. Finally I reached KARWAR around 11:30 am. Took an auto from the bus stand to the JLR office. I was welcomed by the person @ JLR office. Just produced the docs for the resort stay and finished the formalities.

I was guided to a JETTY where the boat was ready to take me to Devbagh Island. We went under the bridge which was 25 years old built across the river Kali, which joins the Arabian Sea @ Karwar. I checked into the log hut, got some details form the incharge about water sports and other activities @ the island. I had a quick lunch @1:30 in gol ghar.

banana boat


Walked around the seashore for some time taking some pics. Reached the place where water sports were conducted @ 4: 00. The first one was a banana boat ride. They topple the boat if required, minimum of 4 is a must for a ride. The feeling is just great when they topple, you need to leave your hands from the boat. You will be in the water. I drank some salt water when I fell into the water. I was able to float in the water with the help of a life jacket. I managed to get onto the boat again. I got drenched completely in the water. When the water is turbulent banana boat ride is not possible. Since the water was almost calm at the place where the river Kali joins the sea,the banana boat ride was possible. We went near the Kali Bridge and came back to the shore.

The next water sport for the day was kayaking. I choose a 2 seater kayaking boat. The guide was sitting behind me.The Kayaking boat is fiber built. You need have to use the oar to push forward. The oar has a flattened blade on both the sides. With full josh and enthu I started to the row. Since the tide was low @ the sea I was able to row with lot of ease. After some time I gave up and we were just pulled by the water for a few yards. The guide then took over and rowed for some time. The guide spotted out a dolphin in front of us; by the time I could see the dolphin was not visible. After some time I took control and then rowed for some time. We reached the Kali Bridge, near the bridge we spotted out eagles picking up the fish from the water. Probably we were half way through. If you have an experience in kayaking, you can take a single seater kayak and the guide will follow you with an other kayak. I shall use a kayak if I am lucky to do this another time. We were almost 3 kms from the shore. My hands started to pain, I had to give up for some time. Once again I picked up the oar and starting rowing. The sun was just dipping down, I didn't want to miss the sunset. I had to row fast. With the help the guide we reached the shore @ 6 pm.



I rushed back to the shore to watch the sunset . The view from the shore was just amazing. Thanks to the sunset mode in my dig cam, I could capture some good snaps. As the sun was disappearing behind an island, I thought I should capture some more snaps. I had to run for about 200 mtrs from the shore to take some snaps.

I was completely wet, headed back to the log hut for a quick change. Barbecue is arranged with camp fire if there are enough people @ the resort. Since there were few people,the barbecue was canceled. After a quick bath, I went back to the shore to take some rest. I had dinner @ 8:30 and went back to the log hut. Went for a walk after some time and then had a peaceful sleep.

Oct 10th 2004: Got up @ 7 in the morning, had tea @ the gol ghar and went back to the shore to collect some shells. After breakfast we went for snorkeling. This place is about 3kms from the Devbagh shore on the way to island we saw some dolphins. I was unable to take a shot of a dolphin. We reached the island by 10:30 am. I got ready for snorkeling.


To snorkel you will be given a mask with lens which will cover your eyes and nose. First the guide gave some instructions on how to breathe with the help of a mouth piece. You will have breath through your mouth when you are in water. Initially I found if very difficult to breathe through the mouth inside the water, I thought of canceling the snorkeling water sport. After some time I put some cotton into my ears and then went into the water, I got used to breathing inside the water with the help of a mouth piece. You need make your body free while snorkeling. The guide will hold your hand and take you through the coral reef on the surface of the island. The only way to communicate to the guide is through your body language. If you are uncomfortable while breathing through your mouth you can shake your left hand and let your body float on the water and you can remove the mask. I did this thrice during snorkeling. We were able to see one white Jelly fish with tentacles. There are some 12-15 varieties of fishes near the coral reef. I was able to see some 5-6 species of fishes. The best was the zebra fish and Electrical EEL which was camouflaged to the rock. Snorkeling will best if the water is 100 % clear. You will be at least 2-3 feet below the water. The water was 80 % clear when we did the snorkeling. The experience was just amazing; I never thought I would be able to make it. When the guide was taking me through the rocks I thought I would hit the rocks, but the guide was a perfectionist. We went around the coral reef for about 300 mtrs, It never felt as if we had covered 300mtrs I guess I got lost in the coral reef world. It reminded me of the beautiful shots from the movie BLUE LAGOON. We returned to the island at 11:30. We headed back to the Devbagh beach. I had to check out @ 12:30 to catch the PUNE ERNAKALUM Express @ 2:15 PM I wanted to travel on the Konkan railway route, so I had booked my tickets up to Kankanadi I came back to the log hut, took a quick shower and bought a T shirt at Devbagh.



Finally the boat came to the shore @ 12:45 and I reached Jetty at 1 PM Thanks to the person who dropped me up to Karwar bus stop. I took an auto from the bus stop to Karwar Railway station. Karwar railway station is about 8 kms from the bus stop. I paid him Rs 50; I canceled the extra ticket which I had with me.

Finally I boarded the PUNE Ernakulam express which was delayed by 30 mins. Luckily I got a window seat; the entire S4 coach was empty. After traveling about few kms, the train went through the tunnel which was about 3 kms. The view was just amazing, lush green fields everywhere. I got to see some awesome bridges built across the river. I sat on the foot board when the train was crossing river Sharavathi. This bridge is about 1.5kms, you will get this bridge immediately after Honnavar station. It was about 7 PM when I reached Kankanadi Station. Mangalore was around 8 kms from Kankanadi station. I bought some snacks with the help of a friend @ Cochin Bakery. I reached the Mangalore bus stand @ 8 PM I boarded the BUS at 8:45 PM The road to Bangalore through the ghat section was spoiled for about 10 kms. Finally I reached Bangalore @ 5 Monday morning.

The whole trip was fantastic. Unarguably the best place to visit for some fun in the water.

Gopi R K
gopirk [@] india [dot] com

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