Things to do in Honnavar
Looking for a quaint holiday destination away from the hustle and bustle of a mainstream location, then Honnavar is the answer. A scenic small town in Uttara Kannada with the Arabian Sea on one side and the Western Ghats on the other is often ignored by travellers travelling to Murudeshwara, Gokarna, or Karwar. Easily accessible from Bangalore, Mangalore, Goa, and Shimoga, Honnavar is known for its suspension bridges, waterfalls, coastal cuisine, hiking trails, mangrove forests, and much more.
Add Honnavar to Shimoga or Udupi / Mangalore itinerary or just visit the place and explore the destination at a slow pace. Honnavar, the port town is famous for its picturesque landscapes and many islands formed by the amalgamation of River Sharavathi with the Arabian Sea. Some of the popular things to do and see in Honnavar are listed below.
A very scenic, popular, and visited destination in Honnavar is the Apsarakonda. As the name says, it is a place that means ‘Pond of Angels ‘and is a village famous for its lake and waterfalls. The stunning panoramic landscape of nature at its best, Apsarakonda is just 7 km away from the Honnavar city center. Expect the mesmerizing divine and gorgeous sunset peeping out of a hill and the beach making it unbelievable. This heaven on earth also has some exciting caves known as Pandavas caves.
The serene and pristine Apsarakonda beach also has some ancient and worth-visiting temples like Maha Ganapati temple and Ugra Narasimha temple. The melodious chirping of birds in the lush green forests and the gushing waterfalls will make you spend the quality time you have always been looking for.
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Just 20 km away from the famous Murudeshwara Temple, Eco Beach is one of the “Blue Flag’ certified beaches in India. Earlier known as Kasargod Beach, Eco beach is one of the most virgin, pristine and serene beaches in the whole coastal belt. The 5 km long Eco Beach is more of a picnic spot with an eco-friendly twist catering to families, women travellers, and all those who want to have some quality time in the tranquillity of nature. Jointly developed by the Kasargod village Forest Committee and the forest & Tourism department, Eco Beach is one of the favourite picnic spots among kids.
The aim to develop such a beach is to promote and create awareness about eco-tourism and bring in more and more tourists to the area. The kids can enjoy various activities like a jungle gym, swings, play area, eating joints, and refreshments apart from playing on the beach and sand shores.
Know More About Top 10 Beaches in Karnataka
Kodlamane Shree Vishnumurthy Temple
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Kodlamane Shree Vishnumurthy Temple is one of the hidden and unexplored gems of Karnataka. The temple is one of the Hindu pilgrimages which is also considered a Thirth Kshetra in Honnavar taluka of the Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka. The temple was believed to have been discovered in dense forests centuries ago.
The temple can be reached after a short trek crossing the serene nature paths and trails for its astounding Vedic Hindu architecture. One of the attractions is the Garuda Stambha or pillar at the main gate which cannot be missed. The temple is of great religious importance and is visited by many for being a mukti sthal too.
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Basavaraj Durga Islands
Another ancient temple dating back to the 16th century is called Basavaraj Durga Fort and a temple on an island is not to be missed. Located around 7 km from the main town, the temple is located on an island and can be reached by boat. In the waters of the Arabian Sea crossing through River Sharavathi, the temple according to legends is believed to be constructed by the rulers of the 16th and 17th Centuries.
Sharavathi Kandla Mangrove Boardwalk
Also known as Kandla Vana a Mangrove Boardwalk is one of the latest tourist attractions in Honnavar and is an ideal place to explore and spend time in the lap of nature. Maintained by the Karnataka Forest Department to conserve mangroves and create awareness about the same to the public, it is a perfect location for nature lovers. Mangrove Boardwalk has located approximately 3 km from Honnavar just opposite Eco beach and cannot be missed. The sign boards mentioning the fauna and flora in the region educate the visitors about the mangroves.
Places to visit nearby
Located in the Sharavathi region and close to Shimoga, Mangalore, and Goa, Honnavar has many other attractions within a 50-60 km range worth visiting. Some of the popular places to visit are Idagunji Mahaganapathi temple, Manki Beach, Mirjan fort, Murudeshwara, Jog falls, and Yana Rocks.
Best time to visit
Honnavar being a coastal town, can be hot and humid during the summer. The heavy rains during monsoon can be an inconvenience to exploring Honnavar. Winters i.e from October to February are the best season to visit Honnavar.
The best time to visit Honnavar is the winter for being a coastal town. The breeze during the season is soothing and calming.
Summers can get hot and humid, while the monsoon season is colder but the rains can be very inconvenient to explore the town.
How to reach
Honnavar is a major tourist town in Uttara Kannada district in the state of Karnataka. Being the coastal town, Honnavar is almost equidistant from Mangalore and Goa.
The nearest airport to reach Honnavar by air is either Goa or Mangalore. While Goa is 166 km away and takes about 3 hours and 15 minutes, Mangalore is 180 km and takes 3 hours and 20 minutes to reach Honnavar by road. Bangalore is 460 km away and takes about 8 hours and 30 minutes to reach.
Honnavar has very good rail connectivity from major towns of Karnataka and neighbouring states. There are direct trains from Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Shimoga, and Mangalore.
For the best connectivity to the last mile, Honnavar should be best reached by road. The state-run KSRTC buses, cabs, taxis, and auto-rickshaws are the best modes of travel in Honnavar.