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Coconut palms on the beach, Karwar
|• Commissioner||Dr. M.T.Reju|
|• Total||10.9 km2 (4.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||6 m (20 ft)|
|• Density||2,319.45/km2 (6,007.3/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||91-8382-XXX XXX|
Karwar is a city in Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka state, India, and the administrative centre of Karwar taluk. Karwar lies on the west coast of Southern India at the mouth of the Kali river. Its geography creates a natural harbour with protection against monsoon weather. As well as being a port town, Karwar is a centre for agriculture, some manufacturing and tourism.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Religion
- 6 Economy
- 7 Tourism
- 8 Culture
- 9 Notable residents
- 10 Villages of Karwar Taluk
- 11 Geographical orientation from Karwar
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Karwar is known locally by the Konkani word, Konso, Marathi word "Kaarwan-कारवान"(meaning, corner, referring to the corner of the land mass before the Kali river). Karwar derived its name from the nearby village of Kadwad (Kade Wada, the last wado). Kade means last and wado means precinct or area. Before Indian independence, the name Karwar was spelt Carwar. The name Baithkhol, is an Arabic term. Bait-e-kol, means bay of safety.
Karwar, at the mouth of the Kali river has long been recognized as a sheltered harbour and was used by Arab, Dutch, Portuguese, French and later British merchants. Ibn Battuta, the 14th century AD Moroccan explorer, visited Karwar.
Kot Siveshvar, another fortress, was built near Karwar (in Siveshvar village) by the Sultan of Bijapur to counterattacks from the north. At the ruins of Fort Siveshvar are a Muslim graveyard and a tunnel at the eastern gate.
Portuguese traders knew Karwar as Cintacora, Chitrakul, Chittakula or Sindpur. In 1510, the Portuguese captured and burnt a fort at Karwar. They called it Fort Pir, Forte de Piro or Pito due to the presence of a Muslim Dargah (tomb of a Sufi saint, Shahkaramuddin). In the 17th century, refugees from Portuguese rule in Goa moved to Karwar.
In 1638 the English trading Courteen Association established a factory at Kadwad village, 6 km east of Karwar and traded with merchants from Arabia and Africa. The common commodities were muslin, black pepper, cardamom, cassier and coarse blue cotton cloth. In 1649 the Courteen Association merged with the British East India Company, and Karwar became a company town.
In the 1700s Karwar was part of the Maratha Empire. In 1784, at the time of the Treaty of Mangalore between Tipu Sultan and the East India Company, Karwar and Sadashivgad were spelt Carwar and Sadasewgude, respectively. After the defeat of the Marathas in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, Karwar fell to the British.
The Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who visited Karwar in 1882, dedicated a chapter of his memoirs to this town. At 22 years, Tagore stayed with his second brother, Satyendranath Tagore, who was a district judge in Karwar.
From 1862 to the re-organisation of the states, Uttara Kannada district was part of the Bombay Presidency. During this time, major public works carried out included improvement of roads, building of a wharf, wharf road and a sea wall at the Karwar port as well as the construction of a multi-floor storage building, staff housing, a post office, kutcheri (kutcherries or zamindar's offices) and a Christian burial ground.
At the same time, the local Konkani-speaking people had close connections with Mumbai. Many Marathi middle schools were established in the Karwar and Joida taluks. Marathi films were released in Karwar. The visit of Marathi drama troupes from Mumbai and Pune was an annual feature.
In 2006, the Goa State Konkani Ekikaran Manch (GSKEM) was convened by Asha Palankar. Their aim was to organise a movement for the unification of the Konkani speaking Karwar and Joida taluks with Goa. The local unit of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES) at Sadashivagad and its leaders including Vishnu Kalgutkar and Shivanand Rane joined the GSKEM and said they would dissolve the MES unit and fight for a merger of Karwar and Joida in Goa.
Karwar is a seaside city on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. To the east are the Western Ghats. Karwar is situated on the banks of the Kali river (Kali nadi) which flows west to the Arabian sea from its headwaters at Bidi village in the Western Ghats. The Kali river has a length of about 153 km and is the main source of irrigation for Karnataka. Karwar is 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of the Karnataka - Goa border and 519 kilometres (322 mi) north-west of Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka.
Baitkhol port at Karwar is a natural harbour with land side hills and ocean side islands protecting it from cyclonic weather. The four fathom mark lies close to the shore. The tidal range is 1.2 to 2.5m.:172
Several small mangrove covered islands lie off the Kali river estuary including Anjadip Island and Devagadaguda Islands. The sub-tidal regions of the islands have a high biodiversity, although the waters off Karwar have recorded higher than normal faecal coliform counts.:248
Karwar lies on a coastal strip known as the Monsoon Coast. Karwar has hot summers from March to May where the temperature may reach 37 °C. The Arabian Sea is warm throughout the year. Winters from December to February are very mild (24 °C and 32 °C). The windy monsoon period from June to September has an average rainfall of over 400 centimetres (160 in).
|Climate data for Karwar|
|Average high °C (°F)||32.8
|Average low °C (°F)||20.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||1.1
The 2001 census recorded Karwar's population at 75,038. There were 17,391 households. Females made up 48% of the population. Karwar had an average literacy rate of 80%, higher than the national average of 74%: male literacy was 85%, and female literacy was 75%. In Karwar, 10% of the population were children under 6 years of age.
The prominent castes and sub-castes in Karwar include:
The majority of people in Karwar belong to the Komarpant tribe. The indigenous people of Uttara Kannada are the Halakki Vokkaligas who reside in the foothills of the Western Ghats. They have a traditional way of life under the local governance of a head man (gouda). The women have a distinct attire of beads, necklaces and heavy nose rings. Goulis are a nomadic goat and cattle herding tribe from Maharashtra. They reside at the fringes of forests where some have taken up agriculture. The Kunabi may be the most disadvantaged tribe of Karwar. They reside in small groups deep inside forests in bamboo huts that are built in a row, sharing common walls.
Konkani is the main language of Karwar. Kannada, the official state language, is taught in schools. Marathi is widely understood and spoken in Karwar due to the prevalence of Marathi literature and arts in the area. Hindi, Urdu and English are also used in casual conversation.
Most people in Karwar are Hindu. Christianity was introduced to Karwar by the British and by the Portuguese in Goa in the 17th and 18th centuries. Muslim seafaring traders migrated to Karwar from the Deccan (Bahamani) kingdoms. Karwar was called Baithkol meaning the house of safety or "Bait-e-kol" meaning place of safety in Arabic. Muslim villages in Karwar include: Shiveshvar, Kadwad, Sunkeri, Chittakula, Sawar Pai and Hotegali. Islamic tradition holds that two brothers, descendants of Ali, the son in law of Mohammad, settled in Shiveshvar and made the village a place of Islamic learning. In Shiveshvar, there are three shrines dedicated to Muslim saints: Gaiby Pir, Nizam Pir and Shamshuddin pir-in Kot.
Karwar is an agricultural region. The common crops are rice, groundnuts, green vegetables, onions, watermelons and flowers. Other primary industries include animal husbandry, sericulture, horticulture, beekeeping, gathering and lumbering and the growing of homeopathic medicinal plants.
The coastal location of Karwar lends to fishing and fisheries which are concentrated in Harikanth, Konkan Kharvis, Gabiths and Ambigas. The common types of fish are mackerel, sardines, hardheads and prawns. Fishing is done from land with nets or from boats such as pandy (motor launch) and dhoni (dug out canoes). There is also mechanised trawling. The brackish water of the Kali estuary is suitable for prawn farming.
Members of the Daivadnya Brahmin caste are engaged in jewellery design, manufacturing and goldsmithing. Leather works are common. In Binaga township, a chemical company (Aditya Birla Chemicals Division), manufactures caustic soda, lye flakes, liquid and powdered chlorine, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, kestra pipes and bromine.:246 Since 1638 when William Counten opened a mill, Karwar town has been a producer of fine muslin.
At Kaiga, 50 kilometres (31 mi), the Nuclear Power Corporation of India operates a nuclear power plant. The Kadra hydroelectric power corporation (K. P. C.) operates a dam between Kadra and Mallapur townships, approximately 33 kilometres (21 mi) from Karwar town.
The Konkan railway connects Karwar to most major towns and cities. Karwar has three railway stations: Asnoti, Karwar (Shirwad) and Harwada. The nearest Goan station is Canacona, 36 km away. Madgaon station lies 68 km to the north.
The Indian Navy operates a naval base at a bay near Binaga township. It is the navy's third largest base. The base was founded as part of Project Seabird. Casurina beach near Binaga (now called Kamat Bay) and Arga beach were incorporated into naval property. The public has access to the base during Navy Week in December and in visiting educational groups. The naval base includes a civilian support community at Amadalli, a ship lift and an hospital.
Karwar port is located at Baithkol, Karwar Bay. Hills and coastal islands make the port a natural harbour, sheltered from the Arabian sea. The port which is operated by the Government of Karnataka, services the hinterland of northern Karnataka, Goa and southern Maharashtra.
The length of the port is 355 metres (388 yd). The quay has two berths, with a draft capacity of 9.25 metres (30.3 ft). Karwar port also berths coastal vessels and there is a jetty for fishing vessels. The Government of Karnataka has planned to develop Karwar port on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis to provide six additional berths, a container terminal, and a rail link to Shirwad railway station.
The port is able to handle all types of commodities, including "B" and "C" class petroleum products. There port has liquid storage tanks for bitumen, furnace oil, molasses, and HSD. A ban of iron ore mining and export in Karnataka state reduced congestion at the port. The port has arrangements for berthing coastal vessels, and a jetty for fishing boats.
In 2012 the Government of Karnataka carried out maintenance dredging in the port, the approach channel and the nearby anchorage. The port may be closed from 16 May to 15 September (the monsoon season). Part of the 2008 Hindi film Golmaal Returns was filmed at Karwar port.
- "The sea beach of Karwar is certainly a fit place in which to realize that the beauty of Nature is not a mirage of the imagination, but reflects the joy of the Infinite and thus draws us to lose ourselves in it. Where the universe is expressing itself in the magic of its laws it may not be strange if we miss its infinitude; but where the heart gets into immediate touch with immensity in the beauty of the meanest of things, is any room left for argument?" Rabindranath Tagore 
Places of interest
- Binaga beach
- Devbagh beach
- Kali bridge
- Karwar beach
- Kurumgad island
- Majali beach
- Oyster Rock Lighthouse, a round white masonry construction with red trim protects ships from the rocks of Devgad Island, the largest off the Kali Estuary.
- Tilmatti beach
- Anshi national park
- Chaitanya park
- Chendia and Nagarmadi falls (a small waterfall which passes under a large rock)
- Devkar falls
- Guddahalli peak
- Habbu mountain
- Hyder Ghat pass
- Mudgeri dam
- Shirve Ghat
- Kot Shiveshvar
- Sadashivgad Fort
- Shahkaramuddin dargah, Sadashivgad (tomb of a Sufi saint)
- Maritime museum
- "Our Karwar family home was, in one word, mammoth. A crumbling ruin of stone and brick with huge windows, archways, long corridors lined with rooms, and heavy wooden doors with crusty, cast-iron latches. From the windows hung cumbersome bamboo drapes that were rolled up in the mornings to let in the sun..." Tara D. Tennebaum, Saraswat chef and author.
Karwar is known for its seafood cuisine. Fish curry, with cashews, coconut and rice is a staple dish. Kawar curries use ginger and turmeric but not always garlic.
- Kurle and sungta ambat: crab and shrimp prepared in coconut, red chillies and tamarind paste.
- Bangada fry: mackerel fried in masala and semolina.
- Gojju: a vegetable dish made of capsicum, carrot, cucumber and eggplant fried in butter.
- Kalwa sukka: rock oysters with coconut, red chillies and tamarind paste.
- Tisaryachi ekshipi: unshelled clams.
- Masli kadi: fish with coconut gravy.
- Miri phanas chi bhaji: breadfruit (videshi fanas) cooked with grated coconut, spices and shellfish or shrimp.
- Shagoti: chicken or mutton cooked in coconut gravy and shagoti masala.
- Sukhe masli: dried, salted fish such as mackerel (bangada), Bombay duck (bombil), and sardines (tarle).
- Paez: parboiled rice (ukhde tandul) with ambat or masli kadi.
- Sutryan: boiled rice shaped into a disc or vada-like form with prawn (zinge) gravy.
- Kakadi chi roti
- Ghanshya and terya shak
- Taikilya bhaji
- Allambya ambat: mushroom masala
- Luckha sukka: chilly squid
- Mungachi kheer
- Ghavane: rice dosa (Neer Dosa)
- Bhaje ambat
- Shevaya: vermicelli rice with coconut milk and jaggery.
- Patoli: a sweet steamed stuffed turmeric leaves.
- Sukrundo: a sweet prepared during Ganesh Chaturthi, (believed to be the Lord Ganesh's favourite).
- Bhinda kadi: a drink prepared from kokum fruit.
- Ganesh Chaturthi celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganesha. Two to three months prior to the event, lifelike clay models of Lord Ganesha in various poses are made for sale by skilled artisans. The size of these statues varies from .75 inches (19 mm) to over 25 feet (7.6 m). Ganesh Chaturthi starts with the installation of these Ganesha statues in colourfully decorated homes and temporary structures called mantapas or pandals. The pandals are erected by the people of a specific society, locality or group by collecting contributions. The mantapas are decorated especially for the festival, either by using decorative items like flower garlands and lights or are theme-based decorations, which depict religious themes or current events. The statues are worshipped by families and friends.
- Deepavali celebrates the return of Rama, King of Ayodhya, with his wife, Sita, and brother, Lakshmana, to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, and a war in which the king killed Ravana. It is also called the Festival of Lights. All homes, shops, establishments and offices are decorated with lights at night.
- Maha Shivratri
- Holi, Holika dehan festival of colours
- Ugadhi, the Hindu new year
- Dasara celebrates the killing of the demon king, Ravan, by the God king, Ram.
- Navaratri celebrates the slaying of the bull headed demon king, Mahishasur. Garbha and Dandiya continue for nine days: Navratra, the goddess, takes nine different forms and destroys all the demonic forces that have made life miserable for mother earth.
- Kurumgad jatra
- Eid al-Fitr (Ramdan Id) the Muslim festival celebrating the completion of Ramadan month
- Id-ul-Adha (Bakri-Id) in the remembrance of the prophet Abraham's sacrifice of his son Isaac (Ismail) to the will of Allah and the completion of Hajj rituals at Mecca.
- Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter are celebrated by the Christian community
- Sao Jao where garlands of freshly picked fruits leaves and flowers are worn and people jump into wells, ponds, rivers, and lakes.
- Anjedweep island festival
- Karavali Utsav, an annual three of four day festival at Tagore beach, Rabindranath. It is organised by the Uttara Kannada District Administration as a cultural and social event. Many shops and stalls are installed at Tagore beach. People from all parts of the district and from all over the state and neighboring Goa state attend. Many cultural events are held in the evenings where regional, national and international artists including Bollywood stars, Kannada film stars, Goan artists and local artists perform.
Media outlets include:
- Karwar eNews, online local newspaper.
- Karavali Munjavu, Kannada language daily newspaper.
- Zilla Varta Kendra media centre.
- District Library, near the district court and next to Mitra Samaj.
- All India Radio (Akashwani Kendra), Gurumath Road, Kajubag.
- Real TV's reality show, Sarkaar Ki Duniya was filmed at Ambe Joog island.
- Rama Raghoba Rane, (1918 - 1994), Chendia. The only Param Vir Chakra Award winner the Karnataka state.
- Jayshree Gadkar, a Marathi movie actress of the 1960s, born to a Konkani speaking family in Kanasgiri village near Sadashivgad.
Villages of Karwar Taluk
- Lower Makeri
- Majali, Karnataka
- Upper Makeri
- Wail Balni
Geographical orientation from Karwar
|Arabian Sea||INS Kadamba||Ankola|
- "Sub-District Details". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
- History Of Gingee and its rulers
- Biddulph, Colonel John (1907). The Pirates of Malabar And an Englishwoman in India Two Hundred Years Ago (Reprint 2005 ed. ed.). London: Smith, Elder & co. p. 40. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Treaty of Mangelore" Project South Asia.
- Karwar in Tagore's memoirs
- "Report of proceedings at the conference held at Poona, 1865." Department of Public Works, Bombay Presidency, 1866 p251 (Original held at Oxford University). Accessed at Google books, 5 April 2014.
- Hiranandani G. M. "Transition to Eminence: The Indian Navy 1976-1990." Lancer Publishers, 2005. ISBN 8170622662, 9788170622666.
- Sahoo D. and Pandey P. C. "Advances in Marine and Antarctic Science." APH publishing 2002 ISBN 8176483478, 9788176483476.
- Outlook Traveller Outlook Publishing July 2008 8(7)
- "Goa Konkani Manch launched in Karwar". The Times of India. 3 September 2006.
- Karwar City Municipal Council – Official site
- Qasim S. Z. "Indian Estuaries." Allied Publishers 2003 p270 ISBN 817764369X, 9788177643695.
- Bhargava G. K. and Bhatt S. C. "Land and People of Indian States and Union Territories." Gyan Publishing House, 2006 p365-367 ISBN 8178353695, 9788178353692.
- "Karwar/KAWR Railway Station – Today's train departure timings, a busy junction for travellers and rail enthusiasts". India Rail Info. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "Prostar Sailing Directions 2005 India & Bay of Bengal Enroute." National Geospatial-intelligence Agency, ProStar Publications, 2005 p. 53 ISBN 1577856627, 9781577856627.
- Tennebaum T. D. "A Sense for Spice : Recipes and Stories from a Konkan Kitchen." Westland ISBN 938261849X, 9789382618492.
-  Karwar e news online newspaper
-  Munjavu daily newspaper website