Discover the best activities in Honavar, Karnataka! From exploring historic sites to indulging in delicious local cuisine, this charming town has something for everyone. Dive into the rich cultural tapestry of Honavar with our comprehensive guide to the top things to do. Explore ancient temples, relax on pristine beaches, and immerse yourself in the vibrant local markets. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a foodie, many things to do in Honavar are waiting to be uncovered.
A spontaneous detour led us to Honavar. While en route to Murdeshwara for a scuba diving adventure at Netrani Island, my friend and I found ourselves with a day to spare. Eager to make the most of our unexpected free time, we hired a car and explored Honavar. To my surprise, I had never heard of Honavar before this impromptu visit.
For those travelling to Murdeshwara or Gokarna, Honavar serves as a captivating extension. I wholeheartedly advise making a stop in Honavar before continuing your journey.
PIN for later reference – Things To Do in Honavar
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Also spelled as Honnavar, Honavar is a picturesque coastal town in Karnataka’s heart. Renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and rich historical heritage, this port town once welcomed traders from Arabian and European shores. Honavar flourished as a prominent seaport throughout the British colonial era, adding to its allure and significance.
Nestled along the banks of the majestic Sharavati River, Honavar beckons travellers to explore its captivating charm. The town’s name is believed to have originated from “Honnupura,” reflecting its historical role as a bustling market and hub for the trade of precious commodities, including gold.
For those planning a visit, the optimal time to experience Honavar’s splendour is between September and March when the weather remains pleasantly mild. With its compact size and wealth of attractions, exploring Honavar can be comfortably accomplished within a day or two, ensuring an enriching and memorable journey.
5 Things To Do in Honavar
- Tickets are available for purchase at the entrances of each location.
- Each place has a parking fee ranging from INR 50 to 60.
Dating back to the 1600s, Mirjan Fort stands as an impressive octagonal structure boasting four entrances. While some historical accounts attribute its construction to Shareef-Ul-Mulk, its origins remain mysterious. Spread across an expansive 11.8 acres atop an elevated mound, this fort offers a captivating glimpse into bygone eras. Encircled by a moat brimming with water, the fort’s imposing presence is truly a sight. Situated approximately 60 kilometres from Murdeshwara, it’s easily accessible for those seeking to delve into its rich history.
Entrance to this remarkable marvel comes with no fee, welcoming visitors to freely explore its corridors and courtyards. However, it’s important to note that cameras and drones are not permitted inside without prior permission and registration. Despite this restriction, mobile devices allow for the capture of cherished memories through photos and videos.
As you wander the fort’s grounds, you may notice the abundance of overgrown grass, adding to its mystique. While this may present a slight challenge, it also adds an adventurous element to your exploration. Scaling its walls offers unparalleled views of the surrounding landscape, providing a glimpse into the fort’s strategic significance in its heyday.
Boating enthusiasts can indulge in serene rides along the Sharavathi River, opting for a private or shared experience amidst the tranquil backwaters of the Lingamakki Dam. This picturesque setting offers an idyllic retreat, especially on pleasant days.
Private boat rides are available for those seeking privacy, with a return trip costing INR 1000 per boat. However, we regrettably had to forgo this delightful activity during our visit due to the scorching heat.
Eco Beach or Kasarkod Beach
Originally named Kasarkod Beach, Eco Beach is a pristine stretch of coastline along the Konkan coast in Honavar. Spanning approximately 5 kilometres, this beach is a flagship destination for promoting eco-tourism in Karnataka, boasting unparalleled cleanliness.
Eco Beach is meticulously patrolled and offers many activities for visitors, including cycling along its picturesque shores.
To access this natural gem, there is an entrance fee of INR 10 per adult.
Sharavati Kandla Mangrove Forest
When exploring Honavar, don’t miss out on the enchanting Sharavati Kandla Mangrove Forest. This hidden gem features a charming wooden boardwalk, inviting visitors to stroll amidst the captivating mangrove ecosystem. With a walkway spanning less than 1 kilometre and a leisurely duration of just 15 minutes, it’s an ideal spot for a tranquil nature walk.
Thanks to the picturesque surroundings, photography enthusiasts will delight in the ample opportunities for capturing stunning images. Moreover, nature enthusiasts will revel in the diverse flora and fauna that call this mangrove forest home.
Entry to this natural wonderland is a mere INR 10 per person, granting access to the boardwalk winding through the mangroves.
Fun fact: Mangrove forests play a crucial role in our ecosystem. Not only do they provide vital habitat for numerous species, but they also serve to stabilize shorelines, making them invaluable contributors to coastal ecosystems.
Nestled at the confluence of the Sharavathi River and the sea, Apsarakonda Waterfall is a picturesque cascade renowned for its mystical charm. Legend has it that Apsaras, celestial beings from heaven, frequented this waterfall for bathing and relaxation.
Access to the Apsarakonda Waterfall is free of charge, welcoming visitors to explore its natural splendour at no cost. However, reaching the waterfall involves descending a few steps, approximately 15 to 20, from the parking area.
For those seeking professional photography services, onsite photographers offer their expertise for a fee. Prices for a photoshoot typically hover around INR 500.
Despite its enchanting reputation, some visitors may find Apsarakonda Waterfall less appealing due to its occasional crowding and relatively modest size.
Where to Stay in Honavar?
Regarding accommodation options in Honavar, several choices suit various preferences and budgets. Here are some recommendations:
- Hotels: Look for hotels in Honavar town centre or along the coastline. These range from budget-friendly options to more luxurious resorts, offering amenities such as comfortable rooms, dining facilities, and possibly recreational activities.
- Homestays: Experience the warmth of local hospitality by opting for homestays in Honavar. Stay with a local family and immerse yourself in the region’s culture and traditions. This option provides a more intimate and authentic experience.
- Beach Resorts: For those seeking a beachfront retreat, consider staying at one of the resorts lining the coastline near Honavar. Enjoy stunning sea views, access to pristine beaches, and a range of amenities for a relaxing stay.
- Guesthouses and Inns: Explore guesthouses and inns scattered throughout Honavar for a cozy and budget-friendly stay. These options often provide basic amenities and a comfortable atmosphere for travellers.
- Camping: For the adventurous traveller, camping along the beaches or nearby forests can be an exciting option. Check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before starting your camping adventure.
There are upscale accommodations in nearby areas that offer luxurious amenities and services. Here are some options:
- Areca County – Heritage Homestay.
- Aashrayam Hotels and Resorts Lake View.
- Island Private Beach Retreat (Gokarna).
- Village Oasis Retreat.
- JRN Island Beach Stay.
How to Get to Honavar?
Honavar, approximately 466 kilometres from Bangalore city, boasts a scenic road journey lasting about 8 hours and 30 minutes. The route meanders towards Nelmangala, featuring well-maintained toll roads for a smooth and convenient travel experience.
By Public Transport
- Flight – Hubli is the nearest airport to Honavar, offering convenient access with a road journey lasting approximately 5 hours.
- Train – Travelers can opt for train services connecting Bangalore and Honavar, operating thrice weekly. For the latest updates and bookings, please refer to the IRCTC website.
- Bus – Overnight buses ply between Bangalore and Honavar, providing another viable transportation option. For bus schedules and booking options, kindly consult the Redbus website.
Opting for a taxi service is highly recommended for seamless exploration of Honavar, Gokarna, or Murdeshwara. During our journey, we enlisted the services of a remarkably safe and amiable driver, ensuring a hassle-free experience throughout. I wholeheartedly endorse him for your travels, as we encountered no issues.
The cost for a taxi ride to visit these destinations amounted to INR 2000 for the entire day.
- Name: Nagaraj.
- Contact Number: +91 9449059013.
Is Honavar Safe for Solo Female Travellers?
Karnataka, known for its welcoming atmosphere, is widely regarded as a haven for solo female travellers. Renowned as one of the premier destinations to kickstart your solo journey in South India, the state offers many enriching experiences for adventurous souls. Honavar, in particular, stands out as an exceptional place for solo female travellers.
While Karnataka boasts a reputation for safety, it’s essential to remain vigilant and mindful of your surroundings, as you would in any destination worldwide. You can ensure a memorable and worry-free travel experience by exercising caution and staying aware.
Honavar shines as a hidden gem nestled within Karnataka’s treasure trove of destinations. Its lesser-known status ensures a serene escape, with fewer crowds venturing into this picturesque town. For those seeking an authentic and tranquil experience, I highly recommend immersing yourself in Honavar’s beauty for a few days. Allow yourself ample time to explore and savour all this enchanting town has to offer, from its scenic landscapes to its rich cultural heritage.
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