Water sports at Karwar

Sunday, July 20, 2014 Rahul Das 0 Comments

The experience of trying out 5 different adventure sports on the Arabian Sea for as long as we wanted. This at a combined price of Rs 600! That’s what Karwar's Karavali Boating Centre offered us.

Now who would've possibly imagined a place for water sports even existed in this little-known town, let alone think about its price! I happened to hear about it from one of my seniors and became quite eager to visit it with my friends. Knowing fully well that the 4-day break ahead of our exams was not going to be used entirely anyway, 6 of us (Nikhil, Tarun, Ehtesham, Chaitanya, Prashanth and me) set out to visit Karwar on April 18.

Here’s what we did.

Outside Karwar Boating Centre

Our itinerary:

0010: Train from Surathkal to Karwar

0400: Arrival at Karwar
Slept at the railway station (we’re getting used to this now!) and freshened up after the short nap.

0700: To Tagore Beach
Got down from the auto the 6 of us had sat inside together and proceeded directly to have breakfast. Roamed around Karwar town and then walked back to Tagore beach.

0900: Tagore beach: Visit to the museum and the aquarium
We wanted to explore a bit of Karwar before trying out the water sports. Visited Warship Museum (which was basically a museum inside an old navy warship) and Marine Aquarium (visit only if you have absolutely nothing to do). Spent some time at a park near the museum and took an auto to Aligadda beach at last.

Tagore Beach
Warship Museum
Marine Aquarium

1130: Karavali Boating Centre, Aligadda beach
Found Karavali and finally met the boss, Mr Sridhar, whom I had contacted the previous evening. 900 was the price he had quoted for the 5-ride package and we managed to bring it down to 600. He gave us each a life jacket and had his assistants lead us to the water when we were ready.

The rides:

Kayaking: We were given two 2-seater kayaks. Formed pairs and took turns to get into the sea and race each other. Must have kayaked for more than an hour and a half. What began with disciplined contests ended up becoming unruly tussles to topple the other pair’s kayak!

Coracle riding: This was one weird ride, something I had never done before. 4 of us sat with an oar each inside the cup shaped coracle. The idea was to coordinate with each other and keep moving forward but all we managed to do for a long time was rotate the coracle without moving it forward at all! Difficult but funny and enjoyable nonetheless.

Wave balance: This wasn't exactly a ‘ride’. Surfboards, which were supposed to be part of our package were unavailable that day due to some reason. We were instead given the ‘wave balance’ which was basically a larger surfboard. We had to climb onto it and balance ourselves while the waves kept pushing against it. It was hilarious seeing everyone try so hard and eventually fall into the water!

Speed boat: The guides took us in 2 batches and drove us into the sea at over 80 kph. The usual, but exhilarating as always!

Banana boat: Perfect way to end the great afternoon. Six of us sat on the inflated cylindrical tube that resembled a banana. This ‘banana’ was tied to a speed boat and the guide drove us into the sea again. A short while after we started, the guide swerved without warning and made us all fall into the sea! We got back onto the banana and he did the entire thing twice more. Credit to him for having done a great job in ensuring that all 3 falls happened when we least expected them to. I wouldn't want to ruin it for you by explaining what exactly he had done!

Wave Balance
Speed Boating

Banana Boat
In the sea

The 6 of us relaxed and swam in the calm sea for some time after the ride. We then got out of the water and took turns to bathe in the only bathroom available. Paid the amount and crammed ourselves in an auto for the third time that day.

1600: Lunch and return
Had lunch at a nearby restaurant and crammed ourselves in an auto one last time to get to the station. Took the 1715 train back to Mangalore. Arrived at Surathkal at 2045.

Total expenses: 

Around Rs 1000 (including 600 for the sports)


  • Call Mr Sridhar and inform him about your visit at least a day in advance to let him make the necessary arrangements. Here’s his number: +91 98 80 953626.
  • Although swimming does of course give you the freedom to showcase some daredevilry, you needn't be a swimmer to experience these rides. We had people who didn't face any sort of difficulty despite not knowing how to swim.
  • Don’t let the low price scare you. This entire thing was completely safe!

If you’re an NITKian, a visit here shouldn't take you more than a day. However, if you are pressed for time, I'd suggest you take the 7 am train from Surathkal and proceed straight to Karavali after you reach Karwar at (hopefully) 11. This should give you ample time to enjoy the rides and get back to the station in time for the 1715 train.

For the price, the fun and the thrill Karavali offers you, Karwar is a place you must visit if you don't live too far from it. SoSpeakUpNow!, talk your friends into visiting it and relish the experience with them!