Have you been to Netrani Island, famous for Scuba Diving?

Netrani Island is a small coral island off the coast of Karnataka, situated around 10 nautical miles (19 kilometers) away from Murudeshwar town. It is famous for scuba diving, snorkeling, etc. It is also rich in coral reef.

Netrani IslandNetrani Island off Arabian sea coast in India.

Sharp rocks and steep cliffs prevent tourists from entering the island. Scuba diving and snorkeling is done from anchored boats.

Netrani Island is rich in fauna. Butterfly fish, Coral,eels, parrot fish, trigger fish, shrimps, etc, can be seen here. Fish eagles can also be seen in large numbers, which feeds on sea snakes and fish. A Mongoose species is also seen here. Bats are also found in the island. Whale sharks were seen around the island, occasionally.

Netrani Island was being used by Indian armed forces for their target practice; remains of which can still be seen there. In 2012, Honorable High Court of Karnataka has issued a stay order on target practice here. Naval authorities has admitted that they are using a big rock here for target practice.

There are some shrines in the island.

How Do I Go to Netrani Island?

Murdeshwara (or Murdeshwar) and Goa are the nearest towns where dive shops are there. Murdeshwar shops charge you around 5000 to 6000 Rupees (negotiable). They will arrange diving trips to the island. Fishing motor boats also can take you to the island from Bhatkal Fishing Harbour.

Ideal time to visit the island is during the months of December and January.


Are you interested in going Netrani Island for scuba diving? Please leave your comments.

INS Chapal Warship Museum and Rock Garden at Karwar Beach

INS Chapal Warship Museum is a Museum on Decommissioned  Chamak class missile boat of the Indian Navy called INS Chapal (K94).  It  is located at the Rabindranath Tagore beach in Karwar city, Karnataka state, India.  It is also known as INS Chapal Museum.

INS Chapal Warship Museum at Karwar Beach
INS Chapal Warship Museum at Karwar Beach

INS Chapal was commissioned on  4 November 1976.  Ii is 38.6 meters long and is Russian made. It was decommissioned on 5th May 2005. This warship was used during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. It destroyed many an  enemy ships near Karachi, causing large scale damage to enemy ships. Technically categorized as a Missile boat, it is a 245 tonne ship. INS Chapal comes under Osa class of missile boats.

INS Chapal Warship Museum was founded here because, a Naval Base was established at Karwar in the year 2005.  It was in the same year that  INS Chapal was decommissioned. Currently, it is the third largest Indian naval base. It is called INS Kadamba. The first phase of the  naval base  was  commissioned on 31st May 2005.

What is to be seen in the INS Chapal Warship Museum at Karwar?

This warship is now positioned on a concrete platform. The process of setting up the museum  was  documented and this video is available at this museum. There are mannequins (dummies) dressed as captain, doctors, sailors, etc. Replicas of the missiles used those days are also on display inside the Karwar Warship museum along with many other interesting documents.

It’s a wonderful experience to come close to the nation’s warship. Anybody visiting Karwar town should not miss the opportunity to visit this magnificent military museum. It may take an hour or so to have a glimpse of the INS Chapal museum. Guides are there to explain the details to you.

How Do I Go to INS Chapal Warship Museum at Karwar?

INS Chapal Museum at Karwar is at around 1.1 kilometers from Karwar Bus Station. Karwar city is situated in Uttara Kannada district.

Karwar railway station on the Konkan railway line,  is the railway station in the city. It is a major railway station where many long distance express trains stops.

The museum is open from 10 am to 1 pm.  It is open again from 4.30 pm to 6 pm.

There is a small entry fee to be paid here.  Visit the warship museum at Karwar and listen to your guide.

Rock Garden at Karwar Beach

There is a rock garden at the Rabindranath Tagore beach in Karwar, which attracts a lot of tourists. The shapes carved out in rocks gives the visitors glimpses of the district.  There is an Aquariumon the beach.

Kavualedurga Fort – A Ninth Century Fort in Karnataka

Kavualedurga Fort is a  ninth century fort located at around 18 kilometers distance from Thirthahalli Town in Shimoga district, Karnataka state, India.
Kavualedurga Fort
Kavualedurga Fort.   Image source Wikimedia / Wikipedia.

Kavualedurga Fort was constructed during the 9th century. Cheluvarangappa, a feudatory  under the Vijayaanagara emperor,  renovated this fort in the 14th century.

Venkatappa Nayaka (1582-1629) fortified the place. He constructed a palace,treasury, granary, ponds and stables for elephants and horses. A portion of the fort was made as an Agrahara (attached to Sringeri Math).

Kavualedurga fort a has three lined walls, which were made of massive granite slabs. Each fortification has separate gateway with by rooms for guards on either side. In between the three fortifications you can find temples, a ruined palace site and other structures which looks like basement of some ruined building.

At the top of the hill, almost at the middle of the fort, overlooking the Arabian sea, you can find a small temple which is known as Shikhareshvara or Srikanthesvara temple. The temple has a Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum). A Nandi sculpture (bull), a mantapa (hall)  and an entrance porch can be seen at the temple site.  View of sunset from the entrance porch is amazing.

The palace site is one among the most visited sites in Shimoga district. This site has an ornate basement which shows proof of a large terraced structure. Recent studies in the area has shown a  series of interconnected rooms around a spacious inner quadrangle.  Pillared roofed platform along the outside of a house (verandah), a pooja room (prayer room), kitchen with five burners, stone platform in the bath room were found here.

A well developed water supply system existed in the fort. There is a closed pathway (verandah) which  leads to the  stepped water tank

How Do I Go to Kavualedurga Fort?

Kavualedurga Fort is at a distance of around 18 kilometers from Thirthahalli town. National Highway 13  passed through Thirthahalli road, which is the access point to the Thirthahalli town.

Shimoga railway station is the nearest one at around 87 kilometers from the fort. This station is connected to Bangalore and Mysore by direct trains. Udupi and  Mangalore  are two  nearest railway stations at around 95 and 142 kilometers distance receptively, for those coming from North India.

Explore the Unique Geological Formation of Basalt Columns of Lava at St Mary’s Islands

St Mary’s Islands are a group of four small uninhabited islands in the Arabian Sea, near Udupi in Karnataka state, India. It is situated off the coast of Malpe. These islands are also known as Coconut Island and Thonsepar.  These islands are unique in their geological formation of Basalt Columns of lava or rock columns.

Saint Mary's Islands
Saint Mary’s Islands

It is believed that  Vasco da Gama landed at St. Mary’s Islands in 1498 on his voyage from Portugal, before setting his foot at  Kozhikode in Kerala. He named one of the islands as ‘O Padrão de Santa Maria’  and thus got its current name.

Coconut Island, North Island, Daryabahadurgarh Island and South Island are the four islands of St. Mary’s islands.

St Mary’s islands are among the 26 Geological Monuments of India. Coconut Island and Thonsepar islands are considered as an important site for “Geo Tourism”.

These islands are not crowed and are very neat.  You can explore these islands and take selfies! With those rock lava formations as the drop, these selfies are worth its salt. Swimming is not allowed, as there are rocks around the beach. Security guards are there in these islands to prevent tourists from Swimming.

There is not much of sand in the beaches. The western coast of beaches have a large number of seashells of different  sizes and shapes.

There is no permanent buildings. Animals are also not there in these islands.

St Mary’s Islands were formed due to the sub-aerial sub-volcanic activity, which might have occurred around 60-88 million years ago, during the time of rifting of Madagascar from the Indian sub-continent.

Hexagonal  rock formations is the characteristics of  the northernmost island  and is unique in  India. The island measures around 500 meter X 100 meter  with a large number of coconut trees. Hence the island got its name, Coconut Island.

Vadabhandeshwara Temple is situated near to the Malpe Beach. Jet skiing, parasailing, banana boat ride, etc, are available near Malpe Beach.

How Do I Go to St Mary’s Islands?

Malpe Beach is at around 5 kilometers from Udupi town, the administrative headquarters. Frequent bus services are available up to Malpe bus stand. You may hire an auto-rickshaw or walk the distance from the Malpe bus stand to the ferry station.

Boats starts only when there is a  minimum of 30 passengers are there. On working days, the starting time gets delayed up to 10.30 am or a little later, due to this. On holidays, boats may start at around 9 or 9.30 am. The last boat to the mainland from the islands is at 5 pm. The cost for the round trip is around Rs. 400 (increased rate from April 2019).

It takes around 15-20 minutes of travel by boat from St Mary’s Island Boating Office at Malpe Beach. These islands are at around 6 kilometers from the mainland. You need to wade through the water, once you reach near the islands. i.e. Boats can not go to the islands due to the rocks.

I was told that there are other boat services also from the Malpe Beach,  which starts at 8.30 am and costs anywhere between Rs. 250 – 400. These boats seems to be operated by private people.  These boats go even with  10 people. Return journey for this boat is available up to 5.30 pm. Please confirm this with the locals.

Udupi railway station with station code UD, is the nearest railway station to Coconut Island and Thonsepar islands.  Mangalore is at around 60 kilometers from Malpe Beach. The nearest airport is at Mangalore.

Tips for St Mary’s Island Tourists

There are no restaurants or hotels at these islands. Tourists are not allowed to stay in the islands. There is a small shop selling  juice, snacks, water, etc. It may not open on certain week days or is opened late.

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary Known for Venomous King Cobra Telemetry Research

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Karnataka state, India. It is named after “Lord Someshwara”, the presiding deity at the famous “Someshwara temple”, located inside the sanctuary. This sanctuary is known for Venomous King Cobras.

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary
Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. Image Courtesy – udupilive.in

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is situated below the Agumbe range. Agumbe receives the maximum rainfall in South India. The park is spread over 314.25 square kilometers in Udupi & Shivamogga districts. This park along with Kudremukh National Park, Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary and Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary forms a contiguous protected area. Sitanadi River flows through this wildlife sanctuary. Mahasheer fishes and Otters are found in Sitanadi river.

The sanctuary is rich in Flora and fauna. The wildlife sanctuary is known for venomous King Cobras. Agumbe Rainforest Research Station inside the sanctuary, conducts telemetry based projects (recorded using scientific instruments) on King Cobra.

Seethanadi Nature Camp which is run by Karnataka State Forest Department, is situated inside this sanctuary. Trekking, Bird Watching, Nature Walks, Rafting (from July to September), Fish feeding, etc, are some of the activities in the Nature Camp.

Agumbe Sunset point gives excellent view of the sunset. Jomlu Theertha falls, Kudlu Theertha falls and Onake Abbi falls are situated inside the wildlife sanctuary.

How Do I Go to Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary?

Hebri town is the nearest town at around 14.5 kilometers distance from this wildlife sanctuary. Udupi and Mangalore are two nearby major cities to the wildlife sanctuary. Udupi is at around 55 kilometers, whereas Mangalore is at around 100 kilometers distance from Someshwara wildlife sanctuary. Shimoga Town is at around 110 kilometers distance from this wildlife park.

Udupi and Shimoga are the nearest railway stations. Mangalore airport is the nearest airport.

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary Timings

The wildlife sanctuary is open from 06:00 am– 06:00 pm, on all days. There is an entry free of INR 200 for adults and INR 100 for children. November to April are the ideal months to visit this Wild Life Sanctuary.