About Karwar

Karwar is located at 14.8N 74.13E . It has an average elevation of 45 metres (147ft)

Karwar is the capital of Uttar Kannada district in Karnataka. It is a sea side town situated on the west  coast of Indian subcontinent. the town lies about 15 kilometres south of the Karnataka-Goa border.

karwar is a small town containing relatively undiscovered beaches and placed slugly on the coast. It's a calming sight anywhere, but in Karwar the sunrise is especially beautiful for the topography it unveils. On one side of the road is the dim outline of the narrow coast hugging the sea, while the dark shades of the Western Ghats loom across the other. karwar is a little town perched in between seemingly oblivious to its own overwhelming beauty.

Since it is sandwiched between the sea on one side and Wesyern Ghats on the other Karwar is rich in flora and founa. The monsoons last long and it rains heavily, the climate and sea beaches are similar to Goa but is ignored in terms of tourism.

Karwar has number of beautiful beaches and its idyllic beauty inspired the great Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore to pen his first play.Uttar Karnatak district is one of the most beautiful places in India, which has nearly 68 different waterfalls, many beaches, islands and thich green forests.

British made this place their district headquarters in 1862. karwar was an ancient site of sea trade visited by the Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese French and then later the British. therefore many place names in this area have undergone considerable change. baithkol is an Arabic term, Bait-el-Khole meaning bay of safety. ibn battuta passed through this tract.Commodities of export to foreign countries were brought from Deccan by routes which passed through this tract for several centuries. Karwar is the safest port to the south of Mumbai fit for the use during all seasons. The port is a hill projecting into the sea called Karwar . five islands, Anjudiv, kurumgad, Devgad Madlinggad and Shamshigudda protect the port from heavy winds.

Karwar is a good place to enjoy the thrills of sun, sea and and sand and thus becomes an ideal place to relax. Karwar has some of beautiful beaches in the country. Its beauty is said to have inspired the great Indian poet and Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore to pen his first play.This is what he said about the sea beach of karwar. "It certainly is a fit place in which to realise the beauty of a place. It is not a miracle of imagination but reflects the joy of the infinite and thus draws us to lose ourselves in it." the Devgadh beach is a must for beach lovers. Karwar is also a place of historical importance. it is named after Kadwad a far off village to the south of Kali river.

As of 2001 census karwar had a population of 60,000 predominantly Hindus. Karwar has a literacy rate of 80% higher than the national average of 60%. male literacy is 85% and female literacy is 75%.Karwar boasts of several excellent schools and colleges. the Hindu High School of karwar which has recently celebrated its century is one of the leading school which has brought very many brillient stalwarts who later occupied high positions and rendered distinguished services.One of the founders of the school is the great grand father of the author, Vaman Mangesh Dubhashi who also wrote "Aryanchya Sanancha Itihas" ( the history of the festivals of Aryans ) which gives the details of the festivals of Hindus.

Goud Saraswat Brahmins was the leading community in Karwar till Karwar was a part of earthwhile Bombay State. After Karwar became the part of Karnataka State enterprising people migrated to other places to lead a life of full and plenty. negligenance of the politicians due to the language and border disputes has hampered the growth of coastal city.

 

                       

The Gaud Saraswats in Karwar: A Historical Sketch

Who are the Gaud Saraswats?

According to Puranas Goud Saraswats are Aryan migrants from Central Asia who came to the Indian subcontinent through the Hindu-Kush mountains and the Khybar Pass to south in about 2000-1500 B.C. and settled on the banks of the Saraswati river, which is believed to have flowed from the receding glaciers of the great ice age in northern India in the present Panjab and Rajasthan region, from the Himalayas to the western sea near Dwaraka in Gujarat. It is believed that there were more than 1200 settlements along the banks of Saraswati. These settlers who came to be known as Saraswats taught their young the sanskrit language and studied the Rig Veda.Although they spoke sansrit in public they evolved a simplified version of sanskrit called Brahmani which they spoke only at home. The present Konkani language is believed to have evolved from Brahmani. when a severe famine which lasted for about 12 years hit the region and the crops were not enough to feed everyone, the survival of the Brahmins was at stake. When they found no solution for their vexing problem, at the advice of their Guru they started to feed on fish from the saraswati river for their survival. Thus they became the only fish eating Brahmins ever known. The Saraswati river which probably changed its course  over the centuries began to evetually dry out when the glacier that supplied it began to empty by 1000 B.C. The entire region became arid and with no means of growing their crops the Saraswats had to abondon their settlements and move. The migration spread over centuries.The migrations to the south and the west followed the course of the river Saraswati, went up to Dwaraka and by ship they sailed to Goa. Goa was chosen mainly for its firtile soil and sea ports with flourishing overseas trade.Having migrated from Trihotrapura which was in Guada Desh they called themselves Goud Saraswats.The Saraswats enjoyed peace and prosperity for 400 years during which Goa was controlled by Abhiras,Bhojas,Chalukyas and Kadambas.After the death of last Chalukya king in1198 , Goa became valnerable to Muslim invasions. They distroyed many temples and began to persecute Hindus.To escape religious persecution several Saraswat families fled to neighboring to Canaraand to even far off Malabar coast.However the Saraswats who were involved in farming and trading were less willing to abandon  their farms and business. They stayed back in Goa and over time slowly rebuilt their lives as farmers and traders.The group of Goud Saraswats who migrated to Karnataka at the time of Muslim invasion were mostly educators and administrators. Their education and experience as administrators allowed some of them to secure prominent positions as accountents in the courts of Hindu rulers of the time.

The exodus of Saraswats from Goa intensified after the Portuguese conquered Goa in the 16th century.At first the Portuguese employed  Hindus in their armies and they maintained good relation with Hindu empire of Hampi.however with the arival of Christian missionaries inGoa the situation took a turn for the worse withe distruction of hindu temples and forced conversion to Christianity. The Portuguese built churches in many places where hindu temples once stood. Portuguese issued a decree thretening to expell or execute non-Christians from Goa. While some Saraswats succumbed to the pressure and converted to Christianity, thousands of Saraswt families fled to interior Maharashtra and costal Karnataka.Some traveled to south to settle in Karwar.