Devbagh a not so popular picturesque beach is near to Karwar the harbour town in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Karwar is moderately famous for the Nuclear Power Plant situated in Kaiga. It is also known for Rabindranath Tagore, who stayed near the Karwar beach and penned his first drama “Prakritir Pratishodh” here. So every introduction to Devbagh leads to the known town of Karwar. Thus, driving through the known and unknown roads of Karnataka we had the pleasure of a relaxing holiday in Devbagh.
What are the different ideas of a relaxing holiday? When you think of a relaxing holiday, various ideas storm into the mind and it varies from man to man. Some think of sleeping and eating, some think of watching movies and popcorn, some think of cuddling up in a cosy corner of the room with a favourite book while some think of watching television and others go for a relaxing trip to some hill or beach resort.
When I think of a trip I just cannot sit back and relax sipping on a hot or a cold drink. On a trip, I am always ready to step out and explore more and more of the place. I am not of the type who generally tends to a relaxing trip. An active outing is more relaxing to me than sitting by the side of a hill or a beach or by the pool or in the hotel room. But this time I accidentally stumbled upon a so-called relaxing holiday by Devbagh Beach in Devbagh Beach Resort.
Devbagh Beach Resort is a property of Jungle Lodge and Resort in Karnataka. I have been to a few of the JLR properties and I like their way of functioning and their responsibility towards conservation of nature. Our booking of this property was unplanned. We found it to be a good place to rest for a day while on our road trip through the coastal part of Uttara Kannada. Little did we know of what was awaiting while we booked the stay.
Our friend, Google Maps took us to the nearest location and then the road signs for Devbagh Beach Resort guided us to a blind lane beside the Kali river. To our surprise, the JLR officials welcomed us to their office and completed the check-in formalities and then they guided us to a boat on the adjacent Kodibagh jetty, keeping our vehicle parked there.
The motorboat sailed us below the bridge then towards the open sea. Along with us it also carried the vegetable supplies for the resort. The boat ride to the resort was something very unexpected and delightful. We were highly excited to reach the destination. It was the river mouth of Kali river meeting the Arabian sea – a comparatively narrow waterway leading to the open sea dotted with tiny islands.
The Karwar Beach lies diagonally opposite to the Devbagh Beach. The funnel-shaped river mouth opens to the two beaches on either side. The floating jetty with the mangrove forest around greeted us to the property. It seemed we were in a secluded island covered in green. After a short walk through the sky-high casuarina cover, there were the pleasing cottages facing the sea behind the greens. Every cottage was spaced out in a line with a sort of private hammock in front of them.
This is a 90-acre property of the JLR with the purpose of conserving the forest cover and encouraging new growth of the trees thus maintaining the smooth functioning of the ecosystem in the peninsula. Everything starting from the boat journey to the cottages and the greenery seemed to be surprisingly pleasing. The stretch of sandy shore curving to meet the fishermen village at a distance with a view of the Karwar beach on the other side and tiny to small islands instantly gives Devbagh beach an exotic feel.
A perfect setup to relax watching the gentle waves sweeping the shore from the comfortable loungers lined up under the shade of the thick Casuarinas. JLRs generally has numerous activities lined up during the stay in their property, but this was little different and with its seclusion from the mainlands we were happily left with no liberty to go around either walking or driving, so a completely relaxing stay by the sea.
There were some water sports activities and paramotoring facilities available for those who were interested. We were briefed about the timings and the next day boat ride to watch the dolphins. The rest of the time was all for us to roam around, laze in the sun, dip in the calm blue or follow the flight of magnificent winged creatures dominating the sky.
The resident kites and sea eagles of the region kept us glued to the loungers throughout the day; flying, gliding and sometimes rolling to catch or snatch the prey. It was truly intriguing to watch them peacefully lying on the comfy decks. The shrill call of the kites was breaking the monotony of the sound of the lapping waves.
It was the activity time in the late afternoon and the fellow boarders were ready to indulge in their favourites. I had not yet decided to plunge into any activity coming out of the relaxing mood. I rather hold my camera close and clicked around everything that seemed interesting. This is when the trike in the sky grabbed my attention. It was gradually descending towards the shore near the fishing village. I ran to get some good shots of the moment.
Coming close to the trike (a tricycle with a propeller, engine and a parachute) I found the activity extremely interesting. As our fellow boarder was getting ready to take the flight I was constantly following her with my camera and also my soul. The trike was flying with the birds, gliding gently above the sea with the view of the surreal seascape below. The flight was so engrossing that I was taking an imaginary flight with the lady. Her husband was waiting for the next turn.
My eyes and camera and my soul again followed his flight. Staring at the trike I forgot that it was the time for the sunset, the sun was ready to take the dip. How can I miss this opportunity to watch the spectacular sunset from this charming location? I dropped the idea of paramotoring as it was already getting dark and visibility was reduced. Although I dropped the idea, for the time being, I kept it in my mind for my next visit.
The dark silent night was lighted by fairy lights and bonfire on the beach. I had the plan of capturing the star trails taking the opportunity of the dark sky but the floating clouds marred my plan. Sadly, I captured the light of the small city behind the Karwar beach and the ships at a distance. The resort employees took the initiative to entertain the children present thereby lighting Chinese lantern. It was fun watching the excitement within the children while releasing the lanterns.
Next morning it was the time for a nature walk along with bird watching with the resident naturalist of the resort. It was more of a walk through the casuarina forest and the mangrove creeks and in course of the walk, the naturalist informed us about the usage of various wild shrubs and bushes abundant in the surrounding. We already had an excellent bird watching session the previous day on the beach. I would rather share my bird watching experience on a separate post.
After a sumptuous breakfast, we headed for the boat ride to watch the dolphins. This time we headed towards the open sea and the tiny islands. I wished to go to the Oyster Rock Lighthouse on Devgad island at a distance which kept flashing on us periodically during the previous night bonfire. It was quite far and we got the first glance of a dolphin’s dorsal fin in between. The boatman circled near the place and sometimes one and sometimes two and at times three appeared from different places and vanished in the waters.
They kept us entertained for a long and peeping out from here and there but never leaping out of the water. There were numerous bottlenose dolphins and I had the best dolphin sighting of my life. For a long time we sailed around and enjoyed the dolphin game then a fishing trawler caught our attention. It was surrounded by kites and other birds.
We approached close to the trawler to find it was the centre of attraction for the hungry birds of prey. The fishermen were swaying to the tunes of local music being played from the trawler as they were getting ready to withdraw the net laid out the previous night. The birds were roving around the trawler to grab an easy catch from the numerous mullet or sardine fishes caught in the large net.
It was a different experience watching the happy fishermen smiling and gently shaking to the music, delighted to have a good catch for the day. Nature is always beautiful and bountiful, providing livelihood to the fishermen and food to humans as well as the birds. This trawler was depicting such a beautiful scene of coexistence with nature. The fishermen were not annoyed but seemed equally amused (as we were) to share their booty with the kites.
The dolphins and this fishing trawler made our day. It was the time to say goodbye. I never thought that a relaxing holiday could be so rewarding, I never thought that virtual confinement could be so enjoyable, I never thought that our stay in Devbagh Beach Resort would become memorable. Our stay in Devbagh was serendipity well savoured, an experience well treasured and a second visit well planned.