Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Kurumgad Experience

A couple of years ago, Shobha, Anjali and I took off on a drive to Goa. We were feeling rather expansive those days having just discovered that we were not going to the USA and decided to use that time to travel. We took off one fine morning with Naren for company - he was visiting his wife Shwetha at Belgaum - and zipped off past Mahbubnagar, Raichur, Hungund, Bhagalkot and reached Belgaum rather late in the evening. We stayed over at Shwetha's house for the night and set off to Goa the next day. But it was while we were at Belgaum that Shwetha's father gave us the idea that if we were heading to Karwar it might be a good idea to visit Kurumgad, an island off Karwar.

The next day morning we set off after a heavy breakfast  to Goa where Raja was to meet us. We reached Kolva sometime at one in the afternoon and settled down to a lovely lunch and beer. A day of lazing around at this place called Jimmy's which is right opposite Sukh Sagar and we wondered if we should check out other options. Instead we decided to head out of Goa and drove straight to Karwar, ate a wonderful lunch at Amrut's and booked ourselves onto the Kurumgad island which can be seen from the Karwar bridge. The car can be parked at a vacant plot that they have and we piled onto a boat that ferried us to the island after a half hour journey. It was quite exciting because the boat enters the sea from the river mouth and there is a phase when the currents collide which can be quite rough.

The island is small - one can walk around it in about 45 minutes - but it has lovely tents, cottages, a nice view of the Arabian sea, a fine open dining area, an exclusive beach which is about 20 minutes away from the main area, and a few other vantage spots that one can quietly sit down at and enjoy. The loos are clean and there's running water and the tent we stayed in had an attached loo at the back. We intended to stay there for a day, just to experience the place, so we dumped our stuff in our tent, had a chai and headed off to the beach. It was secluded with no one there but a couple of friendly lifeguard-cum-assistants when we went. After an hour or so we headed back, stopping at a couple of fine spots, had chai, bathed and settled down with some rum and coke for the night. The food was nothing compared to what we got used to at Amrut Hotel (if you like sea food, just do not miss this place when you go to fact you can go to Karwar just to visit Amrut and eat some of their sea food preparations) but the ambience more than made up for it. I got up once, late at night and walked out in the middle of nowhere to experience the dark sky and millions of glittering stars.It was beautiful and I realised, rather scary as well, since every single sound gets you started.

The next morning we visited the beach again and ate breakfast after which I took a trek around the island with a guide. A temple, an old cannon, some other minor sights and the walk around the island. We saved ourselves up for lunch at Amrut and took the boat at 12. This time round, we had the good fortune of seeing a couple of dolphins playing around the boat. A great lunch  at Amrut and we were on our way to Hubli to meet Sunil Jyoti.
The Kurumgad resort is managed by a private company called the 'Great Outdoors'. Let me see if I can rustle up more information on it but if you're in those parts and want a quiet, unpolluted holiday go to this place. It is worth it.
Yes! Got the card. Check out their websites
The Head Office of The Great Outdoors (to get to Kurumgad) is at C-15, City Gate Building, Kadri, Mangalore. For reservations call 0824 - 4279152, 098440 42152, 094483 64152


Shobha Nargundkar said...


Rajendra said...

hmmm...nice memories.

Naren said...

Hey Hari, i too had a great time driving 4m Hyd to Belgaum....lovely trip with u all...

Harimohan said...

Yes, Naren, it was fun. We should do it again. Good to see you here!