On our way to Mangalore from Mumbai we stumbled upon a beautiful river side homestay in Honnavar. It was the only such homestay on the banks of the river Sharavathi. They had simple pretty cottages with bare necessities, no luxuries, home cooked food and their own tiny jetty to take visitors for a river cruise to see the sunset, sunrise and the beautiful birds that lived there.
The owner, guide and resident photographer Ganesh Hegde met
us at the turn off from the highway on his motorcycle and guided us to the
homestay. The last five hundred metres was a bit of off-roading adding to the
We reached there in the afternoon just in time for a
sumptuous home cooked meal. A typical south Indian vegetarian meal.
We rested for a while and in the evening, we were treated to a beautiful sunset cruise in a motorised
boat and saw the river being criss crossed by a lot of boats transporting locals from the mainland to the nearby islands. Spotted flocks of cormorants and egrets either flying or resting.
Ganesh kept up his running commentary all the time and pointing out good spots to take photographs. Was a beautiful memorable cruise and we returned to our cottage feeling very happy.
Spent the late evening dining by the riverside and watching
the reflection of the moon dance on the river. A sight to behold.
Had a restful sleep, no dreams at least none that I can
remember and woke up early next morning for the sunrise cruise.
We saw and adored the sunrise from outside our cottage and soon after got called by the boatman who had silently rowed in to pick us up. Ganesh joined us and soon we were up and away but silently in a row boat.
He took us to an island where we spent some time admiring the flora and fauna, and sunlight streaming through the palm fronds. An ethereal experience.
During this cruise we noticed a lot of pre wedding shoots going on in various boats across the river. Apparently, a favourite destination for event photographers.
Returned to our cottage for a heavy breakfast and checked out from the homestay to get on the highway to Mangalore but not before Ganesh guided us to the ‘hanging bridge’ across the river,
a conservation of mangroves site and finally a temple at the top of a nearby hill from where we could get a bird’s eye view of the forest all around.
This indeed was one of the most refreshingly interesting stopovers in Karnataka.