As we go down the coast of Goa, we arrive at Mormugao, one of India's finest natural harbours. The busy Mormugao port handles among other things, the export of Goa's mineral ores-iron and manganese
Not far from Mormugao is Colva, the longest beach in the state. The white sands of Colva extend all the way to Cabo de Rama, where lord Rama is said to have spent a few years of his exile. Halfway down the 25-kilometre stretch of beach we come upon the Village of Benaulim, where Rama's 'bana' or arrow is said to have fallen.
The Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Piedade is a famous church in Colva. It houses the statue of Menino (baby) Jesus, which is believed to have miraculous healing powers.
Polem is Goa's southernmost beach. This virgin beach, hardly visited by tourists, lies just a stone's throw from Goa's border with Karnataka.
The coastal strip of Karnataka is also believed to have been claimed from the Arabian Sea by Parasurama and is known as Parasurama Kshetra. Karwar in the north is one of the most beautiful places on this coast. It has beaches surrounding its three Sides. .Karwar has a fine, all-weather, natural harbour, fairly sheltered from the south-west monsoons. Ships sailing from Mumbai (Bombay) to Colombo can use this harbour all through the year. It was called Bait-e-kol by the Arabs and was famous for exporting the finest of muslins, besides pepper, cardamom, cassia and coarse blue cotton cloth called dungari.
It was in this picturesque town in the summer of 1883, that Rabindranath Tagore wrote his first important drama in erse 'Prakritir Pratishodh' (Nature's Revenge), while staying with his rother, Satyendranath Tagore, then the District Judge of Karwar..A few kilometres from Karwar is the old seaport of Ankola, an important centre of trade and commerce under the Kadambas, Chalukyas and Vijayanagara kings Ankola played a significant role during the country's freedom struggle when the 'Salt Satyagraha' and the 'No-tax' campaigns were launched here. Eight kilometres from Ankola lie the famous Jaina caves of Honnebail.Gokarna, known as the Kashi (Varanasi) of the South is situated at a distance of 60 km from Karwar. It is an important Shaiva pilgrimage centreThe Mahabaleshwara temple here is famous for the 'atmalinga', believed to have been left behind by Ravana. Legend has it that Ravana obtained this linga after years of penance. Ganapati tricked him into putting it on the ground.When Ravana tried to lift it, he couldn't. The linga came to be known as 'Mahabala' or the 'mighty one'. Only two inches of it is visible above the ground. During
the colourful festival of Ashtabandha, held normally once in 12 years, the linga is excavated and displayed to the devotees.
Further down the palm-fringed coast is the town of Kumta. It is famous for its exquisite sandalwood carvings, made by the Gudigars, traditional craftsmen of Karnataka.A little beyond Kumta lies Honavar, the Honnuru or 'Golden Town' of ancient times. According to local belief, Honnuru existed in the days of the Ramayana. A water spring here called the Rama Tirtha is believed to have been created by Rama. Honavar, under Haidar Ali, had a naval dockyard and was a great ommercial centre. The Sharavati bridge here is the longest bridge in Karnataka.
Bhatkal, located at the southernmost tip of the Uttara Kannada district is famous for its Jain temples or basadis. There are at least 13 of them here, the largest being the Chandranatheswara Basadi, built some 500 years ago.Six kilometres away from Bhatkal is a wooded island known as Nethrani Island. The BritiSh called it Pigeon Island because of the large number of pigeons that live here. Another bird that frequents the island is the swiftlet,whose nests are a gourmet's delight in China, where a soup, called Bird's Nest Soup, is made from them.
Further south is Kundapur, known as the 'Town of the Sun'. It is situated in Dakshina Kannada district. It has been a great centre of 'badaga thittu', the northern sty1e of Yakshagana, the traditional folk dance-drama of Karnataka.The Kannada poet, Nandalike Lakshminaranappa, better known by his pen name Muddana, lived in Kundapur. While working as the physical instructor of the local Government High School, he wrote his masterpiece in ornate prose, titled 'Sri Ramashwamedham'.