Tilmathi beach: Black diamond in Karnataka's tourism crown

Who doesn't want to soak up the sun, walking on golden sand on shores of a serene blue sea. Well, this would be true in case of other beaches in India, of which there are many, but not in Karwar's Tilmathi beach. Its sands will take your breath away with their uniqueness and beauty. Srinivas Badkar takes you on a virtual tour.

Tucked in between two hills, like a secret in your bedroom, the Tilmathi beach can be found at a place called Majali in the Karwar district of Karnataka on its western coast. The Polam (Goa) beach is on the right side of the hill.

Not heralded much, in comparison to other tourist icons of the state, Tilmati is surely an asset in the trove of the state’stourism. It is one of the beaches in India with black shore, others being Chavara in Kerala, Ganjam in Odisha and Kanyakumari.

The beach gets its name Tilmathi because of the black sand that is found on the shores. Since the black sand looks like sesame seeds, the beach is called Tilmathi, (Til= Sesame; Mathi= mud in the local Konkani language), which means the mud that looks like sesame.

While the beaches near Tilmathi have the usual sand on the shores, nobody here has a clear answer for the reason why Tilmathi beach is black. But, experts feel that since the beach is surrounded by black granite, over centuries, these granite rocks may have eroded or exploded to form the black granules on the shore. It is also believed that the Arabian sea dumps the fine black sand brought by river Kali.

The sunrise and sunsets render an unforgettable experience to the tourists here.The beauty of the beach is also accentuated by the presence of shells of different shapes, colours, patterns and designs.

It is said that the British who ruled India for several years fell in love with Tilmathi beach and they had even constructed a holiday home here, which has now been destroyed.

Though the 200 mts long beach has remained unexplored till recent times, gradually it is opening up to tourists, not just from the state, but also from other parts of the country. In fact you could until recently replicate the feeling of being on a private beach as you trample the blacks sands of this beach.

Even as tourists are making their plans to be at Tilmathi, a lot needs to be done to improve connectivity and infrastructure here. Several plans are in the pipeline to develop this beach, which has to its credit the uniqueness of being the only black sand beach of the state and indeed of India.

A 160 mts hanging bridge has been sanctioned here so that it becomes convenient for the tourists to reach the beach. At present, tourists have to trek through the two hills guarding the beach to reach to the black shores. Tilmathi is located merely 40 kms from Karwar and 10 kms from Majali and it is worth a visit.


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