It could certainly seem daunting to set sail in a small boat when the waters are full; besides, downpours cannot be predicted accurately. Despite these, if you persist, Honnemaradu can reward you with visuals like this.
Honnemaradu, which translates to ‘Golden Sands’ is a place located on the backwaters of Sharavathi. It is a popular tourist attraction.
What then is the attraction that this place holds? One is the quiet and solitude. The other is that you can set sail on the water and explore different vistas. Even if you remain on the banks, early mornings and late evenings create their own magic as the day progresses. Another aspect is the creation of little isles as water level recedes; this is a very dynamic aspect of the landscape which does not wait for any specific visitor.
The sand here is golden in colour; water however takes on different hues including a soothing silver depending on the sunlight available.
It is said that Honnemaradu was also one of the prospective locations where the dam could come up. However the geological and soil conditions were not supportive, hence Hirebhaskara was chosen as the location for the first dam that came up across Sharavathi. An Englishman named Forbes is credited with this key decision. As a result, when the second dam came up at Linganamakki later on, the entire expanse at Honnemaradu was available for storage.
The main attraction at Honnemaradu is the adventure camp that offers boating and kayaking on the waters in the company of a well-trained guide. Swimming and littering are strictly prohibited. These restrictions often tend to turn off the usual tourist whose idea of an outing may include a dip in the backwaters and a picnic lunch closeby.
Honnemaradu is about 12 km from Talaguppa and the road from Manjinakanu onward is not exactly motorable. Many tourists, especially during monsoons are tempted to make a U-turn considering the desolate, slushy mud track skirting the backwaters. It would be a mistake though.
To top all this, if you can manage to set sail for an extended period, there is no limit to the places you will discover on the banks. It is a photographer’s delight; even if you aren’t one, it is not everyday that you can let your fingers rest in the clear water and lean back to look at the expanse of water around you, the forests and the islets, apart from the cool breeze that wraps you. The boats are simple and small, complementing the environment completely.