Karwar is the administrative headquarters of an eponymous taluk and of Uttara Kannada district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It was the chief town of the North Kanara district in British India. Karwar is a seaside town situated on the banks of the Kali river which is on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. The town lies about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of the Karnataka–Goa border and 519 kilometres (322 mi) north-west of Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka.
Karwar is known by the nearby southern villagers as Konkani word "Kone", Marathi word "Karwan" meaning the corner of the landmass before the river Kali. Karwar derived its name from the nearby village of Kadwad, which was prominent during the British Raj. The present Karwar is a new settlement. During the pre-Indian independence era, Karwar was spelt "Carwar".
The main occupation is agriculture. Fields animal husbandry, sericulture, horticulture and beekeeping. Another major industry is fisheries. Though the district is located along the coast, its marine products are not much renowned. Activities connected with fisheries are carried out on a large scale by fishing communities like Harikanth, Konkan Kharvis, Gabiths, Ambigas.
Daivadnya Brahmins engage in jewellery design and manufacture along with Goldsmithing. Leather works are also prominent. Solaris Chemtech (previously BILT — Ballarpur Industries Ltd.) at Binaga manufactures caustic soda, chlorine, hydrochloric acid and phosphoric acid. Nuclear Power Corporation of India operates a nuclear power plant at Kaiga around 50 kilometres from Karwar town. Karwar is situated on the Konkan Railway route. The railway station is located at Shirwad, 6 km away from Karwar town.
Ganesha Chaturthi Festival is a major festival, celebrating the birthday of Lord Ganesha. Two to three months prior to Ganesh Chaturthi, lifelike clay models of Lord Ganesha are made for sale by skilled artisans. They depict Lord Ganesha in various poses. The size of these statues varies from .75 inches (19 mm) to over 25 feet (7.6 m).
Ganesh Chaturthi starts with the installation of these Ganesha statues in colourfully decorated homes and temporary structures called mantapas (pandals). The pandals are erected by the people of a specific society or locality or group by collecting contributions. The mantapas are decorated especially for the festival, either by using decorative items like flower garlands, lights, etc. or are theme-based decorations, which depict religious themes or current events. The statues are worshipped with families and friends.
Diwali is celebrated as the return of Rama, King of Ayodhya, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana to Ayodhya after 14 years exile, and a war in which he killed Ravana. It is also called the Festival of Lights. All homes, shops, establishments & offices are arrangements are made for night lighting.
The Muslim community celebrates Id-ul-Fitar (Ramdan Id) on the completion of Ramadan month & Id-ul-Adha (Bakri-Id) in the remembrance of Prophet Abraham's sacrifice of his son Prophet Isaac/Ismail to the will of Allah and completion of Hajj rituals at Mecca.
The Christian community celebrates Christmas Day on 25 December, as the birthday of Jesus Christ. Every year, a festival called "Karavali Utsav" is held on Rabindranath Tagore Beach, lasting 3 to 4 days. It is organised by the Uttara Kannada District Administration as a cultural-social festival. Many shops and stalls are installed at the Tagore Beach. People from all parts of the district and from all over the state and neighbouring Goa state participate. Many cultural events are held in the evening in which regional, national and international artists present shows; they include Bollywood] stars, Kannada film stars, Goan artists and local artists.
Karwar port is located in Baithkol on the edge of Karwar bay. The mountain range opposite the port towards the Arabian Sea protects the ships berthed at the port from the sea, making Karwar among the World's best natural harbours. Karwar port is one of the main ports of Karnataka, serving the hinterland of northern Karnataka, Goa and southern Maharastra, with a total length of 355 meters. The quay has two berths with a draft capacity of 9.25 meters each for berthing of ocean-going ships.
It is maintained and operated by the Government of Karnataka. The Government of Karnataka has a proposal to develop Karwar port on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis for 6 additional berths, a container terminal, and a rail link to Shirwad railway station. The port was cleared to handle all types of commodities, including "B" and "C" classes of petroleum products. There are Liquid Storage Tanks for Storing Liquid Cargo at Karwar port Area. Bitumen, Furnace Oil, Molasses, HSD are mainly stored in this tanks. After the ban of Iron Ore Minining & Export from Karnataka State the congestion at Karwar Port is minimum. The port has arrangements for berthing coastal vessels. A fishing jetty attached to the port berths fishing boats.