KARWAR: In June 2018, Roshan Kanade, a student of Government Arts and Science College, Karwar, and his friend Shivraj Borkar visited the railway station to click a few pictures, and posted them on the internet for a lark. Soon, the pictures became a big hit on social media. Today, Karwar Railway Station, on the Konkan Railway line, is one of the most photographed spots in Uttara Kannada.
Kanade had always wanted to shoot the railway station, set amid a backdrop of green mountains disappearing into fog. “I used to visit the station very often, and decided to click some pictures. It was afternoon. I waited for a train to emerge from a tunnel, and clicked. I posted a few pictures on Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites. The response I got was tremendous. The picture went viral and is still going viral,” he laughs.
Kanade photographed the same location again in 2019, and that too was a hit. He rues that today, electricity poles have been installed on either side of the station, marring the look. “Despite that, the location is mesmerising,” he concedes.
The station has garnered global attention too, with Erik Solheim, Norwegian diplomat and former politician, tweeting, “Amazing green! This must be one of the greenest Railway Stations in India... and the world? Karwar in Karnataka.” Solheim is a member of the Green Party and is Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme.
The railway station is located at Shirwada, about 6km from Karwar — a pretty coastal town with boats bobbing in the bay, the Edapally-Panvel highway (NH-17) running just metres away from the beach. Straight out of a storybook.
“The station is a gift of the monsoon. It stands out due to the green in the backdrop. The lush jungle and contrasting railway line make it a treat for the eye,” said Shivakumar Haragi, Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Biology, Karnataka University, Dharwad.
The picturesque station appears to emerge from the towering thick Western Ghats around, making it postcard-worthy. A foot overbridge which leads to the second platform is the spot most favoured by photographers to take a wideangle shot of the station. It draws hundreds of photographers every monsoon, and is a selfie hotspot with students too. The greenery lasts about 6-8 months a year, until the summer dries up the vegetation around. Light showers, and a green carpet begins to spread again...
It is a relatively new railway station with two platforms, linking a number of regions to the Uttara Kannada coast, and was constructed after several hurdles. Though the survey for the station was done way back in 1920s during the British regime, construction began only in the late 1980s when senior Janata Dal leader George Fernandes became Railway Minister.
Fernandes, from Mangaluru, was the driving force behind Konkan Railway, which was to link his home town with Karwar and parts of coastal Maharashtra. Construction of this scenic railway line was a big challenge, as it bisects the Western Ghats, the tracks running over bridges built over valleys and several rivers, and through a number of tunnels through the mountains. At Karwar, the station passes through the Kali river valley.
The people of Karwar credit the railway connectivity to former Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde and former Finance Minister Madhu Dandavate, besides Fernandes.
06 km from Karwar, at Shirwada
22 major trains stop here, including Rajdhani Express, Garib Rath, Gandhidham Express, Porbandar Express