Karnataka's Tanah Lot: scenic island with temple in Ankola - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Karnataka's Tanah Lot: scenic island with temple in Ankola

August 2022 Update: Visited again. Drone footage below.

Ankola Maganteshwar island temple-drone footage [watch on youtube]

Sep 2021 post

Bali's Tanah Lot temple is world famous. Tanah Lot is a small rocky structure in the ocean and the area is converted into a temple and made a popular tourist attraction. It generates lots of revenue per visitor- a few dollars per person in entry fee, parking fee, shopping spends, donation to temple and more.

Recently I spotted a similar looking location in Karnataka, in Ankola, North Canara district. It was pure serendipity that I found this. As I was planning for Karwar, I was exploring what else is there on the way. As I had never explored Ankola earlier. I felt like exploring a bit and decided to head towards the coastline and spend some time as it was only a small diversion. During this expedition I couldn't believe my eyes as I saw a scenic island little away from where I was. This amazingly beautiful place is never advertised as a tourist attraction, no one is aware of it but it looks very similar to Tanah Lot. This island/attraction has no designated name. There is a small temple called "Sri Mangteshwar Temple" which is a nondescript bare minimum temple block. The location certainly deserves more publicity and can generate tourism revenue if promoted well. Because of this I would like to name this spot as "Karnataka's Tanah Lot"
Lot of people visit Murudeshwara, Gokarna and Karwar but miss to explore Ankola. Ankola is a town between Karwar and Gokarna in North Canara, Karnataka's coastal district. Ankola has a few beaches but aren't as popular as its siblings north and south of Arabian coast. But not anywhere.

So what is this "Karnataka's Tanah Lot"?
Watch a few photos and videos below- you will agree with me that this place in Ankola resembles Bali's Tanah Lot and is worth visiting.

A snapshot of Bali's Tanah lot for reference. More details here

Sri Mangteshwar temple (also named as Karnataka's Tanah Lot by famous travel blogger Shrinidhi Hande) is a small island close to the coast in Ankola. A pathway consisting of large boulders is made to make it possible to reach the island and visit the temple passing through the sea. Visitors can walk on the rocks, reach the island, check the temple, explore a bit and return- much like what you would do in Bali's Tanah Lot.

How to reach Karnataka's Tanah Lot (Ankola's scenic island)?
You've to reach Ankola town and head towards the ocean. On google map you can try "Panoramic Viewpoint" location- this offers a nice hilltop view of  How to reach Karnataka's Tanah Lot (Ankola's scenic island and Sri Mangteshwar temple )?. Last 1 km is mud road, doable in normal cars but narrow. Panoramic Viewpoint is about 5 kms from highway, NH66.
Next you can put  Sri Mangteshwar temple in google maps- this place is 6 kms away from the viewpoint by road. Road will take you closer to the beach but for the last 1 km you've to manage on foot. Find a safe parking space, go towards the beach, get a visual of the island and temple and walk towards it.
Mangteshwara temple as such has nothing special

The island is full of rocks covered by green vegetation. There was a small walking trail- I went a bit inside but didn't circle the island completely. The walkway was covered with thick vegetation and there was a risk of slipping down or getting bitten by some snake or something. With no one to support or seek help from, it felt risky to proceed, so I returned to the mainland after spending a few minutes on the island. I guess locals are very comfortable with the island and they regularly do fishing here. Proceed at your own risk.
While you can explore Karnataka's Tanah Lot during your next trip to Gokarna/Ankola/Karwar, please remember the following

1. Karnataka's Tanah Lot is NOT a designated tourist spot. There are no proper parking space, no facilities. Approach road is narrow- can support a car and auto side by side. If dozens of tourists flock here in tempo travelers someone will have to go back several hundred meters till a passing spot is found.

2. There is no easy pathway to the island/temple. Rocks are slippery at the center where sea waves splash repeatedly. Be extremely careful while walking and keep in mind high tide/low tide timings. Avoid going alone and during high tide. Not suitable for kids and elderly.

3. Right now the temple is closed, there is no one to monitor or assist. But if this place becomes popular I am sure the tourism department, local policy, municipality everyone would want a cut. Some restrictions, entry/parking fees etc would come in. All that is good if some facilities also provided- such as wider roads, parking space, toilets, easy pathway to the island etc

What do you think of this place? Would you love to go there? Video coming soon.
Do NOT copy the photo and content without permission. Your site/blog or social media account may be subject to legal action if you copy and misuse my intellectual property. If you need waterproof free photos or want to use them do ask for permission.
Watch a short video clip here [Watch on Youtube]
Nearby: Gokarna, Karwar, Honnavara * Donne falls

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