Sunday, August 1, 2010

Historical island Haigunda

Exploring historical island Haigunda

When our family friend G.U. Bhat told me to visit Haigunda .I went with least expectation. But amazingly Haigunda opened a new chapter for our culture travelers. To study the legends and local version is entirely different. Higunda has been included in our cultural study tour.

The island haigunda

The riverside island of Haigunda is located in the middle of the river Sharavati in Uttara kannada Haigunda Island is about 20 kilometers upstream of the Arabian Sea. A further 25 km upstream are the Gersoppa Falls, the highest waterfall in India (253 m).

The Sharavathi river that we need to cross at Haigunda

A statue of a large yaksha (divine figure) was found in a sacred grove on the island. the local name for this statue is bobriya The statue (1.69 m high) has been dated to the 4th century AD. The yaksha images signified strength and protection in ancient times and this larger than life image must have been venerated by sailors and merchants on Haigunda island. It is situated in sacred forest. The forest belongs to a Gamokkalu community

Archaeological deposits of the Early Historic - Historic period (2nd-3rd - 5th century AD) were observed on top of a hillock at Haigunda Island. Unfortunately the bricks from the past (2nd-3rd - 5th century AD) is used for constructing bathrooms cowsheds by local residence with ignorance of the historical value

The local people version is that these bricks were used for yajna (homa kunda) in 3rd century of Kadamba dynasty .It is said that the founder of Kadamba dynasty Mayuravarma brought the first Havayaka Brahmin family here to perform yaga from Ahischatra . The name Haigunda came from higa-havayaka Haiganadu etc. Havyaka Brahmins also called Haiga in this region

Exploring the island -a beautiful experience

Besides the yaksha statue, there is an image of Vishnu flanked by two Buddha images on the outskirts of Haigunda Village

The Vishnu image can be attributed a date of 5th-6th century AD and the Buddha figures seem to be of a later date, about 8th century AD.

Local people recoganise this place as "kep naagara"

                                                         Artifacts found while digging.

Shivalinga carved in stone lie scattered in the fields on Haigunda Island. These could be dated between 4th - 8th centuries AD.

                            The beautiful view of Sharavati from the top hill of haigunda is breathtaking

                                There is British inspection Bungalow on top of this hill is in a ruin state.

             Walking in the paddy field and sugarcane farm in Haigunda (Haigunda is famous for molasses.)

If i dont mention the name Krshav Hegde a teacher,and a trusty of the Haigunda temple its a  incomplete write up. Keshv Hegde always welcomed us with great help and hospitality  of serving food ,organizing guide and  a boatman,shelter in the temple, and a fresh water..without him this trip is not easy to make it .

Boat ride in Sharavati River a historical river route from Haigunda to Honnavar
This year Buda took initiative to map the forgotten route of sharavati river .Once it was a busy river route in Portuguese time. Its a life time retreat to the nature lovers traveling in a boat for 1 and 1/2hours watching the since beauty of river side .

An  Italian world traveler, Pietro Della Valle took similar travel in the Sharavati River on 14th October, 1622 and has left behind very interesting account of his journey. River Sharavati is also known as "Baraganga" or "Gerusoppa River." Pietro Della Valle claims that in his life he never undertook such a delightful sailboat ride that took him from Honavar to Gerusoppa, covering a distance of eighteen miles. "High rise mountain peaks, low laying valleys, are all covered with lush greenery and extremely pleasant to look at. The trees are tall and densely grown. Rice cultivated land is interwoven with flower bearing trees and their shadows in the river, give an impression to the passerby that the nature is extending them a warm welcome….


  1. Can you please offer practical information on visiting Haigunda such as timings of visiting the island, costs, transportation facilities, food at the island, etc.

    It will be of great help.

    Thanks in advance

  2. I would also like to have the information on how to reach Haigunda from Honnavar. Thanks.

  3. Great piece of work capturing the charm of natural beauty, history and culture- the left overs of Buddhism are amazing
    M D Subash Chandran

  4. Really this is very beautiful island.images are so looking beautiful.poveglia island ghost adventures is an asland.


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