Kusledhama, Ankola's rare gem

Kusledhama, Ankola's rare gem

Kusledhama, Ankola's rare gem

Far from the madding crowd: The beach has a cluster of rocks, marked by white lines. Photos by the author

The pristine  beaches of Malpe, Maravanthe and Murudeshwar are famous tourist spots, but there are quite a few beaches isolated and hidden from the tourist circuit that have retained their charm. The  Kusledhama beach close to the town of Ankola in Uttara Kannada district is one of them. The moderate stretch of the brown sandy beach is locked by two huge  rocky hills  to the north and guarded by a few large boulders in the south.

One way to reach here unless you have your own vehicle is to trek through the  beautiful forests and villages  for three kilometres from a nearby road.

If you board a local bus bound to Honnebail, you can get off at a bend after five kilometres, and trudge along to the beach.

Rich bird life

As you reach the beach, you will pass through a sparse forest with lots of mango and jackfruit trees. The distribution of bird life here is exuberant. With minimum disturbance from people or vehicles, they thrive in this paradise for birders and photographers. A range of rocky hills run alongside the villages one passes through, blocking any view of the sea. At the end of the trail, the blue ocean comes into view at once.

The uniqueness of Kusledhama is a cluster of beautiful rocks right on the beach. These rocks, brown, black and grey with  white lines, washed intermittently by the frothy waves lend an artistic charm to an otherwise modest beach.

The  boulders on the left are a good perch for local fishermen who cast their nets and wait patiently.

The fish and other crustaceans of the sea attract birds such as kingfishers and sandpipers.

Where the rocky hill dips into the sea the lashing waves have, over time, sculpted peculiar shapes  and left a tinge on the rocks. The simple café  overlooking the beach is a good place to relax and serves food  on order. There are also a few rooms for the visitors spending a night. Sipping a hot coffee , I learnt  that the beach got its name from the temple of Kusledhama up the road.

The small shrine is dedicated to Krishna playing  the flute. But this was also earlier called Honnebail beach after the village which is close by. But foreign visitors who outnumber domestic tourists found it hard to pronounce the name  and call it the Honey beach. Hidden from the outside world, Kusledhama beach, isolated and quiet, is a charming  beach destination. 

Getting there

Kusledhama or Honey beach is eight km from Ankola. Buses go past Honnebail stop (five km),  from where one has to walk three km. Though it is possible to stay at one of the beach accommodations, Ankola has better options.

Also visit  the temple of Mahamaya at Ankola and the fort at Mirjan.

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