Haigunda Island – Origin place of Havyaka Brahmins ( also known as floating island ) Haigunda Island is located in Sharavathi River around 21 kms from Honnavar town, Uttara Kannada. This island was the original home of the Havyaka Brahmins.
Hayagunda is the combination of two words ‘Haya’ and ‘Kunda’. Then ‘Hayagunda’ eventually became Haigunda‘. ‘Haya‘ means animal/cow (cattle) and ‘Kunda‘ means high hilly area. The whole meaning of the word Haigunda is a hilly area full of cows.
Table of Contents
History of Haigunda
Haigunda is the Prakrit form of Havyakunda. A special thing you need to know here is that this is a man-made island. Now you can go through the bridge to reach this island. Earlier days, to visit Haigunda Island one had to go with the help of a boat. During the Kadamba era, this Haigunda was the target of many royal families. That is the reason this place is separated from the land and all sides surrounded by Sharavathi River.
Kadamba king Mayura Varma brought 32 Brahmin families here from Ahichachtra to perform vedic rituals. As Brahmins of different gotras brought from there first came here and performed Ashwamedha Yaga, Rajasuya and Vajpayee Yaga. That is believed to be the origin of Havyaka Brahmins. Even now, many old bricks can be found there.
Mayuravarma made it an island by drilling this part on the banks of river Sharavati from four sides. The main reason for this was that the Pallavas and others were trying to invade here. A temple of Durgambika Devi was established during the Kadamba era.
Now the outer structure of Durgambika temple has been renovated.
On both side of the road which is leading to temple, there is paddy fields. The view here will be amazing during and after rainy season. You can see the below pic. We had visited in first week of October.
Why the name Floating Island ?
This man made island is in-between the Sharavathi River, when the wind blows we get a feeling of floating. Therefore the name floating island as you get the feeling of floating in the wind that floats from the water on all four sides.
How to reach ?
From Honavar you have to use your own transport or rented cab to reach Haigunda. Last bit of road is not that good, but in manageable condition.
Nearby attractions : Haigunda Sharavathi bridge, British bungalow on hilltop/ sunset point, Subramanya temple Mugwa, Areca Farmwalk Hiremakki, Samshi Hanging bridge, Sharavathi valley view point,
Sharavathi Backwater Boating : Sharavathi backwater boating is an exciting and scenic activity that takes place in the Sharavathi River backwaters. The Sharavathi River is a major river in the state, known for its lush green surroundings and serene backwaters, making it a popular destination for boating enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Mangrove Board walk : A walk through this beautiful wooden walkway amidst the lush green Mangrove trees is one of the beautiful ways to enjoy nature and also helps in calming your mind. It’s the best place to spend 1 to 2 hours easily.
Where to stay ?
You can book your next stay at Areca County Homestay. Areca County offers private cottages nested inside areca estate, built with traditional architecture using laterite stones, lot of wood carved by local artisans and two layered mangalore roof tiles. This premium homestay has vegetarian kitchen, separate dining area(a 1929 heritage building), clean and airy rooms.
Video on Haigunda Island :
Suggested watch : Sharavathi Kandla Mangrove Boardwalk
Tips for the travelers:
Respect Local Culture: Learn about the local customs, traditions, and dress codes. Show respect for the local culture, religion, and social norms to avoid unintentional offense.
Stay Mindful of the Environment: Travel responsibly and minimize your impact on the environment. Avoid single-use plastics, recycle when possible, and participate in eco-friendly activities.
Interact with Locals: Engage with the locals, as they can offer valuable insights and recommendations on hidden gems or authentic experiences.
Try local cuisine: One of the best ways to experience a new culture is through its food. Sample the local dishes and flavors. It’s an opportunity to indulge in unique tastes and culinary traditions.