LOCATED ALONG a picturesque highway that follows the coastline, this town was an important port during the 16th and 17th centuries. The many beautiful Jain and Hindu stone temples found here date from those days of prosperity. Standing in the town’s main street are the Chandranatheshvara and Parsvanatha bastis. Situated 2 km (1.3 miles) to the east, on the other side of the highway, is the Khetapai Narayan Temple, built in 1540. Its sanctuary and hall are enclosed within stone screens fashioned to imitate wood. As usual, finely sculpted guardian figures flank the doorway.
ENVIRONS: Tucked away in the forested hills at Kollur, 35 km (22 miles) southeast of Bhatkal, is a shrine dedicated to the goddess Mukambika. This is the most popular pilgrimage site in the area. India’s highest waterfalls, the Jog Falls, lie 60 km (37 miles) northeast of Bhatkal. They can be seen at the head of the Sharavati river, framed by jagged pinnacles of rock.