Karvar is the administrative headquarters of an eponymous taluk and of Uttara Kannada district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It was the chief town of the North Kanara district in British India. Karwar is a seaside town situated on the banks of the Kali river which is on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. The town lies about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of the Karnataka–Goa border and 519 kilometres (322 mi) north-west of Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka.

Karwar was an ancient site of sea trade visited by the Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, French and later the British. Ibn Battuta passed through this route during his journeys. Significant and picturesque, the historically important fort Sadashivgad is now a popular tourist destination located by the Kali river bridge at the confluence of the river and the Arabian Sea.Kot Siveshvar, a fortress in proximity of the town of Karwar, is an attraction that visitors should stop by if their itinerary permits. The fortress, built by Bijapur Sultanate, falls within a small village named Siveshvar. According to historians, Kot Siveshvar was constructed to safeguard the northern extremes of Canara. Though the site is in dilapidated condition now, a well, a Muslim graveyard and a tunnel located at the eastern gate are still visible.
The town is sandwiched between the sea on one side and the Western Ghats on the other. Kali river (Kalinadi) is a west flowing river which takes its birth at a height of 600 m in the Western Ghats at the village of Bidi. Kali River is a prime source of irrigation in Karnataka and has a total length of 153 km. The Kali river flows through Karwar town and empties into the Arabian Sea.