Many of us would have heard about Udupi food or Udupi restaurants but only a few of us might know that Udupi is also a home to some of the most amazing and pristine beaches of the country. You get different types of beaches within just a few kilometers – a sandy beach, a rocky beach, a powdered sand beach, a seashell beach, and may be other types too that I didn’t come across.
It is also a very popular pilgrimage center, mainly because of Udupi Krishna Temple, and attracts a pool of krishna devotees from across India.
The weather here is quite hot but not that humid, and morning and evening are the best time to enjoy the beach unless you plan on getting some serious tan.
Route – How to Reach Udupi
We did a road trip from Bangalore and it took us around 9 hours to reach Udupi, including 2 hours that we spent at Sakleshpur fort and an hour and half worth short breaks for tea and snacks – the stretch of Shiradi Ghats was not in really good condition and that resulted in some delay. Otherwise the roads are just fine!
We also considered going via train to keep a check on the budget, however, since we were a group of 7 people, a taxi appeared to be a far more convenient and better alternative. Besides this, we love stopping at random places that we find beautiful, and so we all unanimously opted for the taxi!
We were in Mangalore around 6:00 pm and it would have been dark by the time we reached Udupi, so to end the day with at least some excitement and sense of achievement we decided to stop at one of the nearby beaches Enroute Udupi.
It was quite close to our current location and therefore Perambur it was. The beach was not very crowded when we reached there and the sound of the waves and the view of the shore made us all happy. There were horse carts, yes horse carts not just the horses, running on the shore which added to the scenic beauty of the beach. The beach was pretty clean and had soft sand – we identified a relatively less crowded corner and jumped into the water, played for about an hour and then were off to Udupi around 7:00 pm.
Next day we headed towards Malpe beach around 9:00 am. It was about 10 kms from the heart of the city and it took us very little time to reach there.
Again the beach was pretty clean, and while we were on the beach, locals were still gearing up for the activities of the day (water sports and ferry services).
We clicked a few pictures, roamed around for some time and decided to head straight to St. Mary’s island. The idea was that if St. Mary’s Island is better why not spend more time there in the morning hours while it is still not very very hot. We took the ferry service which charged us around Rs. 200/- for to and fro per person and they also informed us that we would be given only an hour at the island, and then the ferry would pick us up and bring us back to Malpe. The ferry usually waits until there are minimum 10-15 people and it didn’t take us more than 10 minutes before we were off the shore.
ST. MARY’S ISLAND
The view of the island from the boat was stunning and it didn’t feel like we were in India anymore. So beautiful and clean, and more importantly such few people.
This was one of my first seashell beaches that I had ever seen. The entire beach was flooded with seashells and there was no sign of sand. Another interesting thing about this beach was the hexagonal rock formations which made it look even more spectacular. The letdown was the heat of the day and rocky bed which prevented us from getting into the water.
We did pick a few beautiful shells and Shankhs (conch shells), and then returned to Malpe.
Even though Malpe was extremely hot by that time, we still decided to indulge in some water sports – mainly parasailing. The charges here are high here when compared to Goa – it’s 800 Rs. Per person and they asked for 500 more for the dip!
Around 12:00 Pm we headed back towards the city and spent most of our day in the city. Though there were a plenty of other beaches on the list, Kapu had to be out last one due to the time constrain.
KAPU OR KAUP
We roamed around in the city whole afternoon and headed towards Kapu around 5:00 Pm. It was some 19kms from Udupi center and took us around 30 minutes to reach there. Pristine beach with ultra-fine sand, little crowd & high level of cleanliness as everywhere else on the beaches of Udupi – maybe it was because this beach was far from both Udupi & Mangalore. We also spotted some dead jelly fishes brought to the shore by the waves.
It was our first encounter with this species – wish we could see them alive. All of us played a lot in the water and my dad even tried ATV.
The lighthouse was another interesting part of this beach. The spiral stairs are beautiful but you need to very cautious. Initially, the rise of the stairs is reasonable but towards the end, it becomes dramatically steep, almost vertical.
The best part was, we reached the top when the sun was about to set. The bird’s eye view of the beach from this point and at this particular time was mesmerizing.
We could feel the breeze on our face and were so fascinated by the view that preferred to experience it rather than capture it.
UDUPI FOOD – RESTAURANTS & CAFE
Woodland’s – Best Udupi Restaurant
During our 2 nights stay at Udupi, we mostly ate at Woodland’s – the food was good and even better was the manager/owner who interacted with us for quite long. He was very welcoming and gave us a lot of information about Udupi Food and the myths that people have about Krishna Matth. We found the Banana Bun to be very unique and tasty!
We also tried MTR one day and it didn’t let us down as always. There was one thing common at all the local restaurants – a Gadabad Ice-cream. Definitely worth a try!
OTHER THINGS TO DO
We were very interested in the Jain temples of Karkala, and therefore, while returning we planned our way through Karkala & Charmudi Ghats.
In Karkala, we visited one of the most beautiful churches I have come across in India, a Jain temple with Unique Architecture at Varanga and a few other small Jain temples in Karkala.
We also went to Gomateshwara which had a 47 feet long statue of Bahubali. The temple is located uphill, and you could either take the stairs or get the permission to take the vehicle at the top.
What we liked more was the view from the top – there were some beautiful houses just behind the temple and they appeared incredible from the top.
Even Agumbe is not far from Udupi – it was on our list but unfortunately that was all we could do in that limited time.
KUDREMUKHA NATIONAL PARK
Another possible activity could be riding through Kudremukha national park! Again, we couldn’t manage to do it.
WHERE SHOULD YOU STAY – Hotels in Udupi?
If you are interested in beaches, Paradise Isle Beach Resort on Malpe beach is an ideal place. We stayed here and loved it! The best part is you can enjoy the early morning beauty of the beach without having to run anywhere, and even at night you can sit till late.
However, if you are interested in Krishna Matth, there are a number of cheap Udupi hotels around/near Udupi temple. I would still recommend staying at a beach only and then traveling back to the city, if you have a vehicle with you – it shouldn’t take too long.