The moment we hear the name ‘Udupi’ , the spiritual town and image pops up in the display screen of our mind and at the same time our foody mind scrolls through all the possible images of Udupi sambhar, vada, idli and dosa. But this little town has one more image of it to show you, the vast blue image of it.
A few of the beaches in this town are as beautiful as the beaches in the islands of Andaman. Unlike the beaches of Goa and other famous tourist towns, the beaches here are clean and well maintained. In fact, while in Goa, I totally avoided the crowded beaches and instead opted for the exploration of Museums, spice plantation, Portuguese colonies and the temples of Goa.
But Udupi was altogether a different experience.
A day is enough if you don’t want to spend much leisure time on the beaches. The town is tourist friendly. But it isn’t advisable to move around in autos as you might end up paying more. Minimum fare to any nearby place is Rs. 25. Public transport is easily available from almost all the main roads or from the city bus stand, which is way cheaper than any other modes of transport. Further, the conductors themselves will be guiding you where to get down for which place. But don’t miss your stop while enjoying the lush green surroundings from the windowless buses of the town. While here you must not miss the following wonders.
Take a Journey to the Blue Waters of St. Mary’s Island
It’s a tiny wonder of a natural miracle. The volcanic rocks which are moulded in columnar bars in the process of cooling down, add to the beauty of this island. Late noon is a perfect time to witness the clear blue waters surrounding the island. Photographers would get their picture perfect in absence of too many visitors. It is a perfect place for taking a dip in the sea as the rocks with the sandy bed of shells keep the water perfectly clear. Or else you can just enjoy the cool sea breeze sitting under the shades of rocks or under the canopies, searching for the horizon which will be a difficult task, as the blue sky plays the trick by merging in the sea giving it the perfect blend of its own colour.
You can reach this island by a ferry from Malpe beach; which will cost Rs. 200 for round way journey.
Spend Leisure Time at Malpe Beach
After visiting the island you can enjoy the seafood available on the beach or take a long walk on the shore while keeping your children busy in the rides available on the beach. Various water sports can also be tried but do not forget to bargain 😉
Enjoy the scenic road to Aanegudde
As the name suggests it is a small hill inhabited by the Elephant God, Ganesha. At the base of the temple is a Shiv-Parvati Temple located in a pond. To reach to the main temple you need to exercise a bit and climb up the stairs and walk through the ground and right under a huge peepal tree you would find a beautifully carved and coloured temple of Lord Ganesha. The interior is also beautifully carved and decorated with a two and a half feet high silver idol of the Lord.
It is a 45 minutes road journey through a river, backwaters and coconut plantations and a few more temples which you can visit if you have opted to hire a personal car. Or else, the local express buses are available which will drop you on the highway from where you need to walk half a kilometre to reach the place.
While returning, you can ask the conductor to drop you at Ambalpadi Cross from where you can walk for a while to reach a 400 years old Kali Temple.
Bid Adieu to the Sun at Kapu Beach
Watched over by a lighthouse this beach is clean, calm and most important of all, less frequented. Away from the main city, this beach is surrounded by lush green coconut trees all over. The view can best be seen from the lighthouse which may charge Rs. 30 for you and your camera. You can see the sun setting off the water while enjoying chaats or a cup of coffee right at the shore of the beach. If you love the north Indian style chaats, don’t miss to fulfil the desire of your taste buds at Kashi Chatvala at the entrance of the beach. South Indian Style churimuri is also quite spicy and tasty.
Leave soon to see the nightlife at Udupi.
Take the Blessing of Lord Krishna at the end of the day
The temple complex looks very beautiful at night. You can enter the mutt, see the age-old idols of different Gods. The Krishna Mutt, has a Maruti Temple (Lord Hanuman), A Naagraj Temple, (Snake God), a Goshala, and the main Krishna Temple. The food served in Bhojashala inside the temple seems to be very nutritious as it is cooked in a traditional way in huge bronze pots in pure ghee by the Brahmin Cooks.
There is a famous legend of Kanakdasa, connected to this temple. He was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. But being from a lower caste, he wasn’t allowed entry into this temple and was leaving the premises disheartened. Moved by his devotion, the God turned back to shower special blessings on him. Since then the god’s idol is facing towards the back side which can be seen from a window on the back wall.
Don’t miss the view of the kund (a pond) in the temple complex. There are other temples of Lord Ganesha, Shiva and Srimad Bhagvad Geeta Temple near the mutt which can be visited after the main mutt.
If you are visiting the town in Diwali, before Makar Sankranti (Kite Festival) or in the month of November or December do check for different Mahotsavas of the Temple on the official tourism website. Lakshadweep is a very famous Utsav in which the whole temple complex is lit up with lakhs of diyas (earthen lamps).
Enjoy the town with your family and friends. Explore other places like Mattu Beach, Hebri Waterfalls and Karkala Temple and keep admiring this lovely town.
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