When we think of the western coast of India, Goa and Kerala come to mind. However, the coast of Karnataka is as beautiful, if not more. On a trip to Mangalore, I along with my better half decided to explore three such places in Nov 2021. The first is a small beachfront near Udupi called Malpe. Second, the beautiful coastal temple of Murudeshwar and the third, the temple town of Gokarna further north.
I will cover Malpe and Murudeshwar in this Blog. Gokarna deserves a separate blog.
The trip was planned from Mangalore, my in-laws place where we drove to, from Bangalore. The goal was to go to Gokarna, but we thought of staying a night at Malpe and visit the St. Mary Island (also known as Parashuram (and also Coconut)) island. The drive from Mangalore to Malpe was smooth. In fact the drive all the way from Mangalore to Gokarna was butter smooth.
We booked the Paradise isle beach resort for a night to enjoy access to the beachfront. The resort’s main building is well maintained, but the cottages where we stayed wore a deserted look. It was okay for a night’s stay though. We tried the breakfast there which was okay.
There isn’t a great lot to do here. You can chill on the beach, take a ferry to the St. Mary’s Island or walk on the sea walk. While the ferry to the island departs quite frequently, I will suggest not going on a hot afternoon as the heat can be extreme, the island being a rocky place. But on a cool morning or evening, its a great place to visit and spend time watching the horizon or admire the shape of the volcanic rocks. The cost of the ferry is Rs. 300/- per person for a round trip. You can go to the beach, locate the ferry booking counter and tell them that you are interested in the ride. They will note your phone number and call you when they have the minimum number of people for a trip.
There are some shacks on the Malpe beach which serve tasty food. However, we had our lunch on the day of arrival at Thimappa fish hotel which is couple of kilometers away from the resort. This is a small restaurant which is crowded on most days. Not really a great place to go with family, given the crowd, but does serve good seafood.
We left Malpe after the breakfast and drove towards Murudeshwar which is around 100 KMs from there. The road from the highway to the temple was not in good shape when we visited. Especially towards the end, the road was almost non existent. The temple, however, is beautiful and it’s tall Gopuram is a sight to behold. There is a decent sized car parking in the temple premises.
After the darshan, when exiting the temple, we just happen to notice a small window that was selling tickets to go to the top of the temple gopuram! The window is at the Gopuram’s base and easy to miss. I am glad we took the ticket and went to the top. The view from there is breathtaking with the giant Lord Shiva statue and the shoreline visible in all their glory. Some more info about the temple here. Do not miss this one!
You can find the trip blog of our trip to Gokarna here. Happy, safe and responsible travelling friends!