Udupi, sometimes pronounced as Udipi, is located in the south western region of Karnataka India. Since a long time, pilgrims have travelled thousands of km from all over the country just to visit the beautiful temples & pray to its generous Gods. To explore each & every corner of such an intriguing city was on my wishlist & as soon as I set out on a journey with my friends, I realized that Udupi was more than just the beautiful temples and prayers. It was infact a city with a soul. The trees, the beaches, the roads and even the temples had an aura of calmness & positive energy surrounding it. I felt it! Ofcourse how could I not share the same feeling with you guys? Check out these top hotspots in & around Udupi that’ll make you wonder if this is really Udupi?
1) Pithrody Beach
What if I tell you Pithrody is a beautiful strip of land between a river and a sea in Udupi? I too couldn’t believe it until I experienced it for myself. Udyavara River sits on one side of the land whereas Arabian Sea sits on the other! Imagine riding your bike on a stretch like that! This amazing & clean beach is perfect spot in Udupi to watch the mesmerizing sunset and relax by the arabian sea. This beautiful beach is not known to many except for the locals and hence one can have the entire beach to oneself. Isn’t this a place you would wanna experience too?
2) Delta Beach
Also known as Kodi Bengre Beach, this beach is mostly popular amongst the youngsters & students of Udupi. It’s surprising that Delta beach is located just 15-20 minutes away from Udupi city yet remains away from the tourist radars which makes it an ideal destination for offbeat getaways for locals & students. Delta beach consists of an estuary where river Suvarna joins the Arabian sea and the entire area comprises of 40 islands in one place, some self-sustaining ones being Padu Kuduru, Parangi Kuduru, Balikera Kuduru, Kukkude, Thimmana Kudu. Do not be upset on the lack of adventure activities around the beach as you can indulge yourself for a instagram worthy boat ride into the mangroves brimming with beautiful flora and fauna. Interesting, isn’t it?
3) St. Mary’s Island
St.Mary’s Island is listed as one of the Geological Monuments of Karnataka and India mainly due to the formation of columnar rhyolitic lava rocks around. Four islands namely Coconut Island, North Island, Darya Bahadurgarh Island and South Island together constitute St.Mary’s Islands which is a half an hour boat ride away from the port of Malpe. It is believed that the rock formations of Madagascar are similar to that of St. Mary’s Islands as both the places were once connected to each other but got separated due to tectonic activity in the earth millions of years ago. St. Mary’s island is a perfect place for a half day trip from Udupi, especially if you love nature. According to a popular local legend, it is said that this place was discovered by Vasco De Gama in 1498, before he reached Kozhikode. Amazing isn’t it?
Ferry Timings: 9.30 am to 5.30 pm
Cost: Rs. 150/- (3-10 years of age) and Rs. 250/- (For 10 years & above)
4) Sri Krishna Mutt
Udupi Sri Krishna Mutt is one of the most famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna located in the city center of Udupi. You’d be suprised to know that Sri Krishna Mutt was founded in the 13th century by Shri Madhvacharya, Vaishnavite saint and founder of the Dvaiti school of Vedanta. The temple is popular for two things. Firstly, no one can have a complete view of Lord Krishna’s idol as traditionally one gets to worship the Lord through an intricately carved, silver-plated inner window called the Navagraha Kitiki with nine holes depicting the ten incarnations of Vishnu. Secondly, Lord Krishna’s idol at the temple is placed exactly in the opposite direction i.e. facing the west instead of facing it as per usual norms to the east. If you are interested in the religious places do not miss this beautiful & unique temple on your next trip to Udupi.
5) Kaup Lighthouse & Beach
Wouldn’t you like to feel as if you are at the top of the world? If the answer is yes than Kaup lighthouse should definitely be added to your Udupi bucket list. Kaup lighthouse fondly called as Kapu is basically an enormous lighthouse that stands tall overlooking the arabian sea on one side & city skylines on the other. Since 1901, this lighthouse has guided plenty of sailors from the perils of the sea & the rough coastline. You’ll be happy to know that visitors are allowed to view the stunning backdrop of nature from the topmost point of the lighthouse. However, please exercise precaution while climbing the steep stairs that lead upto its balcony. Kapu is located around 13 km from Udupi city & there are plenty of buses that ply from the city bus stand upto Kaup bus stop. Thereafter, the beach is just 1.5 km away from the bus stop which can easily be covered in an autorickshaw.
Lighthouse Timings: 5.00 pm to 6.00 pm
Charges: ₹10 per person and extra charges for camera.
6) St. Lawrence Church
Attur Church or St. Lawrence Church, built amidst greenery and peaceful surroundings, is believed to be a miraculous church with the history that traces back to 1759. Its devotees are not just the Christians but plenty of people belonging to different religions who often come here to seek blessings of the Almighty. The best time to visit the Church is during the Attur festival which is held every year in the last week of January. It is believed that if a person visits the church during the annual festival and lights a candle making a wish, the wish comes true. Candles of all shapes & sizes are available for lighting. A pond, always full of water, named as ‘Pushkarini’ can be found on the premises of the church. One can drop a coin inside the pond & make a wish. The water is believed to have tremendous healing effect and is said to have produced many miraculous healings.
7) Gomateshwara Statue
Built in the 15th century this Gomateshwara monolithic statue is a 41 ft high structure perched atop a hillock in Karkala, Udupi. This statue is said to be the second largest Bahubali or Gomateshwara statue after the one at Shravanabelagola. Bahubali is a symbol of highest form of detachment & is considered as the ideal man who has conquered all feelings of selfishness, jealousy, pride and anger in his lifetime. As the statue is on a hillock, one has to climb approx 500 tiny steps to reach the top. At the entrance you are greeted with manasthambha pillar featuring a Brahma Yaksha in the seated position, and a kshetrarakshak sculpture. From the top you get a great view of the Karkala area especially of the heritage Chaturmukha Basadi.
8) Chatarmukha Basadi
One of the iconic architecture of 15th century, Chatarmukha Basadi is a heritage Jain temple situated not too far away from Gomateshwara Statue. The unique feature of this temple is that it stands on 108 pillars has four indentical looking entrances on all its sides which leads to the Garbhagriha of the temple. One can pray to Yakshi Padmavati and 24th Thirthankara inside the temple. Chatarmukha Basadi has been named due to its unique architectural plan which literally means open from all sides. The entire temple has been intricately constructed in the 15th century by the Kasa Karkala Ruler namely Bhairavendra II with the help of huge granite slabs. One of the reasons the temple is believed to have 108 pillars is because this number adds up to 9 which is considered as the perfect Vedic number as per ancient mathematical practices. I personally loved this place & would suggest everyone to go here when in Udupi.
9) Anekere Lake
Behind the picturesque Anekere lake is a history that dates back to 12th century. Built in the year 1262 by the King Pandyadeva, the main purpose of the lake was to supply water to the nearby villages & tackle the problem of water scarcity during those times. Over the period of 8 centuries Anekere lake has played a major role in supplying water to the nearby villages and is still one of the largest source of water in the nearby area. It is said that even during the scorching summer months the water in the lake remains as it is & doesn’t dry up. As a result the wells in the nearby villages doesn’t dry up either. Our history says that the name Anekere has been derived during the regime of Bairavarasa when the elephants used to play in the lake. Anekere lake spreads over an area of 7 acres and the white lillies & lotuses adds to beauty & charm of the lake. However it is sad to see that due to human intervention the lake has started shrinking over the recent years. Padmavathi Basadi has been built in between the lake by a king called Pandya the sixth.
10) Varanga Basadi
Varanga Jain Basadi or Kere Basadi as the locals call it is a 850+ year old Jain temple constructed right in the middle of the stunning picturesque lake with beautiful mountains in the background swaying with coconut trees on the other side. This Basadi is a chaturmukha meaning it has four entrances to the temple and at each entrance you will find four different Tirthankaras namely Bhagwan Parsvanatha, Bhagwan Neminath, Bhagwan Ananthanath & Bhagavan Shantinath facing at four different directions i.e. North, South, East and West. The only way to reach this temple is with a help of a small wooden boat that costs Rs. 10/- per person and one can buy the ticket from the nearby local ticket counter. The surrounding clear lake houses several fishes & tortoises who often come outside to give a peek of their existence. Kere Basadi is definitely a place worth visiting especially if you love nature.
SOME MORE INFORMATION ON UDUPI:
1) The transport system of Udupi is without a doubt the most organized transport that I have come across. Right from outside the train station one can hire a pre-paid taxi or autorickshaw to their respective destination. Local transport is available from the main bus stand as well.
2) To travel within the city its easier to hire a two-wheeler either from ‘Royal Brothers’, ‘Bounce’ or ‘Zoomcar’ company.
3) It is highly recommended to experience nightlife in the Manipal university area.
4) The best things to buy are banana wafers, sambhar & rasam powders, papads, coffee and chutneys and you can find them all at the Sri Krishna Mutt.
5) The best option to stay would be at the city center i.e. near Sri Krishna Mutt from which one can easily travel to all other places. The bus stand is located at the convenient distance from the Mutt which shall help you to move to other places in Udupi.
Yeah that is our amazing Udupi! Comment below to share your honest opinions.
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