The coastal districts of Karnataka have a charm of its own. With the deep Arabian Sea bordering one side and the Western Ghats standing proud on the other, these districts have its own mix of culture and traditions.
Among these, Udupi is considered to be one of the most picturesque and wonderful holiday destinations in Karnataka. It is also known as the most important City in the State after Bengaluru and Mangaluru.
Udupi is also spelt as Udipi and also known as Odipu in Tulu. The place is famous for its mouth-watering cuisines, pristine beaches and the untouched forests. The luscious green forests of Udupi are indeed a sight to see with flora and fauna flourishing in the well-kept land.
The district with its rich cultural heritage is over 700 years old. Devotees flock to the land all year around to visit the famous Shri Krishna Temple located here. It is said that the Krishna idol here is the most beautiful idol of Lord Krishna who is depicted here as a small boy. An interesting aspect about the temple is the ‘Kanakana Kindi’ which is a small window through which Lord Krishna is believed to have given darshan to saint Kanakadasa. Legend has it that Kanakadasa who was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna was of a low caste and was not allowed entry to the temple. He is said to have gone behind the temple and prayed to the Lord through a small crack in the wall. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Krishna turned around and gave him darshan. To honour the saint, a statue of him has been built which is known as Kanakadasa Mantapa.
Just off the coast of Udupi, about 30-minute boat ride away from Malpe harbour, lies the quaint St. Mary’s Island which is said to be a geological treasure. The island which is famous for its unique salt rock formations, are indeed home to some of the most beautiful beaches. The place was termed as a National Geological Monument. Watching the sun fading to the sea from the crystalline rock of the sandy beaches of St. Mary’s Island is indeed an alluring experience.
Udupi has an array of beaches lined up one after another with each of them offering a different experience to the visitors. About 6 kms from Udupi lies the Malpe beach which is also termed as the virgin beach with its endless stretch of golden sand and graciously swaying palm trees. Another famous beach in the area is Kaup which is a beach village in coastal Karnataka. The wide beach offers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea. The rich greenery which surrounds the beach together with the century-old 130 ft. lighthouse attracts a lot of visitors to the place. Other must-see spots in Kaup include the two temples of Goddess Mariamma and the Jain Basadis.
Udupi is also a fastest growing City in Karnataka with many educational institutions in Manipal, fishing harbour, tourism, economic activities & growing real estate due to the proximity to other bigger industrial and port City Mangaluru.
Image courtesy Subhashish Panigrahi, Sajjad F and Ashok Prabhakaran from Wikimedia Commons.