March is a month that spells excitement for students and families alike. It is that time of the year when exam-weary students and their families wait for the start of summer vacations so they can head to exotic destinations; some even planning it well in advance. Having explored different places, this time around we decided to visit the famous beaches of coastal Karnataka.
Also Read : All You Need to Know About Kaup
Coastal Karnataka has always been an amalgamation of religious diversity, exquisite cuisine and exotic locales. Historically, the coasts were military ports and trading centres, well guarded by its ancient rulers (Tipu Sultan) from foreigners (Portuguese).
PC: Riju K
We planned for a road trip since it's safe and fun to have family and friends together without intrusion of strangers & a personal vehicle removes the stress of haggling for local rides. While packing for a beach holiday, make sure you carry sunscreen, synthetic beachwear as it dries faster and cotton clothes as post-swim wear to beat the humidity!
The ground rule for any road trip is - start early morning. We left Bangalore as early as 6 am and took the NH75 route passing Tumukuru and Hassan. After a short break for breakfast at Hassan, we reached Pilikula Nisarga Dhama in Mangalore just in time for lunch.
This place consists of a Zoo, a theme park and a water park. After exploring the zoo much to the excitement of the children with us, we drove from there for approximately half an hour or so to reach Ullal beach. As the hot sun was getting on to us, the stunning beach and splashing water seemed inviting with safe, low tides.
PC: Pulikula Website
After a good swim and later, change of clothes, we headed for Sultan Bathery Fort, the place from where the coast was guarded against foreign intrusion. The fort offers a breathtaking view of the sea and is perfect for photography. But the best part was the ferry ride from Sultan Bathery to Tannirbhavi beach at a mere cost of Rs. 5!
The sun was setting when we took the ferry. Between light snacks and a steaming cup of tea, it was mesmerizing to watch the sunset at the Tannirbhavi beach, before heading back to our lodge in Mangalore city.
PC: Karunakar Rayker
Day 2 - Panambur - Surathkal - Kaup
If you are a lover of water sports, then Panambur beach is the place to be. On the advice of the hotel staff, we left for Panambur as early as 7 am to avoid the crowd. Panambur beach is beautiful and clean and has enough activities like boating, jet skiing, camel rides, etc., to keep everyone, specially children, engaged.
What was fascinating was the huge kites people were flying. After trying our hand at water sports, we headed out for breakfast as crowds started to swell. After a hearty breakfast and shower at our lodge, we headed to our next destination - Surathkal beach.
This beach is about a 10-min walk from Panambur, but surprisingly less crowded. Its beautiful white sand and serene water looked picture perfect with a beautiful light house in the background and starfishes on the sea bed. After spending hours wading in the water and walking along the shore, we headed for a heavy lunch of the famous Mangalorean fish curry and rice at a local restaurant. Post lunch, we walked towards our 'sunset beach of the day' - Kaup beach. It is a stunning and beautiful beach which is a photographer's delight, words are too less to describe its beauty. As the sky got painted in shades of red, we sat there completely enchanted!
On the final day of our trip, we travelled around 60 km to Sri Krishna Temple of Udupi, which is famous for the richly adorned idol of Lord Krishna. Another attraction of this temple is the 'Kanakana Kindi' -a small window through which Krishna is believed to have given darshan to his ardent devotee, Kanakadasa.
After the divine darshan, we headed to the famous St. Mary's Island, which is a set of four small islands off the coast of Malpe in Udupi. The main attraction of these islands is the huge columns of rocks stacked together, which have been formed due to volcanic lava. These rocks are of huge geological importance and regularly studied for continental drift of Madagascar.
Post lunch, we headed for our final 'sunset beach of the day' - Malpe beach. Equally beautiful and stunning, Malpe beach is also very well maintained. Falling short of time, we just made do with tea and snacks and left for Bangalore before sunset.
On our way back, as the sun began to descend towards the horizon, we imagined each of the beautiful beaches drenched in vibrant shades of red. We left the city of beaches shining in all its glory!