After exploring the pristine beaches of Karwar and the temple town Gokarna we headed to the port city of Mangalore. On the way, we had a quick stop at the magnificent Murudeshwara temple. For much of the journey, the route winded through the coconut and beetle nut farms.The vistas on the outskirts of the cities alternated between deep valleys and sometimes hills perched with quaint houses with thatched roofs typical of the rural Mangalore. And into the city, the sprawling lush green farms and coconut farms was obscured by the urbanization along the road.
Many times we drove through small bridges running on the meandering rivers which were reminiscent of our road trip in Kerala. The river shore lined with coconut trees made for a picturesque landscape. A beautiful show of hues put up by the setting sun on the river was a beautiful sight to behold.
As we entered into the city of Mangalore we could spot a number of churches beautifully decorated for Christmas and New Year.
By the time we reached our hotel it was late in the evening. We ended our day with an early dinner at the hotel we stayed which had a buffet arranged.
We started our day with a visit to Moodbidri a town in Dakshina Kannada district of coastal Karnataka 35 km from Mangalore. Saavira Kambada Basadi temple is a 590-year-old popular Jain temple dedicated to an eight-foot idol of Tirthankara Chandraprabha. The temple is noted for its 1000 pillars which have elegant carvings sculpted on them.
Around 20 km from Moodbidri is a small village of Venoor. Famous for the 38 feet monolith statue of Bahubali or Lord Gomateshwara which dates back to early 17th century.
We next headed back to Mangalore to explore its beaches. The first beach we visited was Someshwar beach located 9 km from Mangalore city in Ullal town. The beach is lined with coconut farms punctuated by the local houses. The beach was secluded except some kids playing cricket in the forest area along the beach.
Our next stop was Ullal beach around 5 to 10 minutes from Someshwara beach. It was pretty much same as the Someshwar beach, secluded and non-touristy. We did spot some fishermen and boats moored on the shores.
Our final stop for the day was the well-known beach of Panambur jam-packed with locals and tourists. There were several stalls for snacks and ice creams and carousel games, horse riding and kite flying for kids. The beach also has water sports for enthusiasts.
Back into the downtown Mangalore we drove by some more churches and finally stopped by the Chocolate Room for a much-needed toothsome chocolate treat.
The Chocolate Room has a wide tempting assortment of chocolate desserts and drinks where you will be spoilt for the choices.
Mangalore Temple Hopping and Sultan Battery
Our day began with a visit to the 11th century Kadri Manjunatha Temple in the Mangalore city. The temple complex has several temples dedicated to Hindu deities Ganesh, Ayyappa and Durga.
We next drove to Shree Gokarnanatheshwara Temple dedicated to Gokarnanatha, a form of Lord Shiva. The temple complex awash in bright red and the sparkling golden color was strikingly impressive. The tower is adorned with murals depicting scenes from the Hindu epics.
Five minutes drive from here is the Sultan Battery a watch tower constructed in the era of the emperor Tipu Sultan in the 18th century. One can climb up the stairs to the top of the tower which rewards with remarkable panoramic vistas of Gurupura River shoreline dotted with coconut trees.
We drove for a couple of km through the countryside along the calm Gurupura River. We spotted several boats in the river which looked like filled with sand as a part of Sand Mining.
Tannirbhavi beach is one of the popular beaches of Mangalore. Tanirbhavi is a calm and serene beach with a couple of eateries and options for horse riding. There were several benches put up along the beach where one can sit and soak up the vista of waves rolling over the golden sandy beach.
Our next destination was Karkala a small town in the Udupi district of Karnataka around 60 km from Mangalore. Attur church situated on the outskirts of Karkala is an imposing 200-year-old Roman Catholic church and a popular pilgrimage destination dedicated to St. Lawrence.
Around 10 minutes drive from Attur church is the Chaturmukha Basadi, a 400 years old Jain temple perched on a hill amidst the lush green. The temple which took 30 years to complete has 108 pillars supporting the granite temple roof and four entrances which give the temple its name.
One can also see the famous Karkala Bahubali statue of Karkala from Basadi. The Babubali statue is much similar to the one we saw in Venoor but much taller, the statue is 41.5 ft. granite monolith of Bahubali.
When in Mangalore do not forget to indulge in some fresh delicious cakes and Puff pastries from Iyengar bakeries which you will find in abundance.
We next drove to the famous Malpe Beach on the outskirts of Udupi. Udupi is around 50 km from Mangalore. The direction we followed to the beach was through the Fish market. The harbor was choc-a-block of fishing boats and the fishermen loading trucks with fishes.
One can take a boat to St Mary’s Island from here but ensure that you reach before 5 pm in the evening when the last boat leaves. From this point, we could see the crowded beach of Malpe at a distance.
Having experienced this crowd the previous day at Panambur beach we chose against driving further and walked into the beach close by which was frequented by the local fishermen.
Though the beach wasn’t much clean we were elated to capture one of the most stunning sunsets of our life.
After sunset, we drove back to the city center where we had our hotel booked. There were many veg and seafood special restaurants around our hotel. The day ended with a scrumptious dinner at one of the seafood special restaurants.
We visited the famous Sri Krishna temple of Udupi in the morning before heading back home. The temple a popular pilgrimage destination dates back to 13th century.
When driving on NH66 from Udupi towards Murudeshwara one cannot miss this wonderful spot near Maravanthe Village about 55 km from Udupi. The highway runs along the Maravanthe beach with the Suparnika River flowing on the other side. The river which flows very close to the beach meets the Arabian Sea 10 km further at Gangolli village. Due to some road construction, we had difficulty framing the river and the sea in a single picture, and below is the best we could get. Left is the River and on the right is the spectacular Maravanthe beach.
Road Trips are always amazing where we can drive around get lost and explore the unexplored. Discover the places of interest at our own pace to relish the moments. The road trip around Mangalore and Udupi was one of the most memorable and rejuvenating tours.
We are sure the road trips definitely fascinates every traveler who loves to explore. Do you have one to share with us? Do Share with us your memories.