St Mary's Island - Where Vasco Da Gama set foot first.

2nd Sep 2017
Photo of St Mary's Island - Where Vasco Da Gama set foot first. by Karim S A
Day 1

Will you believe if I tell you that Madagascar, which now is in the African Continent, was once attached to India? What......??????

Yes, its true, believe it not!

Some 88 million years ago, Madagascar was very much attached to India. Madagascar and India broke off from Africa as a single continent, and India started its collision course with Asia. It's the result of this, and the sub-aerial sub volcanic activity which resulted in geological formations of columnar basaltic lava which is found in St Mary's Island, off Malpe Beach near the Southern Coastal Town of Udipi in Karnataka. In fact, this is one of the group of four islands. The Geological Survey of India has declared these islands as the Geological Monuments of India.

There is one more interesting fact about this Island. Curious to know?

Vasco Da Gama, in the year 1498, on his journey from Portugal landed on this island. It was here, he fixed a cross and named it St Mary's Island. And from here, he proceeded to Kozhikode in Kerala.

KSRTC - Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation Buses are always world class. Be it, their Corona Sleeper Coaches, or Vovlo Airawat Multi Axle Diamond Class, Gold Class or Club Class.

KSRTC runs a Volvo Airawat Club Class service from Hyderabad, Telangana to Mangaluru, the coastal city in Karnataka. Leaves at 17.03 Hrs in Hyderabad and reaches Mangaluru the next morning at 10.33 Hrs. All through the journey there is nothing much you can do, except watch some movie in the bus and sleep like a baby (that's the tagline of KSRTC Airawat Service) all night through. Passing through, Raichur, Gangavathi and Hubli it reaches Ankola early in the morning.

Wake up and keep your eyes wide open, for you are going to see the road pass by the sea at 06.00 Hrs after Ankola, a small coastal hamlet. What a beautiful sight of the road and the Sea running side by side. The shore strewn with pebbles is so beautiful with the morning Sun rays falling on the gleaming water, that you would just want to scream, ...STOP !... to the driver, and get down the bus to go and play with the pebbles in the shore.

The beauty of your journey begins here.

It roughly takes 16 hours from Hyderabad to reach Udipi by Airawat Club Class KSRTC service from Hyderabad to Mangaluru. One needs to get down at Udipi which is 50 KM before Mangaluru. But I personally advise you to keep Mangaluru as your base, because it has a number of options for your stay. From there you can head to Udipi. There are a number of State run Volvo buses to Udipi from Mangaluru.

Malpe Beach is some 6 to 7 kilometers away from Udipi Bus Stand, so better take an auto which charges you INR 50/- to 70/- to take you to Malpe Beach. A statue of Mahatma Gandhi welcomes you to Malpe Beach. You have nothing much to do here, so hop into the boat and head to the uninhabited St Mary's Island which is 4 kilometers from Malpe beach by boat. They charge you around 150/- per head to take you there and bring you back.

This island is uninhabited and pristine. You can enjoy the basaltic rock formation which are quite unique. Sit here, on one of these rocks, with a Tin of Coke and fried fish which is sold here. The rocks sooth your senses as you relish the fish and Coke, while the waves keep washing your feet, each wave in tandem with the other and the cool breeze playing with your hair. You can spend your whole day here either in solitude or in the company of your loved ones.

As evening sets in, the golden rays of the setting Sun, bid you bye and its time for you too, to hop into your boat and return back.

Photo of Ankola, Karnataka, India by Karim S A
Day 2

Having seen St Mary's Island, on Day 2, you can head to Kasargod, which is just 50 kilometers from Mangaluru and is in Kerala. The famous song of Bollywood Movie "Bombay" was shot here.

You may also like to read: st mary s island

Day 3

Spend the Day 3 in Mangaluru leisurely savouring the coastal Konkan delicacies at Giri Manja's on Car Street, or try some Chicken Ghee Roast at Shetty Lunch Home at Hampankatta. Mangaluru has a lot to showcase to its tourists, like Sultan Battery, Tannir bavi Beach, Kadri Manjunath Temple, Panambur Beach etc.

"Bring out the Vasco Da Gama in You, Set Foot on St Mary's Island"

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