The Perfect Getaway, Malpe, Udupi

3rd Feb 2016
Photo of The Perfect Getaway, Malpe, Udupi 1/5 by Rahul Raghunath
Approaching St. Mary's Island by Boat
Photo of The Perfect Getaway, Malpe, Udupi 2/5 by Rahul Raghunath
Fishing Port at Malpe.
Photo of The Perfect Getaway, Malpe, Udupi 3/5 by Rahul Raghunath
A Quiet Beach
Photo of The Perfect Getaway, Malpe, Udupi 4/5 by Rahul Raghunath
Malpe Beach, Sunset
Photo of The Perfect Getaway, Malpe, Udupi 5/5 by Rahul Raghunath
The Quiet Side of St. Mary's

Most college dilemmas can be over come with alcohol. For the ones that to not belong in this category, there is travel. A few college friends and myself were caught in trap of realization that the course was coming to an end and that we wouldn't see each other as often. The fact that examinations and college drama were eating us inside out also played a major role in our decision to travel to a place that was quiet and cultures. Udupi it was.

We left Bangalore in the evening and caught a bus to Udupi without only a packed back pack and no itinerary. We decided to show up and let fate make all our decisions. Perhaps the decided, calculated life that we lived in the city was becoming overwhelming and we wanted to experience the joy of serendipity and doing nothing. The city itself is slower, as if people there appreciate the passage of time.

The food is local and remains true to it's history of fishing. We stumbled upon a restaurant that was serving sea food meals. The menu consisted of just starters and finger foods and all the customers eat rice and fish curry. The rice and curry costs about Rs. 50 and so do most of the other food. The local soft drink is of ginger, lemon, kokam and other flavors. Malpe beach has a number of food stalls that serve some of the freshest fish you'll ever get to eat. at prices that you won't believe.

The people are some of the nicest I've ever come across. They're extremely cooperative and will try their best to help you even though you may not be aware of the local language, Konkani. The roads are clean and safe to stroll around at night. The beach is open thorough out the night but beware of crabs and other animals. Stray away from the main roads and walking through the villages is absolutely wonderful to experience the essence of the place. I've included more information about location wise journey in the itinerary.

I would suggest that you stay continuously hydrated as it's quite hot. Use the local bus services. The routes are beautiful and the auto's might cheat you. There are plenty of lodges at Udupi and it's alright to just pick the first one that you see. There are also many resorts if you wish to stay in luxury. Try the local food and be nice to the locals. Make sure you do not litter as they are doing a wonderful job of staying clean.

We have considered going back to Udupi for a couple more days. If i missed anything in this post, perhaps nicer places to stay or food tea eat of places to visit, do drop a comment!

All in all, try to be a part of the culture and you'll have an incredible time!

After a comfortable overnight bus journey from Bangalore, in lieu of excellent connecting highways, we reached the Udupi Central Bus Station at 4:30 a.m. The city was quiet and desolate. The street lights were on, the streets were clean and it was silent enough to faintly hear the sound of crashing waves in the distance. By the time we had our coffee at the station canteen, it was almost 5 a.m. and the city was beginning to stir awake. The sun was starting to rise in a cool orange glow. The streets and groves were coming alight with faint blue light. People were walking out of their house for a quick stroll or a cigarette or some tea. It was incredibly beautiful to watch the pace at which things grew, which was very different from the city back home. I fell in love instantly, with what the place had already offered - a sense of calm. We had a quick breakfast of Udupi's famous Masala Dosa, Idly vada, Kahara Baath and Masala vada with coffee a few hours after we reached the beach. It was better than I've ever had back home.

From Udupi, the beach was a brisk 5 km walk. The roads were thin and surrounded by coconut groves, fields and cow sheds. We made the walk at the right time as we witnessed the city waking up. We crosses bridges with back waters and ponds. We crossed modern and post modern architecture house holds, all the while with a faint smell of the ocean. The beach itself was clean and quiet, except from the roaring crashing of waves. The sand was clean and the water was cool. The shore line was riddled with with straw built hut like structures that we very local to the culture of the locality. The beach itself was devoid of people, as it was really early, but the sun was beginning to grow warmer and the water was still resisting the change. We could see fishing barges coming into the port at the distance and we made sure to add the harbor to our itinerary. The beach extends as far as the eye can see. On one side, there was small activity center that includes carnival rides and food stalls. At this point of time they were deserted, but we imagined it to be exiting and decided to come back to it in the evening. On the other side was the beach stretching and a short walk towards it showed us small coves and natural pools that were untouched and quiet. We spent the rest of the morning there before heading off to the harbor.

Photo of Malpe Beach, Malpe, Karnataka, India by Rahul Raghunath
Photo of Malpe Beach, Malpe, Karnataka, India by Rahul Raghunath

The fishing harbor was a delight. The place was colorful and active, as opposed to the sleepy city. All the boats masted flying flags and beautiful graffiti. They coordinated incredibly well with each other and it was a delight to watch them at work. They seemed like machines from having done this every day of their lives. The dock yard had a fishy smell but not the kind that is revolting but rather that of the sea. The bustling harbor was a shock as compared to the still awakening city. The locals were friendly and showed us around all the way to the ship building yard. The shipping hard had an ongoing project and we got to see a massive ocean liner being constructed. The engineers joined us for cigarettes and were happy to engage in conversation and gave us a detailed insight into not only the shipping industry but also the local food joints and a bunch of must-see's.

Photo of Malpe Fishing Harbour, Kola, Malpe, Karnataka, India by Rahul Raghunath

The approach to the island was absolutely wonderful. A slow moving barge towing a little boat took us across the channel. Within 20 minutes, we were in sight of the island. We were to get on the small boat that was being towed in order to be ferried to the island. The front of the island was a little dirty and covered with tourists. Since we had the whole day there, we informed the sailors to come back and look for us in the evening as we wanted to explore. They were more than willing so we ventured away from the crowd. We walked along the beach till we made it to the other side of the island which was untouched by man. The shore was covered in sea shells. The water was a shade of blue that's deeper than my imagination allowed me till that day. The palm tree fronds swayed with the clean air and city line was visible from afar. The sound of the waves were different hear - devoid of human chatter and filled with water crashing on sea shells as opposed to sand. The silence was again calming and we spent a day midst nature.

Photo of St. Mary's Islands, Udupi, Karnataka, India by Rahul Raghunath
Photo of St. Mary's Islands, Udupi, Karnataka, India by Rahul Raghunath