I finally set off on this most remarkable journey of my life spread over 7 days. Read it on below links
So my travelogue enters day 3 and 4 in a beautiful places called malpe and udupi and an unforgettable St. Mary's island. Some serenity and inner peace is what we all desire and this looked like the one place where we should get it.
Day 3: (Monday 26th December, Bekal-Malpe, travel time – 3 hours)
This was one part of the journey that was supposed to be full of pit stops and it did live up to its expectation. So as per plan we started off early and headed to the first stop on the way a place called endpoint, this is a park inside Manipal University Township and has some amazing views of the river saraswati and the valley below. But alas as we reached a bit earlier than usual business hours the entry was closed. Saddened we pulled back and headed towards Mangalore. As soon as the city limits start you can make out the prosperity of this township. Compared to Bekal it is Manhattan of sorts.
Kaup Lighthouse Beach (source: Internet)
Mangalore has a number of beaches namely, the Ullal beach, the Panambur beach, the Taneerbhavi beach, the Kapu beach and the Someshwara beach. The beaches of the city are the best places for sightseeing in Mangalore. Each beach has a unique experience to offer and this is what makes them so popular with tourists.
The best of the lot is Kapu/kaup beach although we reached the place during day could feel how photogenic it will be during sunset. Actually, a word of advice here all the beaches in coastal Karnataka have an awesome view of sunset not the sunrise so plan accordingly. We just did a pit stop at these places and kept on moving ahead. Having all these places on the same road makes it very easy to roam around.
Paradise Isles beach Resort
Our place of stay was not Udupi town but Paradise Isle beach resort located 12 Km away facing the Malpe beach. The entry to the place is barricaded and only if you tell the guards that you are going to the hotel will they allow the car to pass. The place is very well maintained and has full beach view from all the rooms of first floor facing the road. Don’t forget to book deluxe room on the first floor to actually enjoy the view.
Malpe beach Sunset
We reached the place and after having a late lunch headed for the beach. The beach is a bit crowded and you will always find buses full of school kids doing day excursion here in the evening. The solution to this is going left towards the beach area where less crowd goes and enjoy the sun. The orange sun at sunset took us to a virtual dream world. It was a spell bounding moment the one which inspires poets and writers. The beach is empty after sunset and we ended up playing in sand long time at night. The place is active until 9 pm with lots of eateries and game shops nearby. They have beach cricket and volleyball options at very nominal rates.We had some street food and then headed late into hotel for the first night stay. We had planned to stay here for 2 nights as we wanted to keep one day just for St Mary Island.
Day 4: (Tuesday 27th December, Malpe-Udupi)
Next morning as we woke up we saw the beach in its full gory with no one there to disturb the peace. The restaurant is glass paneled and we had a sumptuous breakfast there enjoying the beach view. Total Paisa Vasool. After inquiring from Hotel we came to know that there are two places the boat to island leaves and luckily for us one of them was just a few meters from us. You need to keep going right and you will find a beach hut selling tickets for the place Rs 300 PP. There are many water sports activity also happening here with banana ride, para sailing, and speed boat.
After waiting for some time our boat finally arrived and we headed for the Island. We had seen some pictures of the place and it looked appealing with lots of rock formation amidst sea and were pretty excited to reach here. As you start from Malpe the water color starts to change towards St Mary. Finally the jetty we arrived was as if someone has put turquoise blue color in the sea and painted brown symmetrical rocks everywhere to add to its beauty. This place should be in the same lines as of Bali but in a way it’s good that it has not become so famous. This allowed us to each pick one spot on the beach as our personal space. The island is not very large and you can cover end to end within few hours.
Just one thing beware of jellyfishes here, they are very dangerous especially if you put your feet over them. One of the children actually was saved in nick of time when he was about to step on one of them. The boatman ended up killing the same I finally saw one up close and the name Jelly Fish is apt that’s all I can say. Oh forgot to mention carry your food and water here there is no place to eat here. The boat have no particular time and you can take any one to go back to civilization.
After lunch we decided to head towards the temple town of Udupi. Udupi is the religious capital of Karnataka and is actually is credited for giving Udupi cusine to the world. We parked the car near Shri Krishna Mutt parking space and started walking towards the temple square. We were right on time as Lord Krishna procession was just about to start. The idol is kept on the palaki and with the chants of priest and public goes around the area to finally end at the the same place. It was an awesome sight and we were feeling really blessed to have witnessed the same. The Krishna Matha was founded by the Vaishnavite saint Shri Madhwacharya in the 13th century. He was the founder of the Dvaita school of Vedanta. It is believed that Madhwacharya found the murti of Sri Krishna in a large ball of gopichandana. As told by Sri Madhwacharya, the murti is placed Pashchimabhimukha(West facing). All the other idols in other Ashta mutts are facing Western side as well.
A famous story is once Kanakadasa, a pious worshiper and devotee of Lord Krishna, was staying in a makeshift hermitage in front of Krishna mutt. Despite him being an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, he was not allowed to enter the temple as he was an untouchable. However, pleased with his devoutness, the idol facing the direction of east turned to west and there was a crack in the wall wide enough for Kanakadasa to have darshana of the murti. Even today the devotees worship Lord Krishna through this window. It is known as Kanakanakhindi, and is decorated by an arch named after him.
The temple opens by 5.30 in the morning. The unique feature of the temple is that the deity is worshipped through the silver plated window with nine holes (Navagraha kindi).The temple also offers prasadam (lunch) in the noon and I heard from friends it’s really very yummy. This is also the same place where you have awesome Neer dosa and GUDBUD ice-cream both of which are not to be missed delicacy. Once the place closed we headed back to Malpe where the night again was spent playing beach ball with my kid. Overall the best part of the stay till now. Content we slept for the next part of our journey to begin tomorrow towards Gokarna, the part which we were most excited about.