Located at a distance of just 20 km from the port city of Mangalore, lies the quaint little town of Mulki. Mulki rests peacefully on the banks of the Shambhavi river and is one of Karnataka’s best spots for water sport activities, namely surfing. The town also happens to be home to India’s first surf club. Enthusiasts from around the world flock to this offbeat destination to ride the waves, live the village life, laze around on the beaches and explore the culture and diversity of this part of the state.
With a population of merely a few thousands and limited tourism, Mulki is the perfect spot to kick off your surfing adventures. On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned surfer, there are plenty of challenges in store for you!
Why travel to Mulki
1. Ride the famed waters of Mulki
One of the biggest tourist attractions of Mulki are its crystal clear waters. The shores of Mulki are lined with several surf schools and clubs, which also includes India's first surf club, the Mantra Surf Club. These schools offer private and group surf lessons by certified surf instructors.
Amongst the several surfing spots on the Caribbean Beach, make sure you ask your surfing instructor to take you to the confluence point of the Shambhavi river, Nandini river and the Arabian Sea which makes for a beautiful spot to test your skills.
In addition to lessons, the clubs also rent out surfboards for experts who'd love to ride the waves all by themselves. Some of these clubs also organise personalised experiences by taking you to private beaches to learn surfing at. One can also take dedicated surfing trips with the members of the club to the islands of Andamans and Lakshadweep.
2. Go on a long-distance kayaking expedition
Owing to clean waters, beautiful landscapes and tropical weather conditions, Mulki also serves as the start point to some of the most exciting long-distance kayaking routes in the region. Rent a kayak with your friends and row down through the day to the kayaker hotspot, Palimar dam. The last dam towards the west side of the river, Palimar's picture-perfect location makes it a great spot for a day-long adventure trip from Mulki. Spend the night camping in the woods by the dam and head back to Mulki the next morning.
3. Soak in the sun on the white sand beaches
Karnataka has a beautiful coastline that attracts beach lovers from around the country. The region surrounding Mulki has some great white sand beaches which are ideal to relax and get a dose of Vitamin D. Unwind at the beaches of Sasihitlu, Surathkhal, Hosabettu and Panambur and indulge in local delicacies at the beach side shacks.
4. Walk around the town
A town that majorly survives on agriculture and fishing, Mulki boasts of a significant diversity amongst its population. Explore a myriad of cultures in this small town by taking a walking tour, meeting and interacting with locals and talking to them about their history, practices and lifestyle.
5. Offer your prayers at Mulki’s famous temples
Devotees from across the state of Karnataka head to Mulki to offer their prayers at the temples of Shree Durga Parameshwari and Shree Venkataramana. Visit these ancient temples to add a touch of positivity and peace to your trip.
Cuisine on offer
Since Mulki is not a mainstream tourist destination, there are not many eating options here. However, one can always drive down to Mangalore to get a taste of the famous Mangalorean cuisine.
The people of Mangalore love using ingredients like coconut, dried red chillies, garlic, ginger, curry leaves and tamarind in their food, which is usually on the spicier side. Like all coastal areas, fish forms an important part of meals in the region. Some of the classic dishes you should definitely try when in Mangalore are Chicken ghee roast, Mangalorean fish curry and Mangalore buns.
Here are some joints you can explore for some memorable meals: