This is a word I have to keep up….
I had promised to do a detail blog on Malpe when I touched upon this jewel of a beach during my road trip episode. Well; here it comes….
Beautiful Malpe beach
Some of you will think….What’s so different ? A beach is a beach whether it’s in Goa, Kerala, TN, Maharashtra or even Pondicherry. Well it’s not like that…each of these beaches has it’s own flavour and ambience. Each of these beaches has its own colour of sand, the coarseness of the sand grains, the rockiness of the coast, the width of the beach, the drop of the sand ridge into the ocean and various parameters that make each one unique. Each of these beaches has its own unique water sports, food and local ambience too! I will be touching on most of these beaches in my forthcoming episodes and that should clear the air.
Located just 6 kms from the temple town of Udupi in Karnataka, Malpe beach is an awesome destination. Very few know about the wonderful beach that this temple town is home to.
Mangalore at a distance of 60 kms is the nearest airport and Udupi the nearest railway station. It is located very conveniently at a short drive from the Mangalore Mumbai highway.
Not as well marketed as the beaches of Goa, helps in maintaining its serenity and peace. I have visited this beach many times and I can tell you, its gaining popularity but simultaneously losing its peace. So those of you who love peace on the beach, you are running out of time!.. Head there before it gets to that stage of “just another beach”. Those of you who like crowded beaches can take it easy….the more you wait, the more crowded it will get…the popularity of this beach is growing!!!!!
A little history and geography…
Malpe is one of the exquisite unexplored beaches of the Indian West Coast. Located at the mouth of the Udayavar River, the rocky coastline has 4 islands, the most famous being St. Mary’s Island.
For centuries, Malpe has been an important trading port with the West. It is also believed that Vasco da Gama had made a short halt during his voyages at St Mary’s Island and it was he who gave the island its name. Malpe is also an important fishing harbour due to the diverse marine life here due to the mixing of the fresh river water and the sea.
Safety is what adds to the tourist attraction of a place. Being a very uniform and gentle sloping sand beach with no sudden depth , makes it one of the safest beaches in the region. As mentioned earlier, the popularity of this beach has grown and lot of tourists and locals reach this beach in search of a great beach holiday. The authorities have risen to the occasion and a lifeguard station functions here. Apart from that coloured flags indicating the level of danger are put up on the beach front regularly. Beach patrolling by the guards who monitor the swimmers also occurs.
Life guard station Malpe
Red flags on a risky day
Accommodation of various categories ranging from luxury hotels to backpackers and homestays are available close to the beach itself which makes it very convenient.
Paradise Isle Resort where we usually stay
Some other hotels overlooking the beach
A variety of watersport activities take place here in the evenings. Indulging in them or even just standing by and watching them can be a very relaxing experience. Some pictures from my visit to Malpe…
Boards displaying various activities at Malpe
Some of the activities at Malpe beach
A seawalk is one of the latest additions at Malpe that helps one enjoy the sunsets from an extended walkway into the sea.
Sea Walk Malpe
St Mary’s Island
Another activity that one can indulge in, is a visit to St Mary’s Island. This island can be spotted in the horizon from Malpe. A short boat ride takes one to this palm fringed island.
The boat ride to St Mary’s Island
Approaching St Mary’s Island
St Mary’s Island
Rare basalt volcanic rocks are found here and it has been added as a National geological monument.
The Basalt Rocks
The word Udupi is almost synonymous with typical South Indian breakfast fare of Idly,(a steamed rice cake) Dosa, ( savoury pancake made of rice),Sambar,( a gravy that accompanies the idly) and Vada (deep fried lentil fritters) . When we talk loosely of a Udupi Hotel, it refers to such vegetarian fare. But contrary to that, local food includes lot of nonvegetarian items too.
Malpe offers great non vegetarian cuisine especially fish. Tulunadu…that’s what this region is known locally , is known for its variety non veg fare. (“Tulu” is the local dialect of Kannada and “nadu” is country) Kori Rotti, ( chicken and wheat bread) Fish Curry, Prawn roast, Neer Dosai etc are part of typical tulunadu food.
A typical restaurant signboard
Just reaching the kitchen!!
A sombre ritual
I was witness to a religious ceremony one morning on the beach. A family was performing the obsequies of a relative.
It is customary for Hindu families to perform certain rituals after the death of their family members. It is performed close to waterbodies and Malpe is no exception….
As you have seen, Malpe beach is a hub of activities that can keep anyone entertained. However, if you prefer a quieter place with the ambience of a lagoon, head to the mouth of the Suvarna river a few kms from the main beach. Here there are resorts on the banks of the estuary which have a quiet ambience.
Some pictures from one such place.
The beautiful views from the resort
With Malpe offering so many avenues of entertainment, it sure is finding its way into everyone’s bucket list. Apart from Malpe, one can visit other lesser known beaches along the Karnataka coast from here.
Kaup is one such beach destination where there is a famous light house. It is also a famous surfing destination.
Maravanthe is also another beautiful beach close to Udupi on the highway.
So as you can see , there are lot of beach holiday options along the Karnataka coast. Easy to approach and pocket friendly, all of you should definitely try out some of these.
Before I bid goodbye , let me leave you with a sunset view from Malpe..
A cloudy sunset at Malpe…
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