Karnataka, located in South India is famous for its Temples and Historical Buildings. What is amazing though, is the number of unexplored attractions Coastal Karnataka has! Surprisingly a lot of travellers do not even scratch the surface of what Karnataka has to offer, by only visiting Hampi or Gokarna. In this article, I am listing a few secret spots you can explore, the next time you take a detour to Coastal Karnataka.
We started our Coastal Karnataka sojourn by landing in Mangalore city, from where we took a local bus to explore the below beaches. The most beautiful aspect of our trip was waking up to virgin beaches, with no other tourists. It was just us and the calm blue sea. Well, to be honest, the beaches of Karnataka are not like the ones you see in Goa but they have a unique charm of their own.
This part of Karnataka is dotted with colourful villages, yummy food, friendly faces, Palm-fringed coastal roads, backwaters & beaches! Read on to find out more:
Maravanthe beach, located around 55km from Udupi is considered as one of Karnataka’s most beautiful beaches by Outlook Travel. NH-66 (erstwhile NH-17) runs next to the beach and the Suparnika River flows on the other side of the road, creating a spectacular scenery that is considered the only one of its kind in India.
Trasi beach, located very close to Maravanthe Beach is a comparatively quieter beach flanked with swaying coconut trees on one side and a beautiful beach on the other. A small fishermen community live next to the beach, so one can spend early morning on the beach watching these fishermen get ready to go fishing or back from fishing with their catch. Later in the morning, you can head into the little village and interact with the friendly fisherwoman, who help the men in sorting out the fish before selling.
If you are interested in Snorkelling, head to Murudeshwar from where you can hire a boat and reach this very spot on Pigeon Island! It is BREATHTAKING and filled with so many colourful fishes, a must visit if you are in Coastal Karnataka.
The serene Kaup beach located between Udupi and Mangalore is a short detour from NH-17. A popular beach along the coast of Karnataka, Kaup is known for its picturesque backdrop and a lighthouse which offers panoramic vistas of the gorgeous surroundings. It’s absolutely delightful to watch the sunset from this lovely beach.
St Mary’s Island
St. Mary’s Island, located 4 miles off the coast of Karnataka is a geological treasure having some of the most beautiful beaches in Karnataka. It has lovely white sandy beaches, rock monoliths and great wildlife making it a mesmerizing place to be in. Since the island is off the popular tourist trail providing you with a peaceful place to be.
Paramboor Beach Pic: Nisreen Akolawala
Paramboor beach, located near Mangalore has such a vibrant, happy vibe that you wouldn’t want to leave it. It has Food stalls selling freshly made snacks and a lovely golden sandy beach. What’s more, you also get to spot Camels on the beach!
Why Coastal Karnataka?
If you are longing for virgin beaches, surrounded by sleepy villages then Coastal Karnataka is where you should head. The best part of Coastal Karnataka is that it is not very much touristy. Many a time, while exploring the many towns and villages of Karnataka, I felt as though I am discovering something absolutely virgin. Some of the places we discovered, it was just us, the beautiful virgin beach, swaying coconut trees and fishermen doing their morning routines. It is this kind of excitement to uncover unexplored places, that made me fall in love with Karnataka.
Mangalore, Karnataka’s main port city, is the unassuming gateways to the area’s virgin beaches and palm-fringed backwaters. There are very few traditional hotels/ resorts like the ones you’d find in Goa/Kerala, owing to the non-commercial nature of the place. But if you have the patience to keep looking, you can find some beautiful self-catering gems in the form of beachside homestays and a couple of sea facing hotels.
It was interesting to know that the local communities here depend largely on fishing for their livelihood, with tourism infrastructure is still in its infancy. Yet, it was heart touching to see the happy hospitality shown by the villagers. They will go out of their way to invite you home for tea or lunch, without even battling an eyelid. Now that is real hospitality!
Which one of these offbeat places to visit in Karnataka are you most excited to visit? Let us know in the comments below.