The Many Wonders of Coastal Karnataka
Karnataka is a treasure trove of many wonders – a state that is many worlds at once. From Karwar in the north to Someshwar in the south, the coastline of this beautiful land stretches over three-hundred kilometres, with every major beach offering a unique experience. The scope of these experiences is not just limited to the scenery, but spans across aspects like culture and cuisine.
We’ve made a list of some of the most iconic beaches of Karnataka so that you can plan your next beach vacation to perfection. Read on:
Home to one of the largest Shiva statues in the world, Murudeshwar is also known for its expansive beaches; thus making it both a renowned pilgrim centre and a popular tourist destination. The eponymous temple is located close to the statue and offers a panoramic view of the Arabian sea.
The Murudeshwar fort, which was built during the time of the Vijayanagara empire and renovated during the reign of Tipu Sultan, is among the other major tourist attractions. About ten nautical miles away from the mainland is the pristine Netrani island, which is also known as the pigeon island. The island with its clear waters and coral reefs makes for a wonderful snorkelling and scuba diving destination.
Gokarna’s idyllic beaches and rustic charm make it one of the most-beloved beach holiday destinations in the country. Perhaps the most famous of its attractions is the Om beach, which is shaped like the eponymous Om symbol and offers a great vantage of the Arabian sea. Visitors can engage in watersports like surfing, jet skiing and parasailing here. Paradise beach and Kudle beach are some of the other popular tourist spots.
The Mahabaleshwar temple in Gokarna is an ancient pilgrim centre which attracts tens of thousands of devotees every year. The temple’s origin dates back thousands of years, and finds mention in epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Over the years, Gokarna has also earned a reputation as a hippie haven.
Known for its sacred temples, breathtaking beaches and delicious cuisine, Udupi is one of the most popular travel destinations in Karnataka. A short detour from the temple town takes you to the coastal town of Malpe, known for its serene beaches and laid-back charm. Here, the visitors can also engage in activities like parasailing and banana boating.
A fifteen-minute boat ride from the shores of Malpe takes you to St. Mary’s island. Also known as the Coconut Island, this group of four islands were formed by volcanic activity and is uninhabited. According to local folklore, Portuguese explorer Vasco De Gama sojourned at the island on his way to Calicut in 1498, and it was he who gave the island its name.
The town is at its resplendent best during the festival season at the Shri Krishna temple; with the streets coming alive for elaborate processions and festivities.