Udupi is a charming little coastal town in the state of Karnataka that has been generously blessed by Mother Nature. This well-maintained treasure of the south is capable of satisfying any type of traveler, be it a religious follower, thrill-seeker, or nature enthusiast. Lavishly decorated with endless beaches, gushing waterfalls, swaying coconut trees, and the majestic Western Ghats, Udupi is a slice of paradise.
From traditional customs of the past, ancient temples, a rich cultural legacy, diverse wildlife, to warm people, Udupi has it all. In fact, although it was an important town of ancient India, it is currently one of the fastest developing towns of modern-day India. Manipal with its great educational institutes has played a huge part in introducing Udupi to the global culture. Want to have an unforgettable sojourn in Udupi? Check out our list of 9 things to do in Udupi to make that happen!
A jewel of the Arabian Sea and home to some of the most stunning beaches, St. Mary’s Island lies barely 4 miles away from the coast of Karnataka. It is basically a cluster of 4 islands namely the North Island, Coconut Island, South Island, and Daryabahadurgarh Island. This island holds a special place in the history of Karnataka as this is exactly from where Vasco De Gama spent his time before entering India via the Malabar coast of Kerala.
The white sands, the blue waters, the rock monoliths, the rich history associated with the place, and the abundance of wildlife make this island a captivating location to explore. The shoreline of this island is studded with some massive crystalline rocks which interestingly were formed when Madagascar Island broke away from India. Lazing around on these rocks and watching the sun dipping into the blue horizon is the best way to spend your time at St. Mary's Island.
Want to know more about visiting St. Mary’s Island? Click here to know more!
Dating back to the 11th century, the Udupi Shri Krishna Temple is considered to be one of the holiest sites by the devotees of Lord Krishna. The Krishna idol (in the form of a child) is believed to be the deity’s most magnificent idol in the country. What sets this temple apart is the fact that no one is allowed to directly view the idol. The idol can be viewed only through the Navagraha Kitiki which is a 9-holed window. The ‘Kanakana Kindi,' a tiny window through which Lord Krishna is said to have granted darshan to his devoted follower Saint Kanakadas, is another fascinating feature of this temple.
Hindu mythology believes that Kanakadas was denied entry into the temple on account of being from a lower caste. Undeterred, he offered his prayers from behind the temple through a small hole in the temple wall. Lord Krishna's statue then turned around to give him darshan which indicated that he was impressed by Kanakadas. The statue of the saint present at the Kanaka Mantapa and the Madhwa Sarowar (which is a stunning water tank) are some of the attractions of this temple. Apart from that, the Ashta Mathas situated around the temple offer the best Sanskrit in the country.
Also Read: Udupi Travel Guide
Known to be a one-of-a-kind open-air museum, Hasta Shilpa operates with the aim of preserving coastal Karnataka’s traditional houses, authentic furniture as well as artifacts. Vijaynath Shenoy, a famous antique collector and heritage conservationist, salvaged antiques from the waste dumps and started this museum at his house.
Currently, the museum is sprawled over 6 acres of land and has restored about 30 native housing structures which provide you with an intriguing peek into the past customs, traditions, and architectural styles of coastal Karnataka.
The museum is known to organize a variety of tours for tourists based on the season. One can choose to go on the Northern trail tour where you will be able to witness the houses of southern Karnataka. On the contrary, the Southern trail tour will offer you a chance to stroll by some fascinating structures like Bazaar Street and Mangalore Christian House. Lastly, the Heritage by Night tour allows you to witness the beautifully lit-up houses at night.
Also read: Top 9 Things To Do In Karnataka
If you are crazy for South Indian food, we can’t imagine how difficult it would be for you to step out of Udupi once you have tasted their dishes. The cuisine of Udupi is so famous that you’ll find an Udupi restaurant in every nook and cranny of the country. Once you have some of the mouth-watering food this town has to offer, you will realize that Udupi is not just about Idli-Vada and Sambar. The authentic Udupi food truly gives Karnataka a distinguishing identity and personality. Here are some of the food items you must not miss out on relishing when you are in Udupi.
Also Read: Best Beachside Hotels And Resorts In Udupi
You cannot expect your trip to the coastal town of Udupi to be complete without having visited Malpe Beach. Untouched by tourists, this virgin beach is a prominent fishing harbor and a port of Karnataka. Adorned with warm golden sand, turquoise waters, palm trees, and endless blue skies, this picture-perfect location can leave you mesmerized. Savor the food of Udupi and watch a spectacular sunset if you wish to unwind and rejuvenate.
If this wasn’t enough, Malpe Beach is a hub of adventure sports where you can try your hand at a variety of heart-pumping activities. You’ll be happy to know that several incredible surf shacks provide you with a chance to glide over the beautiful waves of the Arabian Sea. Suitable for both newbies and pros, these shacks are run by professionals who ensure that you have the experience of your lifetime. Apart from surfing, you could also make the most of your time here by enjoying parasailing and jet-skiing.
Also Read: Homestays In Udupi
Snuggled in the heart of the Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary resting on the River Sita, Jomlu Theertha is an eye-pleasing waterfall that gushes down from a height of 20 meters. The enchanting woods that surround the waterfall, the whistling birds, and the tranquility infused in the atmosphere boost the overall charm of this waterfall. The white frothy water descending down the rocks with great force and the bewitching woodlands are a feast for your eyes.
Jomlu Theertha is the ideal location for anyone who wants to enjoy a magical weekend getaway with their family, friends, or a significant other. The cool refreshing waterfall and the pleasant atmosphere lets you relax and rejuvenate. The best way to soak in the beauty of this waterfall is to go swimming in its crystal-clear water. However, do note that it is advisable to be cautious or even avoid swimming in the waterfalls during the monsoons to avoid harming oneself.
Also Read: 5 Of The Best Luxury Hotels In Bangalore
Whenever you travel to Udupi, you’ll certainly end up preparing a huge list of items that you would want to buy from its local markets. Owing to its world-famous cuisine, the shops of Udupi sell a variety of culinary items like oils, spices, juice extracts, etc., which are some of the main ingredients of Udupi dishes. To add to that, you will also find the traditional cooking vessels like the authentic aluminum pans that are used for Guliyapa and Aruvamane that is used to scrape coconuts here.
Don’t forget that Udupi is a treasure trove of traditional textiles and garments. You can find some of the best Kanjeevaram, Benarasi, and Dharmavaram silk sarees and some other traditional garments in the shops of Udupi. Apart from that, you can also buy some pretty wooden handicrafts like deities, incense stick stands, and altars here. Lastly, if you’re an Ayurveda enthusiast, don’t forget to buy authentic massage oils from the ayurvedic centers of Udupi.
Hidden away in the dense jungles of the Mookambika Forest Reserve, the Anejhari Butterfly camp is a charming retreat that allows you to stay in the hugs of nature. Those who complain about having spent their time stuck in traffic jams will certainly have a great time relaxing in the actual woodlands of coastal Karnataka. Don’t forget to grab on to a pair of binoculars as you will be able to spot some exotic species of birds and play with numerous butterflies while you’re here.
Not to mention, this private retreat is a treat for adventure seekers as it offers you a chance to explore the enchanting trekking trails that let you experience the beauty of the Souparnika River. Additionally, you can chill at the Byndoor Beach which is located just a few minutes away from this retreat. Camping out here and trekking to the Kodachadri Peak (which is the 5th highest peak in Karnataka) tends to be the highlight of your trip. If you’re camping out in these jungles, don’t miss out on going on a night tour of the nearby temple.
Also Read: Best Homestays In Mysore
Sandwiched between Udupi and Mangalore, Kaup Beach is most sought-after by those who want to escape from their daily lives and are looking for some offbeat location. The grand shoreline with its palm trees, blue waters, and golden sands make it one of the best places to visit in Udupi. What makes this beach stand out is the fact that it is home to one of the most beautiful houses in the country.
Built in 1901 to warn the sailors about the nearby rocky surfaces, this lighthouse offers some panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. Climbing up the spiraling staircase and finally standing at the top and feeling the cool sea breeze blow through your hair is undeniably the most pleasurable experience. All photography enthusiasts should certainly take their cameras with them and click incredibly breathtaking snaps of the sunrises and sunsets from the soaring heights of the lighthouse.
Also Read: Best Homestays In Coorg
These were our picks of the 9 things to do in Udupi to make your vacation exciting and memorable. Now that you know what all to do in Udupi, plan your trip accordingly and make sure that you make the most out of your trip in the mesmerizing town.
Which Is The Best Time To Visit Udupi?
Because the winters in Udupi are chilly and pleasant, December to February is the best time to visit Udupi.
Which Temple Is Famous In Udupi?
The Udupi Shri Krishna temple is a renowned ancient Hindu temple that is dedicated to the worship of Lord Krishna. It is one of the most famous temples in Udupi.
What Is The Popular Dish Of Udupi Cuisine?
The Udupi cuisine comprises some really flavorful dishes like the kori roti, neer dosa, masala dosa, patrode, bisi bele bath, rasam, and goli baje.
How Far Is Murudeshwar From Udupi?
Murudeshwar is 102 km away from Udupi.
Which Sweet Is Famous In Udupi?
The following sweets are the most famous in Udupi: Wheat Halwa, Mohan Laddu, Milk Peda, Kaju Barfi, Fried Modak.
How Can I Go To Udupi From Bangalore?
The cheapest way to reach Udupi from Bangalore is by bus. It will take about 6.5 hours to reach Udupi from Bangalore by bus. If you’re in a hurry, you could always take a flight from the Bangalore airport to the Mangalore Airport and then take a cab to Udupi. This entire journey will take you 2.5 hours to reach Udupi from Bangalore.
What Are Some Places To Visit In Udupi?
When you're in Udupi, these are some places you can visit: St. Mary’s Island, Udupi Shri Krishna Temple, Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village, Malpe Beach, The Jomlu Theertha Falls, Anejhari Butterfly Camp, and The Kaup Lighthouse.
What Language Is Spoken In Udupi?
Kannada, Tulu, and Konkani are the main languages spoken in Udupi.