Udupi, a quaint city nestled on the southwest coast of India, is a fascinating mix of ethereal temples, mesmerizing beaches, and mouthwatering cuisine. This comprehensive guide will walk you through some of the best things to do and see in Udupi, making your trip a memorable sojourn.
The Spiritual Corner: Udupi Sri Krishna Matha
One of the city’s significant highlights, the Udupi Sri Krishna Matha, is a must-visit. Built in the 13th century by the philosopher-saint Madhvacharya, this temple, with its unique architecture and calming atmosphere, attracts devotees and tourists alike. The temple’s fascinating idol, Lord Krishna, can be seen through a small, intricately carved window, known as the ‘Kanakana Kindi’ or ‘Kanaka’s window’.
Nature’s Bounty: Udupi’s Beaches
Udupi is home to some of the most beautiful and serene beaches in the country.
- Malpe Beach: A natural port and fishing harbor, Malpe Beach, offers stunning views, especially at sunset. The beach also serves as the jump-off point for St. Mary’s Island, a group of small islands known for their basaltic rock formations.
- Kaup Beach: Home to a lighthouse that offers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea, Kaup Beach is perfect for those seeking tranquility away from the crowd.
Historical Explorations: Museums and Heritage Buildings
- Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village: This open-air museum hosts a collection of restored traditional Indian houses, providing insights into the country’s architectural heritage.
- Corporation Bank Heritage Museum: Also known as the Coin Museum, it houses a rare collection of coins from different historical periods.
Experiencing the Local Flavors: Udupi Cuisine
Udupi’s culinary scene is defined by its unique, vegetarian cuisine, known for its generous use of locally sourced ingredients like coconut, rice, and lentils. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor delicacies such as ‘Masala Dosa’, ‘Bisi Bele Bath’, and ‘Rasam’. Mitra Samaj and Woodlands are among the popular eateries in the city.
Wildlife Encounters: Exploring the Jungle
The city’s proximity to the Western Ghats allows visitors to embark on wildlife adventures.
- Kudremukh National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this national park is known for its scenic beauty and biodiversity. It offers opportunities for trekking, bird-watching, and wildlife spotting.
- Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary: Home to several endangered species, this sanctuary provides an exhilarating exploration of nature and wildlife.
Offbeat Attractions: Beyond the Usual
- Delta Beach: Where river meets the sea, the backwater area offers scenic boat rides and is a haven for bird watchers.
- Manipal End Point: A cliff overlooking the Swarna river, it offers stunning views, especially at sunset.
Shopping in Udupi: Souvenirs and Local Crafts
Udupi’s markets offer a variety of shopping options. From exquisite temple jewelry to silk sarees, from carved wooden furniture to unique pottery items, you’ll find a host of souvenirs to take back home. The Ratha Beedi area is one of the main shopping districts.
Tips for Traveling in Udupi
- Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to visit Udupi is during the winter months from October to February when the weather is pleasant.
- Getting Around: Local buses, auto-rickshaws, and taxis are common modes of transport. For short distances, walking or cycling is a great way to explore the city.
- Respect Local Customs: As a place of religious significance, ensure to dress modestly while visiting temples and observe local customs.
Immersed in a spiritual aura, endowed with nature’s splendor, and enriched by a rich culinary tradition, Udupi offers a memorable travel experience. Whether it’s the devotion echoing from the Krishna Matha, the golden beaches washed by azure waters, or the spicy aromas wafting from local eateries, Udupi captures the heart of every visitor. This travel guide serves as a comprehensive companion as you unveil the coastal charm of Udupi. Enjoy your journey in this captivating part of India!