Udupi, the taste of Karnataka

The name “Udupi” is believed to have come from the Sanskrit words “Udu & Pa” which means “stars” and “Lord“. But for me, Udupi is the taste of Karnataka. Form authentic idli, dosa, veg-polao, bisi bele bath, to the beaches, western ghat jungles, the temple of great significance, seafood, good coconut oil, you name it and Udupi will have it all. After Mysore and Hampi, it was time to explore Udupi.

Sea walk, Malpe Beach, Udupi

How to reach Udupi?

Udupi is well-connected with buses, trains. It is an overnight journey from Bangalore. The nearest airport is Mangalore.

Best time to visit Udupi

Udupi is a semi-tropical coastal city on the west coast of India. So, the best time to visit Udupi is winter. Udupi witnesses scorching heat and heavy rainfall during summer and monsoon.

Where to eat at Udupi?

Udupi is famous for its traditional Karnataka food and coastal dishes. Following are some places I have been in Udupi

Woodland Restuarant

Very close to Shri Krishna Temple, the Woodland Restuarant is a perfect place for family gatherings, and individuals like me looking for authentic taste. The Woodland is a veg restaurant. The ambiance was calming. The staff was polite, and their service was fast. I was thinking of having their platter but then choosing different items. Being a Bengali, I love having rice in my lunch, so I ordered veg-polao. And that was my second best decision in Udupi. The polao was so tasty and full of fragrance, it overpowered the banana-leaf-covered idli and Malabar parantha. I can still smell it while writing it down. I was so full after lunch I had to skip the filter coffee. 

Donne Biriyani

My dinner was in Donne Biriyani. It is 500 meters from the bus stand. Donne biriyani was okay, and the portion was good.

Thimmappa Fish Hotel

On my way back from Malpe beach, I stopped by Thimmappa Fish Hotel for snacks. I felt the fishes were over-fried. I personally like less fried snacks with, slightly fishy taste. The place was clean and organized.

The places I have missed

Maitra Samaj

Heard a lot about Maitra Samaj, but could not go there. My guess is it’s like Woodland only, pure veg, authentic taste, less in ambiance. 

Ganga Sagar

Famous for its seafood, Ganga Sagar was on my list in Udupi. It was slightly far from the bus stand, and I was exhausted from St. Marry’s Island.

What all I saw at Udupi?

Shri Krishna temple

I am very much interested in history, culture, and architecture. Therefore, it was one of the main attractions for me in Udupi. The temple was founded in the 13th century and holds great cultural and religious value. I couldn’t get the stories written on the temple because everything was in Kannada. There is a small temple where devotees can do parikrama. Hundred rupee tickets are available at the front gate, which gives you early access. You can only see the main idol through a small window. The story goes like a devotee could not enter the temple, so he tried to have a glimpse of God through a small window from the back. The idol changed its direction so the devotee could see him. Since Shri Krishna is facing the back and devotees can only see him through a small window.  

St Marry’s Island

The best decision I took at Udupi was to wait for the boat to St. Marry’s Island. 

St. Marry’s Island is about 45 min boat ride from Malpe beach. I reached the boating point around 1:30 pm. The boating counter informed unless there were at least 50 passengers, the boat would not leave. The next scheduled boat was at 3. It was extremely hot and humid. At one point, I almost made my mind to return. The heat was unbearable for me. Then I looked around to find about thirty people waiting. “The beach must be good”, I told myself.

It was the best beach I have ever seen. Instead of sand, it was a shell beach. The waves were sloshing, slurping, and slobbering with their salty lips, pounded into the hexagonal rocks, the shells, paused for a second and then go back, burbling. It was an unending rhythmic audible blessing, unmatched with each other. Filled with joy, I stood there for a couple of minutes, not knowing what to do, which is so not like me. I took some pictures, some videos, but soon realized they won’t be enough. So started walking, trying to experience everything through my senses. 

The island was not overcrowded. There was no plastic garbage. Kudos to the fishers community, who has maintained the island.

Some general information:

  • Boating per head ticket was 300/- on Dec 2021
  • The boats start at 3 in the afternoon. Morning boats are also available, but I did not ask for details.
  • Food, plastic water bottles are not allowed at the beach, but baggage facilities are available.
  • You have about an hour on the island. So try to go around the island. 
  • Dehydration is still a concern. So I filled myself with water before I dropped my backpack at the counter.
  • Swimming is not allowed.


Who knew about the backwaters of Kundapur? I went there to attend a friend’s wedding. Little did I know about Kundapur, the town is full of coastal beauty. Less crowded, narrow roads, cold morning, sweaty afternoon, beach, tile-roofed houses, and a lot of coconut trees, Kundapur has all you can imagine in a small coastal town in India. I spent an entire day on coconut water at Kundapur.

Maravanthe Beach

~taken by Devaraju

We all have seen the road with the ocean on one side and the river on the other. It is Maravanthe Beach. The beach is very close to Kundapur. The only problem is what we see in pictures are drone views. It’s not possible to capture the road with ocean and river in the same frame. I have witnessed a beautiful sunset here. 

“Kallur” Mahalakshmi

Kallur is also called as “Second Kolhapur” where Goddess Mahalakshmi dwells. It is about 30-40 kilometers from Kundapur. The temple has statues of both Lord Venkateshwara and Mahalakshmi. The temple is of great significance for the devotees. I could not take pictures here. But the village is really beautiful. Navaratri is the main festival here.