Coastal Karnataka: Beachcation with Aishwarya
Updated: Feb 8, 2022
Skip Goa, Pondicherry - Coastal Karnataka has the best beaches!
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A little about me
"Bengaluru" – A vibrant cosmopolitan city! Being the Silicon Valley of the country, just like any other aspiring engineer, it was my dream to start my professional journey from this city.
Yes! You got me right I am an "Engineer" who works in "Bengaluru". Apart from my IT job that pays my bill (the only thing I love about my job) and momos that satisfy my soul, one thing I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the most is TRAVEL - Probably the best escape from the regular 9-5 routine.
Thankfully IT jobs come with the privilege of weekend holidays. Hence, I could successfully maintain my alternate career as a Travel influencer even after 5 years of IT. When you are in Bengaluru you have a lot of options for weekend getaways. But being a sucker for sunsets, I always crave beaches.
When it comes to the best beaches, we majorly have two options Pondicherry or Coastal Karnataka.
It's not a difficult choice to make if you prefer lowkey or non-commercialized places - it IS Coastal Karnataka!
Coastal Karnataka is beyond beautiful and is a perfect long weekend getaway from Bengaluru. Read on for all the details!
Start your Journey from Bengaluru to Mangalore preferably early morning, around 5 AM, if you are planning a road trip. The total distance is 350KM and it would take approximately 8 to 9 hours.
The most scenic route for this trip is Bengaluru – Nelamangala - Hassan – Shakleshpura – Mangalore. The ideal breakfast and washroom pitstop on this route are Hassan and Shakleshpur.
In Hassan, you'll find popular restaurants like A2B, CCD and in Shakleshpur you have the Ossoor restaurant which is pretty good. After this point, you'll not find any good restaurant or washroom in Shiradi ghat.
It's advisable to travel on this route during the day since heavy loaded vehicle movement is less during the day than at night. However, this route is safe for all travellers. One will enjoy the picturesque landscapes of western ghats.
After you reach Mangalore check in to your hotel/homestay and plan your lunch at one of the most authentic and best seafood restaurants in the city- "Machali" / "Giri Manja". Do not miss their fish curry thali! If you are a vegetarian, then Sagar Ratna restaurant should be your option.
After some wholesome lunch and a quick afternoon nap, you can head towards Sasihitlu beach in the evening. The beach is surrounded by the backwaters and is known for the best sunset views in Mangalore.
If you love adventure, then start your day with an early morning surfing session with Mangalore Surf Club at Tannir Bavi Beach. The session will give you basic insights into surfing and would cost 1000 INR for 2 hours class.
Post that, try Mangalore buns and some Sajjige Roti for breakfast at Taj Mahal restaurant and head towards Udupi, which is around 45KM from Mangalore.
Your first location in Udupi should be Kemmannu Hanging Bridge, it's a hidden tourist spot close to delta beach. Next, you can head towards Canara beach restaurant for a tasty lunch with a fantastic view. They have limited items on the menu and the food is average but the views of Kodi Bengare beach makes up for it. Around evening you can head towards Malpe beach for water sports & fun activities like Parasailing, Camel ride, ATV motorcycle ride. The prices of these activities vary, operators usually charge 2000 to 2500 for 4-5 activities. You can even take a boat ride to St Mary's island from here for 400INR or head towards Malpe sea walk for some backwaters views.
You can start your day with some Mangrove Kayaking at Blue Flag beach Padubidri. It would cost you only 100 rupees for this Kayaking session. Blue flag beach itself is one of the best attractions of Coastal Karnataka. The beach is well maintained and has a lot of facilities like a play area, gym, bathing zone etc.
After that, you can drive towards Marvanthe beach. The beach is a coastal paradise and is one of its kind as to its a uniquely positioned beach with Arabian sea on one side and Souparnika river on the other side of the NH66 highway. This beach is a favourite pitstop for every traveller who travels to coastal Karnataka via NH66.
Your Trip to coastal Karnataka is incomplete without lunch at Shetty's lunch home in Kundapura. Do try their Ghee roast, Chicken Sukka and Neer Dosa these are authentic Coastal delicacies.
Move towards Sulthan Batteri in Mangalore. It's a watchtower built by Tippu Sulthan on the banks of river Guru Pura. From the top of the watchtower, you'll get some breathtaking taking views of the backwaters. Do not miss the ferry ride to the famous Tannir Bavi beach from Sulthan Battery and watch the magical sunset of "Namma Kudla".
Undoubtedly your next stop should be "PABBAS" ice cream. Trust me even if you are not an ice cream lover you cannot miss this place in Mangalore. You will fall in love with their Tiramisu, Special Gudbud, Parfait the list can go on. Everything on their menu is super tasty and it's a must-visit place in Mangalore.
Best Time to Visit:
Coastal Karnataka is surrounded by the Arabian sea on one side and the lush green western ghats on the other side. The ideal time to visit would be mid-October to February. The weather will be pleasant with minimum humidity levels. From June to September, you'll encounter heavy rains falls and access to most beaches will be limited due to high tides. However western Ghats will look absolutely beautiful in the rainy season. It's not recommended to plan your trip in March-May. The weather will be extremely hot with temperatures up to 37C. However, you'll find beachside properties at a lesser price during this season.
For Stay, if you have no budget constraint then you can go ahead with Ocean Pearl, Goldfinch or Sai Palace in Mangalore. They are top-rated Hotels in Mangalore located at prime locations. You'll easily find public transport from these locations.
In Udupi, you can stay at Ocean Pearl or White Lotus. But if you have budget constraints then you look up Kutir 2- Beach Cottage near Mangalore Udupi Highway in Airbnb app. We stayed here during our trip. The property was great with basic facilities. The host was welcoming and helpful. Padubidre beach is just 5 mins walk away from this property. This property would cost you 1000 INR for 2 adults. Apart from this, you will find many homestays and Airbnb's in this location at a lesser price. Also, there are few economical hostels/ tent stays close to Malpe beach. One of them is Zone51 it would cost you 2200 INR for a room stay and a 1600 INR tent stay. The price is inclusive of 3 meals, Kayak, and a bodyboarding session.
No of Days
Total Trip would cost Rs. 12700 for 2 Adults and it would cost around 6350 per person.
Note: The cost of fuel is for a self-owned Bike it would vary based on Mode of Transportation and number of people.
Other Modes of Transport
· Flight from Bengaluru: 5000INR (Round Trip)
· Train: 700 INR for sleeper / 2900 for Vista Dome (Round Trip)
· Bus: 1500 INR (Round Trip)
Tips for Women
Whenever you plan a trip to any city, the first rule is to do your research! Know about the place, culture read a review about hostels & stay. Born & brought up in Karnataka I felt it's one of the safest states in India. So, when it comes to Coastal Karnataka safety shouldn't be the concern.
Though you'll find a lot of beaches like GOA here remember it's not GOA. The place is more laidback, locals are very simple and a little conservative for the matter. So, avoid wearing very short clothes when you roam around beaches and Bikinis are a big NO!! It doesn't mean that you need to wear a salwar/saree. You can always dress up as per your choice but take care of local sentiments. For e.g.: A knee-length dress or long shorts would do the job.
Next, it's very important to take care of your body, skin & hair against the Humid climate of Coastal Karnataka. My skin and hair become extremely oily when I visit Mangalore and its surroundings though I have dry skin. So, use the right moisture and sun scream that best suits your skin. Wash your hair thoroughly using good hair products after you visit beaches. At times you may feel extremely dehydrated due to harsh heat. Hence always carry your water bottles and drink lots of liquid or tender coconut water whenever possible.
If you plan to roam around in public transport, then Auto rikshaw or buses are available. Uber/Ola are not actively operational in these cities. Use GPS applications like Maps to navigate around the city. Also, share your live location with your friends or family when you use public transport. KSRTC buses run between cities like Udupi-Mangalore these are the best and safest option for budget travellers.
If you want to go clubbing, then there are very limited options in these cities. You'll find a few happening clubs in Mangalore and Manipal. But all these places shut down by 11:00 PM. Also, finding public transport after 11 would be a task. In fact, the entire city goes to sleep early. So, you'll not find a lot of vehicle movement after 10:00 PM. So, if you don't have private vehicles then avoid clubbing here.
Nevertheless, Mangalore, Udupi and Kundapura is beautiful and significant part of Coastal Karnataka. Trip to these places is full of rich memories and new experiences. So, if you are in Bengaluru don't miss visiting Coastal Karnataka.
Clothing & Packing
Here's a packing list with links to some products I recommend: