The Western coast of India unexplored, we plan our summer trip to Udupi this year. Our bookings are done with Paradise Isle Beach Resort in Malpe beach. Located just in the beach with rooms having the beach view its a good option to chill. The restaurant is also good. What attracts - the Udupi food, seafood, the pristine beaches, temples, strong filter coffee, lots of ice cream and what more! Mangalore as a base we planned our visits to Udupi, Murudeshwara, Gokarna, St Mary's island and more. New to the state we find it rich in culture, religious practises and ofcourse lots of temples.
Our first stop was the temple of the local Goddess Mangala devi, from where the city got the name. The temple dating back to the 10th century is famous for its festivities and fairs. The Manjunatha temple in Kadri was our next visit, this temple dates dack to the 11th century. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Nath tradition, where Lord Shiv adorns a mustache and is worshipped as Manjunatha. There is a natural spring at an elevated location at the back of the temple. It is called Gomukha. The water from this spring is let into 9 ponds of different sizes adjacent to it. 11 kms away is the Panambur beach which has the port of Mangalore. A beach of much activity like jetski, boating, horse and camel rides, ATVs, etc, there are also some 20 cottages along the beach for stay, we just sat down on the sands to have a view of the sunset in the distant horizon.
Next day we visited the temple town of Udupi, the history is steeped with references to Madhavacharya the 13th century philosopher who founded the Dvaita school of Indian philosophy. The Car street road has everything you can look out for - flowers, cold drinks, puja essentials, and more. More temples to be seen around are the Chandramouleshwara and Anantheswara temple, all temple has its own story and the Sri Krishna temple has Lord Krishna facing west, complimented by a story that when Kanaka Dasa who was denied entry by the upper class priests stood singing songs of his praise, pleased the Lord turned himself and the wall cracked so that his devotee could see him. Even today the idol is seen from a small window, you have to bend and take darshan through the small window. The idol is small but has a vajra kavach with diamonds.
Tip : In Udupi try out these following places:-
Banjara restairant in Hotel sharon on NH17 in kundapur for kundapur chicken curry
Shetty lunch home for their famous Shettys chicken ghee roast.
Woodlands try their masala dosa and banana bun.
Diana for icecreams and cutlets
The temple has free lunch in the large dining hall, we too joined the long queue of people for having the sumptuous meal of rice, sambar and buttermilk. Having visited a few temples too nearby, we are back at Malpe beach around 8 kms away. We took the ferry of 6 kms across to St Mary's island one of the four small inhabited islands which are geologically significant. The huge columns of basaltic lava are scattered across the island which is a very beautiful sight. Vasco da Gama had stopped here on his way from Portugal to Calicut and gave the name to the islands. A walk around the islands was refreshing with shells and crabs around, we were got back by the speed boat, in Malpe we started searching the beach side food. Tea and crispy fried cauliflower manchurian was a good pick, further we also drive to the Kaup beach which is around 20 kms away is another quaint and neat one. The light house as old as 1901 is worth seeing.
The next day we plan to visit the Kollur Mookambika temple, which is around 80 kms away. Enroute we visit Anegude Sri Vinayaka temple, Ane means elephant and gude means hill hence the abode of the elephant god, Sri Vinayaka. Tulabharam, a custom of offering to God valuables in weight equivalent of a person is frequently done in this Temple by devotees. The majestic figure of Vinayaka resplendent in silver Armour, in standing posture is seen here.
Mookambika is nearly 130 kms away from Mangalore and stands on the banks of the Souparnika river. It is the only temple that is dedicated to goddess Parvathi and believed to be created by Parashurama. Navarathri is celebrated here in great pomp. We spent the morning here, had lunch in the the dining hall and returned back. The next day we take the Rajdhani to Delhi.