For that liquid feeling of sunlight that instantly lifts your mood in one of these charming beach towns. Who doesn’t love a road trip? Now more than ever, after two years of pandemic, there is the strong urge to satiate the much suppressed urge to take to the open road and explore the horizons. But where to go?
If you have been to Murudeshwar and fallen in love with its shores, you will know what it is to hit the beaches of coastal Karnataka; and this is only the beginning. Karnataka has 290 km of coastline dotted with scenic beaches and seaside towns offering varied cuisines.
A road trip through the various beaches dotting the coastline is invigorating to say the least. Imagine soft, sandy beaches, azure waves of the Arabian Sea, adventure filled islands, sky high temples and gigantic statues, all soaking in glorious sunsets!
It's hard to pick exactly which beaches are the most beautiful, but here is a narrowed down list that will shape up as a beautiful holiday or an exciting weekend destination. From Thalapady in the south to Karwar in the north and everywhere in between, here are some of the best beach towns in Karnataka.
Panambur Beach, the cleanest beach of the town, is the place to go for a refreshing mid-afternoon dip or a leisurely stroll. After taking advantage of the picturesque, sandy beaches, take your time crossing Mangalore by tasting some of the finest dishes of Mangalorean cuisine. Fish forms the staple diet of most people here. Lined with rows of coconut trees, this beach can’t help but inspire calm and relaxation.
55 kilometres north of Mangalore is Udupi. Besides the famous Udupi cuisine, the main attraction of Udupi is the clean Malpe beach. Non-swimmers are seen frolicking in the waves of the beach here. From Sea Walk, Malpe, a ferry goes to St Mary’s Island. Rows of columnar basaltic lava rock formations create a special landscape to this place.
A further northward drive of 39 kilometres will take you to Kundapur, a quiet little town. Trasi in Kundapur is famous for its beautiful one kilometre long beach, a beach resort and Turtle Bay. It serves as a family picnic spot. You can venture into Kodi Beach which has been selected under the sea shore cleanliness programme of the Union government. Kodi meaning 'shore' in Kannada language is a swim-friendly beach.
Drive another 550 metres north to hit the Maravanthe beach. The aerial view of this beach is beyond magical. It has a unique combination of sea and river on each side of the highway, one-of-a-kind in the world. The waters are safe for swimming with huge but gentle tides which are really not dangerous.
Drive 22 kilometres north from Maravanthe along the coastal stretch to Someshwara Beach in Byndoor. If you want a number of activities to choose from during your beach getaway, Byndoor is the place for you. The place has great opportunities for water sports, dolphin watching and fantastic safe staying options. You will find it tough to get bored here; its roster of activities can appease even the biggest adrenaline junkies.
From Byndoor, hop another 107 kilometres north to Murudeshwar. The beach here has a superb seascape charged with a sacred aura; it is sandwiched between the vast Arabian Sea and Murudeshwar Temple, which is home to the second largest statue of Lord Shiva. If you have enough time you can enjoy boat rides and the view of statues and temples basking in evening glory.
Close to Murudeshwar beach is the heart-shaped Netrani Island. Scuba enthusiasts should take note; this is counted as one of the best sites for scuba diving in India.
There is no place in north Karnataka that is quite as breathtaking as the Rabindranath Tagore Beach. A coastline dotted with spectacular geography of Karwar shot to fame, as the young poet, at 22 years old, spent some time here in 1882. Natural surroundings here had a profound effect on young Rabindranath. He dedicated a chapter of his memoirs to this town.
On Karnataka’s northernmost point, overshadowed by Rabindranath Tagore beach, is the Karwar Beach, rated among the cleanest and best beaches of India. Ibn Battuta, who passed through Karwar, called it Baithkol in his works. This beach town served as a training site for the Indian Navy during World War II.