Goa has long held the glory of having been known for the most happening beaches in India but coastal Karnataka also known as Canara or Tulunad has some of the prettiest and increasingly happening beaches with tourism being taken seriously. Our recent road trip was along the Edapally – Panvel highway which is currently being widened and will hopefully soon be a much more comfortable ride.
The road winds through many rivers on the last leg of their journey, some bridges which are engineering marvels and the sparkling ocean on the way. The drive in short is beautiful and we discovered for ourselves some of the most happening yet lovely beaches in India.
Malpe is a coastal town near Udupi and is known for fish. The beach at Malpe is quite popular and has a wide range of water sports such as para sailing, activities and festivals. The ferry to St Mary’s island is a trip that many tourists undertake. The beach is beautiful and one of the must do’s here is to eat fish fry which is sold in small shops close to the beach.
My recommendation is to find a Shetty Lunch Home and order fish galore and chicken ghee roast as a side dish.
Maravanthe beach is on an amazing slice of land between the Arabian Sea and Souparnika river. The beach is pristine and the NH meanders between these water bodies on both sides. The engineer who planned this road must have been a connoisseur of beauty and just for that the Arabian Sea sparkles extra blue here.
Maravanthe beach is on an amazing slice of land between the Arabian Sea and Souparnika river.
A temple, a beach and an unexpected tourist hot spot with water sports, ferries to pretty islands. Murudeshwar has a lot of activities like snorkeling that can make you stay in Murudeshwar for more time than you first intended.
Karwar has some of the best ‘unexplored’ beaches and is also home to a Navy port which lends a lot of Karwar’s character. Pretty blue beaches, ships and tawa fry fish are some things to look forward to in Karwar.
Tip: Stop at the Naval Museum park on your way to see an old battleship and missiles, you can’t miss it.
Gokarna is also known as a Hippie paradise but at its heart it is an old pilgrimage city which is very traditional. There are many interesting beaches at Gokarna which are lagoons or coves and can be reached after a trek or via boat. Other than the popular beaches like Om beach there are also unknown clear beaches which are for lack of a better word breathtaking!
Tip: Look out for wild, carefree dolphins out at sea. If dolphin watching is on your agenda, do avoid hiring boats as they chase the dolphins which I assume is traumatic for these intelligent mammals.