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Showing posts with label Beaches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beaches. Show all posts

From Udupi - Coastal Drive to Gokarna

We kept on walking around on the secluded beaches, while exploring back waters of Udupi came across hanging bridges, prayed in awesome temples and over and above blended with nature at its best; this has been our journey which started from Mangalore. 

After spending 2 days in and around Udupi, we started early morning for Gokarna and with the objective to check every spot in the way and reach Gokarna by the night. Just at outskirts of Udupi we came across a beautiful church, worth stopping and spending some time. 


Arabian Sands of Udupi Beaches

After the divine temple run in the first half it was the time to let our souls soak the peaceful and unspoiled ambience of the beaches around Udupi. In Udupi you can never have too much of a beach.  

15 km. from Udupi temple is one of the most serene and pristine beach which you can find in the state of Karnataka. Kaup or Kapu is a village located between Udupi and Mangaluru. Local language spoken here is Tulu and in Tulu language Udupi is known as Odipu.

As we are about to reach the Kapu village, the coast line opens up to reveal beach lines with perfect white sand in front of us from what looked as a misty distance. This is the Kaup beach, with its tropical climate is a hot favorite spot for the locales and everyone who comes to visit the Mangalore Port City. Attractions in and around Udupi promises to keep your spirits uplifted during your visit at this place.

The main attraction at the Kaup beach is the Kaup Light House which was built in the year 1901 on a 27.12m high rock.


Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort: A serene nest

Experience the calm of South Goa at this Mediterranean-styled hotel.


Malpe Fish Market

Around 2 km. from the Malpe beach is the Malpe Fish Market. Unlike not so known beaches of Malpe, this fish market is in fact one of the most important fishing port in not only Karnataka, but in India. With hundreds of boats parked at any time during the day the visit to Malpe Fish Market is not less than like a carnival for tourists as well as explorers like us.

This fishing harbour not only caters to state of Karnataka but is also a selling point for fishes arriving from the neighbouring States of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The variety of fishes coming here is just amazing; with hundreds of thousands of local fish as well as squid, cuttlefish, shellfish and along with mackerels, sardines, prawns, crabs, lobsters, sharks, stingrays and practically whatever you want. 

There were tons and tons of fishes all around, and more were being continuously unloaded from the coming fishing boats.

Fishes are unloaded from the boats into the boxes, sprayed with fresh sea water and stored on ice for subsequent selling to interested buyers.

There are two systems to sell the fish here: one is on the basis of the number of boxes the buyer wants and the other is through an auction that takes place at the harbour itself. The fish is auctioned and sold on the spot to the highest bidder before the next lot of fish is unloaded.

Fishes were present everywhere. Being a strict non-eater of fishes, the smell of fishes was trying its level best to drive me out of this place. However, excitement of visiting the fish market for the first time in my life, kept me going. Nice surprise to see the ladies playing the prominent role in trading the fishes with buyers. At times we got a few critical looks from the women traders, probably they have judged that we are no-buyers of any type of fishes. You need to be very quick in order to buy fish for yourself as the auction finishes much before you may think of putting your bid.

Refrigerated trucks/ containers are always waiting for their turn to get loaded with the fresh fishes to supply throughout the country.

Next time whenever I will see a fish being served anywhere, probably I will recall this visit to Malpe Fish Market and the eco-system which starts from early morning to ensure non-stop supply of fresh fishes to all fish lovers.
Keep exploring Guys...


A quick trip to Chennai

Revisiting the grandeur of Pallavas is a must when in the capital of Tamil Nadu.

Nature sometimes does love to show its humorous side. So, here I was trying to escape the chill of the north. A quick getaway to Chennai looked like a sign from heaven.
Being a light traveller though did attract a worried 'your luggage is very less for two days ma’m' from the chauffeur, little did I know that his concern would actually translate into one. Who would have imagined that otherwise much-dreaded heat and humidity of this city would choose to be a no-show just when desired! 

St. Mary's Island, Malpe-Udupi

We have spent the entire first half of the day, praying in some of the amazing temples of Udupi. After having local Mangalorean style lunch, we were all geared up for the Malpe Beach and the St. Mary’s Island.

6 km. from Udupi town, Malpe is a natural port, one of the major fishing harbours in Karnataka and above all is home to peaceful beaches. Malpe Beach is one of less explored places and off late have started offering water sport and other adventure activities for visitors.

Blue green water on one side, green trees on other side and in between option of long walks along the coast. Settings and ambience make this place a perfect definition for heavenly place. Malpe Beach is one of most happening places in and around Udupi.

Apart from the settings, the biggest attraction here is the St. Mary’s Island which is approx. 6 km. from the coastline. Originally this island is known as Parashuram Dweepa. And taking a ferry is the only way of getting to this island. Sit relaxed in a ferry, bring your camera to action mode and enjoy the cool breeze of Arabian Sea.

To avoid glare from the sea water, may use a good sunglass. Along the way you will come across many ferries with excited souls on way to St. Marys Island.

Ferry operator gave us 1 hour (60 minutes) for the island sightseeing. At first glance it looked like more than enough as the island covers an area about 500 m. x 100 m. only. However very soon we were about to realize that 60 minutes will pass in a flash as one of the most amazing time of our lives. Welcome to St. Mary’s Island.

Legend says that in the year 1498, Vasco da Gama, first landed at St. Mary's Islands on his journey from Portugal, named one of these islands, O Padrão de Santa Maria, dedication to Mother Mary, before proceeding to Kozhikode in Kerala. Looks like it is from this that the islands got their current name. Did not knew that we were going to a part of time travel?

Distinct and gorgeous rock formations is the first thing to be noticed as soon as ferry is about to touch the St. Mary’s Island coast. Actually, these rock formations are all basaltic rock formations.

Scientific studies suggest that the basalt of the St. Mary's Islands was formed by sub-aerial sub-volcanic activity. At that time Madagascar was attached to India and Madagascar rifted apart around 88 million years ago.

Taking camera is allowed inside the island premises after paying prescribed Fee of INR 200, else you can deposit the camera in the designated counter and let your mobile capture the stunning natural landscapes.

Prominently covered with coconut trees, the island is also called Coconut Island. There is no habitation on the islands.

At certain places rock formations are so unique that you will forget your beach activities and will turn in to a Geologist.

Likewise, the northernmost island has a hexagonal basaltic rock formation, the only one of its type in India.

The beach here is also a heaven to the seashell collectors. Collect seashells of various shapes and sizes littered along the coast. My kid had collected so many shells that I had to carry them in my pockets and then inside one compartment of my camera case.

However, you will not be able to test your swimming skills as there is very less sand on the beach and the beach it is crafted with basaltic rocks all around. Security guards have been deployed around the beach to check any extra adventurous souls.

Also, there is a small eatery on the island. Please be informed that littering on the island is strictly prohibited and officials keep a vigil for enforcement of the rule. Regular ferry service (Rs. 300 per head) ply from Malpe Beach, however frequency depends upon number of passengers. Despite getting crowded with many people in the afternoon, the Malpe Beach is extremely neat and clean. White sandy Maple Beach is quickly getting popular with those who are seeking solace with some adventures.

Buses ply regularly from the Udupi town to Malpe Beach. If you have time and want to explore the nearby areas, we suggest to hire a taxi as there are many spots like Malpe Fish Market, Delta Beach, Kemmannu Hanging Bridge and others to be explored and enjoyed. 

Do you know:

1.    The St. Mary’s Islands are one of the four geological monuments in Karnataka state and declared as one of the 26 Geological Monuments of India declared by the Geological Survey of India in 2001. The monument is considered an important site for "Geo Tourism".

2.   Malpe is the first and only Indian beach with a 24/7 WiFi and also has a luggage counter to store your luggage.

3.     Malpe Beach is also a centre for numerous beach side concerts and festivals organised in Udupi.

Keep travelling Guys


Forts, Beaches and Alibaug in the Incredible Western Ghats

Older than the Himalaya mountains, is the Western Ghats ranges that runs parallel to the western coast of the India through the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. A drivable road from inside the lush green forests and alongside the coastline will take you on a journey to a different world.

What is Western Ghats? A world set aside in the serenity of the green mountains, where music of chirping birds and where streams of flowing water play a perfect symphony to the tired souls. Well known for their rich and unique flora and fauna, Western Ghats is one of the eight "hottest hot-spots" of biological diversity in the world and UNESCO has declared Western Ghats, a world heritage site.

As per the studies, Western Ghats are sustaining around 7402 species of flowering plants, 1814 species of non-flowering plants, 139 mammals' species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species, 6000 insect species and 290 freshwater fish species. This is not all, many may get discovered tomorrow. Over and above these, Western Ghats provides shelter to at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species.

A small welcome break from the business schedule opened a window to explore the incredible Land of Western Ghats, its biodiversity, nearby a small coastal town of Alibaug. Alibaug is much popular for its neat and clean beaches. It was the time to enjoy attractions near Alibaug.

We started early morning for our first destination, Korlai Fort which is approx. 25 Km. (75 minutes) from Alibaug. Though now in ruins, Korlai Fort is an old Portuguese structure situated on a hill top. Built in the year 1521, Korlai Fort originally meant as a watch point for the invaders and was used to be a house of 7,000 people including horses and Portugese army men. The Korlai Fort is surrounded by Arabian Sea on three sides and has a beautiful lighthouse as major attraction.


The Seychelles: Here, life’s much more than a beach

The waters and sunsets of these islands will spoil you for life.


Puducherry - Place of SÉRÉNITÉ..

Puducherry/ Pondicherry, colloquially known as PONDY is a small place in radius nearly 15 km. Pondicherry/ Puducherry is a union territory situated at 90 km from Chennai on shore of Bay of Bengal. It is one of the big attractions in south India for travellers because of it's neat and clean beaches and old French architecture colony and churches.

Submarine Museum, Vizag

One of the most visited and important landmark of Vishakhapatnam tourist circles, is the Submarine museum situated on Ramakrishna beach road.
Which once, was used to tame the mighty oceans and roam freely inside the vast seas is now open to general public. This musuem has been crafted out of INS-Kurusura, which got decommissioned in February 2001 after 31 years of service to the nation.

Till now I had read about submarines only in fiction stories and seen in movies like "20,000 leagues under the sea and League of Extraordinary Gentleman". This was the moment of cherishing the childhood dream of seeing a submarine.

Everyone thinks that life of sailor is very adventurous, however after coming here we get to realise that "Life of a sailor is not easy", visiting this museum, one can get a look into the life of the sailors/ marines who used to stay in the submarine for 90 days at a stretch.

It was the time to go inside the submarine and check, what a submarine looks like:
Instruments, controls, switches, pipelines at every point in the submarine

Staying with live torpedoes. 6 torpedoes are kept loaded at front and rear side, ALWAYS LIVE.
Taking turns for sleeping and eating:

and sharing only 2 washrooms between 72 persons:
Surrounded by cluster of pipelines
Though the submarine used to carry 36 tonnes of fresh water, however that was barely sufficient for drinking, cooking and washing face only. That means 72 sailors used to remain underwater for 90 days at a stretch without taking a bath and carrying 22 torpedoes to guard our nation.  
Despite being decommissioned, this submarine still receives the navy's "Dressing Ship" honour, which is usually only awarded to active ships, last one being at January 27th 2014.

Next time whenever you see a defence person, convey your regards for his selfless service to make sure that we can sleep peacefully. 


Puri - The Soul of India!

Are you an adventurer or a religious buff, fond of arts or festivals or simply fun-loving? Never mind whatever you like, Odisha, (formerly Orrisa) has something for everyone! Located on the eastern coast along 500km long coastline, Odisha, the ‘Soul of India’, is a combination of scenic locations, natural and historical wonders!

Some of the major attractions of Odisha are famous Jagannath Temple in Puri, 700-year-old Sun Temple at Konark, India’s biggest salt-water lake Chilka, popular white sand beach of Gopalpur-on-sea, which is ideal for sailing, surfing, swimming and sun-bathing. Bhitarkanika and Nandankanan are among 18 of its national parks, which is home to thickest mangrove forest, red silk cotton trees and rare flora and fauna species. Tourists also visit Odisha to celebrate Durga Puja, Konark Dance Festival, Kalinga Mahotsava and the most famous Rath Yatra (car-festival).

The best time to visit Odisha is in winters, which stays between October and February, when the temperature goes as low as 12 degrees. Odisha's capital Bhubaneshwar enjoys direct flights, road and railway networks from all major Indian cities. The tourists can take taxis, buses to reach its destination from Bhubaneshwar airport. You can also book hotels online ahead of your visit but confirm your hotel facilities before booking. 

Sun Temple, Konark

Don’t miss out on 700-year-old magnificent Sun Temple located at Konark that is considered as one of the best dedications to the Sun God as it features sun’s movement around chariot. Ganga Dynasty’s King Narasimhadeva built this chariot-shaped temple, holding 24 giant wheels with seven horses, in the 13th Century. The spokes of the wheels created sundial that is said to have used in time calculation during the day. The first wheel at the temple’s entrance said to have caught the first ray of the rising Sun every morning.

The granite-made temple is also said to have contained a great mass of iron and magnets on which the entire structure stood. Of the two main magnets, one was at the top, while the other in the basement and the Sun God idol was in the air in between with the help of magnetic force. The diamond on the idol used to reflect rays of the sun, that’s how the temple got its name Kon-ark – which corner/angle of the Sun. The magnet was so powerful that it used to affect ships’ magnetic compass, forcing them to bang on to its shores. The Portuguese removed these magnets to protect ships’ destruction since Konark was major port at that time, causing the collapse of this most magnificent structure, which proves India’s architectural, astronomical and electromagnetism might. In 1984, the UNESCO also declared it a World Heritage site.

The art lovers should plan a visit to Konark in December at a time when it hosts a three-day cultural extravaganza that calls performers from across the country to show various classical India dance forms like Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Odisi etc. Spiritual tourists visit Konark during Magha Saptami Fair in full moon phases of January/February when devotees take holy bath, watch sunrise over the sea and worship nine planets as a custom.

Jagannath Temple, Puri
Odisha is home to many historical monuments and temples, among them, the most popular one is the Jagannath Temple of Puri, which is believed to have been established in the 12th century to pay homage to the Lord of the Universe. Besides its historic importance, the temple is one of the four significant pilgrimage center of Char Dham Yatra for people following Hinduism in the Indian subcontinent.

Rath Yatra, Puri
Puri is also famous for Rath Yatra or annual "Festival of Chariots" that occurs between June-July every year. During this time of the year, the deities of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra are taken out of the temple on a chariot for holy view. First the three deities are brought out and taken to royal bath and then taken back to the temple for 15-day isolation for repainting and preparation for the Rath Yatra. The festival begins with the procession of deities on the chariots on the second day of the bright fortnight of June (Ashadha) from Puri temple to Gundicha Ghar and ends nine days later on its return. Foreigners and millions of devotees from all parts of the country come to Puri at this time in a belief that the participation in the festival will earn them a safe passage to heaven. The 'Rath Yatra' will begin on June 29 and 'Bahuda Jatra' (return car festival) will be on July 7 this year.

Puri Beach

Besides being a popular pilgrimage point for religious and spiritual tourists, Puri offers a unique opportunity to see sunrise and sunset from the same beach.

Indian and foreign tourists flock the Main Marine Drive Road parallel to Puri Beach during Annual Beach Festival in November. Fine sands of Puri Beach also attract internationally famed sand sculptor Sudarshan Patnaik during this time. 

The holiday-makers can spend time leisurely in swimming, sun-bathing and playing along the roars of the mighty sea. Camel rides in moon light along the coastal line is another fun-way to enjoy your holidays in Puri. Families can also have a great time at food stalls and shopping around this time.

Bedi Hanuman Temple, Puri
India is a country of rich historical heritage with many untold stories lying in its every corner. One such is of Bedi Hanuman – a temple lies on the Chakrateertha road of Puri, near Jagannath temple. The story goes like – "Once sea created huge havoc on the town of Puri, creating trouble for saints by washing away their houses. Saints had no place for meditation, so Saint Angirasa went to Lord Jagannath and requested him to find a way for them. The Lord ordered Hanuman to save the town. Hanuman, who was very fond of travelling, stood at 'Chakrateerth' and prevented waves from doing any damage to Puri. The mighty sea could not do anything in Hanuman’s presence but would create havoc when Hanuman goes out of town. Seeing this, the saint again went to Lord Jagannath for help and the lord gave a chain to Angirasa to tie Hanuman. Next morning, when Hanuman found himself tied on 'Chakrateerth', he became very angry and stood to break the chain, but when he saw Lord Ram’s name on it, he accepted the bondage and remained there forever.

Gahirmatha Beach

Whether or not you are a marine buff, you must not miss out on Gahirmatha beach during your visit to Odisha. It is not just another beach but a place famous for nesting of ‘endangered’ Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. It is Odisha’s only marine wildlife sanctuary where Olive Ridley Sea Turtles come every year in the month of November for mating and nesting across the coast. Since the coast becomes home to migrating turtles, it is considered important for turtle conservation.

To reach Puri: Cuttack railway station at 100km away is the nearest station from this place, while Bhubaneshwar airport is only 130km away. Taxis and buses can also be availed easily from any part of the state.

Contributed by Anuja Shrivastava...

If you are planning, keep time for Kolkata too. Kolkata, the cultural capital of India is only 500 km, 8-10 hours journey from Puri.

Vizag or Vishakhapatnam

Vishakhapatnam”, formerly known as “Vizag”; the name in itself is sufficient to flood the memory with the pictures of ships, lighthouses and ports. Apart from being the largest port by volumes in India, Vizag has also been blessed with picturesque beaches and numerous tourist attractions. No wonder it is one of the hot favourite tourist destinations in southern part of India.

"Kailasgiri" park is one such spot. Facing the sea, sitting atop a cliff, as the name suggests, the mere look of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati's giant statues provides a rich nutrition for a devout's soul.



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