The Mathura of South
Known mainly because of its long stretch of beaches and sacred pilgrimage temples, Udupi is a breathtaking coastal town of Karnataka situated between viridescent mountain ranges of the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. Richly steeped in mythology, the town is the birthplace of the prominent philosopher and Guru, Sri Madhavacharya who is well known for establishing the frenetically revered Astha Mathas and the famed Krishna Temple. Along with it, the enchanting town is blessed with 100 km long beautiful coastline dotted with tall coconut trees making it a symbol of serene beauty and cultural tradition. Amidst the vast greenery and a unique spiritual centre, Udupi has some vibrant tourist attraction in the form of Malpe Beach to St Mary’s Island and Bahadurgadh Island. Acclaimed for its colonial designed buildings and captivating temples, Udupi is hugely visited by tourist and nature lovers from all over the country. Visiting the cultural town during the months from October to March is the best option for exploring its beauty.
The breathtaking land of Udupi is famous for its Krishna Math that was established during the 13th Century by the great philosopher and Hindu Guru Sri Madhavacharya. It is believed that the famous saints like Chaitanya, Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa visited the temple to pay homage to the enchanting idol of Lord Krishna that is housed in the temple premises. Flocked with mythology, the locals believed the moon and 27 stars created a Lingam, and offered puja to Lord Shiva in this same place, giving it the name of Udupi, which in Sanskrit means Lord and Stars. The famous 1000-year-old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Yellur is a fascinating destination that supports the legends believed by the locals. The town is the home for the famous folk artwork known as Yakshagana that is famed not only in our country but also abroad. Udupi celebrates a horde of Hindu festivals but the most famous amongst them is the Saptosava – Seven Utsavas that is held in the Krishna Math and commences unto 5 days in the month of January. During the festival, the idols of Sri Krishna and Mukhyaprana are taken out and placed in chariots or decorated boats and dragged around the city. Devotees from all over the country can be seen in the town celebrating the festival.
Top things do in Udupi
How to reach
There might not be any direct flights to Udupi but it facilities rail lines and road services operated regularly from nearby cities of the state and country.
How to Reach by Flight
The Mangalore International Airport is the nearest airport for Udupi in a distance of 58 km away. The airport receives regular flights from all major cities of the country on a regular basis along with international flights.
How to Reach by Train
Udupi Railway Station is a principal junction in the state of Karnataka and serves as a major station receiving regular train services connected from all major cities of the country as well as local trains from the state.
How to Reach by Bus
Comfortable and regular Bus Services from the state transport and other private Buses from Bangaluru, Mysore etc. offer services day and night for tourist comfort and convenience.
How to Reach by Road
The National Highway 66 connects Mangalore with Udupi for a distance of 55 km whereas from Mysore it is a distance of 403 km via National Highway 275. The roads to Udupi is well maintained and flanked with beautiful sceneries to travel in enjoyment and comfort.
How to travel within
Local Buses, Auto-rickshaws and hired cabs can be found easily within the city to explore the beautiful sites. Walking to the short distances of the city attractions is also an option for travelling within the city.
The town is known all over, for its famous Udupi cuisine which is basically derived from Mangalorean region and comprises of dishes made up of beans, grains, vegetables and fruits with local spices. The traditional cuisine of Udupi is inspired by a satvik vegetarian cuisine where no amount of onion or garlic is used and was first introduced in the Krishna Math and served as Prasad for the devotees. The local cuisine contains dishes like sambar, idli, and stews prepared by coconut, pumpkins and gourds, chutneys, Bisi Bele which is a spicy preparation of rice, Rasam, Goli baje, Payasa, Kheer, Pelakai Halwa a kind of Jackfruit Halwa etc. Some of the most popular restaurants in Udupi are:
- Mitra Samaj
- Kediyoor Gazebo Restaurant
Day 1: Arrive at Mangalore airport and proceed towards Udupi which is at a distance of 54 km from the airport. Reaching their transfer to a hotel, get checked in and freshen up. Head start your sightseeing by visiting the Malpe Beach or the Kaup Beach, whichever favours you, to enjoy an evening at the beach watching the sunset and entertaining oneself with the water sports. Spend the night exploring the city and eating the lovely Udupi Cuisine.
Day 2: Finishing breakfast, start your day by visiting the Krishna Temple to view the main temple along with Chandramouleshwar and Anantheshwara Temple that resides on the same premise. Have a quick lunch in one of the restaurants nearby, and hire a cab to take you to Pajaka which is a mere 9 km from Udupi. Visit the famous attraction sites of the town like the ancient temple dedicated to Sri Madhavacharya, which is also his birthplace. By the evening come back to the hotel for an overnight stay and check out early the next day for your way back home.