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Monday, March 10, 2014

Solo Tour Diary: Trip 1 - Malpe & Kaup beaches, Udupi

This is a new series of blog posts that I'm going to write about my solo trips. People who know me well know that I do a lot of things alone - going to movies, concerts, attending talks / lectures, eating out etc. Going on trips alone had to happen someday and it finally did, with this trip that I'm about to describe to you all below :)

As for the "doing these things alone" part, well, I'm one of those seemingly patient folks who is still single at 27 :D....and otherwise, it's not like I don't have any friends or companions. I do, but most of them are abroad and the ones here are married or engaged or committed :P...My mom has a few knee problems, so she doesn't accompany me anywhere. So yeah, over the past 3-4 years, I've learned to, gotten used to and yes, begun to love doing things alone :)...The feeling and thrill of personal freedom has no replacement whatsoever :)

This isn't the first time, either. Before returning to India for good, I did quite a bit of my US tourism alone :)
So this was more or less like a re-awakening of the Kumbhakarna tourist in me.

Why a blog post after almost 3 months? Well, I'm about to go on another, much bigger trip soon :)
Anyway, let me get to the trip details:

< UPDATE: I just got to know that Malpe beach is in fact called vadabhandeshwara beach please be aware :) the rest of the post, wherever I mention Malpe beach, it means this one >

Date: Dec 24th-26th 2013
Locations: Malpe & Kaup
Origin: Bangalore
Mode of travel: Bus (Durgamba travels - non A/C sleeper bus, 1-way Rs.500 only, as of now. Totally worth it!)

This was a 1-day trip. I went mainly for a very dear friend's wedding, which happened in the morning and had afternoon until night to look around the place. So in 3/4th of a day, I could cover 2 beaches and 1 famous hotel.

Dec 24th - 8.45 pm departure from RR Nagar BEML complex

The bus arrived on time. It's a very nice sleeper bus. I'm 6'4" tall and yet I didn't find any lack of space. The overnight journey takes almost 11 hours. (There's one hilly stretch where the roads are JUST PATHETIC! You just won't be able to sleep for those 2-3 hours)

Anyway, by the time the bus reaches Mangalore and goes along the under-repair highway to reach Udupi bus stand, it is around 8 am the next day. Now, from 8 am to at least 1.30 pm, I couldn't go anywhere because I had to attend my friend's wedding. Anyway, this maTHa oota (this was at Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt) is JUST NOT TO BE MISSED when you come to Udupi :)

Anyway, for those who have the morning free, you can make a dash to Malpe beach and visit St.Mary's island (I missed out on this due to lack of time, but you should) - as per my info, there is ONLY ONE FERRY PER DAY at 11 am, that takes you to the island. So go ahead with this first.

Anyway, at 1.30 pm, I walked back to Udupi bus stand, the smaller one (there are 2 bus stands- the smaller one, for local areas and the bigger one - for buses plying out of the district) - there are plenty of buses plying every now and then to Malpe. I got into one and the ticket cost was Rs.10, if I'm not wrong. It takes around half an hour to get to Malpe. The bus drops you off at a small circle, from which you'll have to walk a few meters towards the beach.

You are greeted by an awesome statue of Mahatma Gandhi..

...following which you make your way to one of India's cleanest and loveliest beaches, not to mention one of the most gentle ones....

Beware of a lot of sea shells though, watch your feet.

The thatched huts on the beach give it a resort-like feel.

On the day I event, there was a huge event planned by Narendra Modi volunteers, hence the decorations in the pics :)

I spent about half an hour at this beach, before making my way back to Udupi bus stand. I got to Udupi bus stand at around 3.15 pm or so. From the bigger bus stand, I took a bus to Kaup. (Cost was around Rs.15, I guess). He drops you at either the highway OR at the Kaup local bus stand, which is a little away from the highway. From there, there are plenty of autos which take you to the beach. (Fare is around 30-40 Rupees)

I reached Kaup at around 3.45 pm. You are greeted by scenes of huge rocks and the famous lighthouse to your left, when you enter.

4 pm is when the lighthouse opens and the ticket costs Rs.10. The lighthouse is an awesome structure - a spiral staircase.

Senior citizens and those with knee problems, better to avoid this - there's A LOT of climbing too and the last stretch is VERY, VERY STEEP.

Once you enter the top, you will feel dizzy for a few seconds looking at the view - it is SCARY at first.

But then you see the view from there, it is HEAVENLY, to say the least :) You'll find yourself thanking God for those grill protective green cages though. Those are bars you will be thankful to be behind :)

I stayed over there till sunset. I began to climb down at 5.45 pm, spent the last few minutes of sunset on the ground, on the rocks and left at 6 pm.

I took an auto back to the highway and immediately caught a bus going to Udupi.

This time, I got off at Udupi Taluk Office instead of bus stand. From there, I walked a few steps backwards to the all-famous Hotel Diana.

I had an early dinner, at around 6.45 pm, but I can pat myself on the back for that, because the hotel was overcrowded by the time I was done. Many people were waiting outside. Anyway, I had a Channa Batura and a Masala Dosa - both were lovely. I then went for the NOT-TO-BE-MISSED world's best gudbud ice cream. It is awesome :)

It was 7.30 pm. I still had some time with me before I had to catch my return bus at 9 pm. So I tried giving another shot at visiting the world famous Krishna temple - but it was too crowded. So I decided to keep it for another day.

But yeah, for those who have the whole day with them, you can cover the temple in the morning, Malpe + St.Mary's Island in the afternoon and Kaup in the evening.

This time, I had a sound sleep in the bus, unlike the onward journey - I guess it's due to all the loafing around that tired me enough to sleep. The bus dropped me right back at RR Nagar at around 7.45 am. Durgamba Travels, take a bow! You've earned a fan :)

So yes, that was a 3/4th of a day trip :) very brief, but yet, it felt like stepping out from Bangalore City into heaven overnight. Malpe and Kaup are truly 2 of the world's best beaches - surely among the best I've ever seen :)


Abhiram said...

I see.. Arre, gudbud \m/

Nitin said...

Well presented blog with some terrific pictures too. Makes me want to visit there as soon as possible. Good to see one more facet of your talent :) Keep writing more.

Nitin said...

Well presented blog,with some terrific pictures too. The blog is pushing me to visit these places soon! Good to see one more facet of your talent :) Keep writing more.

Ashwin S Kumar said...

thanks :)

Anamika said...

Nice blog, Udupi has a Krishna Temple, Kudlu Falls and a coin museum where you can see a wide collection of coins.