Udupi is one of the most popular places in Karnataka and is renowned both as a pilgrimage centre and as a tourist destination. It is also famous for its unique cuisine, which in fact, is world famous, especially for its ‘masala dosa’ which are dosas with fillings inside them. There are many small and big eateries here selling different kinds of dosas. The term ‘Udupi hotels’ referring to any place selling dosas and masala dosas might be due to the reputation of Udupi as the place of eateries. Here the 5 must-visit destinations of Udupi.
1. Sri Krishna Temple
It is one of the most famous temples in India, also referred to as the Udupi Sri Krishna Temple. In fact, it is one of the seven Mukti Sthalas or the seven temples in Karnataka. There is also a ‘Matha’ or a place for priests, at the temple. Built in the 13th century, the Sri Krishna Temple is one of the rare temples of Lord Krishna where he is worshiped as a young boy.
The temple looks like a hermitage and there is a mandap and garbhagriha or the sanctum sanctorum. The idol is decorated with precious jewels and is a sight to behold. Another unique feature of the Udupi Shri Krishna Temple is that you will not be able to see the deity through the main door but there is a meshed window behind the temple, through which you can see the Lord. The window is also a work of art with different avatars of Lord Vishnu etched intricately on it. There is a story behind the window, which is known as ‘Kanakana kindi’.
The legend goes that Kanakadasa, an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, could not gain entry to the temple due to his caste. He would look at the deity from a small window behind the temple but he could see only back of the deity. Once, he called out to the Lord with all his heart and devotion and the Lord looked back and stood facing him. From thereon, the devotees could see the deity only through this window.
The temple is open every day from early morning to 9 pm.
2. Kaup Beach
When you visit Udupi, a visit to Kaup beach is a must. You can spend a lovely time here by walking around the beach and listening to the sea birds and looking at the splendid sea. It is one of the most stunning coastal regions in India. There is a 100 ft lighthouse, built in 1901 by the British, situated on a small hill surrounded by palm trees and is a beautiful sight at the beach. Other attractions at the beach include two temples dedicated to Goddess Mariamma and the ruins of an ancient fort. There is also an estuary on the beach and water sports too are an added attraction.
3. Malpe Beach
If you wish to be a part of a beautiful painting, then Malpe beach in Udupi is where you should be. With its golden brown sand, the blue sky above, the green palm trees on its side and the serene blue waters, Malpe Beach looks as beautiful as you would see a colourful painting of the sea. It is one of most popular tourist destinations of the state and offers a serene environment for you to behold.
A visit to Malpe Beach is not only refreshing with cool wind and beautiful nature, it also gives you a time to cherish forever. What makes Malpe Beach truly divine that it is an untouched piece of nature and maintains the serenity intact. Another view is that of the Malpe River that flows nearby. You can also undertake many activities close to nature and even visit the nearby islands. The best time to visit Malpe Beach is from October to December. Since it is well connected by air, road and railways, reaching Malpe beach is not difficult.
Home to the renowned Manipal University, Manipal is a beautiful town in Udupi and also has many reputed educational institutions in the area. The credit for Manipal’s development goes to the famous educationist Dr. T M A Pai. India’s first ever private medical college, the Kasturba Medical College, was set up at Manipal in 1953. Apart from its fame as an educational hub, Manipal is also famous for its natural beauty with shores, sea, hills, rivers and more. In fact, it can also be referred to as an important tourist destination, which it is, thanks to its scenic surroundings and blissful climate.
There are many places to visit in Manipal in the form of museum, temples, heritage village, planetarium, garden, sea and so on. October to March is the best time to visit Manipal.
Pajaka is a beautiful village that is renowned as the birthplace of one of the most renowned philosophers of ancient India, Shri Madhavacharya. There is also a banyan tree believed to have been planted by the Acharya himself. Visitors can find many ancient sites that stand as archaeological evidence to the life and activities of the Acharya. The ancestral home of the Acharya is still there and visitors can visit the place any time.
There is also a Vedic School where students are imparted education in Vedic and Sanskrit literature. The Kunjaragiri Durga Temple is another place of significance. The temple is located on the top of a hill, which gives a splendid view of the surroundings.
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