One often flees to Goa for a beach retreat as it is a great place to unwind, but with a lot of exposure in the recent decade, Goa is slowly losing its charm. It has become a synonym for cheap booze. India has a stunning coastline and plenty of unexplored beaches. If you’re not too fond of the crowd and fancy an empty clean beach to yourself, it’s time to head to the southern village of Kundapura in Karnataka. It is around 260 kms from Goa and offers unspoiled stunning beaches. It is also way cheaper compared to Goa. Here are 10 reasons why Kundapura should be on your next beach vacation list.
1. Kodi Beach-
A pristine untouched beach that stretches to four kms with a paved road alongside, one can cycle along the way. Swimming is a favourite for visitors. A beach lover’s fantasy is walking on the beach and collecting seashells on the seashore with plenty of starfish and seashells washed across the shore. Such clean water that lets you peep into the seabed with crabs, tiny seashells and other marine creatures helplessly getting swayed by the waves.
Who doesn’t love sunsets? A calm soothing sunset by the beachside. Now imagine that with a glass of your favourite drink. Kodi Beach has a shack called Kinara that will take you back to your memories in Goa. Only that the shack is better and way cheaper than Goa. Made out of bamboo and the roof covered in hay, it gives away all the beach vibes of a tropical beach holiday. Try their masala mackerel, squid roast, chicken chilly as well as other fish starters and curry.
3. Light House-
Want to get an aerial view of the beach and do not own a helicopter! Head to the lighthouse located at the end of Kodi Beach. The steps may seem a bit tiring, but the view at the top is magnificent and worth all the trouble. Plus the rounding steps are a view in themselves. Get a panoramic view and let the wind dry away your tiredness.
At the end of Kodi Beach, the sea meets the Halady river and that is a sight to behold. It is also called as Sangam. The water here is absolutely clear and one can find several tiny fishing boats being operated by locals. They wave to tourists and travellers and are quite friendly and only speak Kannada. One can get tempted to swim at this point, however, it is not advisable to do so as the currents is very strong. A variety of sea birds such as stork, cormorant, great egret are spotted here. Kundapura is rich in peacock and peahen population and they can be easily spotted early morning near Kodi Beach.
5. Island ferry-
Kundapura has several rivulets and that leads to tiny island covered by countless coconut trees. One can get into the ferry and pass through these islands getting a glimpse of the local culture. There is also a shipyard that manufactures both small and big boats and is an interesting place for a curious soul. These islands are majorly fishing villages, so get ready to bargain with the ferry guy and get amazed at the quantity of fish being caught and sold.
6. Annegude Temple-
Located at Kumbhasi, Annegude temple is devoted to Lord Ganesha. Annegude is one of the best known Ganapati temples in South India and devotees from all over make it here. A 12 feet tall Annegude Vinayaka statue is a natural stone in the form of a very elephant itself. The temple offers free pasadam (lunch). Even if you’re an atheist, head to the temple and enjoy some simple, refreshing and light lunch made by the Brahmins. Their sweet dish, which is a made out of lapsi and jaggery is a treat.
7. Maravanthe Beach-
Around 14 kms from Kundapura is the beautiful beach of Maravanthe. Located on a busy highway with river Sauparnika running alongside and a sea on the other side. This beach is clean and rough, so swimming is not advisable. It’s best for sunsets and serene to spend a couple of hours doing nothing but just daydreaming.
Head to Parijata in Kundapura town to get some lip-smacking Mysore Pak. Unlike the dry Mumbai Mysore Park, this shop has a variety of different Mysore Pak made with clarified butter (ghee). Also if you’re a sambhar, rasam fan, make sure to pick up these curry powders. Also in the town, one can find street vendors selling spices, dried tamarind and chillies at rock bottom rates.
9. Street food-
If you’re a foodie and enjoy street food, there’s plenty of options for you in Kundapura. Famous for its buns (breakfast item), Golli Bhajji with coconut chutney, egg bhajjiyas, gobi machurian (Rs. 40 for a full plate) to Gadbad (ice cream with dry and fresh fruits). Also, try the fish thali for as cheap as Rs. 50 with unlimited serving of rice and curry. They also have their local version of cold drinks which are interesting. Also, the coconuts are pretty cheap here, one can drink a coconut every day.
10. Friendly locals-
The locals here are quite friendly and that is what makes it easy to visit Kundapura. Most of them talk Kannada and Hindi. With recent development, few of them now talk English. They greet you with a smile and sometimes wave at you.
For once, skip Goa. Explore a new place and head to Kundapura without burning a hole in your pocket.
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