Kaup beach and lighthouse - things to do in Udupi

10 Amazing Places To Visit In Udupi (2 Days)

Udupi, a coastal town in Karnataka, is a fascinating destination due to the seamless blend of history, culture, traditions, and nature. Tourists who visit this place in the Southern region of India can’t get enough of the blend of Hawaiian and spiritual vibes. With diverse water activities, backwaters, unique beaches, historic temples, and museums, the city has it all. 

If you’re planning a trip to Karnataka and curating your itinerary, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. In this article, we highlight the top 10 amazing places you must visit in Udupi. Let’s get right to it.

Places To Visit In Udupi

1. Malpe Beach

Udupi Malpe beach

A trip to Udupi is incomplete without visiting Malpe Beach. Bustling with locals and tourists, Malpe Beach is crowded throughout the year. Scuba diving, flyboarding, cliff diving, slacklining, zorbing, parasailing, speed boating, and much more are available just for you. It’s almost like you’re at a water sports buffet counter. Besides these, you can also witness the floating bridge that gets its name from the architectural design. The bridge is built into the sea, and the creation is nothing less than art.

Just 2 Km from the Malpe beach is the Sea Walk Malpe, a 450 m narrow path from the beach to the sea. From here, you can see ships and boats moving in and out of the harbor.

There are plenty of accommodations and restaurants near the beach. So if you’re planning to stay here for a few days, you can find places around Malpe Beach. 

  • Floating bridge entry fee: Rs. 150 per person

2. St. Mary’s Island

St. Mary's island, Udupi - full aerial view

A stone’s throw away from Malpe Beach resides St. Mary’s Island. The small isle is known for the basaltic columnar rock formations, which you mustn’t visit on your trip to Udupi. This place alone will take up a lot of time as you can explore a lot. Sometimes you might even find yourself endlessly gazing at certain landscapes, and rightly so. So, we’ve created a separate guide for St. Mary’s Island, and you check it out to know more.

3. Kaup Beach And Lighthouse

Kaup beach and lighthouse

Standing tall at 130 feet, Kaup Lighthouse is one of its kind in India. The towering building resides on a rock and offers a view of the Arabian Sea, long stretches of sand on either side, and a lush green landscape behind the lighthouse. Above and beyond this, you can also witness the backwaters nearby. The place is open only in the evenings, making it perhaps one of the best spots to watch the sunset from.

The beach is also named Kaup and, like Malpe, offers several water sports and adventure activities. A few of those include scuba diving, parasailing, jet skiing, banana riding, bumper riding, etc. The crowd here is sparse compared to Malpe Beach, hence more serene and peaceful.

  • Entry Fee for the lighthouse: Rs. 10 for Indians, Rs. 25 for foreigners. Extra charges for still and video cameras.
  • Timings: 5 PM to 6:30 PM
  • Parking: Available

You can also visit Kodi Lighthouse, open between 4 PM and 5:30 PM, for a similar entry fee. The views differ from both the lighthouses, which we believe is incentive enough for you to visit both.

4. Backwaters Kayaking

Kayaking can be a fun and exciting way to explore the backwaters. You can relax and stay active simultaneously while enjoying the tranquility of nature. As you row through the water, you will surround yourself with green mangroves and the sound of the wildlife and get a sense of belonging. While you have to paddle through and reach the other end, you wouldn’t want to leave the place and its unique atmosphere.

In Udupi, there’s more than one place for you to kayak. In fact, there are three places, including Saligrama, Kundapura, near Kodi Beach, and Kemmannu.

5. Varanga Jain Temple

Varanga Jain temple

The Varanga Jain Temple is situated in the middle of a lake and is also known as Kere Basadi, which literally translates to “Lake Temple.” Constructed about 850 years ago, the 12th-century Jain temple is accessible only via boat. Coconut trees surround the abode of god, and you can marvel at the majestic mountain ranges forming the temple’s natural backdrop. While going in the boat, be careful as numerous fish and snakes are in the water here. 

The main deity of this temple is Parshwanatha, the 23rd Tirthankar. The unique shrine is also called Chaturmukha Basadi, as it has four entrances, housing one deity on each side. The four gods are Parshvanatha, Neminatha, Shantinatha, and Anantanatha.

  • Timings: 7 AM – 1 PM, 3:30 PM – 6 PM
  • Entry fee: Rs. 10 per person (includes the boat ride)
  • Restroom facilities: Available
  • Parking: Available

Here are a few things to note – We recommend you go as early as possible. Mobile cameras are only allowed. You are allowed to carry DSLR and professional cameras but are prohibited from taking pictures. There are no shops nearby. So, make arrangements for food, water, and other liquids.

6. St. Lawrence Shrine Basilica

St. Lawrence Shrine Basilica

St. Lawrence Shrine Basilica or Attur Basilica is a 17th-century old Roman Catholic church that welcomes people from all religions. The European-style architecture is exquisite, and you can’t take your eyes off the marvelous architecture. 

Every inch of the interior and facade carries an archaic vibe, and architects and history buffs must visit the Basilica. You can buy gift items from the church store and visit the miracle pond right behind the church.

  • Timings: 6 AM – 8 PM
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Restroom facilities: Available
  • Parking: Available

7. Kudlu Theertha Falls

Located in the Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary on the road connecting Udupi and Agumbe, Kudlu Theertha is a 300 m tall waterfall. You must hike to reach these falls, and the trail will take you through the forests, wherein towering trees form a canopy of leaves and provide shade to passersby. The terrain is a good blend of streams, steps, flat land, and steep surfaces. Overall, the adventurer in you will be satisfied.

People come here from Agumbe, Udupi, and nearby places. At the entrance, there are snacks and fresh drinks. Note that there are plenty of leeches during the monsoons, so carry salt with you and be careful while hiking.

  • Timings: 9 AM – 3 PM
  • Duration of hike: 40 mins – 1 hour to reach the waterfalls, 30 mins while returning
  • Entry fee: Rs. 50 for Indian adults, Rs. 25 for kids below 6 years, and Rs. 100 for foreigners. Extra charges for the camera.
  • Restroom: Available near the parking lot.
  • Parking: Rs. 15 for two-wheelers, Rs. 20 for autos, Rs. 50 for cars and jeeps, Rs. 100 for bus

You can also visit the Durga Falls, Parapaadi Arbi Falls, Jomlu Theertha Falls, Belkallu Theertha Falls, and Gogi Gundi Falls, which are spread in the Udupi district.

Note: At the entrance, bags are thoroughly checked for plastics which are prohibited inside the premises.

8. Mattu Beach

Mattu beach
Mattu Beach

A unique stretch of coastal beaches with sea and river on either side of the highway lies Mattu Beach, Maravanthe Beach, and Pithrody Udyavar Beach. The equidistant stones laid on the golden shores create a contrasting image, thus pleasing your eyes.  You only need a ride along this shoreline to witness the picturesque landscape. People come here from different places to click photographs, shoot videos with a drone, and more. But, the place isn’t merely for tourists but also for explorers who want to get away from city life for some time.

9. Udupi Shri Krishna Temple

Udupi Sri Krishna temple

Dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna (an avatar of Lord Vishnu), the Shri Krishna temple is one of the important pilgrimage sites for Hindus in Karnataka State. The temple is known for its intricate architecture and is believed to be over 1000 years old.

  • Entry Fees: Free
  • Timings: 4:30 AM – 10 PM, 5 PM – 9 PM
  • Parking: Available

Free food is served to devotees every day. Know the etiquette before visiting Hindu temples.

10. Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village Museum

Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village Museum is for you if you love architecture, culture, and history. It is an open-air museum and a cultural complex with 23 houses portraying the nation’s cultural wealth in all its glory. The place has preserved traditional buildings, art, and artifacts of fine craftsmanship. Information about each architecture is described near the entrance of each house.

The detailing of each wall, floor, ceiling, furniture, etc., is complex. As soon as you enter a house, you would hear a classical song or an instrument being played in the background matching the locale from where the house originally came. All these elements together transport you back to those days when people used to actually live.

  • Entry Fees: Rs. 300 for adults, Rs. 150 for students (ID proof required), and children above 10 years. Free for kids below 10 years. Extra charges for the camera.
  • Timings: 10 AM – 5 PM. The last entry is at 3 PM
  • Duration of the Tour: 2 hours
  • Parking: Available

Note: The entry passes are available online or at the counter at the Museum. The entry passes are non-refundable once issued.

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