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Karnataka’s Nandavana
  • April 2018

Udupi, 60 km north of Mangalore, Karnataka has been rightly described by Sarojini Naidu, India’s famous poetess as ‘Nandanavana’ (garden of pleasure’). It is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and literary traditions and is also one of the most sacred spots in the country. The Vaishnavite coastal town is the birth place of the 12th century saint Madhawacharya, who set up eight sanyasi matts. The famous Krishna temple situated in the heart of the town is a celebrated place of pilgrimage. The main attraction of this temple is the 'Kanakana Kindi' - a small window through which Krishna is believed to have given darshan to his ardent devotee, Kanakadasa, a saint-minstrel. The colourful Paryaya festival, where officiating priests hand over their responsibilities to other pontiff beckons thousands of devotees from all over the country every alternate year. The temple is set around a large tank, the Madhava Sarovar into which devotees believe that the Ganga flows every 10 years. Sri Anathesvara Temple dedicated to Vishnu and Chandramauleshvara Temple dedicated to Shiva are other major attractions.

Malpe located about 6 km west of Udupi is an important natural port on the Karnataka coast. Malpe Beach is a favourite holiday spot with its peaceful surroundings and natural beauty. Maravanth located 50 kms from Udupi to the north is also famous for its scenic beach.

St. Mary's Isles is a group of small islands lying a little to the north of the port of Malpe. It was on one of these islands that Vasco-da-Gama landed in 1498. He called it `EI Padron de Santa Maria', giving the islands their present name.  Scattered projections of rock rising out of the western or Arabian Sea around Malpe are one of the major attractions here. This is the only spot in India where basaltic rocks show such peculiar formations.     

Brahmavar located about 13 km north of Udupi is an ancient cultural centre. The three main temples here are 9th century Mahalinga temple, Gopinatha temple and the Janardhana shrine.

Kollur, located about 80 km from Udupi, is famous for the temple of goddess Mookambika located at the foothills of the Western Ghats. Padubidre (Padu Bidadi), a sacred place with a number of temples and shrines, is famous for the Dhakke Bali festival held once in two years.

Other important attractions are Ambalapadi, 4 km from Udupi famous for its Janardhana temple, Udyawara, 5 km from Udupi and famous for the Bhairava temple built on a large rock, Barkur, 16 kms from Udupi with the remnants of the two forts built by Alupa rulers and the Bette Vinayaka temple. Karkala, where the towering 42 ft. monolith of Gommateshwara is situated, attracts many visitors.

Five km east of Udipi is Manipal, a progressive industrial and educational centre famous for its Medical College and other institutions.

The nearest airport is Mangalore, 60 km from Udupi. The Konkan Railway connects Udupi with towns on the Konkan coast. Regular buses also ply to Udupi from major towns in Karnataka.



Tourism India,India's Travel Magazine,Kerala, India.

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