Mythological Background

According to the 'Rajathapitapura Mahatme' which is considered to be a part of Skandapurana, this part of the west coast was under the administrative control of a certain mythological king named Ramabhoja. He belonged basically to the Tuluva dynasty. Scholars have identified this mythological Rajathapitapura with modern Udupi. Local people offer their respectful worship to king Ramabhoja, in recognition of several endowments made by him in the locality. Therefore, this coastal area is mythologically named as 'Tuluva Desa' or 'Tuluva-Nadu'. King Ramabhoja being a mythical person; no historical evidences are forthcoming about him. Prof. B.A. Saletore thinks that, the area came to be known as Tulunadu because of the Tulu Language. But, this argument lacks sufficient historical support. According to the traditional belief, the mythical book called 'grama-paddati' (literally the village system), which is being followed by the Tulu Brahmins, the Tuluva Nadu and Haiga Nadu, are stated to have been created by Parasurama. As stated in the Brahmandapurana, the coastal area of the earth became visible, when Parasurama, while standing on the Western Ghats, hurled the axe pursuing his eyesight towards the ocean. He is stated to have built a temple in memory of his mother, on the top of the Kunjaragiri near Udupi. According to Brahmandapurana, Parasurama belonged to the lineage of Sage Bhrugu of Tretayuga. He is also reckoned as the Sixth incaronation (avatar) of Vishnu by the Hindus. Sage Jamadagni his father, and Renukadevi his mother, had sent Parasurama to study the Vedic sciences in the hermitage of his great-grand-father Sage Bhrugu. After the completion of his studies, under the directions of his great-grandfather he had undertaken a pilgrimage to the Himalayas to gain the favour of God Shiva. But, before reaching the Himalayas, he had destroyed the Haihayas, then went to Mahendra Hills and had undertaken penance (tapas).


Udupi district, which stands as a symbol for temple and cultural tradition, is a small district comprising three taluks. On the west it is bounded by the roaring sea and to its east reclines the dense green Sahyadri mountain ranges. The district is blessed with a fairly 100 km long beautiful coastline. Malpe forms the only big natural port which, of late, is developing into a large fishing port. It has the distinction of being the biggest port that supplies the sea products to the State as well as other States of the Country. Dotted with tall coconut trees, the St. Mary's Island (locally known as Thonse Par) and the neighbouring island Bahadurgadh are the tourist attractions located about 10 km from Malpe beach. Kapu which is 11 km from Udupi is yet another attraction with gorgeous beach and a light house built during the British period. Maravanthe, is another tourist spot, where the national highway passes quietly. The river Sauparnika flows glutted with water towards the right, while, the sea roaring on the left looks as though kissing the beach. The turtle rearing centre on the beach of Maravanthe attracts the tourists, nature lovers and those who are interested in exploring biodiversity. The bird sanctuary located in the Sitanadi between Hebri and Someshwara is an enticing place for bird lovers. Jomlu Theertha, a nearby rocky place has always lured the people who have fascination for trekking. If one climbs Agumbe ghats, after crossing Hebri-Someshwara, the sunset scene offers an awesome experience. It is no exaggeration that Udupi district is the home for Yakshagana - a folk art famed both in the Country and abroad. Kakanda Srinivasa Udupa and Shridhara Hande are credited for leading Saligrama children's Yakshagana troupe to the foreign countries, for the first time from Udupi and it is considered as the pride of the district.
Udupi district, which is amidst the vast greenery is often the place preferred by nature lovers. It is equally true that this district is a unique spiritual centre for devotees and optimists alike. Udupi district acclaimed for its captivating temples, holy places is also lauded by tourists and nature lovers for its bountiful places for rejoicing. The district abounds in Temples, Churches, Masjids, Jain monuments, the charming beaches, historical places, cultural and educational centres, along with diversified human lives, protected forests and water falls.


Mythology has it, that, when Parashurama (parashu for axe) threw the axe, the sea got retreated and the land exposed stretching in north-south direction. This was identified as Parashurama Kshetra. It has a scientific version too. During Megalithic period (Iron Age), perhaps man used axe to cut down the forest for his settlement and Parashurama may symbolize this cultural transposition, according to Dr. K.V. Ramesh.
The word 'Tuluva' refers to either people who speak this language or to the region. There is no single opinion as to how the word Tulu has been derived. Legend has it, that, Ramabhoja, an early ruler of this region was known for his gifts like tuludhana, tulapurusha etc. and his dynasty was called Tholar and the region under his control as Tulu. But this version is refuted by scholars like B.A. Salethore as untenable. He argues that the word 'Tuluve' has its roots in Tulu which means mild and meek; which evidently denotes the peaceful demeanour of the people. Yet in another instance, Salethore opines that, the word 'Tuluva' is derived from the Kannada word which literally means 'to attack'. It could well reflect the intrepidity of the Tuluvas in the ancient times and hence the name. A totally different version is provided by another scholar Dr. K.V.Ramesh who points out that in the Tulu language, as spoken today, when this word qualified certain fruits, it signifies the softness of the fruits. He opines that in the ancient days also, the region must have been famous for its variety of soft fruits and might have, therefore, came to be called as Tulunadu.
Legend has it, that, Chandra (the moon) who was cursed by Daksha Brahma, in order to get rid of this curse, he did penance in this part and could succeed since Lord Shiva was benevolent to him. The word Udupa refers to the lord of stars in Sanskrit language. Since Chandra (Udupa) the lord of stars did penance in this part, the place was called 'Udupi' and is entrenched in the local legend. Udupi also means Cobra, the serpent. It is no wonder that Udupi is known for snake worshipping and the name 'Udupi' could have roots in this legend as opined by Sri Gururaja Bhat.

Area & Population

Udupi district, according to the Census of 2001, has a geographical area of 3,880 Of the total population of 11.12 lakhs, there are 5.33 lakhs males and 5.90 lakhs females. It is interesting to note that there are more females than the males in the district. Udupi has the highest population compared to other taluks of the district ( 5.29 lakhs). Karkala has the least population among the taluks (2.05 lakhs); Kundapur taluk has a population of 3.77 lakhs.The district represents 2.10 per cent of the total population of the State. The density of the population (population for every of the district is 311, which is more than that of the State (276). If we consider the population density taluk wise, Udupi taluk has the highest density (572/ while Karkala represent the least (188/ density. Kundapur has 242 people for every According to the census of 2001, the male and female ratio is 1130:1000 and in the State the figure is 964:1000. There is an increase of population of 6.88 per cent in the district between the period 1991 and 2001.

Gandhiji in Udupi (25-02-1934)

In Udupi Gandhi was escorted by Haji Abdulla Saheb who was the leading personality of Udupi. Gandhi inaugurated a Khadi Bhandar in Udupi and participated in the public meeting organized at the Ajjarakadu Maidan. The people of Udupi presented him a purse of Rs. 1240. In his speech he called upon the citizens to create such a public opinion through the gentlest means that the temple might be opened to the Harijans. He felt that no temple was worth opening, unless the temple goers desired it by a vast majority. Translation of his public speech as reported in The Hindu, dated 28-2-1934, is reproduced here in verbatim:
"Friends, "Udipi has been on my brain for many-many days. Of course the fame of Udipi has really preceded you, for so many people have explained to me the beauty of Udipi.And then there is your famous temple, where God himself turned away from the Brahmins, because they would not allow Harijans to approach Him. And then I was promised all sorts of things if I came to Udipi, including, of course, jewellery and rich ornaments from ladies. Well, now you have begun redeeming the promise by giving me a purse containing Rs. 1,240. I have just now come after opening a khadi store and in order to open it I had to cut a cord with silver scissors. But I must take you into my confidence and tell you that the scissors were not required to cut the cord, which was slender. Well, I am expecting now that you will create such public opinion in this place that the temple, which is now not open to Harijans, will be presently opened to them. That opinion can only be formulated by the gentlest of means. Since opening of temples is part of self-purification and reparation to Harijans, no temple is worth opening except when the temple-goers desire by a majority of opinion that those temples should be opened to Harijans. If you will be true to your promise, I expect to see Harijan activity redoubled in Udipi so that you will become an example to the other places in Karnataka. I cannot imagine a nobler task for citizens of any place in India than that they should remove the sin of untouchability from their midst. We are all children of one and the same God and God would not be God of justice if He discriminated between His children. Therefore the message of anti-untouchability is the message of realization of brotherhood of man. Therefore I hope that we will all cleanse our hearts of untouchability, that is, distinction of high and low."
At the end of the meeting the presents were auctioned and fetched Rs. 312. The volunteers from Udupi wanted 'one word' from Gandhi, and for which he said: "Stand up for the truth at any cost." In actual terms it became a potent message and motto for those who deserved it. Gandhiji then left for Kundapur.
• En route to Kundapur: At Brahmavar, on the way to Kundapur, the people presented a purse. Gandhi again observed that, if untouchability was done away with, there was a chance of Hinduism surviving and Hinduism would perish if that essential reform was not carried through. People had assembled in good numbers along the road to have a glimpse of the Mahatma.

Gandhiji in Kundapur (25-02-1934)

In Kundapur, Gandhi addressed a public meeting which was presided over by Manjayya Sherigara, who was a 80 years old veteran. The meeting was also attended by the erstwhile Khilafat volunteers. People presented purses to Gandhi as their contribution towards the 'Harijan Fund'. Here is the English version of the speech made by Gandhi at the public meeting in Kundapur:
"Friends, "I thank you for your addresses and your purse. It is a matter of great joy as also a good omen that we have as our chairman a gentleman eighty years old. That shows that old men are not behind hand in appreciating the necessity of the reform. You know what we are aiming at. Untouchability has got to be removed root and branch. This is a very simple proposition. But, as I have said elsewhere, untouchability is a hydraheaded monster and it has affected every branch of society and therefore we have become untouchables one to the other, and one community has become untouchable to another community, till at last there is absolutely no caste, no section, which does not consider itself superior to some other section or caste. There may be and there are many other causes but I am convinced that this superiority and inferiority complex is at the bottom of many of our communal troubles. Therefore the implication of this campaign against untouchability is that we want to achieve brotherhood of man. And that essential brotherhood of man is unattainable so long as we believe that untouchability has Divine sanction. It is therefore up to the caste Hindus to consider and make their choice. They perpetuate untouchability and they and Hinduism die. If they will kill untouchability altogether, that is the only way to live. I have therefore called it a movement of self-purification, a movement of repentance and reparation to Harijans. For centuries past caste Hindus have suppressed Harijans and, in suppressing them, we have degraded ourselves. Let us now learn the lesson before it is too late and root out untouchability from our hearts. I see that you have a Hindi class conducted here. I congratulate you on it. I wish that you will popularize this national language much more than you have done hitherto. Hindi or Hindustani is the language spoken and understood by nearly twenty crores of Hindus and Mussalmans. It is a language in which you have a mixture of Sanskrit words, Persian, Arabic and what not, so simple, that either party understands it. It is an incredibly simple language to learn and you ought to take sufficient trouble to master the elements of that language."
At the end of the meeting Gandhiji auctioned the presents which fetched Rs. 400. As the next day (26th ) was Monday, Gandhi observed his weekly day of silence at Kundapur. Some people still recollect that Gandhi had stayed in the house belonging to a freedom fighter Gopal Kamath (Gopalakrishna Kamath). It is also remembered that the house in which Gandhi stayed was known by the name Shantinikethan. The next day (on 27th ) he boarded the steamer Dayavati and started to Karwar by sea. The people presented numerous gifts of money and fruits at all the intermediate ports.

Down the Memory Lane:

During the 79th year of Gandhi's third and the last visit to Mangalore, and his first and the last visit to Sullia, Puttur, Bantwal, Mulki, Udupi and Kundapur; we find only a few people around us (who are undoubtedly in their nineties or late eighties) who had the glimpse of Gandhi, who witnessed his public speech, and who can recollect all the events down their memory lane. It is only from the reminiscences of such veterans we are able to record the oral history / the oral accounts of Gandhi's visits to all these places. In a way we find a main road, a park, a locality, a ground, a circle, a square named after Gandhi to remember his visit to the region.
In Puttur we find the 'Gandhi Katte' a simple platform under the banyan tree. It is still remembered that Gandhi sat on that platform when he visited Puttur. Thenceforth the place came to be popularly known as 'Gandhi Katte' and a statue of Gandhi was installed in that place.
During his first visit to Mangalore in 1920, Gandhi addressed a large gathering in the Central maidan (grounds). Though, today a lot of changes have happened in the name and structure of that area, we find a Gandhi statue in that locality in front of the town hall. The Canara High School (today's Canara Girls High School campus, Dongerkeri, Mangalore) has got its own valued memories with Mahatma Gandhi's second and third visits to Mangalore (in 1927 and 1934 respectively). Today the Sarvajanik Krishna Mandir stands as a monument of Gandhian influence. In 1939, the school wrote to Gandhi seeking his permission to name the school after him. And the school received a reply from his secretary, Mahadev Desai, that "Gandhiji has no objection to your naming the Canara High School Museum after him, though he does not know its value or usefulness." Thus the museum was named after Gandhi. Today, this museum displays the rare photograph of Gandhi laying the foundation stone to the Krishna Mandir in 1934. They have preserved the plaque and even the trowel used by Mahatma Gandhi for laying the foundation stone.
Another such heritage spot of Gandhi's visit is the Lighthouse hill or Bavuta gudde. There is a library dedicated to Gandhi, which houses the life-size statue of Gandhi. We can also find a 'Gandhi Park' in a locality named Gandhi Nagar. It is said that Gandhi stayed for a day in a house named "Saraswati Nivas"situated in this locality. It is by this connection the locality and the park got its name.
In Mulki we find the place of Gandhi's public meeting got its name as 'Gandhi maidan'.In Udupi we see a platform and a Gandhi bust in the place where Gandhi sat during his Udupi visit. The venue of the public meeting is thereafter known by the name Mahatma Gandhi Stadium.. In Kundapur we find the ground which was the venue of Gandhi's public meeting being named after Gandhi.

Religious Places In Udupi

Udupi Sri Krishna Math

Udupi acquired nation-wide fame, when it was turned into a unique seat of Vedantic learning in the 13th century under the leadership of Sri Madhvacharya. Apart from his contributions to Vedantic philosophy, Sri Madhva founded the famous Krishna Temple of Udupi and made it the fountain-head of a new devotional movement, which eventually spread all over the country.
A detailed account of the episode of the installation of Sri Krishna's image at Udupi is available in a commentary written by Sri Raghuvarya Theertha of 17th century, a pontiff of Palimar Math. The episode is as follows. Devaki, the mother of Lord Krishna, had not seen the charming feats and frolics of his childhood at Gokula. Therefore, she once entreated Krishna in his adulthood at Dwaraka to show her one of those frolics of his childhood.
In response to his mother's wish, Lord Krishna once again assumed the form of his childhood, climbed up the laps of Devaki as she was churning curds, sucked herbreast-milk, broke pots of curds, swallowed lumps of butter, and stood up with the churning rod in one hand and the churning rope in another, after snatching them away from his mother's hands. Devaki's joy knew no bounds, as she witnessed this sport of the Lord. Rukmini, who also sighted this childhood posture of the Lord requested him to get an image of it carved out in Shalagrama Shila for her daily worship. When Krishna departed from earth at the close of Dwapara Yuga, this rare image was deposited by Arjuna at a holy spot called Rukmini Vana in Dwaraka. In the course of the Kali Yuga, a merchant carried this image as merchandise from Dwaraka, mistaking it for a clod of Gopichandan in which the image lay hidden. The ship was wrecked near the sea-shore of Vadabhandeshwar (near Malpe port). Madhvacharya came to know the wreckage of the ship by intuition, got the image dug out of the ship, kept it immersed for a few days in the holy tank of his Math, and installed it for worship on an auspicious Makara Sankranthi day, nearly 700 years ago. Hence forth, Lord Krishna became the presiding deity of Udupi.
He is the source of happiness and salvation of all good people. Madhva installed this image of Krishna with the avowed purpose of removing all obstacles and relieving the pains, which beset His devotees on their way to salvation.

Among the several disciples of Sri Madhva, eight monks were jointly and severally made responsible for conducting the daily worship of Lord Krishna at Udupi, besides the usual duties of monk hood. These eight direct disciples of Madhva established separate lines of their own by ordination, and these eight lines of ascetics came to be known as the Eight Maths or Ashta Math of Udupi..
In the beginning, the Swamijis of the Eight Maths used to be in charge of Lord Krishna's worship, by turns, for two months each. The system of worship in its present form is believed to have been established in the 16th century by Sri Vadiraja Swami, a celebrated pontiff of one of the Eight Maths called Sode Math. According to the present practice, the Swamijis of Eight Maths conduct worship, by turns, for two years each. This tenure of worship by rotation is known as paryaya. The Swamiji, who is in charge of the worship, is called the PARYAYA SWAMIJI, and his Math called the PARYAYA Math. The ceremony of handing over the charge of worship by one Math to another is known as the PARYAYA FESTIVAL. This festival, held once in two years, in the month of January, attracts thousands of pilgrims, from various corners.


Kollur, 80 kms from Udupi, is one of the most important places of pilgrimage on the west coast attracting pilgrims from all over India. The temple dedicated to the Divine Mother, Sri Mookambika, stands in the valley of the great Kodachadri peak. Inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, there is an ancient jyotirlinga which is divided by a golden line into two unequal parts, the greater representing the three Goddesses, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati and Mahakali and the smaller Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. The temple dome, including the kalasha, is made up of gold.
According to the legends, Kola Maharshi who was doing penance here, was disturbed by a demon who was also engaged in doing penance to please Lord Shiva, to get a boon from Him. To prevent the demon from fulfilling his evil desire, the Divine Mother made him dumb (mooka) and when the Lord appeared before him, he could not ask for anything. Thereupon he got enraged and soon began troubling Kola Maharshi who prayed to the Divine Mother for deliverance. She appeared and killed the demon.At Kola Maharshi's prayer, the Divine Mother accompanied by all the Gods;stayed
there to be perpetually worshipped by the devotees.Later when Sri Adi Shankaracharya visited this temple, he installed a Sri Chakram and consecrated the idol of Sri Mookambika on it. This is the central idol behind the Lingam. On either side of this are idols of Parvati and Saraswati. It is said that Sri Shankara did penance on the peak of the nearby Kodachadri mountain. Here are two temples dedicated to Kalabhairava and Umamaheshwara. At Sri Mookambika temple, there is feeding arrangement for the pilgrims. The temple guest houses and the P W D Inspection Bungalow, besides several private lodges, are available to the pilgrims for stay.

Hattiangady Vinayaka Temple

The eighth century Sri Siddhivinayaka Temple at Hattiyangadi in Kundapur taluk is a historical and well-known pilgrimage centre for Hindus of the coast. Hattiyangadi (Pattinagara) was the capital of Alupa Kings, who ruled the Tulunadu during seventh and eighth centuries. They had close ties with some other Jain cities such as Purigere (Lakshmeeshwara) and Hombuja (Humcha). Hattiangadi, about 8 kms to the the northeast of Kundapur, which is famous for the ancient Siddhi Vinayaka Temple, also houses other ancient Temples and Jaina Basadis. Gopalakrishna, Lokanatheshwara, Maraladevi, Shankaranarayan, Shivamunishwara, Ekantheshwara and Shaktharabrahma Temples are found here.

Anegudde Vinayaka Temple

Kumbhashi, about nine kms to the south of Kundapur, is famous for its two Temples, namely, Mahalingeshwara and Anegudde Vinayaka. The name of the place is said to be derived from Kumbhasura who was slain here. Inscriptions mention this place as Kumbha-Kashi. It is one of the seven places of pilgrimage in the region called "Parashurama Srishti" or the creation of Saint Parashurama.
Anegudde means elephant (Aane) hillock (Gudde) and it is the abode of the elephant god, Sri Vinayaka. Sri Vadiraja Yathi, in his Theertha Prabandha epic said that when drought hit this area sage Agasthya came here to perform yajna to please the rain god. The demon Kumbhasura tried to disrupt the yajna by troubling the sages performing the yajna. To rescue the sages Lord Ganesha blessed Bheema, the strongest among the Padavas, with a sword (Asi), using which Bheema killed the demon and facilitated the completion of the yajna. The main sanctum sanctorum contains the majestic figure of Vinayaka resplendent in silver Armour, in standing posture.
Of the four arms two are "varada hasta" indicating his inclination to grant boons. Two hands point to his feet, as a means to salvation. The Vinayaka here is said to be a swayambhu (emerged by himself) who manifested in Dwapara Yuga. What is striking is the very large head of the God with huge ears.

Gommateshwara statue at Karkala

Black granite is abundant in the area, and is in wide use in the local architecture. The name of the town is derived from kari-kal, meaning black stone in Tulu.Some assert that the original name was 'Kari Kola' meaning 'elephant lake' which is the existing 'Anekere'. Tulu-speaking people call the town Karla. Muslims, and Kannadigas call it Karkala, and the Roman Catholics call it Karkol. Its alternative name, Jain Thirtha, is the result of 300 years of Jain rule. It was called Karkal by the English; later, it was called Karkala in Kannada. Karkala is on the top of a granite bed that is about 300–500 ft thick.
The Mahamasthakabhisheka of Lord Bahubali at Karkala will be held during January 21–31, 2015 under the auspices of the Sri Bahubali Swamy Mahamasthakabhisheka Samithi. The towering 41.5 ft. granite monolith of Bahubali - also known as Gommateshwara - is built on an elevated platform on top of a rocky hill, known locally as Gommata Betta.Gommateshwara is also known as Gommata and Gomateshwara. The colossus was consecrated on 13 February 1432 A.D. by Veera Pandya
Bhairarasa Wodeyar, scion of the Bhairarasa Dynasty, feudatory of the Vijayanagar Rulers.

Karkala Church

Christians over here suffered captivity under Tippu Sultan during the period 1784-1799. The parish church in those days was situated at a place about 7 kilometres away from the present church. Tippu demolished that church and after freedom from captivity built a Church with thatched roof somewhere on the way to Nakre in the year 1801 under the leadership of a Goan priest. When the church was too old to be used, devotees of St Lawrence accompanied by a Goan priest went about in search of a suitable site carrying with them a one-foot wooden statue of St Lawrence.
They were praying St Lawrence to guide them in the choice of a place for raising a church in his honour. They crossed the Rama-Samudra of Karkala and coming down the woods of 'Parpare hills' they reached Attur. Then they saw a spring flowing at the bottom of the hill. As they were tired and thirsty they placed the statue of Saint on the ground and quenched their thirst.
After sometime they thought of resuming the journey, but to their great surprise they could not lift the statue, it was firm and immovable like a tree. Then the priest decided to build the church there and stooped down to lift the statue and it easily detached from the ground. It was at that very spot, that they erected the church in the year 1839, and soon became a place of pilgrimage.
In the year 1895 the parish priest, Rev Fr Frank finding so many devotees of St Lawrence flocking to this church and claiming to have received innumerable favours from the saint fostered the devotion further and organised novenas and prayer services making them more and more attractive. In the year 1900 Rev Fr Frank Pereira had the present church built facing the north. This church was blessed and inaugurated on 22 January 1901 by the Vicar General, Very Rev Mgr Frachetti.

Art & Culture

Bhootha kola

In Coastal Karnataka (Dakshina Kannada District, India) the term 'bhuuta' means a divine spirit which deserves periodic propitiation. The cult is practiced from generation to generation. The 'bhuuta' rituals enormously vary from village to village according to the social structure of the society. The boundaries of present day District of South Kanara in Karnataka roughly conform to the area of traditional 'Tulunad', the land of the Tulu speakers. The region is a forty by twenty miles rectangle bounded on the west by the Arabian Sea and on the East by the precipitous
slopes of the western Ghats. The Northern and Southern borders are rivers, which are transferable by foot during the dry season. (Peter J, Claus 1972- un-published).
There is a veritable pantheon of the 'bhuutas' whose number is about 350. 'Bhuutas' are believed to be capable of shaping the welfare of votaries. The 'bhuuta' cult has its own priest class and impersonators who act as communication of the divine spirit through possession act of oracle or prophecy. 'Bhuuta' worship has different types of folk music, to the tune of musician an impersonator dance and his foot step moves with heavy anklet called 'gaggara' and in his hand 'chaury' (Yak tail fan). An impersonator wears either metal mask or areca-leaf mask on his head. The make-up is attractive and dress are made out of simple tender coconut leaves. During the performance, musical instruments like ''mouri' (wind pipe) 'taase' (percussion) and 'shruti' (wind pipe) are used. The performer dances to the tune of musical instruments and sometimes wears a mask.
The ritual dance is very artistic and attracts all the spectators. 'Bhuuta' or divine spirits have their own myths or epics sung during the performance. Some of the 'bhuuta' songs or epics are sung in the paddy plantation field by the women folk. They are called 'paaddana' in Tulu language. During the 'bhuuta' performance women render the songs with a small percussion instrument called 'tembere' or 'karande'.

Kambula or Kambala

The contest of buffaloes is called "Kambala" or "Kambula" a sporting race in muddy water. Coastal Karnataka is the true home of the athletic buffalo. Kambula races are held from December till March. Every weekend one could see the buffalo races in Coastal Karnataka. Four decades ago the buffalo race was held only on religious occasions, on the days of "Kodamantaaya" and Jumaadi Bhuuta spirits festivals. slopes of the western Ghats. The Northern and Southern borders are rivers, which are transferable by foot during the dry season.
There is a veritable pantheon of the 'bhuutas' whose number is about 350. 'Bhuutas' are believed to be capable of shaping the welfare of votaries. The 'bhuuta' cult has its own priest class and impersonators who act as communication of the divine spirit through possession act of oracle or prophecy. 'Bhuuta' worship has different types of folk music, to the tune of musician an impersonator dance and his foot step moves with heavy anklet called 'gaggara' and in his hand 'chaury' (Yak tail fan). An impersonator wears either metal mask or areca-leaf mask on his head. The make-up is attractive and dress are made out of simple tender coconut leaves. During the performance, musical instruments like ''mouri' (wind pipe) 'taase' (percussion) and 'shruti' (wind pipe) are used. The performer dances to the tune of musical instruments and sometimes wears a mask.
The ritual dance is very artistic and attracts all the spectators. 'Bhuuta' or divine spirits have their own myths or epics sung during the performance. Some of the 'bhuuta' songs or epics are sung in the paddy plantation field by the women folk. They are called 'paaddana' in Tulu language. During the 'bhuuta' performance women render the songs with a small percussion instrument called 'tembere' or 'karande'.
At that time there was only a single track where the buffalo race was conducted. Then also the buffaloes ran in pairs. The winner was awarded a coconut and a bunch of plantains, but no music accompanied the race except the "Koragas Drum" music. Today, "Kambula" sport or racing has gained immense popularity. Modern "Kambula"s are massive, professionally organized day and night with electric illumination. One could see more than 20,000 spectators in a well organised "Kambula" and up to 130 pairs of buffaloes may participate.
Kambala, still a favourite sport of the villagers is held every year - Lava-Kusha Kambala on the first Sunday of February at Bajagoli, Karkala Taluk and on every December 12th Vandaru Arasu Kambala in Kundapur taluk.

Naagamandala(Serpent worship/ritual)

Coastal Karnataka (Dakshina Kannada and Udupi district) has a fantastic all night ritual performed during December to April. The ritualistic performance starts before monsoon. Serpent worship is common among the Hindus all over India. Serpent God is a symbol of fertility and life.There are many of ritualistic performances in this district and Kerala. The all night ritual like 'Naagamandala' is a very costly affair and hence rarely held. In other rituals like 'Aashleshabali' are much more cost effective. On the day of 'Ashlesha' star the ritual is observed in the naaga temples.
This ritual is observed mostly by the Brahmins.'Naagamandala' is performed by two groups of performers; the 'paatri' (a Brahmin) who gets possessed after inhaling the areca flowers becomes the cobra God. The second group of propitiating is 'Naagakannika'. The 'Naagakannika', a female serpent, which is actually a male disguised in female dress or visual costume (half male and half female costumes). This character is identified as 'ardhanaari' or 'naagakannika' who dances and sings around an elaborate serpent design drawn with natural colors on the sacred ground. The 'vaidya' performing group has a special hour-glass shaped 'Dakke' an auspicious instrument without which a ritual does not take place. The drawings in five different colors on the sacred ground are drawn by only the 'vaidya' community group. The five colors are white (white mud), red (mix of lime powder and turmeric powder), green ('jangama soppu' green leaves powder), yellow (turmeric powder) and black (roasted and powdered paddy husk) used in the Nagamandala drawings. The combination of these five colors is called as 'panchavarnahudi' in the local dialect. The ritual of 'Naagamandala' is observed more in the Northern region of the South Canara i.e, Udupi, Moodabidri, Brahmavar, Kundapura, Baindur and other places.
The dance 'naaga' takes place around this 'mandala' drawings. The all night dance and song propitiation creates an awe inspiring experience. Brahmins utter the mantras in sanskrit and the other proceedings take place in Kannada.


Padubidiri Brahmastana - a rare place of Shakti worship is located in the west coast of southern part of India in the state of Karnataka.Human beings have had a philosophical and religious bent of mind from the beginning of the civilization. It has given rise to a quest of the mystery of creation. The studies on Sindhu River civilization support this statement. The Vedic Age was the Golden era of belief in God and the mystery of creation. With the advent of Aryan and Dravidian culture human beings gradually developed four Vedas, Kula gotra, worship of Nature and Naaga Chaitanya. Custom and practice -sampradaya has become a part of community life which is unique in our land.Human beings besides creating progeny started worshipping nature borne things like water, fire, trees,
stones, animals and naaga, studied the Vedas and began to worship God.It is said that instruments like bells, Vaadya, Nagari, Didumbu, Dakke etc were made for these worships.
Dakke bali is the synthesis of man, history and nature taking place from times immemorial in this land, known as Parashurama Kshetra. Naagabanas can be seen abundantly in this region. Naagaaradhana, brahmaradhana are conducted with a lot of bhakti (devotion) and dedication. These worships have been taking place irrespective of caste, class or creed all over Tulunadu.


The Yakshagana Kendra is a national centre for Yakshagana Dance Drama in the country started in 1971 with the financial support of Central Sangeeth Natak Academy, New Delhi, the Dept. of Kannada and Culture, Govt. of Karnataka, Bangalore. The Academy of General Education, Manipal and the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College Trust who are ever willing to venture into newer and greener pastures sponsoring and nourishing the project ever since its inception. The Kendra housed in a beautiful place inside the campus is devoted mainly to imparting training to youngsters in Yakshagana dance, music, percussion instruments in Badagu Thittu style.
The Kendra maintains a performing troupe called Yaksha Ranga which has visited foreign countries as cultural ambassador many a time.

Tiger Dance - Udupi

Huli Vesha art form was born of the love, respect and veneration showered on the tiger by the people of Dakshin Kannada for whom the striped predator was but another face of god.It is performed mainly in the occasion of Krishna Janmashtani , Navratri and Ganesh Chathurthi. Its an internationally acclaimed Tiger Dance, which takes part in the procession of these Occasion. Men paint their bodies as Tigers and dance to the beat of drums which create the illusion of Tiger Dancing. In Huli Vesha, Huli means "Tiger", dancers also painted themselves with leopard or cheetah motifs.
Each person will be wearing just knickers, which usually has a tiger-skin motif. The rest of his bare body and face is painted with various designs that denote tigers, cheetahs and leopards. A mask made of fake fur and sometimes a tail is worn to complete the ensemble. The paint causes a burning sensation on the skin. But this is endured by the persons to be part of the celebrations and also to earn some extra money in the holiday season. Originally people used to do this as a part of a religious vow. The paint is kept on the body for a couple of days and repainted or retouched as desired.
Typically, young males form troop of five to ten members or more, which will have three to five males painted and costumed to look like tigers, and a band with two or three drummers. This troop is accompanied by the manager of the group. During the Krishna Janamastmi, these Huli Vesha troops will be roaming in the streets of the towns, accompanied by the drummers. They stop at homes and business or in the road side to perform ten minutes or one hour; they collect some money from people who have observed their performance. Tigers and dance to the beat of drums which create the illusion of Tiger Dancing.

Education in Udupi District

Udupi has a literacy rate of 92%, high compared to other districts of Karnataka. Udupi also tops the 10th and 12th standard exams held every year by the Karnataka State Education Board.Udupi district is home to internationally renowned educational institutions.

Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT):

The Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), Manipal, a constituent institute of Manipal University, is rated among the top five private engineering colleges in India. Established in 1957, MIT is one of the first self-financing engineering colleges in the country. In 2000, the college became a constituent institute of the deemed university - Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), which is today known as Manipal University. The institute which celebrated its Golden Jubilee in the year 2007 attracts a diverse student community from all over India. MIT is known for its rich, vibrant campus life marked by technical, cultural and sports events running throughout the year. For more details

NMAM Institute of Technology:

NMAM Institute of Technology was established in 1986. The college is affiliated to the Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum and is recognised by the All India Council for Technical Education, New Delhi. It is accredited by the National Board for Accreditation and is certified to the ISO 9001-2008 standards for quality education by KEMA, Netherlands. The institution has been granted Academic Autonomy under the Visvesvaraya Technological University from 2007-08. For more details

Moodlakate Institute of Technology:

The Moodlakate Institute of Technology is founded by a charitable institution Moodlakatte Nagarathna Bhujanga Shetty Trust .The main objective of the institution is to produce quality education with basic amenities. To contribute to the growth of Engineering Profession with quality, moral and professional standards. The Institution has been approved by Government of Karnataka and is affiliated to Visvashwaraiah Technological University, Belgaum. It is also recognized by the All India Council For Technical Education, New Delhi. The college offers courses in the field of engineering and technology.It is located in Mudalakatte, Kundapur(Tq), Karnataka, India. For more details

Kasturba Medical College:

Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Manipal was established on June 30, 1953, by late Dr. T. M. A. Pai. The late Dr. Tonse Madhava Anantha Pai (1898 – 1979), physician, educationist, banker and philanthropist, was the founder and builder of modern Manipal. He established educational, medical, banking and industrial enterprises of national importance and repute.The Kasturba Medical College started with only the pre-clinical section at Manipal as the students had to go to Mangalore for their clinical training. In 1969, when the clinical programme started in Manipal, KMC became a full-fledged independent college.Kasturba Medical College is the first college in the private sector and ranks among the top five medical colleges in the country today. Students from 44 countries have graduated from the college, and its degrees are recognized worldwide.With the first graduating class of students in 1958, KMC was granted recognition by the Medical Council of India. Recognition by the General Medical Council of Great Britain and the Malaysian Medical Council soon followed. Today, Manipal University (of which KMC is a constituent college) degrees are recognized in all countries. The physical facilities for research work and student amenities have been steadily developed over the years. The 200-acre campus provides one of the finest environments for study in south Asia. For more details visit:

Vaikunta Baliga College:

Vaikunta Baliga college of Law named after late Sri.B. Vaikunta Baliga former Law Minister, Government of Mysore, formerly known as Udupi Law College, a unit of Dr.T.M.A.Pai Foundation which was established in 1957 with an avowed objective of imparting quality legal education in the mofussil area crossing the frontiers to emerge as one of the premier institutions in the horizon of legal education. It is attracting students not only from India but also abroad bears testimony to the sagacity and visionary zeal of our beloved founder, the Late Dr.T.M.A.Pai to whom we are beholden forever. Ever since its inception the college has made a very fast stride to emerge as a hub of academic and cultural activities. In its meaningful and continous existence, the college has witnessed the Silver Jubilee Celebrations in 1982-83 followed by the golden Jubilee Celebration in 2006-2007. The college is marching towards its diamond jubilee with confidence built on the edifice of its pristine glory. It has carved a niche for itself by rendering yeoman service in the sphere of legal education. Law graduates who have left its portals have adorned coveted positions in bench, bar, government and corporate sectors.For more details

Dr. T.M.A. Pai Polytechnic:

Dr. T.M.A Pai Polytechnic was established in 1985 to cater to the youth around Manipal-Udupi who faced difficulties to continue their education after 10th standard due to various reasons. The Polytechnic was started to provide career opportunities to these young people.The Polytechnic is named after the great son of Udupi District Dr. T.M.A. Pai (1898-1979), Physician, Banker, Educationist and the "Maker of Modern Manipal". The Polytechnic is managed and run by Dr. T.M.A. Pai Foundation, Manipal.This Polytechnic is recognized and approved by All India Council for Technical Education, New Delhi (AICTE) and affiliated to Board of Technical Education, Bangalore.For more details

Manipal College of Dental Sciences:

The Manipal College of Dental Sciences (MCODS), Manipal, formerly known as the College of Dental Surgery, is the first self-financing dental college in the private sector of India. Established in the year 1965, it initially had an intake of 40 students and later increased to 100 from 1983 - 84 onwards. Academically, the College of Dental Surgery, Manipal was affiliated to the Mysore University (1965-1980) and then to the Mangalore University (1980-1993) before becoming a part of the Manipal University. Today, we have more than 250 dental chairs and state-of-the-art laboratories with an intake of 100 undergraduate students and 25 postgraduate students for all specialties of dentistry.For more details

Muniyal Institute of Ayurveda Sciences:

Muniyal Institute of Ayurveda Medical Sciences was established with a vision to impart the knowledge of Ayurveda to one and all. The Institution took its inspiration from Late Dr. U. Krishna Muniyal, an Ayurvedic practitioner for over 40 years, who established Muniyal Ayurveda in 1940.The Muniyal Institute of Ayurveda Medical Sciences is sponsored by Dr. U. Krishna Muniyal Memorial Trust (R) and is located in a spacious 50,000 sq.ft. building, housing the Muniyal Ayurveda Hospital & Research Institute, a super-specialty ayurvedic hospital. Extensive practical training in the attached 150 bedded, Super Specialty Ayurvedic Hospital and the vast Herbal Gardens and intensive on-the-job training in the Medicine Manufacturing Unit.


Beedi Industry

Beedi Industry is a prominent contributor to Udupi District's development. Though there is no elaborate information about the capital invested, provision of employment and annual turnover of this industry, there are approximately 1,90,000 (one lakhs ninety thousand) labourers working in Beedi Industries. Most of them work on contract basis. The main manufacturers of Beedi in the district are 30 numbers Beedi, Prakash Beedi, Shenoy Beedi, Pailwan Beedi, Desai Beedi and others. Direct employees in the Beedi industries are rare. Most of them work on contract basis. Upto the
first half of 20th century, this industry was an organized Sector. But after 1946, due to the conflict between employers and workers, the industry evolved into a contract-based industry. According to one estimate, of the total contract based workforce, 96% are women workers, aged between eighteen and forty years The Central Government has identified Beedi producers whose annual production of Beedi is 20 lakhs or less, as small scale producers and are exempted from customs tax. Presently, there are several Beedi producing units without trademarks. The work is undertaken through contractors or they provide work to the labourers directly, and sell the product at a low cost of production.

Cashew Nut Industry

The cashew nut industry stands out prominently for creation of employment, earning foreign exchange and job opportunities for women. This industry has 217 units. The capital investment is `1610.05. They have provided employment to 9832 people. In India, cashew industries are found in Quilon of Kerala state and Dakshina Kannada and Udupi district of Karnataka. There are three types of raw cashew nuts that are used: 1) Good quality, uniform sized and suitable for oil production. These are obtained
locally. 2) There is great demand for small broken cashew nuts from Africa. The oil content is low in this variety. About 4.5 kg to 6.35 kg of oil is obtained from 76 kgs of cashew nuts. 3) The cashew nuts brought from Uttara Kannada District is not of good quality as compared to locally available cashew nuts. Cashew nut has a brownish green colored outer layer, a thick middle layer and white kernel within. The kernel has a thin outer covering which is light brown in colour. With the help of a machine, the thick outer layer is broken and removed; next, the inner kernel should be separated from the brown layer. Separating the inner part (kernel) from the brown layer involves very delicate work, and this job is assigned to women workers. As per weight, colour and size, 20 different varieties are identified and each cashew nut is considered, to maintain quality during production. Some people may apply salt and chilly to the dried nut as per the demand and taste of customers. The cashew nuts are then packed in aluminum containers and exported. Cashew and its products are exported to other countries through the port at Mangalore. Cashew nuts produced in the district are exported to America, Gulf countries, England, Russia, Japan, Australia and other countries. The foreign exchange received from this has played a very prominent role in the development of the district. As women workers are available in adequate numbers, cashew industries are seen more in Karkala and Kundapura than in Udupi. Adarsh Cashew Industries, Sastana(Kundapura); Bola Raghavendra Kamat and Sons, Karkala; Bolkar Cashews, Ajekar(Karkala); Karla Cashews, Karkala; Chittar Cashews, Vandar, Mandarthi (Kundapura); Palcon Cashews, Kolalagiri (Udupi); Gajanana Cashews, Kucchoor, Hebri(Karkala); Gajanana Cashews, Siddapur (Kundapur); Gayathri Cashews, Attur(Karkala); Greenland Industries, Kukkandoor (Karkala); Gulwadi Cashews, Mavinakatte (Kundapur); GuruGanesh Industries, Perdoor (Udupi); Kamakshi Exports, Karkala; Karkala Cashew Products, Karkala; Kotitheertha Cashew Industries, Tekkatte (Kundapur), Lakshmi Cashew Industries, Hebri (Karkala); Mahalasa Exports, Hiriadka (Udupi); Mahalakshmi Cashew Industries, Shivapura, Hebri(Karkala); Mookambika Cashew Industries, Taggarse (Kundapur); Kamath Cashew Industries, Sanoor (Karkala); Sanoor Cashew Industries, Sanoor (Karkala); etc are the Cashew Industry found in Udupi and Udupi District. In addition to these cashew industries there are about 180 small scale cashew industries in the district.


Fisheries in Udupi district is the main source of income and is famously known for the 'Fish Revolution' or the 'Blue Revolution'. Fish is one of the main sources of vitamin 'A' and 'B' which are available in large quantities. The fish varieties of the district are, Bangde, Bhootai, Anjal, Kedar, Manji, Balliyar, Tate, Kate, Ademeenu, Goorimeenu, prawn etc.These fish varieties are available in plenty and have played an important role in the economic development of the district.Fisheries in Udupi district is the
main source of income and is famously known for the 'Fish Revolution' or the 'Blue Revolution'. Fish is one of the main sources of vitamin 'A' and 'B' which are available in large quantities. The fish varieties of the district are, Bangde, Bhootai, Anjal, Kedar, Manji, Balliyar, Tate, Kate, Ademeenu, Goorimeenu, prawn etc. These fish varieties are available in plenty and have played an important role in the economic development of the district. Mackerel (Bhangade) fish is available in large quantities and is known as the "National Fish". Prawns are known to be the gold mine of the sea. From the district, prawns are exported to Japan and other countries. There is a fish exporting unit in Malpe. Though fishing started about two centuries ago in the district, modern mechanized system of fishing was initiated recently, i.e. towards the end of the1950's. Till the second Five Year Plan, fisheries had not been modernised in the undivided district of Dakshina Kannada as it was under the Madras presidency during the First Five Year Plan, only fishery Cooperative Societies were encouraged. Kannada district's fisheries, the Second Five Year Plan can be considered as First Five Year Plan. In 1958, the fisheries training centre was started in Mangalore. During the Second Five Year Plan, 95 people were trained in maintenance and use of mechanized boats. With the objective of conducting research in Fish Oil, Fish processing and maintaining fish properties, 'Fishing Technological Research Laboratory' was started in 1960, in Mangalore. Fishes caught in the ocean are brought to Mangalore and transported to 20 different parts of the Karnataka through cold chain links. The contribution of fisheries to the district income is 6403 lakh. Another economic activity that is gaining importance these days is prawn or shrimp or Chatle culture. Near the seashore in the lagoons where there is backwater inflow, breeding and larval rearing of prawn, popularly known as prawn culture is undertaken. Hence prawn culture has become a prominent economic activity of the district. There are four types of prawn cultivation. They are: 1) Traditional method; 2) Improved or elaborate method; 3) Intensive- Method; 4) More- Intensive method. Facts

Stone Sculpture

The intricate designs adorning its simple stone framework, magnificent stone sculptures and beautiful carvings are the evidences which show that the temple at Karkala is the result of the combined effort of talented sculptors, architects and artists. Udipi district is an excellent source of granite in Karnataka. Karkala town gedived its name from black granite stones, karikallu in Kannada, as the place is surrounded by rocky hillocks where it is found in abundance.Granite is locally referred to as krishnashila, or black stone. Products are of two varieties - idols and architectural elements; the finish is a prominent black finish. The idols are influenced by the Hoysala style of sculpture, where the stone is carved in high relief, surrounded by ostentatious ornamentation. Craftsmen carve granite pillars and naga stones which are placed in front of small neighbourhood temples. Traditionally tulsi or basil has been worshipped in homes and the ornamented tulsi planters are made by assembling stone slabs. Other stone related activities include granite
stones and architectural elements for construction of houses.Craftsmen who work on idols and pieces for temples are from the Acharya community. The other craftsmen are equally skilled and come from neighboring states.

Tile Industry

Tile industry is one of the major Industries of the coastal district which was started in earlier days. Even now, it is popularly known as "Mangalore Tiles". the Bassel Mission of Germany, in the year 1865 started production of "Mangalore Tiles" in the form of an industry. In olden days, 'Nadahanchu' or the local tiles were used in this region. These tiles were traditionally prepared by potters.The clay mud required for the manufacture of tiles is
available in interior places near rivers where the water flow is slow and where the river meets the sea. Most of the tile factories are found in these regions. As the cost of transportation of mud to distant places is very high, the industry developed near the region where clay was available in plenty. Tile factories need large amounts of firewood. After mixing the clay in the proper manner, it is placed in the mould and burnt at an optimum temperature. Grinding the mud, pressing the tiles and then carrying it on a conveyor, all these activities are carried out mechanically. In most of the tile factories bricks and flower pots are also produced. In Udupi district there are 21 tile factories. The capital investment is `720 lakhs. They have provided employment to 160 people.



A natural port located just 6 km from Udupi, Karnataka; the Malpe beach is known for its charming and attractive golden brown sand and turquoise blue waters. It is lined with palm trees and the blue skies above add to the scene, providing a perfect picture. Your vacation will be complete when you lie down on the sand and enjoy every bit of the natural splendour around you, along with the cool air from the sea and shades from the palms.The beach has numerous islands nearby and it can be an amazing experience to watch these islands from up close.The main attraction in Malpe are it unique islands that are made of volcanic rocks just off the
coastline.Of these, St. Mary's Islands are uniquely shaped sheer rock islands made of columnar basaltic Lava, as a result of a volcanic eruption that occurred eon's ago.Malpe is one of the main geo-tourism attractions of India and this place is of particular interest to geologists. When you are in Malpe, you have to take a ferry or boat ride to the St Mary's Islands; the golden sands, the pristine beaches with their gentle swaying coconut trees and crystal clear and calm waters offer a feast to the eyes.During high tides, you can also catch a boat ride for almost 10 kilometers in the estuary. You can swim in these calm waters without the fear of drowning as the sea is calm.

Kaup Light House

KAPU is located in Udupi village on the Western Coast National Highway near the city of Udupi in southern Karnataka, India. It is less explored but a visit to Southern Karnataka is incomplete without a visit to Kapu. Its main attraction is the lighthouse. Presence of rocks in the coastline makes the sea rough and one can get a good feel of the power of Arabian Sea in its crushing waves.The Kapu light house was built in 1901 and has for these many years stood on the rocks guiding thousands of sailors and warning
the presence of dangerous rocks.It stands 27.12 m above the base.The lighthouse is open for visitors between 4PM to 6PM and the panoramic view offered is magnificent. Kapu is located around 13 km from Udupi and 45 km from Mangalore. It takes almost 25 minutes to reach Kapu from Udupi. Numerous buses ply to Kapu from the service bus stand at Udupi.Once you disembark from the bus-stop at Kapu, you need to travel a distance of 1.5 km to reach the beach. You can take one of the auto-rickshaws or car which are conveniently parked near the bus-stop. From Bangalore, one can reach Kapu by taking a bus to Mangalore and then take a bus from Mangalore for Udupi.The best time to visit Kapu is either during sunrise or sunset. It gets too hot during the day. It's better if one visits in the monsoons. During mornings, the beach is generally empty, so preferable to visit then.

Ottinene Beach - Byndoor

Ottinene Beach is located about 40 Km north of Kundapur after Baindoor towards Shiroor and Bhatkal. Ottinene with its overhanging cliffs is an ideal place for viewing the sunset and is a scenic place Kshitija Nisarga Dhama located off NH 66 has good roads for first half and mud/rocky path for rest of the distance, which is motorable.

Trasi Maravanthe Beach - Maravanthe

Maravanthe beach near Kundapura. Outlook travel considers it one of Karnataka's most beautiful beaches. It is about 55 kilometres from Udupi. NH-66 runs right next to the beach and the Suparnika River flows on the other side of the road, creating spectacular scenery and considered only one of its kind in India. The river Souparnika, which almost touches Arabian Sea here, makes a U turn and goes westward to join the Sea only after a journey of more than 10 kilometres

Bengre Hoode Beach - Tonse

The town of Kemmannu is located about 17-20 kms to the North-West of Udupi. These beaches are coarse, rough and yet have a gracious feel to them. Naturally entrenched on the ridge line of river Swarna peninsula is a beach known as Adda Bengre. The rough sea is a surfing hot spot mainly during the monsoon season.The town of Kemmannu is not sparsely populated with their main occupation being agriculture or fishing. However with the growing reputation of these beaches, the last couple years have seen a growth in the tourists visits.

Kodi Beach - Kodi

Kodi Beach is one of the spectacular beaches of Karnataka and it is located at a distance of 6 Km from Kundapura Town. 'Kodi' literally means shore in Kannada language.The Kodi beach is surrounded by water from three sides. The beach offers wide sand range for you to play, relax, and off course swim as well. The view of natural beauty and sunset is amazing from this beach.

Mattu Beach - Katpadi

MATTU BEACH is in Udupi, Near by railway Stations are Udupi, Padubidri . It is in 7 Km distance to Udupi City.


Kodachadri Hills - Kollur

Kodachadri forms a background to the famous temple of Mookambika in Kollur. It is located at a distance of 21 km from Kollurand 15 km from Nagodi village, in Hosanagara taluk. There are different routes to reach the Peak of Kodachadri and the difficulty varies highly with respect to the route chosen. However it is challenging to reach the peak in monsoon due to heavy rains that make the routes slippery.Kodachadri receives an annual rain fall of 500 cm to 750 cm and it rains for about eight months in a year. The sunset watched from Kodachadri peak on a clear day is an enchanting experienceThe Arabian Sea is visible from the peak on a
cloudless day and sun literally goes down into the sea and due to the proximity to sea, the shape of golden sun changes every minute Trekking to Kodachadri peak starts from Nagodi village or Nittur, Shimoga village which are located at the base of Kodachadri. A night tented stay can be undertaken near peak with the permission of Forest Department, Govt. of Karnataka. In case of need, there is an inspection bungalow maintained by the government of Karnataka and a temple priest's house, with simple food on request. There is little other accommodation at Kodachadri. Kollur (21 km) has several guest houses and lodges as well as homestay accommodations. The nearest city, Kundapura, has good lodging accommodations.

Kudlu Theertha Falls - Hebri

Koodlu Theertha Falls is a mesmerizing waterfall located near Hebri on Udupi-Agumbe Road in Karnataka. Nestled amidst the dense forest of the Western Ghats and adjacent to the Agumbe ranges the waterfall is the first fall of the River Sita. It is also known as Sita Falls. The Koodlu Theertha is a spectacular waterfall that descends from a height of about 300 feet. It plunges straight into a pond. Legend has it that thousands of years ago sages used to meditate near the place where the pond exists today. As such, the local people consider the water of the pond to be very holy.


St.Mary's Island - Malpe

According to folk legend, in the year 1498, Vasco da Gama landed at St. Mary's Islands on his journey from Portugal, fixed a cross on the island and named one of these islands, O Padrão de Santa Maria, as a dedication to Mother Mary, before proceeding to Kozhikode in Kerala. It is from this name that the islands got their current name. The only way of getting to the islands is by boat.Regular ferry service ply the 6 km distance from the Malpe fishing harbor (which has a ship building yard also) to the islands. However, the frequency of these boats may vary depending on the number of tourists visiting. It is 58 km (36.0 mi) to the North of Mangalore,
the coastal city of Karnataka, which is also the nearest airport. The famous religious town Udupi, is about 60 km (37.3 mi) West North West of Mangalore. Mumbai, Kochi, Kazhakoottam, Kanjiramattom, Muthalamada-I and Thrippunithura are linked to Malpe, by the West Coast Railway. The Konkan Railway (map pictured) passes close to the Islands, starting from Mangalore passing through Udupi, Kundapura, Goa, Ratnagiri and Roha near Mumbai. Malpe is 4 km (2.5 mi) from Udupi town.

Babbu Kudru (Island) - Kundapur

surrounded by the shimmery water of the Arabian Sea, Babbu Kudru is worth a visit for its untouched, rare beauty! Babbu Kudru is a small, uninhabited island, easily accessible from Kundapur. A day trip to this island is all you need to savour the natural settings this place has to offer.Babbu kudru is mainly visited by the locals for some fishing
activities. To begin with, the island is accessible only by small wooden boats that can be hired at the shore. This island is a result of deposits of sand erosion of the Arabian Sea. Hence, one finds the entire island in a sandy texture, with maximum concentration of sand at the shore. The island is dunked in the sea during high tides and the monsoons, and bears evidence of the same with water markings around the trees.Babbu Kudru grabs your attention for its virginal, raw beauty. One can spot the nearby islands from this place and the scene is ultimately breathtaking when taken in on a fine sunny day. It is best suited for a quiet day trip for a couple. Although going with a lot of friends and family can also turn out to be an adventurous trip!

Thimmana Kudru (Island) - Tonse

There are spellbinding locales in and around Kemmannu, and one of them is this tiny islet, Thimmana Kudru. There are a few islands scattered in the nearby region adding to the sensuous beauty of the seascape.Thimmana Kudru is covered with lush green coconut palms, that sway rhythmically in the strong sea breeze! There is a 280 feet long hanging bridge connecting
this island to the mainland which was built in the year 1991 by the NCC cadets. In the monsoons the river Swarna overflows its banks flooding the entire region, cutting off the island from the mainland.Thimmana Kudru is sparsely populated with only a few families residing in the area. The island is good for nature sights with the pristine water and green palms lining the entire area. Other than that there are not much of activities hosted.

Boat House Bengre - Bengre

Paradise Lagoon and Boat House is the first and only backwater property in coastal Karnataka,the amazing ridge of land is situated between Arabian Sea and the river Swarna. A cruise on the Paradise Lagoon Boat House offers spectacular views of the swaying palms, glimpses of the Arabian Sea and beaches at certain points and fascinating visuals of the idyllic village life.It is a home to numerous migratory birds on the sand reefs as well as shellfish. Habitats in the shallow waters near Thimmanna Kudru. The vernacular culture and traditions will also leave a traveler spell bound. The Boat House is approximately 67 feet in length and has a
width of around 13 feet in the middle.The Boat House includes a sun deck, spacious living - dining and 2 A/C bedrooms. The boat is made up of natural, Eco-friendly materials like bamboo poles, coir, coconut fiber, ropes and bamboo mats.Solar powered fans and lights make the boat house ecologically sensitive.


Koti Chennaya Theme Park - Karkala

Koti and Chennaya are legendary brothers of Tulunadu, who stayed together in life and in death. They always stood for truth, justice, loyalty and courage, and revolted against tyrants. Because of their courage, conviction, and sympathy towards the downtrodden, Koti and Chennaya have been elevated to the level of divine entities. Their stories
are preserved in the form of folklore, paddanas, Garodis, etc. The main door, model Garodi and museum have already been constructed in the theme park. Close attention has been given to ensure that the park looks like it has come alive from folklore. An enclosure has been built at an elevated spot on the south-eastern corner of the park for the installation of the beautifully carved ten-feet high statues of Koti and Chennaya. Art forms carved over the wall surfaces out of cement tell the visitors the stories of the birth, life, achievements, and death of the two heroes. They also depict Tulu cultural observations like puja of serpent god, Kola, Nema, festivals, Kambala, cockfight, etc and the traditional family professions like toddy tapping, fishing through fishing line, tilling, and other agricultural activities, lift irrigation, etc. The theme park is the dream child of 'Baidashree', which was set up many years ago at Adi Udupi. Minister, V S Acharya, supported the dream of the organization. Damodar Kalmadi of 'Baidhashree' has thanked the people's representatives and the government for helping the organization to realize its dream. The government has released a grant of one crore rupees for the park so far, and promised an additional Rs 50 lac. The organization plans to build a farm of medicinal plants in the name of Deyi Baideti, mother of Koti-Chennaya, who happened to be a practitioner of native medicine, in 45 acres of land, and a Janapada University in the name of Koti-Chennaya in the remaining 27 acres of land.

Karanth Smaraka Bhavan - Kota

The aim of the bhavan is to perpetuate the memory of Karanth in the place of his birth. The bhavan reflects the architecture of this region. It comprises a "Ranga Mandira" (theatre), a library, a "Bal Bhavan" and "Karanth Kola" (pond).A "Karanth Smaraka Bhavan" in memory of Jnanpith Award-Winner Kota Shivaram Karanth .The bhavan is in the village where
Karanth was born (Kota village comes under Kotathattu Gram Panchayat). It is the initiative of the Kotathattu Gram Panchayat.It comprises a "Ranga Mandira" (theatre), a library, a "Bal Bhavan" and "Karanth Kola" (pond)."Ranga Mandira" was conceived as an open air theatre. Main attraction of the bhavan is "Karanth Kola", In the midst of the pond, a life-size bronze statue of Karanth is installed.The walls of the bhavan have paintings and the compound walls have embossed engravings done.

Divine Park Saligrama

The Divine Park, an abode of Gods and Goddesses and a unique platform of Universal Religion, is in Saligrama, a small hamlet 21 kms. north of Udupi or 81 kms. from Mangalore. According to Dr. A. Chandrashekhara Udupa, the Managing Trustee of the Divine Park Trust (Regd.),
it was conceived by his 'Guruji' as a Spiritual Laboratory for helping to activate the Atma, shakti, the divine power latent in man, and convert human life into a divine realm of peace and bliss. Dr. Udupa and the members of his joint family are ardently devoted to Sri Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and the Divine Park is also a unique temple dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda. A medical graduate and practioner, Dr. Udupa displays an extraordinary mode of conscious expression when he is inspired by his 'Guruji'. He earnestly feels that the messages which come through him are from his 'Guruji', whom he considers as Swami Vivekananda. Besides the patients who go to him for the alleviation of their physical ailments, there are many who flock to Divine Park, to have the guidance of the 'Guruji' for their mundane and spiritual problems.


Manastambha Hiriyangadi – Karkala

Karkala is home to several hundreds of years old Jain and Hindu Temples that stand to date as an evidence of a rich and diverse cultural history of Coastal Karnataka and surrounding regions and their wonderful examples of art and architecture. Some of them are now protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Manasthambha, a huge granite pillar at Hiriangadi. The manasthambha pillar was installed around the middle of the 15th century by Pandya, the grandson of Bhairava I who had established the control of the Kalasa house over Karkala region for the first time. Measuring 16.5 metre or 54 feet in height, this manasthambha in front of the Neminatha Mandir is one of the protected monuments by the ASI.

Chaturmukha Basadi - Karkala

The Chaturmukha Basadi, an important place of worship for the local Jains, was built in the late 16th century by Veeranarsimha Banga. It houses life-size statues of three revered Tirthankaras, Ara, Malli and Munisuvrata, as well as images of the other Jain saints. The Basadi has 48 pillars inside the Garbagriha and 60 pillars outside the entrances. It took over 30 years to build the Basadi. The statue of Brahma standing with the female figure of the Padmavati Yakshi is also seen in the eastern side of the Basadi.


Barkur was the ancient capital of the Tulu kingdom. It was known as Barakanur. The rulers were known as Tulu kings or rulers. They spoke Tulu language. Most of the districts ruled by them were in coastal Karnataka. Many ancient inscriptions found in Barkur are in Tulu language. These are an essential part of history of Tulunadu. The Coastal Town of Barkur was also a flourishing port in the 15th and 16th centuries. Apart from the Tulu rulers, Cholas too had their share of rule on Barkur, who are said to have ruled the city in the 11th century A.D. Alupa rulers made Barkur as their capital.
Archaeological findings suggest that Barkur was a province under the Vijayanagar Empire in 14th century A.D. Pandarideva was the Governor of this province under the regime of Harihara II. There are remains of two forts built by the Alupas and Vijayanagara governors. It was also a sub capital of the Hoysala kings for some period. The city had ten extensions called Keris - each being named after its professional residents. Each Keri had a tank and number of temples.
Barkur was the ancient capital of the Tulu kingdom. It was known as Barakanur. The rulers were known as Tulu kings or rulers. They spoke Tulu language. Most of the districts ruled by them were in coastal Karnataka. Many ancient inscriptions found in Barkur are in Tulu language. These are an essential part of history of Tulunadu. The Coastal Town of Barkur was also a flourishing port in the 15th and 16th centuries. Apart from the Tulu rulers, Cholas too had their share of rule on Barkur, who are said to have ruled the city in the 11th century A.D. Alupa rulers made Barkur as their capital. Archaeological findings suggest that Barkur was a province under the Vijayanagar Empire in 14th century A.D. Pandarideva was the Governor of this province under the regime of Harihara II. There are remains of two forts built by the Alupas and Vijayanagara governors. It was also a sub capital of the Hoysala kings for some period

Kattale Basadi

Enquiring the locals, we came to the place with the old temples with a sign board of Kattale Basadi, meaning the Dark Temple. We entered the temple group, with the Kattale Jain Basadi in the front, and two small temples behind it, one Shiva temple and another a Vaishnava temple. These are declared as National Monuments by the Archaeological Survey of India.The three temples, are all in a compound with some other structures inside, and a 20 feet monolithic stone pillar at the entrance. The temples are not architecturally much beautiful and have minimal carvings,
designs or ornamentations on the stones. The exterior walls are mostly plain with minimal carvings. But they are of historical significance as, Barkur was an ancient city, and was the ancient capital of the Tulu kingdom. It was known as Barakanur, and was once a major trade and commercial centre around 2nd century A.D, was a capital city of those times, developed much before Mangalore and Udupi. All that remain now of that historical city are just some ruins scattered all around Barkur.

Barkuru Fort

The Barkur fort is spread across 20 acres of land. Inside the fort there are ruins of the kingdom. There are pillars used to tie horses and elephants which formed the part of the army. This fort was excavated several years ago by the archaeologists in a few acres of land, which is now an excursion site.

WildLife Sanctuary

Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary - Kundapur

Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary is located near Kollur in Udupi district. This sanctuary is spread around 247 sq. km. This sanctuary is sharing its north-western boundary with Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary. Mookambika wildlife sanctuary is located at a distance of 125 km from Mangalore. Mookambika wildlife sanctuary is divided into a core zone (114 sq. km),
buffer zone (90 sq. km) and tourism zone (43 sq. Km). This sanctuary is thick with evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests of the Western Ghats. Some of the tree species found in this region includes Dipterocarpus indicus, Calophyllum tomentosum and Hopea parviflora. A rare species of climber Coscinium fenestratum are also found here. The endangered cane turtle is also found at this sanctuary. Mookambika wildlife sanctuary houses animals like Slender loris, lion-tailed macaque, sambar, chital, sloth bear, gaur, wild pig, sambar, barking deer, otter, porcupine, tiger and leopard. Best time to visit Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary is between November and April.

Food Specialties

Udupi is a world-renowned cuisine of South India. It forms an important part of the cuisine of Karnataka and takes its name from Udupi, a town on the southwest coast of India in the state of Karnataka. Udupi cuisine has its origin in the Ashta mathas of Udupi founded by Madhvacharya. Udupi cuisine comprises dishes made primarily from grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. The variety and range of dishes is wide, and a hallmark of the cuisine involves the use of locally available ingredients.It adheres strictly to the Satvik tradition of Indian vegetarian cuisine, using no onions or garlic, as well as no meat, fish, or shellfish. However, the cuisine may also be adapted for those who consume these restricted items. Following the tradition of chaaturmasa vrata, which is a restriction of certain food ingredients in a certain period or season, may have led to the innovation of a variety of dishes in Udipi cuisine. Pumpkins and gourds are the main ingredients in sambar.
A stew prepared with ground coconut and coconut oil as its base.The ubiquitous Indian dish masala dosa has its origins in Udupi. Saaru, a spicy pepper water, is another essential part of the menu, and so are jackfruit, colocasia leaves, raw green bananas, mango pickle, red chillies, and salt. Adyes (dumplings), ajadinas(dry curries), and chutneys, including one made of the skin of the ridge gourd, are specialities.

Popular Vegitable dishes of Udupi cuisines

  • Sajjige and bajil (upma made from coarse semolina and seasoned beaten rice)
  • Uddinahittu (urad flour or potato mashed mixed in curd and seasoned)
  • Kosambari (salads of green gram or Bengal gram lentils, seasoned)
  • Different types of spicy rices, such as chitranna or Bisi bele bath
  • Patrode (colacasia leaves dipped in batter and steamed cooked)
  • Menaskai (especially made of Amtekai or ambade)
  • Putnis
  • Kadubu
  • Dosa, masala dosa, neer dose
  • Sweet dishes like maddi, kaai holige, undae (laddu)
  • Puddings or parammanna or payasa or kheer
  • Mangalore bajji or golibaje
  • Kashi halva from musk pumpkin, jackfruit, banana, and bottle gourd
  • Pelakai gatti/gidde (jackfruit dumpling)
  • Pelakai appa (fried dumplings made from jackfruit)
  • Pelakai halwa (jackfruit halwa)
  • Gashi or Ghasi (thick gravy like dish made by use of peas or pulses with coconut)

The most common food of the coastal region is rice. The sea shore weather allows them to eat rice with boiled form. They prepare gruel with boiled rice (ganji/ambli). In olden days gruel was the main food. Even now many of them take it in the morning. Coconut oil is the main ingredients used in the cooking. Fish is the main food of this region. Kori roti, Koripundi, Korikalipu, Meenakaipu is the food varieties who are non-vegetarian. Only during the festivals special dishes are prepared. For Nagarapanchami parched rice panchakajjaya, tambittu, haalubyee, kesu patrode, for Krishnasthami gundittu (sweet ladoo), besan ladoo, til ladu, kodubale, kaara kaddi, chakkuli, for Gowri-Ganesh festivals Modaka, appa, karikadabu, kajjaya, Iradye (sweet kadabu prepared on turmeric leaf), for Navarathri gudaanna, Balipadya sihiguliyappa, biliyappa, ereyappa, atirasa, moode, for Yugadi daalitove etc are prepared. Bajilsajjige (puffed rice and rava), Pojil dosa (food item prepared out of rice milk, rice, jaggary and coconut), Sweet potato or cucumber payasa are additional item prepared during special occasions. Hayageeva, muskode, gojjambode, gatti baje are the item prepared during annual Shraddha. Udupi having special place in Hotel Industry, is also famous for its food varieties. Different communities have their own specialties. For example, Kattumandige is one of the main sweet dishes of Jains. Undulage, Peradye, Manaar, Hathpeganji, Ragimani, Akkimanni, Appihuli etc are special food varieties of some communities. Patrode, Kottekadabu, Obbattu, Panchakajjaya etc are the common items during festival time. During Ashtami festival most of the food items are prepared using leaves of different plants. Udarige is prepared in Hongara leaves, Mude is prepared in Mundevu leaves and Gunda prepared in jackfruit leaves. The Byaris prepare special rice mixed with dry grapes, cashew nuts and colored kushka in scented water. The people of this district use leaves for certain plants, prepare Kashayas as traditional medicines. They believe that eating chagate and kadukesu leaves, the seed of adkabhare is good for health. Kubudi's use flesh of hunted animals in preparing curry.

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