We headed back to the Mangalore highway (NH 66) and continued our journey to Udupi. Watching mirages on the black tarmac in the scorching sun. Sagar Restaurant with air conditioning was a relief from the heat. Occasional stops at Highway Nest near NHAI toll plaza to refuel with coffee made it easier to reach Udupi around 5pm. The stretch at Maravanthe, with the sea on one side and the river on the other, doesn’t miss taking one’s breath away no matter how many times you ride on that path. Checked in at Leo’s AirBnB apartment near District Hospital and called it a day. FZ needed some minor repairs and found a small workshop nearby to get those done.
If you have only an hour to spare in Udupi, head to
Priyadarshini at Brahmagiri and enjoy a cup of coffee with some snacks. But you
may have to wait for a while to get a spot here. So popular with the locals,
you will find many working men enjoying their ‘tiffin’ here from 7am to 7pm.
The laid-back town is home to the famed Sri Krishna Mutt Temple and the Anantha
Padmanabha Temple. This region is a haven for food connoisseurs.
After a lip-smacking breakfast, we made our way to Varanga Kere (lake) Basadi. Known also as Chaturmukha Basadi with four Thirthankaras facing four directions. As expected, google maps took us for a ‘ride’ through tiny village roads and startlingly, the route was worth every mile we rode. The humble Jain temple is located in the middle of a lake and accessible only by a small boat ride (Rs 20). When you start the ride, a school of fish will ride along with the boat until your destination, reminding you of ‘Finding Nemo’. This 13th Century temple is very unique in its location. Another temple built in the 12th century, opposite the lake temple across the paddy field, is the Hire Basadi, the abode of Neminatha Tirthankara.
The Malpe beach is equipped with water sports activities, a boat ride to the famous St.Mary’s Island and numerous shacks on the sands offering delectable food. Over a leisurely lunch, we met a fellow traveller friend from Auroville. Meandering through Kodi Bengare-Hoode road, with Sita River on the right and Arabian sea on the left, we reached Delta point where the sea meets the river. This place is best visited at sunset. Malpe beach is 5 kilometres from NH 66, and Delta Point is 11 kilometres from here.