Udupi is an important pilgrimage spot in Karnataka. It is famous for the 12th-century saint Madhava who was born here and later built 8 sanyasi mutts in this place and made his birthplace a pilgrim site. Udupi is also known as Shiva Belli or Shivali. According to a legend, sage Parasurama crowned his disciple Ramabhoja as the king at this place, to recover the land from the sea.
In return for this favor, Ramabhoja formed a silver Peetham (place of worship) with a snake curved on it and established Parasurama there as Linga Swarupam and started worshipping him as Ananteswara. This temple is now one of the most important tourist attractions in Udupi. The most attractive and also religiously significant part of this temple is a small window which is called ‘Kanakana Kindi'. It is believed that Krishna became visible before his devotee Kanakadasa, a saint minstrel of the low caste there.
Why visit Udupi?
Udupi is home to the renowned Manipal University, and India's first-ever private medical college, the Kasturba Medical College. It is a must-visit for its exceptional beauty evident through its shores, rivers, sea, hills, museums, temples, heritage villages, planetariums, and gardens.
A tour to Udupi Karnataka is quite popular among the Hindu pilgrims of South India. The Parya festival at Udupi is a colorful festival and brings a number of tourists and devotees from all over the country. This festival is held once in two years.
Makar Sankranti is the other most important festival of Udupi. During this festival, the image of Krishna, Chandramouleeswara, and Anantheshwara are taken out of the temple and carried by the devotees in a procession. Krishna Janmashtami is also a famous festival of Udupi.
Places to visit in Udupi
Udupi is blessed with a serene coastline and picturesque locales and has some of the amazing tourist attractions in Karnataka. Overlooked by popular cities on the west coast, there are a lot of places to visit in Udupi such as Sri Krishna Temple, Malpe Beach, Mary’s Island, Kapu Beach, Pajaka, Corporation Bank Heritage Museum, and Ananteshwar Temple.
Apart from this, there is a Balakrishna temple, which has an image of Krishna. There is a myth related to this temple that the creator of swarga (heaven), Vishwakarma built this temple.
Things to do in Udupi
With pristine beaches, ancient temples, and lush greenery, there are a lot of things to do in Udupi. Whether you are a nature lover, a history buff, or a religious tourist, you will find something or the other to keep you entertained. Visiting nearby villages such as Moodubelle or Alevoor to experience the authentic Udupi, savoring the delicious cuisine, enjoy a ferry from Malpe harbor to St. Mary’s Islands, or indulging in activities like paragliding, jet skiing and more, are some of the popular things to do in Udupi.
Best time to visit Udupi
The best time to visit Udupi is from December to February. The winter season in Udupi is chilly and is also preferred by most tourists. The sightseeing and water activities can be enjoyed comfortably as the weather is pleasant during this time.
How to reach Udupi
You can reach Udupi by air, rail, or road. Mangalore airport is one of the closest airports to Udupi from where direct or indirect flights are available from major cities in India. Konkan Railway network is the main railway that connects the city with several other Indian cities and states. You can also hire a bus or taxi service to reach Udupi. Roads are pretty smooth and connected to important cities.
How to get around Udupi
The easiest way to travel within the city is by auto-rickshaws. Remember to fix the price before sitting or ask the driver to go by the meter. Apart from this, local bus services in Udupi are also popular.
Accommodation in Udupi
Udupi tours are undertaken by a large number of tourists and pilgrims throughout the year. This huge tourist inflow has resulted in the set up of a large number of hotels and other forms of accommodation. Some of the best hotels to stay in Udupi are Paradise Isle Beach Resort, The Ocean Pearl, Paradise Lagoon, and Hotel Tranquil Manipal. You can choose the type of hotel according to your budget and preference.
Where to eat in Udupi
The traditional Udupi cuisine provides a unique flavor to the cuisine of Karnataka. While in Udupi, you must savor the authentic food for the best experience. The popular foods of Udupi are Upma, a wide variety of dosas, Bisi bele bath, Idlis, Rasam, Goli baje, Payasa, Kheer, and more. Woodlands, Thamboolam, Mitra Samaja are the most popular restaurants in Udupi.
Shopping in Udupi
The city of Udupi is known for its traditional clothing and textiles. Kanjeevaram, Dharmavaram, and Banarasi silk sarees can be found here at reasonable rates. Traditional and modern garments and various types of jewelry are other things to buy in Udupi. Ratha Beedi market, Kalsanka Girija Silk, Sai Ram Textorium, Abharan, and The City Centre Mall are the popular shopping markets in Udupi.