Murudeshwara, Karnataka, India

My new found love for coastal Karnataka has brought me here to Murdeshwara, known for Lord Shiva temple at the sea shore. The Shiva statue and 18 floor temple tower brings all the popularity Murdeshwara has. I had come from Bangalore to Murdeshwara via Mangalore. All along the way there were scenic backwaters what seemed to me is like a river. It is absolute scenic stretch of Gangoli beach; on the left is bright blue sea that extends beyond horizon decorated with whitish sand and stone wall and on the right is beautiful backwaters. I had reached around 10:30 after the bus had departed from Mangalore at around 6:30. This day I was sweating uncontrollably, humidity in the air made me notoriously sultry. First thing was to search for a hotel, hotels here are overpriced for what it offers. There are small houses that host travellers. I neither found anyone hosting on couchsurfing nor hostels. Most hotels were reluctant in hosting lone travellers due to some unfortunate incident, identification proof was mandatory at all hotels. I stayed at Dhenu Atithya, hotel gave me a decent discount since I was travelling alone. They have a restaurant attached at first floor of hotel and interestingly they perform “gou pooja” every morning where the guests are also invited.

123 feet Shiva Statue
123 ft Shiva

Aerial view of beach
Aerial View of Beach

The temple’s eighteen floor tower’s top can be reached using elevator by paying meager rs.10–This is probably the most important view to be experienced, it provides an amazing aerial view of the Shiva statue, beach and the town. The beach becomes interesting place by early morning; fresh catch of crabs, indian mackerel, prawns come from boat of all sizes, getting into sea waters is not advisable; beach is crab infested. You can stroll across streets to find small hotels who serve fish but they are only few.

Plan for Murdeswara, can be done along with Nethraani Islands and Gokarna.

Murdeswara town

Temple

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Udupi, Karnataka, India

Udupi, a holy town famously known for Sri Krishna temple and its food. A clean town, which is around 400 kms from Bangalore, there are buses to Udupi, which go via Mangalore. There are abundant bus services from Mangalore which is around sixty kms away to Udupi. The temple which has an interesting history on how it was founded by Madhvacharya is five minutes by walk from the bus stand. Spirituality was already in the air, with divine fragrance and and the music as we approached the temple. You can find accommodations around the temple, prefer the mutt’s accommodation which is closer to temple, inexpensive and of good standards, we paid ₹750 for a non-a/c room.

temple

Udupi Cuisine, know across nation for its uncomplicated flavor without onion and garlic, food is served at the temple twice a day for lunch and dinner from where popularity of Udupi cuisine come from. It would remain incomplete without experiencing other Udupi recipes, prefer smaller traditional restaurants near by temple. did I say ‘Masala dosa’ originated at Udupi?

There is a strong urge within me to talk about Udupi girls, they are beautiful and they still posses the lost art of shyness and I shall end it here.

Six kms away is the Maple beach, you have abundant small buses from Udupi. Plan to spend a full day at the beach. There is a Mahatma Gandhi statue at the entrance, apart from couple of resorts and few small shops the beach is not much commercialized. There are few rocky islands near Malpe, there are boat services to these islands at nominal cost. St. Mary’s island is special because of its rock formations. Basalt, a type of igneous rock is in columnar formation, within the island there are columnar hexagonal formation. Island holds geological importance, also declared as a geological monument by Geological Survey of India. In the Malpe beach, you can walk little further to visit the shipyard, visitors are not allowed inside but you can see some of the shipyard by coming around to back side. There is also a port with hundreds of fishing boats anchored. By evening, beautiful sunset that anyone cannot afford to miss.

arriving at island

St.Mary's Island

Malpe beach

With a traveler spirit without a tourist attitude, Udupi has much to offer.

Himalayan Trek – Enroute To Yuksum

We reached New Jalpaiguri(NJP) after night long train journey, we arrived in Darjeeling express, which is perhaps the best train comparatively. NJP is the gateway to most treks in Sikkim. With the sight of many trekkers with backpacks and boots, spirit of adventure had already started seeping in. We had our breakfast at a restaurant called ‘Dadha Bhai’, While we just chose it for its name, it proved not bad.

As we started towards Yuksum in a TATA Sumo, our young driver Dillu impressed us in first meet. He also told a sweet lie that he doesn’t have Bollywood songs, and made us listen Nepali songs. We are glad he did it, now we know couple of Nepali songs and we enjoyed it.

Teesta river

Almost entire length from NJP to Yuksum, we had beautiful view of the Teesta river. The clear blue water and beige shores are sure to mesmerize anyone. We stopped for lunch at Jorethang. Our driver suggested us a restaurant, ‘Walk In’ and it was worth the try. Jorethang

After a 8 hour drive from New Jalpaiguri (Near Siliguri) to Yuksum at around 5 pm, It was already pitch dark. We had our rooms reserved at a small hotel called ‘Pemathang’, a warm lady who also owns the place welcomed and served us tea. Soon, as we realized shops and restaurant pull down their shutters around 7 pm, we hurried to finish our dinner. We walked across to the Yak restaurant. We met an wonderful lady ‘Karma’ , who apparently lives up to her name. Looking at the our enthusiasm, Karma knew what she had to serve us, the Chhang, a local made rice brew served hot, served in a bamboo mug and straw, filled with millet seeds. The best part of the drink is, we just had to refill the beer with hot water. After a long day of singing and cheering, all we wanted to do was to hit the sack.

New Jalpaguri