Padubidri’s main attractions are its famous temples and the beach. It attracts thousands of people during Dakke Bali at Brahmasthana and the car festival in Mahalingeshwara Mahaganapathi temple. People flock to the beach during summer vacations. ‘Padubidri End Point’, a place where the river meets the sea, is a beautiful place, ideally suited for a picnic. Kanchinadka area on the eastern side of Padubidri town offers beautiful panoramic view of Padubidri and its surrounding areas, where one can watch both sunrise and sunset. But this land has been acquired by Suzlon company and it is no more accessible to the general public.
If one wants to avoid crowded beaches and spend time quietly and peacefully, then this is the best beach to visit. This long stretch of clean and quiet beach is an ideal place to spend the evenings. Children love chasing tiny crabs trying to rush to the safety of nearby small holes in the sand. As the sun sets in, the nearby lighthouses in Kapu and Suratkal start flashing and the gentle breeze and the white surf brings you close to the nature. During certain days of the year one can watch both sunset in the west and the moon rise from the east simultaneously. During the monsoon season the sea turns violent and it is interesting to watch huge waves hitting the shore lines. During the non-monsoon season, the sea is calm and it is safe for swimming. One can watch people enjoy fishing with the long fishing lines.
Padubidri end point: This is a place where the small river flows into the sea and it is an ideal place for picnics. To watch the water flowing, you need to visit this area only during monsoon season. You can have an enjoyable drive along the road touching the beach, from end point to Kapu. One can watch many houses and lavish resorts on the way.
North of Padubidri:
Kaup (Kaapu): Built in 1901 on a 12 metre high rock, the light house in Kaup beach attracts many visitors. The light house is used by mariners to plot their position at sea while navigating. It is identified at night with its white light flashing 3 times every 20 seconds with a range of 24 nautical miles. During the day time, it is identified by its cylindrical structure with black and white bands; and red coloured lantern dome. Visitors are allowed inside the light house by paying Rs.10/- and one can watch beautiful coastline, the Arabian sea and the greenery on the eastern side. Many movies have been shot in this beautiful location. Swimming near the rock is prohibited, as it has claimed many lives. Kaapu Marigudi is an important temple in the region and it is well known for ‘Mari Pooje’.
Distance from Padubidri: 11 kms.
Udupi: This is also known as ‘Temple city’ and it is famous for its Krishna Temple. Great Sanskrit scholar Madhwacharya lived here and founded this temple in the 13th century and placed the Sri Krishna statue in it. ‘Paryaya Utsava’ is held in the month of January once in every two years in which the Swamiji of one of the eight Mathas take charge each in rotation, to worship Lord Krishna. It attracts devotees from all over India. Udupi is the district head quarters and economic hub of Udupi district. Udupi is synonymous with Udupi restaurants spread not only all over India but also at many parts of the world. Udupi has many good hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and a hypermarket ‘Big Bazaar’ which came up recently.
Distance from Padubidri: 23 kms.
Manipal: Manipal is one of main educational centres in India. Manipal University offers excellent educational services, with Kasturba Medical College (ranked 5th best in India), Manipal Institute of Technology (ranked 6th best in India) and other colleges specialised in the field of Communication, Management, Allied Health science, Information science, Pharmaceutical science, Dental science, Jewellery management and Hotel Administration. Padmashri Dr. T.M.A. Pai was the founder of Manipal and his great vision transformed this small village into an important educational centre of the country. It is the home for Syndicate Bank and the popular Kannada daily ‘Udayavani’ is published from here. Manipal offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the Arabian Sea and the western ghats from its end point.
Malpe: St.Mary’s island near Malpe is one of the best picnic spots in the region and its beauty is breathtaking. It is about 8 kms from Malpe and easily accessible by boats operating from Malpe jetty. It is interesting to watch unique hexagonal basalt rock formations here on the island. Tourists from all over India visit this tiny island (only about a square mile) and during weekends it is fun to watch students from nearby colleges and other youths singing and dancing on the boat and at the island. This island has been declared as National Geological site by the Geological survey of India. Portuguese sailor Vasco Da Gama is said to have landed on this island in 1498 on his way to Calicut.
Kolluru: Kolluru Mookambika Temple situated on the Kodachadri peaks of Western Ghats range, on the banks of River Sauparnika attracts pilgrims from all over the country. Kodachadri mountain range is one of favorite spots for trekking and mountaineering.
Distance from Udupi: 80 kms.
Maravanthe Beach: This very long stretch of beautiful beach along NH 17 with its clean white sand offers a beautiful view of the Arabian sea on the west and Sauparnika river with the background of Kodachadri hills on the other side. A drive along the beach would be a memorable experience especially during the sun set. Turtle Bay Beach Resort has a private beach, cottages, Spa, sea and back water boat riding, snorkelling and Scuba diving facilities.
Distance from Udupi 50 kms. From Kundapur 18 kms.
Kudlu Thirtha Waterfall: This is situated deep in the jungles of Western Ghats, about 15 kms from Hebri and 50 kms from Udupi. The treacherous road leading to this site itself is adventurous. After parking the vehicle, one has to do around a mile long tiresome trekking in the jungle. But all the tiredness will vanish in seconds, once you see this beautiful waterfall suddenly appearing in the front with water falling from a height of around 150 feet. The cool water of Sita River and the pleasant temperature makes you feel as if you are in an air-conditioned jungle, whereas the rest of the region boils under the summer heat. The second waterfall of Sita river is located at Jomlu Thirtha in Belve village, 35 kms from Udupi.
Murdeshwara: Murdeshwara temple surrounded by the sea on three sides is the main attraction of Murdeshwara. The temple is built with Dravidian style Chalukya and Kadamba sculptures. A magnificent 123 feet tall Shiva’s idol is believed to be the tallest Shiva’s idol in the world. There are many other life-size statues and a chariot with Lord Krishna leading Arjun to the war. Murdeshwara beach is also a good picnic spot.
Distance from Udupi: 110 kms.
East of Padubidri
Karkala: This town is the taluk head quarters of Karkala taluk and it is famous for Gomateshwara (Bahubali) statue made of a single stone and standing 42 ft tall on a giant black rock. The statue was installed in the year 1432 and it is the second tallest Gomateshwara statue after the statue at Shravanabelagola which is 57 ft tall. Mahamastakabhisheka held once in every 12 years is next due in the year 2014. Other places of interest are: Chaturmukha Basadi, Rama Samudra lake, Sri Venkataramana temple, Attur St. Lawrence church and Jama Masjid. There are many other Jain Basadis, Hindu temples and other places of worship nearby. Karkala being located at the foothills of Western Ghats offers beautiful panoramic view from Gomateshwara statue, Rama Samudra and Attur Church. St. Lawrence church situated on Parpale hill of Attur, attracts thousands of people from all religions during its annual festival. Town of Nitte which is well known for Nitte Education Trust is just 8 kms away from here.
Distance from Padubidri: 30 kms (State high way No.66).
Hanuman Gundi: 48 kms from Karkala on the way to Kudremukha, you can visit this waterfall where the water falls from a height of more than 100 feet. Reaching this spot requires walking down on the narrow steps built by forest department and it is risky during the rainy season. The water is cool and good for swimming.
Kudremukha: This town is well known for Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited and the entire town is built by this company. Kudremukh means ‘Horse’s face’ and Kudremukh peak situated at 6,250 height offers a beautiful view of surrounding areas and the blue edge of the Arabian sea during clear days. You can also visit Lakya Dam where the sludge of Iron ore project is dumped. Kudremukh National Park is situated 10 kms away from the town, cover parts of three districts – Udupi, Chikmagalur and Dakshina Kannada. It is the best place for trekking with 13 trails. Bhagwati Nature camp run by the Forest department has some tents to stay with some basic facilities and trekking. Nearby Gangamoola is a place where river Tunga, Bhadra and Netravati originate from a cave.
Distance from Padubidri: 78 kms.
Shringeri: Sharadamba temple, Vidyashankara temple and Sharada Peetha are the main attractions of Shringeri (Sringeri) located in Chikmagalur district. Adi Shankaracharya preached here for the propagation of Advaita philosophy. Sharadamba temple is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati and Vidyashankara temple was built by the founder of Vijayanagar empire Vidyaranya. Twelve pillars inside the Vidyashankara temple represent twelve zodiac signs arranged such a way that sun rays fall on them according to time of the year.
South and Southeast of Padubidri
Mulki: This small town in Dakshina Kannada district is situated along the banks of beautiful Shambhavi river. It has famous Sri Durga Parameshwari temple built by a muslim merchant ‘Bappa’. Bappanadu Dolu (drum) kept in this temple is famous in this region. Car festival at this temple and Sri Venkataramana temple attract thousands of devotees. Shambhavi river is ideal for fishing and boating.
Distance from Padubidri: 7 kms.
Kateel: On the way to Bajpe airport from Mulki, you will pass through this holy town of Kateel. Sri Durga Parameshwari temple situated on the islet of River Nandini attracts thousands of devotees daily. Flowing waters of the river embraces all around the lower layers of the temple. Goddess Sri Durgaparameshwari is known to be a lover of Yakshagana and Kateel Mela was founded in the 19th century.
Moodubidri: Moodubidri located 35 kms from Mangalore is main Jain pilgrimage centre of the South and it is famous for 1000 pillar Basadi dedicated to a Jain saint Shri Chandrakanth. The history of this over 500 years old shrine is carved on the interiors of the temple and no two pillars are similar. Alva’s Educational Foundation founded by Dr. Mohan Alva in the year 1995 runs many professional educational institutions. ‘Alva’s Virasat’ a national cultural extravaganza held every year depicts the rich cultural heritage of Karnataka.
Surathkal: Surathkal light house has a square concrete tower with red and white band, flashing white light every ten seconds with a range of 31 nautical miles. The nearby wide beach is also is one of the main attractions of Surathkal. National Institute of Technology Karnataka is situated here on the National Highway 17.
Distance from Padubidri: 17 kms.
Panamburu: New Mangalore port situated in Panamburu is the commercial gateway of the region for exporting iron ore, manganese, coffee, cashew and spices; and importing various other cargoes. It also attracts a number of Luxury Passenger Liners (cruise ships) from Southeast Asia, Europe and United States. Many of the passengers from these ships take a day long package tour to Agra to visit Taj Mahal, by special chartered flights from Bajpe air port. Panamburu beach near the port is the busiest beach in the region and many major events like ‘Surya Kirana’ Air Show by Indian Air Force were held here. Tanneeru Bavi beach situated near the southern side of the harbour is also another busy and attractive beach. MCF (Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers) factory is just opposite the main entrance of the harbour. MRPL (Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd.) is situated a few kilometers from here.
Mangalore: Mangalore is also known as Mangalooru in Kannada, Kudla in Tulu, Kodial in Konkani and Maikala in Beary language. The name Mangalooru is derived from its deity Mangaladevi (Goddess of fortune). This is the main business and commercial centre of coastal Karnataka. It had a major port and ship building centre during Hyder Ali’s time. It has 10th century Mangaladevi temple, 11th century Kadri Manjunatheshwara temple, Venkataramana temple at Car Street, Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara temple, Milagrese church, Jumma Masjid at Bundar, Idgah Masjid at lighthouse hill and numerous other temples and places of worship. St. Aloysius church built in the year 1899-1900 has famous paintings of Italian painter Antonio Moscheni on its interiors and St. Aloysius College Chapel is also an architectural beauty with the painting on its walls and ceiling. The college and the chapel are dedicated to Aloysius Gonzaga for his life time service to the students. Kadri park and Tagore park are the main parks to be visited. Sultan Batheri situated 6 kms away in Boloor was built by Tipu Sultan to prevent warships from entering Gurupur river. Mangalore city has excellent hotels and restaurants. Major IT companies have their outsourcing and software development facilities here. Mangalore city is growing in a very rapid pace with new shopping malls, Universities, IT centres, hotels, and many other industries are also coming up.
Distance from Padubidri: 37 kms.
Pilikula: Pilikula means ‘Tiger pond’ in Tulu language. It is situated in Moodushedde, 3 kms from Vamanjooru and 18 kms from Mangalore. In the olden days the tigers used to come to this pond to drink water and hence this name was derived. Pilikula Nisargadhama is a favorite tourist spot with a zoo, Manasa water park and botanical garden. The animals in the zoo (Zoological Park) are kept in the open (not in the cage) separated from people with trenches or wire mesh. So people can enjoy watching these animals from a close range, offering a safe and real wild life experience in the open. Tigers, panthers, lions, sambar, deers, lion tailed macaque, different kinds monkeys and many varieties of snakes can be seen here. It also carries out captive breeding of King Cobra. Scores of school children and families visit Manasa water park (amusement park) for a day long fun with the water slides and boating. A 35 acres golf course also has been set up with a total yardage of 2800 yards. Ayurveda therapy is also offered here. Overall, this place is must-see for education and recreation.
Ullal: This small town of Ullal is situated about 8 kms from Mangalore, was the capitol of Tulu Kingdom and Rani Abbakka Devi was the prominent among them to fight for freedom against Portuguese. Someshwara temple, Queen Abbakka’s fort and Seyyad Madani Dargah are the other places to be visited. The Ullal Jamma Masjid, dedicated to the memory of the Muslim saint Syed Muhamed Shareef Madani Melangadi, is a renowned Muslim pilgrimage. Summer Sands Beach resort covering an area of 15 acres offers beautiful villas & cottages, swimming pool, multi-cuisine restaurant, Children’s park & fish pond, Billiards, access to the beautiful beach and multipurpose hall. This is one of the places in the region where you can find many foreign tourists as well.
Dharmasthala: This temple town of Karnataka is situated around 70 kms from Mangalore is the ideally located amidst the Western Ghats on the banks of Netravati river. Sri Manjunatheshwara temple is visited on an average of 10,000 people a day, by people from different faiths, castes and all walks of life. A 39 feet tall monolithic statue of Bahubali was installed here in the year 1973. SDM Educational Trusts runs many educational institutions all over the region. Padmashri Dr. Veerendra Heggade is the present head of Dharmasthala and he has taken it to new heights. Free mass marriages held here to help the poor people has gained massive popularity. Devotees are provided free boarding and lodging.
Distance from Padubidri: 90 kms.
Subramanya: Subramanya village is situated about 100 kms from Mangalore, in the deep forests near the Western Ghats. Kukke Subramanya temple is the main pilgrim centre here. Devotees take holy bath in the Kumaradhara river and then proceed for the Darshan in the temple. The silver-covered Garuda Pillar is believed to be erected there to protect the devotees from poisonous fumes of Vasuki who resides inside.
Bhadra Tiger Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary: This is situated in the midst of the Western Ghats, 38 kms North West of Chikmagalur. It became the 25th tiger reserve of ‘Project Tiger’. Tigers, leopards, gaurs (bison), elephants, sloth bears, striped hyena, rare flying lizard, porcupine and many kinds of birds can be found here. Tributaries of Bhadra river flows through it. ‘River Tern Lodge’ offers safari facilities by providing exciting jeep rides.