10 Best Places to Visit in Udupi, Karnataka

If you're seeking a blend of cultural richness, serene landscapes, and delectable cuisine, Udupi should be on your travel radar. Nestled in the coastal belt of Karnataka, Udupi promises an unforgettable experience for every traveller.

Situated at a distance of 50 km from Mangalore, the town of Udupi is famous for its Krishna temple and the Udupi cuisine. Udupi is called the Rajata Peetha and Shivalli and is an important centre of pilgrimage and one of the important places to visit near Mangalore.

You can also explore gorgeous beaches at Kaup, Baindur, Mulki, etc. If you are interested in having an adventure in water or on the sea then you must head to the spectacular beach of Kodi Bengre and should learn surfing at SAFA Surfing School. The beach is extraordinarily beautiful and amazing.

You have a chance to enjoy these beautiful places by going through a cruise or houseboats on lovely waters in Udupi district.

The popularity of the Udupi dishes has led to mushrooming of Udupi restaurants throughout the country.

Best places to visit in Udupi

In this blog, we'll guide you through some must-visit places in Udupi that will leave you enchanted. And for those considering Kerala tour packages or Wayanad tour packages, Udupi is a gem worth exploring during your South Indian adventure!

1. Malpe Beach

Our journey begins at Malpe Beach, a picturesque coastal haven just a short drive from Udupi. Malpe is situated to the West of Udupi in Karnataka. With golden sands and clear blue waters, Malpe is a haven for beach lovers. Unwind as you watch the fishermen at work or embark on a boat ride to St. Mary's Island for a touch of natural marvel. Don't forget to sample some fresh seafood at the beachside shacks!

Malpe is an important port and fishing harbour and is an important tourist place near Mangalore. Malpe is blessed with spectacular natural beauty and it attracts tourists from all over the country and the world. It is a natural port and is situated at the mouth of the Udayavara River.

The River Udayavara flows from East to West and meets the sea at Malpe. The river has several islets and has a beautiful and enchanting green belt on both its sides. It also separates the town of Udayavara from the sea. The town of Udayavara was the earliest capitals of the Alupas.

Close to the mainland of Malpe are four rocky islands namely, the Daria-Bahadurgarh, which is the Northern-most island; the Kari-Illada-Kallu, which is the Southern-most island; the Daria-Gadara-Kalluthe, which is situated in between the Daria-Bahadurgarh and the Kari-Illada-Kallu islands and the St Mary’s Island, which is also known as the Thonse Paar.

Malpe is home to the Mogaveera tribe which is a fishing community. The largest industry in Malpe is the fishing industry. Malpe is the largest port in Karnataka and a major fisheries hub. The other prominent industries of the beach town are tile manufacturing and the coconut industry.

There are several places of interest in and around Malpe, which are important tourist places near Mangalore. Some of these places are temples of Balaram and Ananteshwara. There is a fort on the island of the Daria-Bahadurgarh, which is an important tourist destination. The fort is believed to have been built by Basavappa Nayak of Bidanur. The main languages in the town of Malpe include Tulu, Kannada and Konkani.

2. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha

The most important tourist destination in Udupi is the Krishna Mutt which was founded in the 13th century by the Vaishnava Saint Sri Madhavacharya. Udupi is renowned for its historic Sri Krishna Temple, a spiritual sanctuary that dates back centuries. The intricate architecture and the divine aura make it a must-visit. Witness the grand 'Utsav Murti' adorned with jewels and experience the soul-soothing vibes of this sacred place. Remember to dress modestly when visiting the temple.

The other most attractive feature of Udupi is its cuisine, popularly known as the Udupi cuisine. The cuisine and its dishes are vegetarian and have found widespread popularity all over the world.

The origin of the cuisine is related to the Krishna Mutt. During the Chaturmasa during monsoons, there are restrictions on ingredients that can be used for preparing Lord Krishna’s food. The Shivalli Madhwa Brahmins created this unique cuisine to offer to Lord Krishna. At the Krishna Mutt, these dishes are available free of cost.

3. Manipal

Adjacent to Udupi lies Manipal, a bustling town known for its world-class educational institutions. Take a stroll through the lush greens of Manipal University campus and explore the Manipal Lake. The town's vibrant atmosphere, diverse cuisine, and cultural events are sure to captivate you.

4. St. Mary's Island

St Mary’s Island is also a very important tourist destination and is quite popular among both locals and tourists. A short ferry ride from Malpe Beach, St. Mary's Island is a geological wonder with distinctive hexagonal basalt rock formations. The unique landscape and crystal-clear waters make it a haven for photographers and nature enthusiasts. Remember to carry a camera to capture the breathtaking vistas!

5. Kapu Beach

For a tranquil evening, head to Kapu Beach, known for its mesmerising sunsets. The lighthouse at Kapu offers panoramic views of the coastline, making it a perfect spot to unwind. The golden hues of the setting sun reflecting on the Arabian Sea create a magical ambiance that you won't want to miss.

Kaup Beach, also known as Kapu Beach, is another gem along the Udupi coastline. It's not just about the pristine sands and gentle waves; Kaup Beach boasts a historic lighthouse that provides panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. Climb to the top for a breathtaking sight, and if you time it right, catch a spectacular sunset painting the sky in warm hues.

6. Karkala

Situated at a distance of 380 km from the capital city of Bangalore, Karkala is a small town in the Udupi district of Karnataka. During the Jain rule, the town was called Pandya Nagari and was later renamed to Karikallu. This later metamorphosed to Karkal and finally to Karkala. Karkala is of particular interest as it has a number of historical and natural landmarks.

Karkala is best known for the gigantic statue of Gomateshwara. The statue of Gomateshwara has a height of 42 feet and is an important site of pilgrimage for Jains from all over the world. Karkala also has about 18 Jain basadis including the Chaturmukha Tirthankara Basadi, Anekere Padmavathi Basadi, Hiriyangaddi Neminatha Basadi.

Karkala also has a number of Hindu temples, mosques and churches. Some of the most important historical monuments in Karkala include the Ananthapadmanabha Temple, Chaturmukha Basadi, the Gomateshwara statue and the Manasthambha and these are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

There are several festivals celebrated in the city. However, the most important of all the festivals celebrated in Karkala is the Mahamastakabhisheka. The festival is celebrated once in every 12 years and it attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world.

The Mahamastakabhisheka is a ceremony when hundreds and thousands of devotees from all over the country and the world gather at Karkala to bathe and anoint the Gomateshwara statue with milk, water, saffron paste, sandalwood powder, turmeric and vermillion. Innumerable devotees from all over the world come to Karkala to participate in and witness this grand festival.

Other important traditions of Karkala include the Hulivesha or Tiger Dance, which is a unique folk dance of the region; Bhuta Kola or spirit worship, which is carried out at night; the Kambala or buffalo racing; Korikatta or Cockfighting; and Nagaradhane or snake worship.

7. Anegudde Vinayaka Temple

Nestled amidst lush greenery, the Anegudde Vinayaka Temple is a divine escape for those seeking blessings in a serene setting. Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, this temple holds religious significance and offers a peaceful atmosphere for reflection. Embrace the spirituality as you soak in the natural beauty surrounding the temple.

8. Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village

For a unique cultural experience, visit the Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village, a living museum that showcases traditional art, architecture, and lifestyle. Wander through the beautifully preserved heritage homes and witness the intricate craftsmanship of ancient artefacts. It's a delightful journey back in time, providing insights into the rich cultural heritage of the region.

9. Mattu Beach

If you're yearning for a more secluded and offbeat beach experience, head to Mattu Beach. Known for its pristine and less-crowded shores, Mattu is perfect for a quiet day by the sea. The rhythmic sound of the waves and the soft sand beneath your feet make it an ideal spot for relaxation and introspection.

10. Agumbe

For nature lovers and adventure seekers, a trip to Agumbe is a must. Often referred to as the 'Cherrapunji of the South,' Agumbe is a haven for trekking and exploring dense rainforests. The breathtaking sunset view from the Sunset Point adds to the allure. As you plan your Udupi itinerary, consider extending your journey to Agumbe for a taste of the Western Ghats' raw beauty.

Agumbe has a sunset point which receives lot of visitors. On a clear day, one can see the sun setting over the Arabian Sea though the sea is at quite a distance from Agumbe. The sunset point at Agumbe is a beautiful location offering a magnificent view of the sun giving way for the moon. The misty mornings, windy evenings and rainy nights are the delights of Agumbe.

One can also check out the Barkana Falls. There is an ancient temple dating back to 14th century. This temple is dedicated to Gopalakrishna and is built in Hoysala style developed during the reign of Hoysala Empire.

The Hoysala Empire was concentrated in the south of India and they were really prominent at that period of time. They ruled between the 10th and the 14th centuries. The Hoysala rulers rose to power by taking advantage of the conflicting western Chalukya Dynasty and Kalachuris kingdom. They annexed the fertile areas of Kaveri River and present day Karnataka region.

The hill station`s first claim to fame was when the TV series based on R. K. Narayan's famous novel Malgudi Days was shot here. Malgudi Days is a famous television serial which was directed by Shankar Nag and is based on the novels written by R. K. Narayan.

Agumbe Hill Station is popular for its Rainforest Research Station set up by Romulus Whitaker, a renowned herpetologist. Agumbe Hill Station is seen as an important dwelling place for King Cobra.The main aim of this reserve is to conserve the cobras. For this purpose, a huge area has been turned into the reserve. Apart from the serpents, and other animals are kept in the adjoining land of the research unit.

Agumbe is also called the capital of king cobra due to the high number of the species found. Despite the high density of King Cobras in the region; incidents of snake-human conflict are rare. Agumbe Rainforest Research Station has pioneered the world’s first radio-telemetry project on the King Cobra. Insights gained from the ecological study are being put into practice into King Cobra management.

Agumbe is also called ‘Hasiru Honnu’ which means ‘Green Gold’ as Agumbe is home to several rare species of medicinal plants like Garcinia, Myristica, Listsaea, Diospyrous, Hoiligarna, Eugenia and Ficus.

The land of King Cobra as they call it, Agumbe is a rain-forest that cannot be missed. A whole new macro ecosystem comes into existence when monsoons hit in June. The rivers, streams, lakes and waterfalls are mesmerizingly wild. Often referred to as Cherrapunji of the South, Agumbe is a beautiful hill station located in the Shimoga District of Karnataka.

The Cherrapunji of the South, Agumbe is the perfect honeymoon destination for couples. This impressive city is just 379 kilometers from Goa and attracts a number of tourists from all over the world for its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. Agumbe is known mainly for its dense forests, therefore, it is often associated with the conservation of forests and medicinal plants.

On the other hand, it is due to its unique topography and adequate temperatures that the region is the breeding ground of King Cobra, the world's longest poisonous snake. Agumbe Rainforest Research Station is one of its kind in the country. Sunset points, Kunchikal Falls, Barkana Falls, Gopalakrishna Temple are the main options in Agumbe.

The place has stunning hiking trails and beautiful spots for sunset inspection. With lush green forests and breathtaking scenic beauty, the place has guests flocking to its doors attracted by its rustic charms. Superbly well known for its second most significant annual rainfall in the country.


Udupi, being an important place to visit near Mangalore, is well connected by rail, road and airways. National Highway 17 passes through the town and hence it is well connected by buses. The nearest railway station is the Udupi Railway Station, which comes under the Konkan Railways. The nearest airport is the Mangalore Airport.

One must visit Karnataka between November to March as it is the season of activities in coastal districts of Udupi and Mangalore.

Udupi, with its blend of spirituality, natural beauty, and vibrant culture, offers a diverse experience for every traveller. Whether you're on a quest for tranquillity or an adventure seeker, Udupi has something special for you. And if you're planning to explore the neighbouring states, consider including Udupi in your Kerala tour packages or Wayanad tour packages for an extra dose of coastal charm. Pack your bags, embark on this coastal journey, and let Udupi weave its magic on you!

Kalyan Panja