While the conventional list of holiday destinations remain the best option for most Indian travellers, few might wander away only to discover what a brochure may have missed
There are many such destinations for the wanderer and not too far from the capital city of Bangalore lies an unassuming town (taluk) called Kundapur in Udupi district. A drive through the Western Ghats would take one to Mangalore and from there, the humidity and closeness to the sea becomes apparent when one drives further to cross Kundapur and then towards Karwar and Goa. The town is like any other we can find in the coastal areas; bad roads, tiled roof homes and shops, coconut trees and abundance of humidity. The porous rocks are another traditional sign of this coastal town.
With only a population of around 30,000 people, rest assured this small town is a heaven for those escaping from traffic in the bigger cities. But the ‘plague’ of one ways can be found here as well as some of the roads have signs near the main market area.
Kundapur has a distinction of being a town surrounded by water from three sides almost. With the Pachagangavali river in the North side and the Kalaghar river lies in the East side. But the most notable of them all would have to be the backwaters of the Arabian Sea towards the Southern part. The water are not green as found in other backwater regions in the country. The water is almost a turquoise and is as still as a stone where vegetation can be mostly seen floating or in small islands across the breadth of the water body.
Dusk in fact settles and it is mesmerizing nevertheless. For all Kannada speakers the town may have a few delightful surprises. For starters the dialect in this region is called Kundapur Kannada, which is a little more calmer on the ear and adjectives and adverbs are used twice in most cases. A day of speaking with the locals could tempt anyone to try the same at the next given opportunity. Walking around would be the best mode of transport as autorickshaw’s drivers (like everywhere else) have a tendency to claim astronomical fares to take one to the moon and back.
But when hunger strikes, make the walk, hire a plane, or hijack an airship but take it straight to Shetty Lunch Home. This is the one of the most understated food joints in the state. Look through the menu if there is a requirement to increase general knowledge and not ordering the food. The most popular food dish here happens to be ‘Chicken Ghee Roast’. Dripping with fat, aroma that penetrates the skin and almost golden in colour, even the ‘diet’ will excuse their follower when this sublime dish is close to the palate.
If space remains in the stomach, then head towards any of the nearby beaches for ‘desi shacks’ with a wide range of fish cooked in coastal style. The ‘Kaane meen’ or Kaane Fish will satiate the taste buds of any sea food enthusiast. A trip to Marvanthe Beach would be ideal as it is only about 20 kms from the main town. For those who prefer Goa, this beach would remind anyone of what the beach really is. Uncorrupted and almost untouched in many places, the water is clean and the sand is fine. But the inviting waters are not the safest according to locals. They say that the ground below the water suddenly falls many feet and caution is a must here.
The place is also close to many religiously significant places such as Kollur Mookambike and many other. All in all, Kundapur is a quiet get away for many students from Manipal and few from places who know what this place has to offer. A trip to this place will only set one back a day, but will return the favour with undying and unforgettable memories.