Coastal Karnataka: A Rewinding Trip By The Backwaters

Backwaters of Panchagangavalli river, Kundapura in Coastal Karnataka
Backwaters of Panchagangavalli river, Kundapura in Coastal Karnataka

I was in Karnataka after 4 months, had last visited coastal Karnataka 5 years back and stayed in Mangalore some 7 years back. This time, of course, the trip was very different as we landed in Mangalore on a hot and humid May morning. We drove to Kundapura where we planned to stay in a river island resort while stopping for lunch in Udupi.

Coastal Karnataka Trip

River island resort by Panchagangavalli river, Kundapura in Coastal Karnataka
River island resort by Panchagangavalli river, Kundapura
View of Panchagangavalli river, Kundapura in Coastal Karnataka
View of Panchagangavalli river

The much-hyped Mangalore Goa highway is a dangerous place, to say the least. The two-lane highway does not have any divider and has villages all along the highway. People on foot, on a bicycle, on auto just walk past the road, without looking at either side, leaving the responsibility of their safety to vehicle drivers of the highway. On the whole stretch we were close to knocking down a biker, came close to having a brush with few pedestrians. And close enough to be hit bang on by vehicle coming from the opposite direction.

There is an urgent need for the over bridges for people to cross the road. And of course, people need to be a little more cautious while crossing.

Landscape view of Panchagangavalli river & railway bridge
Landscape view of Panchagangavalli river & a railway bridge

River Islands

The backwaters of the western coast have lots of islands, usually referred to as river islands. They are in all kinds of sizes and shapes and some enterprising entrepreneurs have converted some of these islands into eco-resorts. By building interesting cottages where you can be on top of the river which is flowing below you. Be amongst the trees that have been grown for generating fruits and in general the local flora. Some of these islands are big enough and support as a small population of few thousands. They use boats as a primary transport to travel to and from the mainland.

Some islands are only a few acres and make a perfect size for a small resort. They have few cottages scattered across the island. With a common kitchen and dining area with a caretaker to cook the exotic local food for you. To put your entire luggage in a boat and use it as a primary means to travel to and from the island adds to the exotic of the whole experience. This area is known for its heavy monsoon. So if you are lucky you will get to see the heavy downpour falling on the backwaters and the plantations around you. It is almost like music to ears.

Landscape view across the Panchagangavalli river
Landscape view across the Panchagangavalli river

Kodi Beach

The beach is never too far from any of these places and since it is the western coast, you can enjoy a nice sunset. The beaches are not too crowded and are long enough for you to go for a long walk. And lose yourself on the horizon in sight. It is so peaceful to walk on the almost lonely beach that you tend to lose the concept of time and distance. We walked on the Kodi beach which had only one big restaurant. And miles of stretch on both sides inviting you for a long walk. There are no lighthouses and we could not see any big ships like the ones you see near Mangalore.

All in all a well-enjoyed trip on a patch of earth that is still green and yet to be urbanized completely.

Recommend you to visit this natural beauty in Kundapura.

Recommend you to read following travel Blog on Tourist Places in Karnataka.

Hampi Travelogue A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bheemeshwari & Shivasamudram Travelogue

Chitradurga, Chandravalli & Jogimatti

Badami, Aihole & Pattadakal – A Visual Treat

Gol Gumbaz – A Reverberating Dome


  1. I enjoyed reading your travelogues. Some more details on travel routes and places you had visited would be welcome. Nice to see different topics in your blog. Will try to read them all. 🙂


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