What to SEE in UDUPI

  • Here is a comprehensive guide on what to see in Udupi. Know about its beaches, temples, waterfalls, scenic natural landscape, waterfalls, where to relish local delicacies and day trips.

Udupi is one of the most revered places in Karnataka. From a beautiful coastline and fine sand beaches buzzing with activity to mouth-watering food and numerous ancient temples, Udupi has something for everyone. One second it feels like the sleepy town with slow paced life and devotional atmosphere all around. And the next, it is a hub of adventure sports and water activities on its beaches.

So, how do you soak it all when you are in Udupi? Here are some ideas.

Relax at a beach in Udupi

When you arrive in Udupi, start your journey by relaxing at one its beaches. Kapu beach and Malpe beach are two of its most famous beaches.

Kapu beach. Pic by author.

Malpe beach. Pic by author.

Near Malpe beach. Courtesy Karnataka Tourism

Kodi beach.  Courtesy www.thrillophilia.com

While Malpe beach buzzes with a lot of footfall and there are a plethora of things to do on Malpe beach. On the other hand, Kapu beach is calmer and more relaxed. Depending on when you reach Udupi and how much time you have at hand, visit one of these beaches. And spend the rest of your day here.

Udupi is a Temple city

Spend your next few days in Udupi exploring the temples of Udupi. The most famous of all the temples is Sri Krishna Temple and Math Udupi – the temple of Baal Krishna. It is one of the few temples of Krishna in South India. 

Sri Krishna Temple. 

The story of origin of Sri Krishna Temple Udupi is very fascinating. When Krishna re-entered his childhood form to please his birth mother Devaki, his wife Rukmani was so fascinated by this “Baal Krishna” that she made a murti of Baal Krishna. Years later, this murti reached Udupi. This was discovered by “Shri Madhvacharya” – a devotee of Sri Krishna who then constructed the Sri Krishna Temple Udupi.

Sri Krishna Temple. 

The temple has eight Maths that look after its administration. There is no entry fee for devotees, twice a day free “langar” or meals are arranged in the temple campus. The temple has drinking water, locker rooms and rooms for devotees so they can stay comfortably on the temple campus itself. 

Start your second day in Udupi by visiting this most beautiful temple of Udupi as early in the morning as possible.

There are many other ancient and beautiful temples it in Udupi. These include –

Chandramaulishwar Temple

A temple of Shiva that must be visited before the Sri Krishna Temple.

Mookambika Temple

A temple that combines the power of three Goddess into one–Saraswati, Mahakali and Mahalakshmi 

Ananteshwar Temple Udupi

It was built in the 8th century and is the oldest temple of Udupi, devoted to Shiva.

Sri Brahmi Durga Parmeshwari Temple

Yet another temple dedicated to Goddess Durga. But instead of a murti, she is worshipped as a linga here!

Anegudde Vinayaka Temple

A temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This temple has a stunning murti of Ganesha i.e. 12+ feet tall.

Anantha Padmanabha Temple

Another ancient temple dedicated to Padmanabha–a form of Vishnu. This temple is on the banks of river Sita.  

Shri Mahishamardini Temple

This is another very ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Durga in Udupi. It is 1200+ years old. This temple is primarily known for its Hindu New Year Celebration held in the month of March – April.

Ambalpady Mahakali Temple

This is another temple where Goddess is worshipped and is the only temple in India where there is an oracle. And devotees believe the Goddess herself speaks to them through it.

Sri Mahalingeshwara Temple

An ancient temple dedicated to Shiva.

Explore the stunning natural landscapes of Udupi

Apart from the holy temples and beautiful beaches, Udupi has a lot more to offer.

Hidden waterfalls, trekking pathways, calm rivers meeting the sea and beautiful backwaters are just a few. So, after visiting the temples of Udupi and enjoying the beaches, you can spend sometime in the natural beauty surrounding Udupi. Here’s a recommendation of things to do and naturally beautiful places to see in Udupi – 

St. Mary’s Island

An island located off the coast of Malpe beach, it is one of the most visited places in Udupi. Made of basaltic rocks, this island has a very different and unique landscape.

Someshwara Wildlife sanctuary and Jolmu waterfalls

Almost ten km from the main town of Udupi lies Someshwara wildlife sanctuary-full of dense forests and hidden waterfalls. Of them Jomlu waterfalls created by river Sita is particularly attractive

Kudlu Waterfalls

One of the most famous waterfalls of Udupi, Kudlu waterfalls are picturesque. Also known as Sita falls, these waterfalls are formed as the river Sita plunges through the western ghats from a height of more than 150 feet. It can be reached through a moderate trek across the forest hills.

Anejhari Butterfly Camp

Like a hidden treasure in the middle of a fairy land, the Anejhari Butterfly camp lies in the middle of Mookambila Wildlife Sanctuary. It houses numerous species of butterflies fluttering around.

Kemmanu Hanging Bridge

Another famous attraction of Udupi – a hanging footbridge on the river Swarna, it has become a must visit for adventure lovers.

Where to try Udupi Food delicacies

Apart from the above places to see, you can do cycling, visit the university town of Manipal which also offers stunning valley views. And enjoy mouthwatering delicacies of Udupi.

There are many restaurants which are old timers and famous for their local cuisines. Don’t be surprised if you find waiting queues in front of many of them. Some of the must try delicacies of Udupi include Neer dosa, Mangalore bun, Goli baje and Thambuli. 

Some of the famous food joints in Udupi are Mitra Samaj, Woodlands Restaurant, Gokul Krishna Veg, Thimmappa Fish Restaurant and MTR.

Day trips from Udupi

There are several places that you can cover on a day trip from Udupi.


The most important port town of Karnataka, Mangalore is located at just 1.5 hrs drive from Udupi. Mangalore has several old churches, beautiful beaches and mouth watering local food to enjoy.

Close to Mangalore visit 1000 Pillared Temple and Karkala + Annapoorneshwari Temple, Hornadu


Shivji pratima at Murdeshwar.  

Murudeshwara is famous for Shiva temples (ancient and new), Gopuram which are located by the sea.

Netrani Islands

These islands located next to Murudeshwara are famous for providing surfing and scuba diving lessons including certifications.

Maravante Beach

About an hour drive from Udupi, Marvante beach is famous for it’s unique construct where you can see intermittent deposit of rocks and sand along the coast. The drone shots of Maravante Beach are particularly famous.

Wildlife sanctuaries like Someshwara and Mookambila

The majestic and famous Jog Falls of Karnataka are a two hour drive from Udupi.

How many days are sufficient to visit Udupi

The top most famous 3-4 places in Udupi can be visited in one day. These include Malpe Beach, Sri Krishna Temple, Mitra Samaj for a meal, St. Mary’s Island and some other temples as per available time. 

However, if you really want to enjoy all that Udupi has to offer and experience life in Udupi, then you should plan to spend 3-4 days in Udupi.

When is the best time to visit Udupi

Winter months from October to March are best to visit Udupi.

As the sea is calm and ferries to St. Mary’s Island are also open. It is not scorching hot and evenings are pleasant. You can also visit Udupi in monsoons. But you might have to adjust your plans around the rains and getting into water or trekking to waterfalls might not be possible. 

Summers are very harsh in this region with temperature going as high as 40 degrees. So, summer season is better avoided.

How to reach Udupi

Udupi is well connected with rest of the towns and cities of Karnataka via rail as well as road network. Mangalore is the nearest airport. It is almost a 1.5 hours drive from Udupi. You can either visit Udupi alone or as a part of Coastal Karnataka trip wherein you can cover Mangalore, Murudeshwar and Gokarna as well. To see album Beaches of Gokarna

Author  is a Software Engineering professional by the day and a travel enthusiast & travel writer by passion, Neha has a goal to explore the world one bit at a time with her family including her two kids. And through her blog Revolving Compass, share her love for travel and travel experiences and also to prove that frequent travel is not just for the nomads. But those occupied with a full time job, kids and a household to manage can travel frequently as well. It just takes a little patience and smart planning. 

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