A trip along the coast3:37 PM
A perfect vacation will always be on everyone's wish list, but making that a reality is somewhat difficult. Planning and execution of a good vacation is always a challenge. And this holds good for almost any sort of vacation, not just for a hugely expensive trip to some exotic "foreign" location.
In fact, planning a trip to nearby locations can pose a bigger challenge. Like what happened to us.
A trip along the coastal area of Karnataka is always very special, for a variety of reasons. Traveling in this region simply means that you get a unique opportunity to experience a variety of things - scenic beauty of the Ghats, beaches, temples, cities and good food! This is exactly the reason why our family loves visiting this region, and I can remember many trips right from the time I was in school.
This time, we wanted to go there once more.
But the requirements were a bit different. My wife and O had a predefined number of days off from work, and we had a two year old with us whose needs too had to be specifically taken care of while planning the trip. Rainy season is the best time to travel along this stretch (avoid periods of heavy rains, though) - we chose the same time, and were prepared with the necessary stuff (umbrellas etc.).
While traveling from Bengaluru, taking the day train is one of the best options to reach Mangaluru. So we did choose that option. Instead of going all the way to Mangaluru, we decided to get down at Kukke Subramanya - the picturesque temple town. The journey, as anyone can guess, was very enjoyable. Even the kid loved it.
Reaching Kukke Subramanya from the railway station (Subramanya Road) can be a little tricky if you have not planned well. Make sure you get a taxi wait for you - or - travel with less luggage so that you can hop on to any of the share jeeps available outside the station. We had a taxi waiting for us, so no issues here either. Subramanya now has decent hotels, so you can book them online. Temple also has some accommodation available.
From Subramanya, there are many routes that you can choose for the trip. We preferred to go to Mangaluru first. After visiting some friends, enjoying some must-haves from the restaurants there (gudbud from Pabbas is one), and visiting a couple of beaches, we started on a road trip along the coast. During this trip, you can actually spend as much time as you want enjoying every small thing that you want to do.
Visiting some temples (Anegudde for example) and halting for pics at bridges and beaches, we went all the way till Murudeshwara. Staying at the seaside hotel there is an experience in itself. The temple and the huge Shiva statue are must visit places too.
Next day, it was time to visit another temple (Idugunji) and on the way back, we stopped at Maravanthe beach. This is a uniquely beautiful spot with the Arabian Sea on one side of the road and Sauparnika River on another. Stopping at Udupi is another must on this leg of the journey. If you have enough time, you can take a slight detour and visit Manipal too.
No issues if you come back early to Mangaluru, there are still many things to do there. Go out for shopping, visit temples (Mangaladevi temple, for example) or go to Taj Mahal Hotel and enjoy their halwa!
As we wanted to make the most of our vacation, we did not choose train journey on return. After bidding good bye to our very friendly driver, we boarded a Spicejet Airlines flight back to Bengaluru. Of course, Spicejet Web check-in did help us in saving a bit more time!