Maravanthe beach has lost its charm due to highway - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Maravanthe beach has lost its charm due to highway

Maravanthe is a unique beach of Karnataka-with Arabian sea on one side and Souparnika river on the other. As we approach Maravanthe, the scenic beauty of the location would awe us. But this scenic location has been permanently altered by recently constructed highway.

Maravanthe beach

NH 66 passing through Maravanthe has altered the landscape negatively. Below are the changes in Maravanthe area in past few years, compared to earlier 2 lane NH17 (Now 66)

  • Wider Road: Earlier 2 lane road is now 4 lanes. This increases road area and reduces visibility of water on both sides
  • Elevation and side barriers:  The new highway is constructed at an elevation- as a bridge. I don’t know what was the need to do it this way. Most likely engineers expect sea water level to rise in coming years, so they don’t want their highway to submerge. This is why highway is built a few meter higher from its original level. The elevated and wider road with median and side barriers make it impossible to get Souparnika river and Arabian sea in one view. Earlier as soon as bus enters Maravanthe area from Trasi the view of river and ocean was instantly visible making Maravanthe a crowd puller and world famous. Now unless you’re sitting very high in a bus or unless you use a drone, the twin view of sea plus river is very difficult to comprehend.
Refer these photos on what is visible now at eye level on both directions. 

Above: Impossible to get both river and sea in one view at eye level. Compare it with an earlier view- from 2011.
Not the most professional photo, but earlier both river and sea was visible at eye level without much effort.
  • Of course the highway is now more suitable for cruising traffic, but the cost of development is paid in the form of lost charm of an hitherto scenic spot.
  • Sea has been pushed back. Earlier sea water was almost splashing on the highway. Later Govt dumped lots of rocks by the beach to prevent erosion. Now more rocks have been dumped and intensity of sea waves is kind of held back or pushed away from the shore. This is definitely good to prevent erosion and protect the coast. Just that earlier charm is lost.
  • No entry to sea: I saw that Govt has set up this board at several places beginning from Trasi all the way till end of Maravanthe beach. Visitors are not supposed to enter the sea. This restriction was not there an year ago. All tourist facilities like parking, toilets are at Trasi (about a km prior to Maravante). Even Trasi has "do not enter the sea" warning. I am not sure if this is temporary (because of monsoon) or permanent. We will know in September in case they are removed. If tourists cannot enjoy the world famous triple view (sea+highway+river), can’t stop and can’t enter sea then they won’t have a reason to visit Maravanthe.

At present drone shot is the only way to get best view of Maravanthe beach. But using drones need lots of caution. Winds in the area are often too strong for drone motor so you can easily lose your drone to the ocean. Thus you’ve to wait for a calm day and wind free moment to launch the drone.

Below is a drone shot of Maravanthe beach, I have taken this image from a We are Bhatkallys facebook page. Name of exact photographer not known. Top view is definitely amazing- but if you visit the beach tempted by this view the eye level view as shown above will disappoint you.

Maravanthe beach karnataka top view

Can anything be done to salvage the situation?

If an elevated viewing deck or watch tower can be built at couple of strategic places, it might be possible to salvage the situation. Tourists can climb a floor or two and watch the scene from top offering view of sea + highway + river.

What do you think?

Other beaches in Udupi district: Kodi beach * Malpe beach * Udyavara Beach * Ottinene beach

4 comments:

  1. I remember feeling disappointed when I rode on the highway last November and could not sight the earlier views. Am glad I had seen the triple view a number of times earlier when speed on road was not important :)
    Your suggestion of a viewing deck is the best alternative in the given circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was one magnificent frame along coastal Karnataka earlier. The last time I was there, it was still a two way road.

    ReplyDelete

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