Udupi, Karnataka: 15+ lesser known/offbeat tourist places - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Udupi, Karnataka: 15+ lesser known/offbeat tourist places

Everyone visiting Udupi goes to Srikrishna temple, Malpe beach, St Mary's Island, Maravanthe and Kollur. There are dozens of other lesser known but potentially beautiful/interesting places in Udupi. This post lists all the less popular, offbeat places I have visited in last 1 year. If you are visiting Udupi, have a few hours/days to spare and wish to explore lesser known places, you're reading the right blogpost.

Many commercial travel websites list far away places like Chikmagalur, Sakaleshpura etc as "offbeat" place to visit from Udupi. These are a few hundred kms away and are destinations on their own. Hence I am not considering these in my list. My focus is on places within Udupi district or places nearby that can be explored within a day trip from Udupi.

Udupi district's offbeat destinations
Let me give you a brief summary and then all the details


Offbeat Destination

Kms from Udupi (1 way)

Main attractions


Kunjarugiri, Pajaka Kshetra


Temple, viewpoints


Kolankal, Bharathkal Haladi, Tombattu falls, Metkalgudde


Temple, trekking, falls, nature, viewpoint


Udyavara ocean drive, Kapu & Mulki


Beach, nature


Ottinene Kshitija Nesara Dhama & Haklamane falls


Viewpoint, beach, falls


Barkur, Mekkekattu & Kallu Ganapathi


Temples, art


Agumbe & Varanga Lake Basadi


Hill, viewpoint, falls, temple


Seethanadi Trail


River, falls, view, temple


Kodi Bendre houseboat experience




Koosalli and Kudumari falls trekking


Trek, falls, adventure


Belkal Theertha trekking via Gulvadi Dam


Trek, falls, viewpoint, dam, adventure


Karkala Day trip


Falls, Jain temples, Bahubali & more


Manipal Day trip


multiple museums, tree park & viewpoints


Scenic spots around Haladi  river




Didupe Falls




Kudlu Theertha



Now let me give you little more insight into each of these places. Where I have already written in detail I am giving link to earlier posts.

1 Kunjarugiri, Chamundeshwari Sannidhi, Pajaka Kshetra
Kunjarugiri is a small hill with a temple with amazing 360 degree view full of greenery. Pajaka Kshetra is a temple of historic importance. Opposite to Kunjarugiri is Chamundeshwari sannidhi, another hilltop temple with great view. All these 3 places can be explored in 2-3 hours from Udupi and then you can extend to Manipal or Mulki or Karkala as per your preference.
2. Kolankal, Bharathkal Haladi, Tombattu falls, Metkal Gudde Vinayaka temple
Head towards Haladi town from Udupi. You can explore a temple with pond on top of a rock, visit a unique bridge built for passing water over a river [Bharathkal Haladi], explore Tombattu falls and trek a few kms to access a Vinayaka temple on top of a hill. [Metkalgudde]
3. Udyavara - Mattu beach, ocean drive
If you wish to enjoy a nice scenic drive, head to Udyavara. Start from Malpe, cross Malpe harbor and head towards Mattu beach. River on one side, Arabian sea on the other and coconut trees in between. More details here

You can exit at Kapu, visit the lighthouse, return to Udupi or proceed further towards Padubidri beach and Mulki.

4. Ottinene beach and Kshitija Nesara Dhama: 
Nice viewpoint of river merging with Arabian see. Cottages available for overnight stay. Beach and Someshwara temple are accessible by road or via short trek. More details on Ottinene here.
Secret tip: You might be able to see Kudumari falls from a distance from the road to Kshitija Nesara dhama.

5. Barkur, Mekkekattu and Kallu Ganapathi
Barkur town has a few basadis, a ruined fort (just a few stones) and few temples. Will be a good visit for history lovers. Mekkekattu and Kallu Ganapathi are two interesting temples not too far from Barkuru. If you have time you can also extend to Kolankal near Bidkalkatte

6. Agumbe: Agumbe rainforest is in Shivamogga district. But it makes a perfect trip from Udupi. Check this post for about 12 different things to see/do at Agumbe. Varanga Lake Basadi is worth visiting with a short deviation. Seethanadi Nature camp run by JLR is a nice place to stay.

7. Seethanadi trail: I went for a ride along the banks of Seetha River and listed various places of interest. Check this post- if it interests you, give it  a try.

8. Kodi Bengre Houseboat experience near Udupi:
Why go to Kerala for houseboat experience? Try it in Kodi Bengre, just 12 kms from Udupi. There are three different operators with different houseboats, packages and services. You can try a short breakfast ride or a full day housebboat stay or a  lunch/dinner cruise with family/friends. Detailed information for your houseboat experience in Udupi is here

9. Koosalli and Kudumari falls: 
If you are comfortable trekking 4 kms one way (8 kms total) you can explore Koosalli falls. All details on visiting Koosalli waterfall here. Kudumari is another waterfalls in the area, requiring another few kms of trekking. If you have lots of energy and can start early, you might be able to explore both the falls in one day. Else target any one.

10. Belkal Theertha waterfalls:
Belkal Theertha is an amazing waterfalls near Kollur. However it needs 3 kms of trekking one way and best visited between October and December. Too much rains and leeches before October and not much water left after January. Either plan an exclusive trip to Belkal Theertha or include it as a part of your Kollur/Kodachadri trip.

11. Karkala Day trip: Jain temples, theme parks and falls
Karkala is a taluk HQ in Udupi district. Karkala is popular for Bahubali statue. Other attractions include Chaturmukha Basadi, Koti Chennaya Theme Park, Durga Falls, a waterpark and more.

If you have more time to spare you can head towards Hebri/Agumbe for Varanga Lake temple and Agumbe sunset OR towards Belman for Nagundi falls, Mulki & Udyavara beach side explorations.

12. Manipal Day Trip- Museums, Parks, Lake and a waterfall!
While Manipal is famous for educational institutions and KMC hospital, town also has several places of interest for visitors- a nice tree park, a large lake, 3 different museums (Anatomy & Pathology, Hastha Shilpa and TMA Pai memorial museum) and a small waterfall. Do check this post for detailed information for planning your exploration of Manipal, Udupi's suburban town.

13. Haladi river and scenic spots along its path- check detailed post here

14. Didupe Falls

About 120 kms from Udupi, one day trip is doable, nice waterfall with 2 km easy trek. Extend to Ermayi, Karinjeshwara, Karkala or Moodubidre. Details on Didupe falls visit here

15. Koodlu Theertha falls (60 kms)

Accessible only during December and January (November & Feb you can try your luck), best waterfall to explore.

 Detailed post here

Extend your trip towards Agumbe-Kundadri-Kavishaila-Sringeri-Kavaledurga

Or towards Hebri-Varanga-Karkala

16. Mangrove forest boat ride, Batapady, Mangalore

Check details on this stop 15 kms from Mangaluru, where you can enjoy a scenic boat ride under

mangrove trees

17. Kayaking under mangrove trees in Padukere, Saligrama

Detailed post here


  1. Wow Wonderful article and very knowledgeable.

    Thanks for sharing such great article. Keep up posting more articles like this.

    We are learning from your article.

    You may want to visit this site too!

    Top 11 Tourist places in india for vacationers


    Thanks again

  2. amaze the realness in you. Thank you so much shrinidhi, I was exactly looking for this and glad google ranked you in 1 best result. Truely amazing. Tonnes of thanks to make my udupi bucket list so offbeat.Keep doing your amazing job

  3. Super article on Udupi places.
    Thanks for working & uploading it


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