Kayaking under mangroves in Saligrama (Udupi, Karnataka) - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Kayaking under mangroves in Saligrama (Udupi, Karnataka)

I had tried kayaking earlier in Phi Phi island, Thailand. Last year I saw Kayaking at Kemmannu near Kodi Bengre but didn’t try. It was in Suvarna river under the suspension bridge. Recently tried it again, very close to my hometown, in Saligrama.

Few local guys have gone entrepreneurial and started Kayaking adventure activity near the Parampalli bridge, about 2 kms from NH66 in Saligrama, Udupi district Karnataka. They did get fair bit of media attention for this and Karnataka tourism has reportedly authorised their service.

The rates are nominal- INR 300 per hour per person. They can accommodate large groups, have a makeshift shed that can be used to change clothes, wash legs or keep your belongings when you go out Kayaking.  I was planning to visit for some time and the kayaking expedition finally happened last Saturday.

I asked him why 1 hour/300, why not half an hour at a lower rate. His response was that the mangrove area is a bit far, takes time to reach and not much can be enjoyed in 30 minutes. Also as he has to send an instructor with each group, short rides are not viable. Problem with the 1 hour slot is that your arms will start aching after some time, you won’t be able to keep kayaking with the same energy all through the hour. You would need some rest in between.

We reached at about 10.45- 11 AM, put on a life jacket and got started. The path took us under the Parampalli bridge, crossed mangrove forests on both sides, some shallow patches and riverside housings of the locals and a few boats and fishermen in action. We were taken till the Wooden bridge where we turned back. I was waiting for us to enter a mangroveMy hands started aching half way through but with some rest I was able to recover and kayak back to the starting point. On the way back we went under the mangrove trees. There were few spots where water was too shallow- our guide got out of the kayak, pulled the kayak across for a few meters till water level was enough to kayak further. If enough water comes in during high tide, his manual pulling would not be necessary.

We were back by about 12-12.15, paid and returned home with a good memory and pride that we have a new adventure to try closer home.

Things to keep in mind while planning your kayaking experience in Parampalli, Saligrama

High tide and low tide: Estuary water is fed from the sea during high tide. Your ride will be better if executed during high tide. Tide timings vary from time to time and are hard to predict and plan. For best experience speak to the operator and ask them what time would be best. Based on their experience of tide flows they can suggest.

Solo vs Dual: There are kayaks that seat one person and there are kayaks that seat two people. If you have little bit of experience you can ask for a Solo kayak so that you have full control and experience. Else you may be put in a tandem kayak where you’ll have to row along with another person or instructor. Both of their pros and cons- When in tandem you can relax for a while as your partner rows, but in solo you are fully responsible and may have to kayak more. 

Kayaking duration is 1 hour: During this time you won’t be able to go to loo, you can’t drink or eat. Hence go with proper preparations, it might be possible to carry a small bag with water bottle with you if absolutely necessary. If you are not having reasonable fitness, it might be tiring to kayak for a full 1 hour. Either take tandem or take more rest and perform a shorter ride. Morning hours are more comfortable as sun is not intense.

Parking: There is minimum parking available at Saligrama kayaking start point. Couple of cars and a few motorcycles can be parked here.

Other places to try Kayaking- Kemmannu near Kodi Bengre * Mulki * Padubidri Bluflag beach *

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