Visiting Udupi heavy rains: pros cons, planning guide - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Visiting Udupi heavy rains: pros cons, planning guide

Udupi is currently facing heavy monsoon rains. Red alert has been declared by the Met Department and school holidays are declared on multiple days by district administration. This naturally means we should stay indoors as much as possible and avoid travel, particularly closer to beaches, rivers and areas where rain/flood risk is high.

However some of us may have some compulsion to go out or have the risk taking appetite to go out and explore despite heavy rains. Different people will have different reasons to visit a destination despite not being the best time

  • Some have already booked their tickets and it is too late to cancel
  • Some are coming here on work, wish to explore a bit as much as possible and safe as their next visit is not known
  • Some never get heavy rains in their town, so keen to enjoy monsoon weather
  • Some people are well equipped for travel in rainy season and willing to take a bit of risk to explore during monsoon
If you are visiting Udupi during very heavy rains and are wondering if it is safe, if you should postpone, what all can be visited and what all are off limits, this post will give you a realistic information based on which you can make your decision.

I won’t say it is completely safe and you can explore Udupi during monsoon. You need to be on your toes with latest information, have high degree of situation awareness, maintain alertness and be ready with a plan B if things don’t go as planned. If you have an option, postpone and visit between September and May. Else read further


How bad is the rain situation in Udupi?

Udupi is an entire district. Most of the district is driveable and can be visited, while some part of the district gets into trouble as rain intensity increases- certain villages totally inundated and locals rescued on boats, ocean eating away beaches/beachside trees and houses in some areas, roads developing potholes in many places, certain underpasses/low lying roads getting flooded. Agumbe ghat is closed as of now due to landslide- so one of the approach to Udupi is closed. The situation is very dynamic and could change on hourly basis. It is not right to declare “don’t visit Udupi at all, it is very risky” at the same time, we can’t say “Nothing will ever happen, come down”. With little bit of risk it is possible to explore most of Udupi.


What a typical day is like during peak monsoon

  • Half the rain happens at night, so no big impact
  • Sea will be rough. Entering sea/river is not advised. All watersports/activities will be closed
  • During day time it doesn’t rain nonstop morning till night. Usually we get few hours of very heavy rain, moderate to low rain rest of the time and few hours of clear skies. Thus if we head out to explore if it is raining heavily we may have to stay inside the car. We can step out once rain intensity is manageable.
  • There will be lots of water on the roads. Water hides potholes making it tough. Lots of caution is needed while driving
  • Some low lying areas do get into water, making it unsafe to enter. We need to keep an eye on the news and stay out of troubled areas.

But despite all these normal life is going on. Locals are used to dealing with rain every year so most offices run normally, shops & hotels open, schools and colleges also operate on most days except certain days when red alert is declared and DC orders closure of schools. Many schools ask their teachers to come to work even though students are given holidays. IT offices do not declare any holiday but those who prefer, can work from home.

Some of the pictures clicked by Akanksha Dureja, Direct Dilse

What places are open, which places are closed in Udupi during rainy season?

What is Closed?

What is Open?

Boat to St Mary’s Island

Kayaking in rivers

Surfing sessions

Entry into beach in most of the popular beaches

Some of the waterfalls

Houseboats

Malpe Seawalk

Kapu lighthouse

Lesser known, uncontrolled beaches- you can enter at your own risk-govt can’t barricade entire coastline.

All temples

Some waterfalls

Restaurants

Viewpoints, Parks, Museums

Public transportation

Hotels and homestays

Shopping

Precautions to take while visiting Udupi during monsoon

1 Be updated on latest situation

Stay tuned on the news or be in touch with a local friend to be up to date on latest news. Agumbe ghat is closed as of now and may reopen after few days. Entry via Madikeri is also tricky due to flood and landslide, flights may be delayed, NH66 is usually fine (if entering from Goa side) and few other entry roads should be fine (Charmadi Ghat, Hulikal Ghat etc)- but this is a very dynamic situation- you need to be alert and keep an eye for trouble.


You need to know which all areas to be avoided during your visit


2. Plan your itinerary with safety in mind

  • Do not venture to unknown areas, interior roads. If road is flooded you don’t want to get stuck.
  • Do not plan to enter the sea. View from a distance and be safe.
  • Roads will have potholes which won’t be visible if covered in water. Drive carefully. Hydropaning is also a potential danger.
  • Carry rain gear.

3. Have a plan B 

  • What do you plan to do if a road/destination is closed?
  • Can you handle getting wet, catching fever, having to walk in heavy rain?
  • If there are kids, elders it gets more tricky. If your vehicle is stuck and you’ve to walk 2-3 kms to get help, are you prepared?
  • Do you have adequate materials to protect yourself and your stuff (camera, phone etc) from rain damage?
  • Your taxi driver/host should be confident of taking you out. If they are not confident, don’t force them. They may not want to risk their vehicle while showing you around. Either check with few other taxi drivers, or change your plan a bit as per the confidence/recommendation of local host/taxi driver.

Are there any advantages of visiting Udupi during monsoon?

  • Hotels and homestays will be cheaper due to off season
  • Tourist places will have less crowd
  • If you’ve never experienced heavy rains, good opportunity to experience once. Stay in your hotel/resort room and enjoy the rains
  • Lots of greenery, water and clouds- some photo opportunities not possible in summer.
  • If you get lucky sky might be clear on your day of stay. Many times when district administration declares emergency and school holiday there would be no rains. So if you are willing to take a chance you can and might get lucky.

There are both pros and cons visiting Udupi during peak monsoon. Compare, weigh your options and make a decision.


Below: An uprooted coconut tree near Kemmannu hanging bridge and an overflowing river which is just about to breach a bridge


Risks of visiting Udupi during peak monsoon

  • Most sea/river based activities, attractions could be closed
  • Driving around will be tricky due to heavy rain, potholes and flooded roads
  • Some areas could be cut off from road access
  • Risk of catching fever etc if drenched in rain
  • Risk of landslides, train/flight delays/cancellations or other rain related accidents

My experience:

Last weekend I took some friends around. They had come all the way from Lucknow and it wasn't very viable to reschedule their visit, so we decided to go out and explore what we can


Saturday:

Malpe sea walk was open, could drive on the road from Malpe to Kapu via Mattu passing between Udyavara river and Arabian sea, visit Kapu lighthouse, back to Udupi for lunch, visit Kemmannu suspension bridge, Delta point, Hude Beach and back to Udupi. 


Few spells of heavy rain was there but there was enough time with no rain, so we could go out a bit.


Sunday:

Drove till Honnavara, visiting Maravanthe beach, Ottiene, Bhatkal lighthouse, Murudeshwara, Hardin Eco Park, Kandla boardwalk and Apsarakonda falls. We got more rain all the way but were lucky to get no rain moments at most of the spots, at least for enough time to go out, take a walk, click a few pictures. Launching drone was tricky- it would rain any time, but rest of the exploration wasn’t hampered much. My guests could see all the important places. Roads were fine- I could drive with some caution. Tourist places didn’t have the normal summer crowd, so was more manageable.


Visited Malpe sea walk again on 16th July, wind and rain was so strong, we couldn't get out of car. Parking fee wasted and we returned.


Summary:

  • If you are risk verse, want to play it 100% safe, better avoid visiting during monsoon. Avoid July to September time.
  • If you are ok to explore whatever is open/possible, have some compulsions why you want to visit now, can handle a bit of rain, cold and very eager to explore Udupi, then do come. But know your risks and alternatives if things don’t go as planned
  • Plan your entry and exit carefully. While you can enter via road, rail or air, there is always a risk- flights may be cancelled or diverted if they can’t land in Mangalore, trains may be cancelled/delayed in case of landslide on the tracks, roads could be closed and you’ll have to take a longer detour. These don’t happen everyday, but should it happen, you should not panic and be able to manage.

Udupi waterfalls * Udupi offbeat placesUdupi complete planning guide *

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