After spending the previous day at the divine coastal town of Murudeshwar, I was riding south on NH 17 towards Maravanthe Beach. Enroute, I took a pit stop at the picturesque Upunda River Bridge.
Maravanthe Beach stretches for a little less than 2 km, running parallel to NH 17, with the Sowparnika River on the other side of the highway. It is located north of Kundapur town in Udupi district and is about 454 Km NW of Bangalore.
The entire coastal NH 17 highway is picturesque and nearly all of the beaches in Goa and Karnataka are beautiful. But, the speciality of the Maravanthe Beach is its proximity to the highway, which is just 20 to 30 feet away.
To make it even special is the meandering Sowparnika river, which falls on the other side of the highway. The beach in essence is relatively empty and rocks are stacked up at the highway side to protect the highway during storms and high tides.
However, the truck drivers love this beach. It is free, they also get to revel in nature’s beauty and feel the salt breeze in their hair. A couple of small tea shops present here cater to these truck drivers. Local tourists typically come in during the evenings and this is when the other foot peddlers drop in to sell their wares.
This lovely looking beach with radiant white sand is very different though. It offers total solitude in spite of it being so close to the highway and long walks on it is very refreshing.
There is a total different side to the surroundings of this beach. A kilometre away is the well known Turtle Bay Resort, which offers great great tourist stays along with water sports, snorkelling and scuba diving trips. Close by is also the Kanchugodu fishing village, which allows on to get closer to the local folk.
One can also go on a boat cruise on the Sowparnika river – take a dip in the medicinal river, explore the umpteen islands, cherish the view of the Kodachadri hills in the background and visit the temples on its banks.
Maravanthe Beach offers great exploring options and its wares are aplenty, but I will always remember Maravanthe Beach as the “Highway Beach” and I am pretty sure that it is the truck driver’s favourite!!!