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Coastal Karnataka Tour in 7 Days | A Complete Road Trip Guide!

Written by Poorna & Brinda

A road trip in Coastal Karnataka is an invigorating experience. A Coastal Karnataka tour from Bangalore by road helps you experience gorgeous beaches, rivers, backwaters, temples and heritage spots. It is not as crowded by tourists as in neighbouring Kerala – which is good in a way – and is a captivating milieu of culture and relaxation for an itinerant traveler.

We are not sure how many times we have travelled to these places and every time, we come back refreshed! Here is how you can explore the region on your own with this detailed road trip guide.

This is the 12th in the series of Weeklong Road Trips from Bangalore with detailed itinerary! We have covered hill stations, beaches, national parks, waterfalls, caves, canyon, temples, World Heritage sites etc in these road trips. You may take a look at this list by clicking this link.

12 Weeklong Road Trips from Bangalore with detailed Itinerary! 

Here is the plan for your Coastal Karnataka road trip from Bangalore!

Circuit – Bangalore – Mangalore – Udupi – Kundapur – Murudeshwar – Gokarna – Karwar – Bangalore

Total distance – 1183 KMs

Google map of the circuit – https://goo.gl/maps/p3me5QRnKzzLCNmd7

Road condition – The road conditions for this coastal Karnataka tour by road is generally good. But we strongly advise you to join the excellent road trippers group on facebook known as HV Kumar Forum where you can get latest updates on road condition and get expert advise from seasoned road trippers. HV Kumar is considered as doyen among road trippers in India. Click on this link to join the group.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/hvkumar/

The Day Wise Itinerary

Day 1 – Bangalore – Mangalore – Bekal – Mangalore

Distance – 469 KMs

Google Map – https://goo.gl/maps/RchBExAnHbFc3gSc9

Road Condition – The road condition is excellent. Shiradi ghats which had few bad patches has been repaired and it is good now.

  • Depart Bangalore around 6.30 AM. Have breakfast on the way. Our favourite spot is Swathi Delicacy before Yediyur. Don’t miss their Masala Dosa and Filter coffee!
  • After Sakleshpur, enjoy a lovely drive through the Malnad region till you reach Mangalore. Stop for sipping famous KTea at Laxmi Nivas Hotel at Kalladaka before Mangalore!

KTea! Speciality of Kalladka!!

Coastal Karnataka

  • Reach Mangalore by lunch.
  • After lunch and rest, drive to Bekal to visit the lovely fort built  by the sea by Tipu Sultan. Though in Kerala now, it retains the flavour of coastal Karnataka with many speaking Kannada and Tulu languages. Remember the famous song “Tuhire, Tuhire” in “Bombay” movie by Mani Ratnam. This song was shot here. For details on Bekal fort check this – Bekal fort in Wiki
  • An hour’s drive from Mangalore will take you Bekal. Spend an hour at the fort and then head to Bekal beach. Enjoy the beach and lovely sunset and return to Mangalore.

Inside the Bekal fort. The views from here is awesome

Coastal Karnataka

View of Bekal beach from the fort

A sentry post by the sea!

  • Night stay in Mangalore.

Day 2 – Mangalore – Udupi

Distance – 75 KMs

Google Map – https://goo.gl/maps/k3gTDEQzw5EzpEQW6

Road Condition – Good. Watch out for diversions at some places as the highway is being converted into four lane.

  • After an early breakfast, depart Mangalore to the famous temple of Durga Parameshwari at Kateel. Spend 45 minutes here and after Darshan head to Udupi.
  • On the way, you can stop over at Pilkula Nisargadhama and enjoy boat ride. More details on Pilkula here – Pilkula Nisargadhama in Wiki

The lake in Nisargadhama

coastal Karnataka

The entrance to Krishna Temple

Coastal Karnataka

Madhwa Sarovara – The holy tank

Coastal Karnataka

  • In the evening drive to Kaup beach which has a British built light house and a lovely beach. Enjoy the lovely sunset and return to Udupi.

Lovely Kaup or Kapu beach with its light house!

  • Have dinner in Udupi’s famous Diana restaurant in city or Masala Dosa and Goli Bajji in Udupi’s iconic Mitra Samaja restaurant near temple.
  • Night stay in Udupi.

Day 3 – Udupi – Malpe – Kollur – Kundapur

Distance – 119 KMs

Road Condition – Good

  • After early breakfast drive to Malpe beach.
  • Take a ferry to go to St Mary’s island which is a geological marvel. Check more details here – http://malpeboating.com/
  • Explore the island and return back and drive to Kollur to visit the Mookambika temple.

The lovely beach on St Mary’s Island

Coastal karnataka

Lovely stone formations on the island!

  • Have lunch in Kollur. After visiting the temple, drive to Kundapur.

Kollur Mookambika temple – https://www.kollurmookambika.org/

coastal karnataka

  • Check into the hotel and drive to the Kodi beach and climb up the Kodi Light House for a panoramic view of Kundapur landscape. Enjoy the sunset on Kodi beach.

Kodi beach, Kundapur

Kodi beach light house

  • Night stay in Kundapur

Day 4 – Kundapur – Maravanthe – Bhatkal – Murudeshwar

Distance – 66 KMs

Road Condition – Good

Google Map – https://goo.gl/maps/Tpyx2gHfgbEa5JEs5

  • After Breakfast drive to Murudeshwar.
  • Marvel at the Maravanthe which has river on one side and beach on the other side! Spend few minutes for photo ops and drive to Murudeshwar.

Lovely Maravanthe beach as seen from above!

  • If you are non vegetarian and love Biryani, then stop over for tasty Bhatkal Biryani Lunch in either Kwality Hotel or Pai’s Fishland or City light which all are on the highway and reach Murudeshwar. You may pack it and eat in Murudeshwar.
  • After checking into hotel and lunch, explore the temple with second tallest Shiva statue in the world and surroundings and head to beach for a lovely time and relax watching beautiful sunset. Don’t miss going to 20th floor – there is an elevator – of Raja Gopura for a mesmerising view of Shiva statue surrounded by sea!

A nice shot of second tallest Lord Shiva statue in the world and second tallest Gopura (temple tower) in the world. 

Lovely view of Lord Shiva statue from the top of Raja Gopura!

  • Nigh stay at Murudeshwar.

Day 5 – Murudeshwar – Idagunji – Apsarakonda – Vannalli beach – Mangodlu beach – Mirjan fort – Gokarna

Distance – 98 KMs

Road Condition – Good

Google Map – https://goo.gl/maps/X4KXKaiagLSHLZjKA

  • Depart from Murudeshwar after break fast. Enjoy the lovely coastal drive interspersed with rivers. This is the best part of driving in Coastal Karnataka!
  • Reach Idagunji Ganapati temple which is one of famous Ganapati temples in India. Spend 45 minutes here and after darshan, head to Apsarakonda

  • Stop over at Apsarakonda to see the lovely waterfalls. Spend 30 minutes here and drive to pristine Vannali and Mangodlu beaches near Kumta. Have lunch in Kumta.

Mangodlu beach

Vannalli beach

  • After Kumta return to NH 66 and drive straight to Gokarna. Stop over for few minutes to explore lovely Mirjan fort which is on the highway.

Inside Mirjan fort

  • Reach Gokarna by late afternoon. After checking in, head straight to OM beach. Relax on the beach and enjoy the lovely sunset.

Om beach! The jewel of Gokarna!

  • Explore the Gokarna town in the evening.

Kotitheertha – The Holy pond 

  • Night stay in Gokarna.

Day 6 – Gokarna to Karwar

Distance – 61 KMs

Road Condition – Good

Google map – https://goo.gl/maps/2q4AtD8MJBrEubPJ6

  • Get up early and visit the famous Mahabaleshwara temple in Gokarna which has Atma Linga. See details here – http://www.srigokarna.org/
  • After darshan, have breakasft and head straight to Karwar.
  • After checking into a hotel, go for a cruise on the backwaters of Kali river. You can go to Kali River garden and can go for boating in the Kali river from there. You can also make a trip to Kurumgad island to visit the Narasimha temple. Check with hotel on ferry details.

Kali river garden is a nice place to visit for boating. In the evening it has colourful musical fountains as well

  • Return for lunch and enjoy excellent sea food lunch at Amrut restaurant. It also has good vegetarian menu.
  • After lunch visit the Warship museum and rock garden which is on the highway in city.

The warship museum is one of its kind!

Don’t miss the Rock Garden!

  • After visiting the museum we strongly recommend driving towards Goa and see the confluence of Kali river with Arabian Sea from the bridge.
  • Relax at Karwar beach and enjoy the spectacular sunset – the sunset between two islands here – on the beach.

Karwar has one of the finest beaches and the sunset here is gorgeous!

  • Night stay in Karwar

Day 7 – Karwar – Magod Falls – Hubli – Davanagere – Bangalore

Distance – 555 KMs

Road Condition – Good

Google map – https://goo.gl/maps/1DLDFQMWUq7KWyQf7

  • Leave around 7 AM. Have breakfast on the way.
  • You may take a detour before Yellapur to see magnificent Magod waterfalls.

Coastal Karnataka

Travel Tips

  1. This is an easy trip covering lovely locations of Coastal Karnataka by road. The distances are not much.
  2. We strongly recommend you to download HVK RoutO – a road trip app developed by HV Kumar for android phones. You can then request a map for whole circuit for a small fee. This is much better than Google map. For more details please check this – https://www.facebook.com/HVKRoutO/
  3. The best time do this Coastal Karnataka road trip is in the winter months of October to January. Even in winter, the day temperatures will be high.
  4. Wear good sun screen lotion while on outdoors. Also wear a good hat.
  5. Drink lot of water.
  6. Carry a good binoculars. It will be useful.
  7. Don’t be in a hurry. You will get many places to stop and click pictures.
  8. The cruise timings of St Mary’s island may keep changing. Confirm at your hotel about it. Cruises will not be operational in Monsoon months of June to September.
  9. Expect crowds at Udupi, Kollur and Gokarna temples, especially on weekends. Men have to wear Dhoti for entering Kollur temple while in other temples there is no such restrictions.
  10. If you love to surf, then there are opportunities in Mulki near Mangalore  and Kodi Bengere near Udupi. Plan your itinerary accordingly. Check these links for details
  11. If you want to do beach trek, add an additional day to the itinerary. Check this post on doing Beach treks in this blog here – http://traveltwosome.com/beach-trek/
  12. You may also do a river water cruise on Swarna River near Udupi. Panchajanya cruises have many options. Please click this more details – http://panchajanyacruise.com/ .    Add additional day in Udupi if you want to experience this.
  13. In Murudeshwar, you can do Snorkelling and Scuba diving in Netrani island. See this post on our blog for details. Add another day in Murudeshwar to your itinerary.
  14. This road trip guide for Coastal Karnataka can also be used for Mangalore to Karwar road trip or Mangalore to Gokarna road trip or Mangalore to Goa road trip. This road trip covers itinerary for trip to Mangalore, Gokarna from Bangalore as well.
  15. This road trip can be extended to cover Dandeli and Sirsi and one can explore remaining parts of Uttara Kannada by following the itinerary in this post from Day 6 onwards – http://traveltwosome.com/bangalore-to-dandeli-gokarna-sirsi-road-trip-guide/
  16. We have deliberately not mentioned about stay options as there are many available suiting all budgets. You may check on – Trip Advisor
  17. For people who are planning Coastal Karnataka road trip from Mumbai and Pune, it can be done reverse up starting from Karwar. After Mangalore, they can return to Mumbai/Pune via Thirthahalli – Shivamogga – Chitradurga. Stay overnight at Belgaum. Add two more days for commute from Mumbai/Pune to Karwar and Belgaum to Pune/Mumbai
  18. For those who wants to do this Coastal Karnataka road trip from Chennai have to add two more days and stay in Bangalore on Day 1 and Day 9.
  19. For those who wants to do this Coastal Karnataka road trip from Hyderabad have to add two more days and stay in Bangalore on Day 1 and Day 9.
  20. Those who are not from Bangalore can easily fly to Mangalore and hire self drive cars to do this trip.

Thank you

We thank you for stopping by Travel Twosome and checking out this post on Coastal Karnataka road trip. We hope you liked it. We would like to hear your comments and feedback after doing this trip.

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About the author

Poorna & Brinda

We are Brinda and Poorna from Bengaluru, the “Silicon city” or “Garden city” of India.

We travel together. We caught the travel bug 20 years back. On our honey moon, we traveled over the sea, in the train, by bus and in an aircraft! Our adventures probably started in that year. It continues, ever since.

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