Last Updated on 10 September 2023 by Poorna & Brinda
A road trip to Coastal Karnataka is an invigorating experience. A Coastal Karnataka tour from Bangalore by road makes you experience gorgeous beaches, rivers, backwaters, temples, and heritage spots. It is not as crowded by tourists as in neighboring Kerala – which is good in a way – and is a captivating milieu of culture and relaxation for an itinerant traveler.
We are not sure of the number of times we have traveled 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 a detailed itinerary! We have covered hill stations, beaches, national parks, waterfalls, caves, canyons, temples, World Heritage sites, etc. in these road trips. You may take a look at this list by clicking this link.
Here is the detailed plan for your Coastal Karnataka Road trip from Bangalore! Making it easy for you with day wise itinerary!
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 are 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 the latest updates on road conditions and get expert advice from seasoned road trippers. HV Kumar is considered a doyen among Roadtrippers in India. Click on this link to join the group.
Please make sure you have recharged/topped up your FASTag account before going on the road trip.
The Day Wise Itinerary
Day 1 – Bangalore – Mangalore – Bekal – Mangalore
Distance – 469 km
Google Map – https://goo.gl/maps/RchBExAnHbFc3gSc9
Road Condition – The road condition is patchy between Hassan and Sakleshpur as road widening is in progress. Shiradi Ghat also has some bad patches but doable. Alternatively, if you want to avoid Shiradi Ghat, then you can choose to take Hassan – Mudigere – Kottigehara – Charamadi Ghat – Mangalore route. Google Map – https://goo.gl/maps/MBKJ2TbcJ6rDNbd59
- Depart Bangalore around 6.30 AM. Have breakfast on the way. Our favorite 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 sip famous KTea at Laxmi Nivas Hotel at Kalladaka before Mangalore!
KTea! Specialty of Kalladka!!
- 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 to 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
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 – Excellent. Watch out for speed breakers at some places on the highway especially at junctions
- After an early breakfast, check out from your hotel and 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
- Reach Udupi for late lunch. After lunch, visit the famous Krishna temple at Udupi and explore the surroundings.
The entrance to Krishna Temple
Madhwa Sarovara – The holy tank
- 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. After Kaup or Kapu drive to another lovely beach at Padubidri which is one of the two blue flag beaches in Karnataka.
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 check out from your hotel and drive to Malpe beach. Or go for a breakfast backwater Cruise with Panchajanya Cruise. It is a two hour cruise and lovely! Call them on the number given here https://www.facebook.com/Panchajanya-Cruise-1175037829262083/
- Experience the sea walk at Malpe beach and then 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
Lovely stone formations on the island!
- Have lunch in Kollur. After visiting the temple, drive to Kundapur.
Kollur Mookambika temple – https://www.kollurmookambika.org/
- 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
- Have dinner at famous Shetty’s Lunch Home in Kundapur if you love Chicken and Fish. Taste the best coastal Karnataka food here! The Chicken Ghee Roast and Kaney Fish Fry is supposed to be the best!
- 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 check out from your hotel and 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 Fish land 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!
Visit the cave museum under the Shiva Statue by paying Rs 10 as entry fee. You will be able to hear the mythological story of Ravana and Atma linga and how Murudeshwar came into existence.
take the lift to second tallest 237 ft temple tower to enjoy the lovely aerial view of Lord Shiva, Arabian Sea and the city. Charges – Rs. 20 per adult and Rs. 10 for children. Timing: Morning: 7 AM – 12:45 PM, Afternoon: 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Go early to avoid rush.
Visit the main temple for linga Darshan. Temple timing: 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM – 8:15 PM. Ample Car parking is available and is Rs. 30.
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 breakfast. 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.
- 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 breakfast 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.
- Savour Davanagere Benne Dosey (Butter Dosa) at Guru Kottureshwara Benne Dosey hotel opposite BDT Dental College. For more on Benne Dosey (Butter Dosa) experience please check this. – http://traveltwosome.com/food-safari-davanagere-benne-dose/
- Reach home by evening.
- This is an easy trip covering lovely locations of Coastal Karnataka by road. The distances are not much.
- You may add another day to this itinerary to explore around Udupi. On this day you may cover
- Leave after early Breakfast and visit Lovely Varanga Jain temple in the middle of a lake, newly built Parshurama theme park and Karkala famous for Gommateshwara. Have lunch at Karkala.
- Return to Udupi and then drive to Heroor Hanging bridge and beuatiful Kodi Bengere beach which is a small strip of land with sea on one side and river on the other. See this Google map Link – https://goo.gl/maps/VjbiHwfMNS8MpzvJ8
- We strongly recommend you 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/
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.
- Wear good sunscreen lotion while on outdoors. Also wear a good hat.
- Drink lot of water.
- Carry a good binocular. It will be useful.
- Don’t be in a hurry. You will get many places to stop and click pictures.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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/
- 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.
- In Murudeshwar, you can do Snorkeling and Scuba diving in Netrani island. See this post on our blog for details. Add another day in Murudeshwar to your itinerary.
- Scuba diving in Netrani – We did it! – http://traveltwosome.com/scuba-diving-in-netrani-we-did-it/
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.
- 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/
- We have deliberately not mentioned about stay options as there are many available suiting all budgets. You may check on – Trip Advisor
- 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
- 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.
- For those who want 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.
- Those who are not from Bangalore can easily fly to Mangalore and hire self-drive cars to do this trip.
- Please be careful while entering and playing in the sea. Follow local safety guidelines. Do not venture deep into water.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1) How to plan a trip to Coastal Karnataka?
The coastal Karnataka trip is best planned in a private vehicle. You can reach Mangalore by air, train or bus and then plan the trip as per the detailed itinerary given above.
2) What is the best time to visit Coastal Karnataka?
The best time to visit Coastal Karnataka is the winter months of November to January. However, one can plan the trip from September after the rains till the end of March. Summer will be hot and humid and the rainy season is from June till the end of August.
3) What is Coastal Karnataka famous for?
Coastal Karnataka is famous for gorgeous beaches at Kapu, Baindur, Kundapur, Kumta, Gokarna, Karwar, Honnavar etc., ancient temples at Udupi, Kollur and Gokarna, coastal cuisine, backwater cruises and many more!
4) How can I plan a Coastal Karnataka road trip from Mumbai or Pune?
You can plan a Coastal Karnataka road trip from Mumbai or Pune either by reaching Mangalore by air or train and then hire a taxi to complete the itinerary given above. If you are planning to drive your own car, we suggest that you do the itinerary in reverse order from Karwar onwards exit from Mangalore and return to Mumbai/Pune via a lovely route through hills as per this link – https://goo.gl/maps/hHGcxSm5PVFkWMaH6
More Road Trips for you from Bangalore!
If you are interested in weeklong road trips from Bangalore with detailed itineraries, you should look at these posts on this blog
Weeklong Road Trips from Bangalore – 12 Exciting options with detailed itineraries! – http://traveltwosome.com/exciting-road-trips-from-bangalore/
Weekend Trips from Bangalore (Covers Saturday & Sunday) – 8 Exciting options with detailed itineraries! – http://traveltwosome.com/weekend-getaways-from-bangalore/
26 One day trips from Bangalore with Detailed itinerary! – http://traveltwosome.com/one-day-trip-from-bangalore/
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.
You may follow us on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the buttons on the right side so that you won’t miss any updates.
May we request you to share this among your friends by clicking the share buttons below?