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Udupi - Heaven for Udupi food!

Udupi is a west coastal town in South India; famous now for the Udupi Restaurants all across. I think Pune lives on those! Udupi restaurants are a class of restaurants that offer vegetarian south Indian snacks. While driving to Udupi, I suddenly realised that I too can have a bucket list.!!! Everyone has one these days!!

First on the list was to eat some Udupi food in the town of Udupi! Which, obviously I eagerly did! The guy who served me was happy to know that I am from Pune, and told me with a very happy smile that he had worked in Pune for 5 years, and has many friends working still in Pune restaurants. It turned out that I knew 2 of his friends! After all I have spent half my life in Vaishali and Roopali the two highly popular Udupi style sister restaurants in Pune. Udupi is also famous for a very old, and absolutely cherishing temple of Lord Shri Krishna . The temple is completely wooden from inside, and is very serene. Naturally, there are some ancient stories about that temple and the Lord. I felt sad I didn't carry my flute inside the temple.

Little away from the temple is the Malpe beach. Off the shore, there is an interesting island - St. Mary's Island. There is literally nothing there on the island! Few huts which might be serving as restaurants or such, were empty now, mostly due to Covid. There is a ferry that takes you to the island and brings you back after 1 hour. The ferry requires minimum 30 people to start. So I waited for almost an hour till the head count of 30 was gathered. I wished Ravan of Shri Lanka also wanting to go to the island, could have been an advantage. I could have asked him about a couple of Raags too! [ He was a great Veena Player] Once I was on the boat, the first thing I noticed was a pair of big speakers. And once the ferry started, obviously the dreadful thing happened and they started playing some Kannad song, that was clearly a copy of Naveen Popat Haa - an old Marathi song !! It was probably some Kannada Film Song. As soon as the song started, a group of college girls got up and started dancing. Everyone started shooting their dance, they didn't care. As the ferry went a bit ahead I noticed two things. Another smaller boat started following us. They must be pirates I thought. I was quite suspicious about the entire thing! Second thing that happened was that another boat that was returning from the island, crossed us. I saw, on that boat 25 of 30 people were dancing !!! All in all Kannada people love dancing. A few days later I was in the mountains and had stopped at a shade. Suddenly an autorixa pulled up in front. 3-4 guys got out, danced for a few minutes and left!!! I think I have a video of that somewhere!

The ferry takes about 15- 20 minutes. When our boat slowed down, the smaller boat that was following us came side by side and we all were asked to embark into that boat. That smaller boat took us to the island. We returned in the same sequence. As I mentioned before, there isn't much on the island to say. What it is famous for, is the natural geography. Particular rock formations all around the island. The entire island certainly is a photogenic location. They had given us an hour to return. It was sufficient. We returned on a boat with more dancing people! It was quite entertaining really! 1] When you will want to go to the island - look for 'The Sea Walk'. That’s where the ferry goes off. 2] Definitely carry drinking water on the island. And possibly eat something too If it is in your food timings.



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