Karnataka has grown on me. There are certain nuances about it, which make it so admirable. The charm is not very obvious, but it’s there and it impresses slowly. I like the way things unfold in Karnataka. There is always something to surprise and amaze. And, since I like the unpredictability and spontaneity of travel, I enjoyed discovering coastal Karnataka, which has a unique beauty and thankfully, dearth of tourists.
I got to explore a few unsung places in Udupi District like Paduvari, Shiroor and Uppunda. Let me unveil some of the secrets that I found out in these places –
The fishermen colonies
I had a chance to take a close look at the fishermen’s lives – their boats, net and their house. They like to live simply even though they make good money. I guess they want to be just ‘happy-go-lucky’ people and not bother about too many things in life. As I sneaked in one of the homes, I could see some carpentry work going on and then as I moved ahead, I found a Turkey standing still under a tree, children prancing around, oldies lounging languidly in their verandas and a dog barking me away.
The village homes
The homes in coastal Karnataka reminded me of Goa and Murud, because they have the similar vividly coloured walls and country tiled roofs. But the atmosphere they exude is totally different. Each home has a well in its front yard, which is something that I haven’t seen anywhere else. I find such attributes interesting about a place because that takes me back to those old, simpler days of my childhood.
The bucolic life in Udupi is pretty carefree. People usually live very quiet lives. Their cattle can be seen loitering around anywhere (even on the roads). The young boys are mischievous – always ready to be photographed. There seems to be a strange oblivion of the beauty around. I guess that’s the case anywhere. I think a dweller can never have the sense of wonder of a visitor.
The lush farmlands with the backdrop of mountains persuade you to spend more time outdoors. The more you drive towards the Western Ghats, the sceneries get better.
I wouldn’t say that the backwaters of Karnataka are anything like Kerala’s, but they have their own character. The speed boating is a thrilling experience, which I believe, is not so popular in other parts of coastal India.
The Cashew factory
The cashew factory in Uppunda is one of the places worth visiting just to see the laborious process of cashew production. I was told by the factory manager that it takes 15 days to complete the entire process starting from drying the cashews to putting them into the hot chamber, cooling, cutting, cleaning and finally packing them for the market.
Also, you can pick up a few packets of fresh cashews at a really low price (250 gm for INR 125).
The local markets
The local markets are abuzz with people in the evenings. Although it’s no different than any other local market in India, the riot of colours is a delight to witness. I saw a variety of veggies and fruits being sold at the weekly market. The eating lifestyle of coastal Karnataka seems to be quite healthy.
Have you explored coastal Karnataka yet?
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