A beach so unspoiled and simply beautiful

Ottinene Beach, Karnataka

Simply Beautiful!
I wouldn’t want to call it anything else. Decorative adjectives might steal Ottinene Beach off its pure, natural beauty.

Ottinene Beach — I must say — turned out to be the best part of our beach-hopping trip along the Karnataka Coast. When I looked up this place, I chanced upon so many good things people had to say about this coastal area in Byndoor. I heard that the cliffs around here lent this place unique beauty and that it was a place for spectacular sunsets.
All that, it was.
And more.

It turned out to be better than anything I had read about it. It was pretty clean. Most importantly, it was unspoilt.  How unspoilt, you will know by the end of the post.

Ottinene Beach was such a soothing picture: of stretches of undisturbed sand, dark rocks adding some contrast to the scene, of a river gently meeting the sea and almost invisible small white crabs playing tag on the beach, not having to worry about being run over by boisterous human giants.

Ottinene Beach, Karnataka
Ottinene Beach, Karnataka

The Byndoor river flowing down to the sea was one of the first things that caught my eye when I got there. The estuary was a stunner; it seemed to enhance the already sublime setting. It was not one of those rivers that furiously dumps its waters into the larger body of water. Instead the river chose to ever so gracefully offer its waters to the Arabian sea.

When we pulled-over near there, my littlest one was fast asleep and showed no signs of waking up. So hubby offered to babysit for a while so that SonnyBoy could begin playing in the sand. However, when we walked down to the beach we just decided to go for a stroll along the almost-deserted beach.

We headed for the estuary. It was on the way there that I noticed the crabs. They were almost transparent or should I say fairly-well camouflaged on the finely powdered sand and I didn’t see it from afar. I was surprised by the sight of these delicate crabs on the beach. Then, as we walked further down we saw that it was quite a party over there. There were so many of them.

And the sand was not as undisturbed as I thought it was. The crustaceans had dug small holes all over and this only added to the natural beauty of Ottinene.

Ottinene Beach, Karnataka
Ottinene Beach, Karnataka

And the seemingly ladylike river I first saw, was found breaking and carrying away chunks of sand along its path to the salty vastness. It was quite something to watch small and big pieces of moist sand get eroded. We saw a large piece trying to hold on to its footing for a bit and finally give in, deciding to go with the flow. The process was quite slow but we chose stay and watch the process before we retraced our path.

On the way back when we got to some big rocks we had run down on that descent to the beach, I spotted something else — a white star on the beach. We walked around those rocks and I could barely believe me eyes for there in front of me was a small constellation of starfish!

Ottinene Beach, Karnataka
Ottinene Beach, Karnataka
Ottinene Beach, Karnataka

In the couple of hours we spent at Ottinene Beach that evening, there were only a handful of visitors: a few families who didn’t spend a whole lot of time there and two groups of students who probably didn’t get enough of the beach as they were ushered back into their school buses in a few minutes of their arrival. So we, and the crabs and starfish did have the beach to ourselves for a good part of the evening.

Later, when we finally walked down to feel the ebb and flow of the waves,  I found that the waters of Ottinene Beach were even richer. I hadn’t seen so many shells in a long, long time. (Or maybe I did and just cannot remember. What’s more — I could see them move about in the crystal clear shallow waters there. Yes. There was life in them.

Ottinene Beach, Karnataka

Ottinene Beach, Karnataka

Fast forward to late evening, I didn’t feel like leaving. At least, not until sunset but then the sun didn’t seem to want to leave the beach either. Seriously it felt just like that. So we left before the sun did, because there was one other thing we had to do before night fall.

Looking back at the visit to Ottinene Beach, what was unexpected was that even after all the bits and pieces I had gathered from the internet and also Karnataka tourisms’s promotional material, we didn’t find clear directions to beach. Not even the two maps of those two big internet giants that we have come to rely on for directions, were of any real help. The maps didn’t give us ‘directions’ as such. But I did find a random map that marked something labelled ‘secret beach.’ We took some leads from that. It was quite like trying to find the way to a little dot on a physical map. But we got there, safe and sound and left there in one piece. And now, this is what I have to say: it is ok that it is. as it is. Perhaps this is why this beach continues to be what it should be: quite quiet, absolutely calm, a haven for little sea creatures and, most of all, ‘simply beautiful.’

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  1. So peaceful. You were lucky to capture it without any one else around.

  2. I like the first photo and the patterns in the rocks!

  3. I loved all the photos. There are many such unexplored beaches along the coastal side of Karnataka.

    • Thank you so much, Ranjana.
      Now that I know where you are from, I'm gonna talk to you when I travel that side next time. 😉

      I hope you are doing well.

  4. Whenever I see such beautiful beach pictures, it reminds me how pristine nature is and we the humans are the blot, the polluters. May these pristine beaches remain like that forever….

    PS: Loved the way you describe how the sand mound was trying to hold sway against mighty waves…

    • I'm sure.
      As I was writing this post, I was reminded of your story on your 'hidden canyon.' Although this beach is not that 'hidden,' I was feeling a little guilty about this post.

      Thank you so much, Prasad. It was interesting to watch chunks of sand just break off like that. I never expected to see that. Long back, I remember catching another sight quite like this — that of some rocks flowing down a waterfall, that, on our way to Rohtang Pass. I'd never seen anything like that. It barely lasted a minute and then it was just the water flowing down that fall. Wow!

  5. Beautiful pics, Nice post

  6. Beautiful beach and images. I love the starfish, shells and the crab. Lovely post, enjoy your week!

  7. Lovely to imagine being there. Karnataka has very many isolated beaches unspoilt, yet.
    You wont believe, Palelum in Goa was like this twelve years ago. We saw the tiny crabs in thousands being spawned, and varieties of shells, but alas all gone.

    • It was. It was the best part of that trip.
      This beach was way better than I expected.

      I'm sure this one won't be like this too long. But for now it is. Thankfully. Most people visit an overlook close by, watch the sunset and leave. I guess that is why. Oh and there aren't really directions to this place. 🙂

      Thank you for visiting, Pattu. It's been ages. I hope you and your garden are doing great. 🙂

  8. What unspoilt beauty!

  9. Lovely place and awesome set of pictures.. liked your narration. Beautiful post! 🙂
    A Rat's Nibble

  10. Wonderful captures, Divya. Your description invoked a urge in me to visit the place. Thanks for the beautiful description of Ottinene Beach 🙂

  11. been there, done that… and it is truly amazing… just the way you have elucidated here..
    awesome pictures too Dee 🙂 Love!

    • You have? Isn't it amazing?!
      I believe most people just visit the viewpoint on top of the cliffs and then leave there.

      Thank you so much. The beach must get the credit for that. I'm thankful to the beach for the experience and the photo opportunities.

      Thanks a whole bunch, Archana.

  12. Wonderful beach. Looks like its really a secret beach. Nice pics. The star fish looks beautiful. Adding this place to my list.

  13. Amazing captures. I love the beaches for being simply beautiful 🙂

  14. I loved the tittle… the fact that it's "unspoiled" means much… such a serene and composed place, I love beaches and this has evoked my spirits to visit Ottinene Beach 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • It is a serene place, for now, at least.
      I hope you get to see it before it is spoiled and become just like most other beaches.

      Thank you so much, Maitreni. 🙂

  15. Never heard of this beach,Divya. I also seek out crabs and shells on a beach. This one does look pristine.

  16. Adding to our travel list.Looks so serene.Lovely shots.Especially love the starfish shot so much.Thanks a lot for sharing.Will ask your suggestion while planning the beach-hopping trip along the Karnataka coast.

    Sriram & Krithiga

  17. Wow!
    The rock formation in the first pic is amazing!
    I can imagine the cool time in the beach collecting shells.

  18. Lovely captures. We grew up very close to the place. may will next on our next visit to Udupi 🙂

  19. This time around your narration has surpassed your photography and that is no mean feat! Will surely visit this next time that I ride/drive along that coast!!

  20. Absolutely sublime. I stayed at Sai Vishram at Byndoor and found it most beautiful. I would say Karnataka beaches and backwaters are equally beautiful but just not discovered as of yet!

    • I visited several beaches during this trip and some of them were very crowded — the more popular ones of course — the main beach in Gokarna, Murudeshwar and even Malpe. I think some areas are pretty quieter.

      I remember the interview from your visit to Byndoor. 🙂

  21. Wow! That's indeed beautiful. Tell me more how far it is from Bangalore and in what direction?

    • It is Parul.
      You'll have to go west to the KA coast. From Bangalore you could go towards Mangalore and then drive up north or go to the coast through Chickmagalur depending on what else you'd like to do on that trip.
      We were tripping along the Karnataka coast so we drove all the way down from Karwar to Surathkal.

      Let me know when you are planning your trip. I'll tell you how to get to this beach. You know where to find me 😉

  22. Wow Divya! Seeing a constellation of star fish, white crabs walking around and snails is quite something. Enjoyed reading your description of the virgin beach.

  23. This surely very clean and beautiful beach.

  24. Hi Nambiar, I appreciate all the pic as you've captured the best way!!

  25. Gorgeous and secluded! Have only seen this beach from the view point, never went down. I think I should the next time. Star fish was a surprise. 🙂 Wonderful read, Nambiare.

    • Nomad, go asap. You know why.
      I was surprised. I didn't expect it to be this pristine. It turned out to be the best part of that trip.

      Thank you, Nomad.
      Vegam pogu, tto. 🙂

  26. Hi, loved the beach. I have seen both the Arabian sea side as well as the Bay of Bengal. Never witnessed many star-fishes towards the Arabian sea side though. Must be due to more and more human penetration as the Arabian Sea beaches are much more safer than the Bay of Bengal beaches.

    Nevertheless, excellent write up. Loved your blog

    • Nice to know that you've seen more starfish on the east coast. I guess you are right — the west coast seems to have more people on its beaches.

      Thank you so much.
      Thank you also for visiting. Welcome to Tipsy from the the TRIP.

  27. very nice pictures with detailed description!!

  28. Ottinene is very nice place. Under promoted

  29. Nice place to visit. Good that this beach is still out the main tourist circuit.

  30. I am happy to read this post since you found a beach which is clean and creatures seem to be enjoying there. Very few places in India are untouched by our filthy habits.

    Glad to enjoy this beauty (virtually)!

    • Hey Alok,
      I toldya — not all beaches in the country are dirty and spoilt. 🙂
      This one was not spick and span as such. I did see a few bits of paper near the part where you get down to the beach (from the small parking area) but that doesn't steal the beauty of the beach. Not one bit.
      The rocks and crabs and the starfish and the clear water and see shells and the estuary steal the show. 🙂

      So glad you enjoyed this one, Alok. Thanks again for the visit and the comment. It's always nice to hear from you.

  31. Wow, I haven't even heard of this beach! THANK YOU for telling me about Ottinene Beach – your vivid descriptions would definitely make me check this one out the next time I'm thereabouts. The first picture is stunning, it has this out-of-this-word crater-esque look to it 🙂

    • You're so welcome. 🙂
      Go soon, Ami. We know it's not gonna stay like this forever. 🙁

      Thank you, I kinda love that picture too. I'd forgotten that I'd taken a pic like that. So it was great find in the Coastal trip album 🙂
      Thank you so much for coming over, Ami. I hope you are doing well.

  32. So, this was the beach Alok was talking about. He was telling that he read your blog and there is an awesome beach in India. It is indeed very beautiful. So, now we should call you before South India and West Coast planning.

    • This was probably it. (It has to be, actually)
      Oh so nice to know this post makes you want to go see it. It is a precious beach.

      Yes, yes let me know. It would be nice if I could be of some help. (But there's so much more for me to explore on both west coasts. Love the nooks and crannies in my backyard(s).

      And I'll get to see you guys when you trip to the west coast, yeah?

  33. What an awesome beach! It reminds me of NZ beauty.

  34. You had already posted it and 71 comments means at least 35 people with their families are raring to go there !!!!
    Call yourself pal ?
    Anyway , THANK you D for the GEM !! Till where I saw the crustaceans diggings, I was like okay,its good.. ..BUT. The starfish and the shells took my breath away ..I have yet to see so many ek saath lying calm waiting to be pinched !
    Loads of love and Thanks for the share !! 😀

  35. I felt like i was there while reading your post D.Nambiar 🙂 Very nice post with amazing view of pictures.

  36. Pingback: Road tripping along the Karnataka Coast | Tipsy from the TRIP

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