Another beach, an island and a beach on the island

Up next, was Malpe Beach. Malpe is around 50 kilometres south of Maravanthe. But as we drove down Edapally-Panvel Highway, this time, it felt like our destination was farther...
Malpe Beach, Karnataka, India.

Up next, was Malpe Beach.

Malpe is around 50 kilometres south of Maravanthe. But as we drove down Edapally-Panvel Highway, this time, it felt like our destination was farther away than we thought it was. It was only when I looked up the map on my phone that I realised we had ended up some distance away from a right turn we were supposed to take. We’d missed a road sign.

When we finally got to Malpe, it was late afternoon and we hadn’t had our mid day meal as yet. So the first thing we did was to go get some lunch before the restaurant, in the resort we were staying, closed for the afternoon. We were staying at a seaside resort in Malpe. From the property’s website we’d got the idea that the resort was on the beach, literally. However, when we got there, we found that it was a actually a place facing the beach.

Anyway, because it was a beach-facing resort and the restaurant overlooked the sea, we sat at a table by the window and watched the Arabian Sea and the goings-on on the beach. I noticed that an event was about to take place on the beach and hoped it wouldn’t mar this sojourn of ours in the last leg of our coastal trip.

Later that evening, after the kids had had some indoor time (read cartoon time for the older one and nap-time for the then 11-month old) we set out for a stroll on Malpe Beach.

Malpe Beach

Malpe Beach, Karnataka, India.
Malpe Beach, Karnataka, India.

Malpe Beach was full-house that evening. Somehow, to me the throng didn’t seem unpleasant at all; it felt just right for this beach. The hundreds of human silhouettes against the warm tones of the twilight sky seemed to belong there; to give Malpe beach its festal air. It looked like some boats hadn’t called it a day even though the sun was long gone.

As we walked further up the beach, we saw some lights; there was more action. There was a fair (n) underway. And that meant some popcorn and cotton candy Β and some fun round-and-round rides for our 5-year old. He got his adrenaline fix from some car and bike rides and a mini-roller coaster trip. But the highlight of the evening was that he went on a Ferris wheel for the first time and was so proud of himself.

After his very happening evening on the beach, we decided to call it a day. As we walked back, we found that the crowds had thinned but there was one activity going on in full swing. There were numerous BJP* flags on the beach, a make-shift dais, rows and rows of chairs and a red runner leading up to the stage that confirmed that the beach was going to play venue for a political event the following day.

I dreaded the noise that would be blasted through those speakers but I still looked forward to the next day because my fascination for rock-formations was going to be fed.

After breakfast the next morning, we were back on the beach, this time to take a boat to St. Mary’s Island, a few kilometres off the coast of Malpe.

Malpe Beach, Karnataka, India.


St. Mary’s Island

In Malpe, as the beach slopes into the sea, the ferry comes pretty close to shore but we still had to wade into some water to get onto it. The boat ride to St. Mary’s Island was around 20 minutes. As we left the shore my eyes began to focus on the row of islands I had spotted from the beach. And I wondered which one we were headed for. The boat took us to the farthest one on the right, which also seemed to be the largest of the lot.

As we neared our destination, the rocks that made up the island began to show what they were actually made of. Β Pillars of Basaltic rocks. That is what St. Mary’s island and its neighbouring rocky areas owe their existence to.

On St. Mary’s Island there were coconut palms, (I hear this island is also called Coconut Island) some beach and of course the basalt formations. In the 45 minutes we had to spend on the island, I spent most of it looking at these geometrical rocks, the waves lashing against them and the mollusc life on them. Β I noticed a few big dark crabs too on those equally dark rocks.

St. Mary's Island near Malpe, Karnataka.
St. Mary's Island near Malpe, Karnataka.
St. Mary's Island near Malpe, Karnataka.
St. Mary's Island near Malpe, Karnataka.
St. Mary's Island near Malpe, Karnataka.

I must add that the beach here on St, Mary’s island is both lovely and clean and has a character of its own.

Some time later were were back on the water and on the way to the mainland when I noticed that Malpe had a pretty long stretch of sand. I wonder how many kilometres of beach this place has.

Getting back on land this time was not as easy. Even when boat we were on, got quite close to the beach, it kept going round in circles quite like it was awaiting permission to touch land. Heated words were being thrown between the person who was manning the boat and the team who were there to pull the boat into shallow waters. The motor of the boat was still running and the tourists on board were getting bored of the wait, some men even contemplating a swim to the beach. Obviously, there was a misunderstanding between the two sides, and the men on the beach refused to help this particular boat on to land. A few minutes later we saw another boat, a bigger craft approaching the shore. As more hollering and trying to reach an understanding, went on, the bigger boat kept getting closer and closer to our boat, quite like it was out of control. Amidst the all the shouting and shrieking from the passengers on both boats, there was the sound of wood against wood and both boats let out a shiver. As the bigger boat tried to stand still beside our boat, we were asked to jump onto the already full boat. There was help but it was a far-from-pleasant transfer from one wobbly craft to another. Thankfully, without further incidence, the big one, now with ‘one full load and another half’ was received with grace. Strong hands helped us into the knee deep water and we let out a sigh of relief as we felt sand beneath our feet.

So, after all the beach-hopping we’d been doing we ended up doing some boat-hopping as well; this when the boats were still in pretty-deep water. Now if we hadn’t had little kids along with us, I might have referred to this as a fun or thrilling experience. I reiterate: it was far from pleasant. So, if you have plans to take a trip to St. Mary’s Island from Malpe beach, this could happen. πŸ˜‰ Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Malpe, Karnataka.
Malpe, Karnataka.

Nevertheless I’m glad we made that trip to St, Mary’s Island. Being that close basaltic rock formations, I would have been terribly sorry if I had left Malpe without seeing them.

Would you like to see a post full of those rocks that filled me with wonder? That, coming soon.

You’ll find links to all the other travel stories from Karnataka’s coast HERE


*BJP – Bharatiya Janata Party (a major political party in India)

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41 Comments on this post.
  • Kokila Gupta
    7 August 2015 at 5:05 pm

    A wonderful post evoking the familiar wanderlust in me …again .
    Thanks for that warning bit dear ..with kids it was far from thrilling ,but my son is excited about the basaltic Rocks there ! So count me in for this one πŸ™‚ Lovely images .
    PS. First to comment πŸ˜€ ah! The privacy of two friends :p

    • dNambiar
      8 August 2015 at 2:24 am

      Malpe was fun. It is one of those place with a whole of water activities and all. You should go, Kokila.

      You should take your son to see those rocks. I loved them. I have a thing for rocks too. πŸ˜‰ Go have fun, you guys.

      Yup, first to comment. Yay!!
      Yeah right :p

  • magiceye
    8 August 2015 at 4:51 am

    I did enjoy reading about your boat hopping adventure!!! πŸ˜‰ albeit at your expense!
    Nice pictures as always.

    • dNambiar
      10 August 2015 at 2:15 am

      That was the whole idea. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
      Even in retrospect, it's fun. πŸ˜€ Yeah, really. πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much, Mr. Amembal. πŸ™‚

  • R Niranjan Das
    8 August 2015 at 5:48 am

    That was an awesome read, Nambiare. You literally transported me to Malpe. Though, I have been to Malpe, am yet to St. Mary's Island. Loved those rocks and looking forward to the next post on it. πŸ™‚

    Supposedly there are reports that Vasco Da Gama first landed on St. Mary's island before Kappad. Since it was uninhabited, he left the place.

    • dNambiar
      10 August 2015 at 2:35 am

      You should go, Nomad. I hope those columnar rocks don't get eroded too fast. I'll put up the post in a couple of weeks. I'm sure it'll make you want to go see those rocks.

      (I'm still a bit disappointed that I couldn't fit Yana in. πŸ™ Someday, I hope…)

      Yeah, I read about that some time back. I believe that it was then, that this island got named thus. Oh yeah? Obviously there was no business there. πŸ™‚

      (So actually that was where he first set foot in India. πŸ™‚

  • Santosh Namby
    8 August 2015 at 7:43 am

    Lovely post, very detailed and great pics…. Would love to visit here as well πŸ™‚

    • dNambiar
      10 August 2015 at 2:39 am

      Thank you Santosh.
      Nice to see you here, again. πŸ™‚
      You should! πŸ™‚

  • Ravish Mani
    8 August 2015 at 11:22 am

    Divya, wonderful captures, as always. πŸ™‚ The crab or scorpion, whatever it is, gives the rock a appearance of some strange sea animal, in the 3rd pic from the bottom. The journey seems to be a quite adventurous. Your warning has been noted. πŸ™‚

    • dNambiar
      10 August 2015 at 2:43 am

      Thank you so much, Ravish.
      That was a crab and it was a pretty big one.
      St. Mary's island was so beautiful despite the fact that it sees a lot of footfall on a daily basis.

      Yeah, like if your boatman is not in good terms with the guys who help out at the beach…;)

      Thank you for also sharing this story on Twitter, Ravish. πŸ™‚ Have a fab week.

  • Nisha
    9 August 2015 at 7:57 am

    Wonderful pictures as usual. And that crab (oh crap!) is so camouflaged. I would really think twice now before putting my feet there. πŸ™‚

    • dNambiar
      10 August 2015 at 2:44 am

      Thank you Nisha.
      Yeah, well camouflaged! It was pitch black to go with those lava rocks.

  • rupam sarma
    10 August 2015 at 3:26 am

    Nice to read your post, Awesome photos

    • dNambiar
      10 August 2015 at 3:31 am

      Thanks Rupam. πŸ™‚

  • Rajesh
    10 August 2015 at 5:19 am

    Malpe beach is a beautiful beach. I am yet to visit St. Mary's Island.

    • dNambiar
      11 August 2015 at 7:49 am

      You should go see it, the next time you head to the coast, Rajesh. The beach is lovely and the rocks are a must-see.

  • Maitreni Mishra
    10 August 2015 at 8:42 am

    Serenity at it's peak… wonderful captures dear :')

    • dNambiar
      11 August 2015 at 7:50 am

      Serene it was, event tho' there were a lot of people around.
      Thank you so much, Maitreni. πŸ™‚

  • Mridula
    10 August 2015 at 10:33 am

    The boat incident sounds scary. Otherwise the beaches look beautiful.

    • dNambiar
      11 August 2015 at 7:52 am

      I found the transfer more uncomfortable, especially with the little ones and all.
      Scary was that part where we got into an already full boat. πŸ™‚

      The beaches are lovely. On the island, it is divine, even though so many people visit it.

  • Archana Kapoor
    10 August 2015 at 1:17 pm

    super beach Dee… reminded me of the beaches I went to in Udipi…
    great pictures, especially the first one πŸ™‚

    • dNambiar
      11 August 2015 at 7:53 am

      The one on the island is so pretty. And rocks are really wonderful.
      Thank you so much, Archana.

  • Somali K Chakrabarti
    10 August 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Are these crabs crawling on the beach? I haven't been to St Mary's island. After reading your post, I think I should plan out a weekend trip.

    • dNambiar
      11 August 2015 at 7:56 am

      Actually they weren't on the sandy parts. It looked like they preferred to play by those dark rocks where it was almost difficult to see them.

      Somali, it's a gorgeous place, that island. πŸ™‚

  • Prasad Np
    10 August 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Every time I read your Karnataka stories I wonder how I missed going to beaches in Karnataka, when I have traveled to many places in Karnataka…… When I think of it of fall the states in India that have beaches only Gujarat and Karnataka are the ones where I have not been to beaches.

    Though I am not clear from your post what was the issue in landing the boat ? Some payment dispute I guess

    • dNambiar
      11 August 2015 at 8:02 am

      Time to hit the KA coast, Desitraveler.

      Ah that, I didn't quite catch what that disagreement was about, even though I know quite a bit of Kannada. But the guys refused to help. It was kind of odd. They didn't have issues with helping us to get on to the beach. What they just didn't want to receive that particular boat. Hence all that tamasha. πŸ™‚

      But that, is an experience to remember.

  • Swati Sammie
    10 August 2015 at 7:38 pm
    • dNambiar
      11 August 2015 at 8:02 am

      It is.
      Welcome here, Swati/Sam. πŸ™‚

  • Rachna
    11 August 2015 at 5:33 am

    The captures are breathtaking. Haven't yet visited here. So much to explore in Karnataka.

    • dNambiar
      11 August 2015 at 8:05 am

      Thank you so much, Rachna. The places were lovely.
      Yes, Karnataka has so much to show. We were on a mission to see more of Karnataka other than the Bangalore-Mysore area that we are all too familiar with.

      And we did get to see quite a bit. But there's a lot more. πŸ™‚

  • Indrani
    11 August 2015 at 8:19 am

    I was there long long back. So wonderful to revisit again through your blog. πŸ™‚
    Lovely pics. I liked the close up pic of the rock with snails.

    • dNambiar
      12 August 2015 at 7:45 pm

      That's nice.
      It is lovely around there.
      Thank you, Indrani. πŸ™‚

  • Shrinidhi Hande
    11 August 2015 at 8:11 pm

    it is very nice place.. but 1 hour is not enough

    • dNambiar
      12 August 2015 at 7:46 pm

      It is. Especially the island.
      But may be if people spent too much time there, the place would be spoilt.

  • bettyl-NZ
    15 August 2015 at 4:30 am

    What wonderful scenery! Even though I live on an island, I still get excited about seeing water and sunsets, no matter where they are!

    • dNambiar
      21 August 2015 at 7:36 am

      And I enjoy NZ through your posts. πŸ™‚

  • My Unfinished Life
    20 August 2015 at 8:10 am
    • dNambiar
      21 August 2015 at 7:44 am

      I'm sure nobody prefers a crowded beach to a quiet one but some places are what they are because of the people who visit them. I felt this place was meant to have lots of people. πŸ™‚

      Thank you Sush. I hope you are doing well.

  • Afreen Shaikh
    25 August 2015 at 5:38 am

    Hi D.Nambiar,
    Fabulous pictures and awesomely written! Spending time on beaches always make sense when my mind reaches the saturation of tolerating the hustles of my work. Usually, I go to Goa but this time it’ll be Karnataka. Going through your posts always put an image in my mind about the place I’ll visit beforehand!

  • Pazzta Tali
    29 December 2015 at 8:40 am

    Their manager rocks! Thanks to their great team, I'm so happy I choose this convention center for my event! I had a great time here and think the atmosphere is as good as it gets. I will be astonished if I ever find a negative review on these guys.

  • Road tripping along the Karnataka Coast | Tipsy from the TRIP
    15 May 2017 at 3:04 am

    […] Another beach, an island and an beach on the island […]

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