23rd November 2020
View of Suvarna lake from Endpoint (Source: Tripadvisor)
While the name 'Manipal' is proudly associated with the prestigious college or the student town as some may call it, Manipal has a lot to offer even beyond that. The first thing that one notices about Manipal is its landscape, the shades of green that cover that small town. One need not go to a park or a hill station to be surrounded by the lush greenery. One can just look around to embrace the warmth of the trees. Manipal has more to offer than just the plethora of trees; it is home to lakes, mountains, scenic views, and beaches that will make one admire nature.
The word Manipal is a combination of the two words 'mann' meaning mud and 'palla' meaning lake. The first place to visit when in Manipal should be the Manipal lake. It is a great spot to enjoy a sunrise/sunset and to steal a moment of peace from all the chaos in life. The lake is surrounded by trees and has a small island in the middle, and is home to a variety of birds. There is a concrete track around the lake to enjoy the beauty of the spot while burning calories and taking in the fresh air. The Manipal lake is also one of the best places to get some scenic pictures and show off some photography skills.
Next on the list would be the Endpoint, the name is self-explanatory, it is one of the ends of the town. It is a cliff overlooking the Swarna river. It is a well-maintained scenic park with open areas, lush green and sports ground for various sports—a great place to go for a stroll and enjoy a sunset. One will find that there are many places in and around Manipal where they could go to view the most beautiful sunrise/sunset.
Somewhere between all the trees and unpaved roads, there is also a waterfall. The Arbi Falls is known for welcoming its tourists. The falls is seen at its best when it is raining, even though it's full during the monsoon one must be careful as the friendly rocks that act as your company when you need a place to sit can also be your worst enemy. The rocks are very slippery. When visiting this quiet and magnificent spot it's important to wear a good pair of sturdy shoes.
Just a short drive away from Manipal are various beaches. The closest is the most visited Malpe beach, which comes under the Udupi district. It is great for an outing with family or friends to enjoy street food and indulge in some water sports. During the weekends, it is very crowded, but still, it is surprisingly perfect for watching the sunset or the sunrise.
While on the beach, one must find time to visit St. Mary's Island, as it's just a boat ride away. If a sunset accompanies the boat ride, there is nothing better than that. The island is not significantly developed, but the visitors make do with the option of waters sports offered on the island.
While we have other water bodies, there is something about the beach that one can never get enough of. There is also the Kapu beach, which is much less crowded and has an iconic lighthouse which can be climbed to get the best view of the coastal region. This beach is full of big rocks, so keep an eye out! The beach is very photogenic, but the time to visit would be during the low tides since there is no surveillance; it is risky going there during high tides.
Every beach visit will be different. Leaving the hustle-bustle to see Maravanthe Beach, which is a little bit of a drive away, is so worth it! Maravanthe is a picture-perfect beach, lined with huts, and with a vast expanse of beautiful rocks. On the way to the beach, keep an eye out for peacocks, with the long drive one can experience the wildlife and the smell of salty water all at the same time. This beach is not commercial and is very peaceful and empty. So, on a good day plan a picnic at this spot to appreciate the breeze, the humid weather and to dip feet in the warm water.
(Sources: Tripadvisor, Mangalorean, India.com, Incredible Karnataka Travel)
Edited by: Aditi Anilkumar