Udupi is synonymous with darshinis (vegetarian eating joints) serving tasty South Indian food. Udupi is also famous for temples and is situated on the coast of Karnataka. Udupi was carved out as a separate district from Dakshina Kannada district in 1997. Kundapura and Karkala are part of Udupi district.
The cuisine of this region is influenced from Krishna Matha (temple) as Lord Krishna is offered a variety of dishes every day.
Prominent communities of Udupi are Shivalli Brahmins, Goud Saraswat Brahmins, Rajapur Saraswat Brahmins, Bunts, Mogaveeras, Billavas, and Devadigas.
The beautiful green Western Ghats on one side and the vast Arabian Sea on the other makes Udupi a beautiful place and befits the title “Parashurama Shristi”. The people of this region take great pride in their culture and heritage. It is very rare to find the people of Udupi accepting the culture and cuisine of other regions, though many are permanent residents of cities outside Udupi. Another unique behavior of Udupi people is that they socialize only with people of their own region and have business relations with others. In the past two decades the region and the people’s lifestyle seem to have been influenced by Hindi soap operas and Bollywood!
Udupi was ruled by various rulers under the Mysore Wodeyars. Later, the city came under the British raj and Udupi became the administrative headquarters of the region of Kanara. Due to the economical awareness of the people of this region, many banks and financial institutions were started here, which went on to become popular nationalized banks.
The main occupation of the majority of people here is agriculture and fishing. The climate in Udupi is humid throughout the year. Best time to visit is from December to February. Monsoon is severe from June to September with rains averaging more than 4000mm accompanied by heavy winds.
The most economical and fastest way to travel around the city is by private buses. Beware! They drive at neck breaking speed on the potholed highway!
Various rituals and art form of this region are Yakshagana, Bhuta Kola, Aati kalenja, Karangolu, and Nagaradhane. Rathabeedhi Geleyaru (car street friends) is an organization formed to encourage the art, culture, and traditions of Udupi region.
The main festival of Udupi is Krishna Janmashtami, during which the city wears a festive look and men in tiger costumes perform on the streets and collect donations.
Another prominent event is the Paryaya festival. The Krishna Matha is headed by a pontiff who has the right to perform the pooja and manage the Matha for two years. After two years, during Paryaya festival, the management is passed on to one of the pontiff of the other 8 mathas (Ashtha Mathas).
Bhajana Sapthaha (a week of devotional songs) is held in August every year at Sri Laxmi Venkatesh temple. Bhajans are sung for 7 days continuously.
The Rathabeedi / Car Street is a witness to numerous Rathothsava / Car festival.
Places of interest in Udupi:
St. Mary’s Island
Hanging Bridge near Kemmannu
Sri Krishna Temple
Ashtha Mathas on Rathabeedi / Car Street
Places of interest nearby:
Anegudde Temple, Kumbashi
Barkur near Brahmavar
Parshwanath Jain temple
Gomteshwar Jain temple
White water rafting at Jomlu Theertha, Belve Village, Brahmavar-Hebri Road – 35 km
Thekkatte Beach – 30 Km
Udyavar Pithrodi, Udyavar – 3 km from Udupi town
Type of place: City famous for Dwaita Philosophy
Distance: 406 km from Bangalore, 59 Km from Mangalore International Airport, 300 Km from Goa‘s Dabolim airport
Transport: Well connected by road and rail. City and suburban transport is available for travel within Udupi and suburbs.
Facilities: Many restaurants and staying options to suit all budgets are available