Experiencing Uttara Kannada: Top 6 Things to Do

Beaches? Check. Mountains? Check. Tropical forests? Check. Adventure Sports? Check. Uttara Kannada is your one stop destination. If this little known patch on the map of India hasn't lured you yet, let us begin the initiation ceremony! 

Gypsy Shack lists 7 of the best experiences to immerse yourself in the dynamic splendour of Uttara Kannada!

#1. Stay on a Spice Plantation

The best way to experience the local lifestyle is to stay at a home-stay & Uttara Kannada will give you plenty of opportunities to do so. Stay on a Spice Plantation with the air rent with the bouquet of spice mix. In this part of the world, cardamom, pepper and cashew plantations sprawl alongside large estates of aromatic coffee. You can also take part in various spice-processing activities. This region has a number of beautiful villages and towns like Kot Shiveshvar with its architecture reminiscent of the Bijapur Sultanate and Gonikoppal with its large plantations.

Peppercorns in a Spice Plantation

Peppercorns in a Spice Plantation (Image Courtesy: blogs.keralatravelcentre.com)

#2. Trek through the forested Western Ghats

The Western Ghats offer some of the best trekking opportunities in the South. Do the popular Waterfalls Trek that takes you past some of the region’s most gorgeous waterfalls like the Vibhooti falls, Shivaganga falls, Bennehole falls, Magod falls, Majjige Hole falls, Mattighatta falls & Sathoddi falls. The famous Jog falls in also located here. Shiroli Peak and Kodachadri Hills are also popular destinations. Don't forget to visit Sahastra-Linga, about 15 km from Sirsi. Here on the Shalmala River stands a hundred Shiva Lingams. Trekking through the dense mist swathed forests is thrilling. If you plan to trek during the monsoons, make sure you are well protected against leeches.

On the Mullayanagiri Trek in the Western Ghats

On the Mullayanagiri Trek in the Western Ghats (Image Courtesy: www.hoparoundindia.com)

#3. Go beach combing

Uttara Kannada boasts of some spectacular beaches that are relatively devoid of crowds. Gokarna with its beautiful beaches and laid-back vibes is being billed as the alternative Goa. Beach hikes are gaining popularity. Baithkola Beach, Majali Beach & Kurumgad Island are other well-known beaches. At Kurumgad, you can spot otters, dolphins and other aquatic species. Om beach, the only naturally  shaped beach, used to be a favourite haunt of the hippies.

Gokarna's popular Kudle Beach

Gokarna's Kudle Beach (Image Courtesy: www.livemint.com)

#4. Temple-tripping

What part of a trip anywhere in India is complete without trips to temples? Uttara Kannada has its fair share of places of worship. The ancient Mahabaleshwar Temple houses the "Atmalinga." On MahaShivratri, hundreds of pilgrims gather here. The Lord Venkateshwara Temple in Manjuguni is a stunning example of the Vijayanagar School of architecture. Other important temples are the Lakshminarayan Mahamaya in Ankola, the Shiva Temple, with a 123 feet high idol, at Murudeshwar, the Chennabasaveshwara Temple at Ulavi, the Naganath temple where natives worship an anthill, the Durga Devi Temple and Shanta Durga temple at Sadashivgad.

The famous Shiva statue at Murudeshwar 

The famous Shiva Statue at Murudeshwar (Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

#5. Visit a Wildlife Sanctuary

The Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a large variety of animals such as Giant Iguana, Tiger, Leopards, Elephants, Gaur and Malabar Giant Squirrel among others. There are over 200 species of birds here. Jeep safaris and nature walks are the perfect ways to explore this sanctuary. In winter, numerous species of birds migrate to the Attiveri Bird Sanctuary.

Birds at Dandeli

Birds at Dandeli

#6. Indulge in Water Sports

Murudeshwar is the hotbed of water-sports in the mainland. From surfing to scuba diving, it offers it all! Other options in Uttara Kannada include tackling the rapids as you go rafting down the Kali River. Coracle rides are an interesting alternative to the well-known kayaking.

Surfing at Murudeshwar

Surfing at Murudeshwar (Image Courtesy: Surfermag.com)

Uttara Kannada will leave you spoilt for choices. Just take your pick and zoom off!

Article By: Mohana Das

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