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Pack and Sail to St. Mary’s Islands

by Madhav Srinivasan 1978 days ago

Imagine sailing away to an island paradise, surrounded by the calm blue sea, cut off from the rest of the world for a while – an appealing idea for a weekend getaway.

St. Mary’s Islands near Udupi, Karnataka, are a group of islands in the Arabian Sea near the coast of Malpe. Located around 60 km from Mangalore, which is accessible only from the coastal town of Malpe, the islands are famous for their distinctive rock formation of basaltic lava. These islands were formed when the island of Madagascar drifted off from the Indian mainland. The four main islands are North Island, South island, Daryabahadurgarh Island and Coconut Island, also called St. Mary’s Island and is an important place to holiday in South India.

It is said that Vasco Da Gama landed here and named of the islands El Padron de Santa Maria. This is how these Islands got the name, St. Mary’s Islands. The Coconut Island has a unique hexagonal basaltic rock formation, which is one of the four unique geological monuments in Karnataka. The islands are uninhabited, and are covered with coconut groves; hence, one of the islands is also called the Coconut Island.


Boat Ride To St. Mary’s Islands

The only way to reach these islands is by boarding a ferry from the coast of Malpe. It is a 30-minute boat ride from there to reach these isles, which is a distance of 6 km. The boats start at around 9 am each morning, and on average, each boat can accommodate 30 people.

When you reach the islands, you can explore the beaches with their unique geological features. These rocks were formed millions of years ago, when the island of Madagascar was still a part of the Indian mainland, but was drifting away. They were formed by sub-volcanic activity as the geological plates shifted away from each other.


Attractions at St. Mary’s Islands

The beaches are covered in sea shells in attractive shapes and sizes. Walk around, collect sea shells of different patterns and colors, stroll down the beach, and watch the beautiful sunset. For bird lovers, while on the islands or on the boat ride to get here, you can steal the chance to watch Gulls, sandpipers, Brahminy Kites, Great White Egrets, Grey Egrets and Green Bee-Eaters.

The islands have a few shelters where you can sit down to enjoy a picnic. The coconut groves, the blue sea stretching out in front of you, the birds flying around - these are the soothing sights. The only sounds here are the noise of the crashing waves and the calling of the birds, which takes you away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life. Book your St Mary's Island tour packages in Karnataka for an enchanting holiday. 

Remember to prepare well for this visit. Keep in mind that these islands are just a picnic spot; they are not inhabited, and there are no hotels here. Moreover, you cannot stay on these islands. You have to bring your own food and drinking water here.

After visiting places of interest in Mangalore city or after a visit to the Krishna Temple in Udupi, you can go for a picnic to these islands. The best option would be to stay at Udupi or in a resort at Malpe and make a day trip to this place by taking up holiday trips from Bangalore.

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