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St Mary's Island: The Enchanting Sights Of Splendor

Updated on September 22, 2016
Panoramic view of palm trees on the St Mary's Island
Panoramic view of palm trees on the St Mary's Island | Source
Fishing vessel at Malpe Harbour
Fishing vessel at Malpe Harbour | Source
Fishing vessel at Malpe Harbour
Fishing vessel at Malpe Harbour | Source
On the way to St Mary's Island
On the way to St Mary's Island | Source
Rocks on the St Mary's Island
Rocks on the St Mary's Island | Source
Unique Rock formations on the St Mary's Island
Unique Rock formations on the St Mary's Island | Source
Rock formations on the St Mary's Island
Rock formations on the St Mary's Island | Source

St Mary's Island

St. Mary’s Islands are the rarest geological monuments in Karnataka State in India. The islands provide a beautiful panoramic view of palm trees and amazing basalt polygonal rock formations

St Mary’s Island’s off the coast of Malpe in Udupi, are small groups of four islands in the Arabian Sea. The islands are named North Island, South island, Coconut Island and Daryabahadurgarh Island. The northern most island is known as coconut island due to the prominent palm (coconut) trees on the island. St Mary’s islands are also known as Thonse par.The islands are favorite and popular place for tourists for its enchanting sights.

History Of the Island

According to the history, the Portuguese traveler landed on the island in 1498, named the island as ‘El Pardon de Santa Maria’ and then sailed to Kerala, thus the name ‘St. Mary’s’ island came into existence. The unique geological rock formations have made the islands famous and are the most preferred destination for the geologists for its impressive basalt rock formations.

Malpe Town

St.Mary's islands are half-an-hour ferrying distance from the fishing harbor of Malpe. Malpe is a beach town about 6km from the temple town Udupi. Malpe is known for its beautiful scenic beach and attracts tourists and locals. The temples of Balarama and Vadabhandeshwara are other interests of attraction in Malpe. The deity of Balarama (brother of Balarama) was installed by Saint Madhwacharya.

Malpe is one of the major fishing harbor and a natural port on the Karnataka coast. Malpe is also a ship building yard, Temba ship building company is located here. Fishing is the main occupation of the local people; the other thriving industries are tile manufacturing and coconut industry. One can get varieties of seafood in the town outlets. The languages spoken in Malpe are Tulu, Konkani and kannada.

How to Reach Malpe

Malpe has well connected road and train services. Malpe is linked by west coast Railway. Starting from Mangalore, Konkan Railway passes close to the islands passing through Udupi. Malpe is about 58 km from Mangalore the nearest airport.

Approach to St Marys Island

The island can be approached by boats from Malpe harbor. The fishing boaters provide the ferry trips to the islands depending on the number of tourists visiting the islands. As the boat ferries away from the fishing port, the ferry ride becomes fascinating to watch the sea waves and other boats on the sea waters. The picturesque of the island with coconut trees appears, as the boat moves closer to the islands, a sight to be captured with camera. The blue sky, coconut trees and green waters present a painter's panoramic view of the island to take pictures for one’s personal collection.The island allures naturalists for its scenic beauty and for bird watching. The common birds sighted on these islands are seagulls, sandpipers, crows, brahminy kites, egrets and bee eaters.

Rock Formations on the Island

Stepping on the island’s sands, one can find rocks spread all over the islands. The rocks are columnar, crystallized and are distinctive in formations. Due to the rarity of rock formation, the geological survey of India has listed these islands as National Geological Monument in 2001.The formation of these rocks are due to volcanic activity that occurred ages ago deep inside the earth’s surface. The basaltic molten lava which flowed from the volcano’s cooled and solidified into polygonal columns with vertical splits forming the beautiful hexagonal structures. One can see the varied heights of the rocks that have regular five to seven sided pillars. Truly these rock columns are amazing wonders of nature’s creations. The islands are also scattered with sea shells of various sizes and shapes on the sands. The islands are popular sites for Geotourism.

The islands are uninhabited. One should carry drinking water and foods with them. There are no facilities to cater to the tourists. The tourists can freely move around the coconut island and study the distinctive rock formations. The climate is very hot and it is better to take sunscreens. The sea is rough and not safe to get into waters. It is best to visit the place in winter.

Sea shells spread on the sands of St Mary's Island
Sea shells spread on the sands of St Mary's Island | Source
Murudeshwara | Source

Places of Interest Around Malpe

Murudeshwar: The second tallest Lord Shiva's Statue in the world is located here on the Kanduka Giri hill.The tallest Shiva statue being the kailashnath Mahadev Statue in Nepal.The Murudeshwara town lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The hill is surrounded on all the three sides by Arabian sea waters. Murudeshwara is the other name of Lord Shiva.The Shiva statue is visible from long distances. The entrance of the temple has a 20- storied large monumental tower called Gopura.The view of the sea from the hilltop is breathtaking visual treat for one's eyes.

Udupi: Udupi is the religious town known for the famous Sri Krishna temple and the temple festivals. The Krishna matha was founded by Saint and Philosopher Sri Madhvacharya. Devotees visit the temple in large scale every day to have a glimpse of Lord Krishna. During Krishna Janmashtami the Udupi temple's golden chariot with deity is taken out in a procession. People from all over the country and abroad come to Udupi for its education and religious customs and traditions. Udupi is the headquarters to Udupi district. Udupi vegetarian food hotels are famous throughout India in large cities and in the world. The folk art Yakshagana and Bhoota Kala are popular in Udupi


References's Islands (karnataka)



Nature | Source

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© 2015 vasantha T k


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    • vasantha  T k profile image

      vasantha T k 2 years ago from Bangalore

      Thanks, Jodah for reading the hub and leaving the comments. The rock formations are real wonders of the island.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This was a very interesting hub Vasantha. Thank you for sharing the beauties and wonders of St Mary's Island in Karnataka State. Voted up.