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Karkala is a town and also the headquarters of Karkala Taluk in Udupi district of Karnataka, India, and is located about 300 km from Bangalore. It lies near the Western Ghats. The first name of this town was Pandya Nagari during the Jain regime but afterwards it was changed to Karikallu because of black stones.

There is a famous Jain temple in Karkala, which is a witness to a different age dating back a thousand years. The lavish architecture within its simple stone framework, flowing stone sculptures and ample carvings bears the testimony to probably the combined work of talented sculptors, architects and artists long dead.Karkala is surrounded by hills and a lagoon. It is famous for the charming Karkala temple, Jain stupa and a gigantic statue of the Jain god, Gandharva. The temple is situated on the top of a hill with a stone staircase cut into the face of the rock of the rising hill.

The statue of the Gandharva is worth seeing as it is wonderfully carved out of a granite rock that rises to a height of 300 ft. The gigantic rock statue of the Gandharva is unique as it is one of the three such statues into the whole of India.

Gomateshwara, which has a height of 43 ft. Veerapandyadeva, the king of Bairarasa family of Karkala, built this statue in 1432 AD on a rocky hill.

There are life size statues of three Teerthankaras as well as one of Padmavathi Yakshi.

Location info:

District: Udupi
Nearest City: Udupi
Best time to visit: Any time

Climate/Weather of Karkala:


History of Karkala:

The Alupas were the first to rule Karkala, followed by the Santaras who were the feudatories of Alupas for many years. Karkala or ancient Pandya Nagari attained political and cultural importance from the time of Kalasa-Karkala kingdom that was established by Bhairarasa Odeyas between 13th and 16th centuries. The Bhairarasas appear to be the descendants of the Santara chiefs who ruled the western ghats region around the 11th century A.D.

The royal family of Karkala shot to prominence right from the time of the Hoysalas.They were rich and maintained a large army. Despite engaging in wars, peace prevailed in the kingdom and this led to increased cultural activity and development.The first important king was Veera Bhairava, who constructed basadis at Karkala and endowed land and money to numerous temples and basadis. Ramanatha and Veerapandya were his two sons. Ramanatha died during his father's time.

Interesting things to do in Karkala:


Interesting things to Visit in Karkala:

You should not miss to see the statue of the Gandharva since it is wonderfully carved out of a granite rock that has a height of 300 feet. Karkala is also known for other towering statues of:

  • Gomateshwara
  • the three Teerthankaras
  • Padmavathi Yakshi.

The rulers of Karkala of Karnataka also constructed the Chathurmukh Basadi and Neminath Basadi and the tall Manasthamba at Hariyangadi.

Mobile range info:


How to reach in Karkala?

Nearest Railway Station:The town is far from air and rail terminals. The nearest services are located at Bajpe in Mangalore and Indrali in Udupi.
Nearest Airport:The town is far from air and rail terminals. The nearest services are located at Bajpe in Mangalore and Indrali in Udupi.
Road Transport:National Highway 13(Karkala-Mudabidri-Mangalore)

Nearest Visiting places of Karkala:

Kadiyali Temple

Legend has it that Kadiyali was formerly known as Kadehalli (the farthest village) and was a part of what was known as Shivalli. According to the folklore of Tulunadu, King Rama Bhoja wanted to perform the Putrakamesti Yaga so that he would be blessed with a son. In the course of the preparation for the yaga, when the ground was being ploughed, a sacred Naga (cobra) got entangled in the plough and was killed. To vindicate himself from the sin of killing the sacred Naga, the king consecrated a Shiva Linga, which combined the divine presence of Vishnu in the form of Lord Sheshashayee.

Sri Krishna temple.

udupi krishna Udupi is a divine shrine in the coastal region of Western Ghats. Situated about 60 kms from Mangalore, it is a fairly large and upcoming town that was sanctum of Madhvacharya, the great Sanskrit Philosopher. The famous temple here, has a fascinating idol of Lord Krishna that is richly adorned with jewels. It is the center for education, social and religious activities in the district of South Canara. It is known for the famous Sri Krishna temple. The reasons for its fame are the statue of Sri Krishna installed by the great saint Sri Madhvacharya and the penance and influence of Sri Vaadiraja yathivarenya. Another attraction of this temple is the 'Kanakana Kindi' -a small window through which Krishna is believed to have given darshan to his ardent devotee, Kanakadasa

Sri Mahalingeshwara Mahaganapathi Temple, Padubidri

Padubidre (Padu Bidadi), a sacred place with a number of Temples and shrines, is famous for holding Dhakke Bali once in two years. The Mahalingeshwara Mahaganapathi Temple of Padubidri is well known in the Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts. Padubidri is located on National Highway 17, 24 kilometres from Udupi and 35 kilometres from Mangalore.

Malpe Beach

udupi krishna Malpe town is about four kms. to the west of Udupi. It is the most important port of the Karnataka coast and is situated at the mouth of the Malpe or Udyavara river. The river is navigable to small cargo boats for about ten kms during high tide. The place has a fascinating natural scenery, and has been a centre of commercial activities for a long time. It is a natural port. There are three rocky islands to the west of it.

St. Mary's Island

St. Mary's Isles are a group of small islands lying a little to the north of the port of Malpe 7 kms form Udupi. Vasco-da-Gama landed in 1498 on one of these islands which he called `EI Padron de Santa Maria'. It is from this that these islands got their present name. They are just a few scattered projections of rock rising out of the western or Arabian Sea around Malpe.


About 42 km from Udupi. The NH-17 is flanked on the left side by the Arabian Sea and on the right side by the Souwparnika River. However, due to continuous sea erosion, the Arabian Sea has come dangerously close to the NH-17.Still the road exists miraculously between sea and river and after this spot, river makes a U turn and goes eastwards and meets sea at Kundapura, after a journey of about 10 km.


Manipal, 3km east of Udipi, is a progressive industrial and educational centre famous for its Medical college
.The house of Vijayanath Shenoy is a small museum displaying Household objects in a typical architectural setting.


Located about 6 kms to the west of Udupi, at the mouth of the Malpe or Udyavara River, Malpe is an important natural port of the Karnataka coast. The place has fascinating natural scenic view. Malpe beach here is a favourite holiday
spot with its peaceful surroundings and natural beauty. The uninhibited St. Mary's Island, just a boat ride away has a beach and an impressive geological formation of basalt rock pillars into the sea. There are three rocky islands; Daria-Bahadurgad the northern-most island is famous for its export of processed fish.


Brahmavar located about 13 kms north of Udupi is an ancient cultural centre. The three main temples here are 9th century Mahalinga temple, Gopinatha temple and the Janardhana shrine.
The image of the deity in the Gopinatha temple is Hoysala architecture.


Kollur is located about 80kms from Udupi. The famous temple of goddess Mookambika is located here on top of Kodachadri hill, at the foot of the Western Ghats. Though the temple has a long history, the present building was erected in 1616 by Venkatappa, one of the Ikkeri Nayakas. The goddess takes the form of a 'Jyotirlinga' incorporating aspects of Shiva and Shakti. It is a famous pilgrimage centre attracting lot of devotees.

Nearest Petrol Pump in Karkala:


Hotels/Lodge/Accommodation of Karkala:

  • Hotel Shreshta(Tel: 08258-731853)
  • Hotel Suhag(Tel: 08258-731991)
  • Hotel Swagath(Tel: 08258-730755)
  • Hotel King's Court(Tel: 08258-730827)
  • Hotel Tulsi(Tel: 08258-701291, 292, 455)

Things to carry in Karkala:

All the essential things like food water.

Tips & Suggestions:


Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station:100
Nearest Hospital:At the Nearest City.
Society/Community Phone Number

Karkala Archeology Nearest Attraction

St. Mary's Island
Located 58 km north of Mangalore, the St. Mary's Island beach is special for the unique formation of basalt rocks which have crystallized into columns and split into vertical hexagonal blocks. This group of islands is accessible by ferry from Malpe which is a major fishing harbor.....more
Kollur Temples
Kollur Mookambika Temple, an important seat of Shakti worship is located in very picturesque surroundings at the foot of the Western Ghats in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district. This sacred place is situated on the banks of river sauparnika and surrounded by thickly wooded hills and has a natural formation resembling the Sri Chakra. Kollur is one of the seven mukti places which were created by Parashurama.....more
Udupi Temples
Udupi, the Kokani city is the headquarters of the Udupi District, Karnataka State, India. When one hears the name "Udupi" either "Udupi Krishna" or "Udupi Masala Dosa" comes to the mind. Of course the famous, Krishna temple is located in this city. The temple is famous for a unique statue of Lord Krishna.....more
Kollur Forest
Kollur is a tiny hamlet situated 40km Kundapur Town, about 140 km away from Mangalore City in Karnataka state in Southern part of India. This village lies at the foot of the Western Ghats, and is famous for the Mookambika temple, a Hindu pilgrim center.....more
Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in Udupi District, Karnataka, Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary spans over 247 sq km and is thick with evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests of the Western Ghats, and small patches of teak plantations. It is contiguous with the Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.....more
Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the Western Ghats, Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary in Udupi District of Karnataka. This 88 sq km sanctuary is consists of semi-evergreen and evergreen forests. Wildlife species include tiger, leopard, wild dog, jackal, gaur, wild pig, sambar deer, spotted deer, barking deer, lion tailed macaque, bonnet macaque and common langur.....more
Koosalli Falls
The fabulous picnic spot, Koosalli waterfalls is located near Koosalli village in Kundapura. A series of six falls, one above the other, in splendid surroundings makes it one of the best waterfalls in the state. The combined height of all six falls is about 380 ft....more
Gurupura or Phalguni River
Gurupura river flows through Gurupura, Mangalore, Tannirubhavi. It joins the Arabian sea near Tannir bhavi. is the chief port city of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bounded by the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghat mountain ranges, Mangalore is the administrative headquarters of the Dakshina Kannada (formerly South Canara) district in southwestern Karnataka.....more
Kedaka River
The Kedaka River is a river flowing through Kundapur and Gungulli in western India. It joins with the Souparnika River, Varahi River, Chakra River, and Kubja River and merges into the Arabian Sea.....more
Pangala River
Pangala is a village situated in Udupi taluk of Udupi district, Karnataka. India's National Highway number 17 (NH-17) road connecting Mangalore (Kudla or Mangaluru) to Mumbai (Bombay) passes through this village.The village is on the north banks of Pangala river.....more
Souparnika River
Souparnika River is a river flowing through Kundapur and Gangolli in western India. It joins with the Varahi River, Kedaka River, Chakra River, and Kubja River and merges into the Arabian Sea.Sauparnika is a sacred river which emerges from a verdant mountain near Maravanthe in Udupi District of Karnataka.....more
Udyavara River
Udyavara is a village on the outskirts of the town of Udupi, Karnataka, India. It is located to south of Udupi, and to the north of the Udyavara river. Udyavara was formerly called Udayapura. It was the capital of the Alupas.....more
Kaup Beach
Kaup Beach is located 12 km south of Udupi. It is situated on the coastal belt. The Kaup beach is one of the most beautiful beaches. Its placement is perfect. The beach with the 100 ft high lighthouse on the rocks is a photographer's paradise.....more
Malpe Beach
About 6 kms from Udupi, in South Canara is Malpe, an ideal picnic spot with its virgin beach. The endless stretch of golden sand, graciously swaying palm trees, the clear blue sky and the gurgle of the sea all set a perfect mood for an unforgettable holiday here....more
Trasi Beach

Trasi is a beautiful place on the west coast of India, 100 km from Mangalore, 900 km from Mumbai and 12 km north from Kundapur.Here you can see a unique scene where a National highway separates the Arabian sea from the Sauparnika river.....more

Panna Island
Kudumari Falls
Seeta/ Seetha falls / Koodlu Theertha falls / Sita falls