Once upon a time, ok in November 1998, a friend and I decided to travel down the West coast of India. We started in Honnavar in Karnataka and travelled all the way down to Thiruvananthapuram, hopping in and out of trains and buses. It is a trip that makes me nostalgic even thinking about it. One the places we “discovered” was St. Mary’s Island, off Malpe Beach near Udipi.
St. Mary’s Island, also called Coconut Island by the locals, is an uninhabited island with a shelly beach and clear, cool waters. This is how the local operator who ran motor boat services to the island sold the beach to us. What he did not mention was that the island was made up of columnar basalts, and that it was a geological monument.
St. Mary’s Island is one of the 26 geological monuments of India, four of which are in Karnataka. The columnar basalts are quite an arresting sight and their flat tops offer the only place to sit and relax as the shelly beach is impossible to walk or relax on.
For the 3 hours that we spent at the island, we were the only ones there. The visit to St. Mary’s Island was the highlight of my trip that year, as I did not expect to visit this place. It has been nearly 13 years since I visited St.Mary’s Island and I wonder if it has received tourist attention since then, or remains relatively unknown.
Have you visited St.Mary’s Island recently? If yes, I would love to know what it is like today. And if you haven’t visited it, what are you waiting for?