St. Mary's Island
Posted: Thursday, August 21st, 2008 | Views: 5421
Beach  -   North of Malpe surrounded by Arabian Sea
Visit hours: 10AM - 06.00PM
8 kms north of Malpe
How to reach:  By boat from Malpe
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St. Mary's Island is about 8 kms north of Malpe in Udupi district. The island was formed out of the lava that erupted from the sea millions of years ago. It is thus famous for its basalt rock formation. The Geological Survey of India declared it a national geological monument on November 16, 1979.

The Portuguese traveller Vasco-da-Gama landed on the island in 1498 and called it El Pardon de Santa Maria. The island, with coconut leaves swaying to the gentle and sometimes rough wind from the sea, is known for its picturesque beauty.

Some shelters have been built on the island for tourists. The boats operating between Malpe and the island have all the required safety equipment, such as life-jackets, and are periodically checked for adherence to safety guidelines. A fish canteen has been built near the Malpe jetty to provide local seafood to the tourists. Fresh fish caught at the port are used in the delicacies.

Malpe Beach has a legend attached to it. It is said that a ship carrying 'gopichandan', which had set sail from Dwaraka, was caught in a storm when it was approaching Udupi. The sailors began shouting for help. Madhwacharya, exponent of Dwaita philosophy who was meditating on the seashore, heard the cry for help and waved a garment towards the ship. The storm abated and the ship came safely to shore. The grateful captain of the ship urged Madhwacharya to accept any of the valuable items on the ship as a gift. But Madhwacharya wanted only the 'goopichandan'. The acharya then carried it to Udupi, where he installed the idol of Krishna that was buried inside the 'gopichandan'.

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