Road Trip: Day 4 – Manipal and Hoode

Salu Marada Thimmakka Tree Park – Manipal

On the morning of the 4th day of our trip to Manipal, I took the children to a couple of local attractions. First up was Arbi Falls. A small stream emerges out from a hill behind a temple and cascades down a series of boulders. The flow of water at this time of the year was barely more than a trickle, but the setting amidst a thick canopy of trees was beautiful. I was also lucky to spot a Malabar Whistling Thrush here.

Vaishnavi Durga Temple – Arbi Falls is behind this temple

After making our way back from the falls, we made our way to the Salu Marada Thimmakka Tree Park. This is a urban park, situated on the outskirts of Manipal, adjacent to the T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI). The place was almost deserted when we walked in around a little before noon. The park is dotted with informative plaques about the ecology of the area. There are also a few play areas dotted around and the kids had a blast exploring the place. Among the birds I spotted were a juvenile Asian Paradise Flycatcher with a full-length brown tail and a Common Hawk-Cuckoo, or Brainfever Bird.

After lunch, we decided to hit the beaches. First up was Kodi Bengare Beach. This is situated at the end of a small peninsula where the Suvarna river meets the Arabian Sea. The drive through the thin peninsula was spectacular, with the sea on one side and the river on another and the road shaded by coconut trees.

If the drive was beautiful, the beach was even more so. The sand extends round the tip of the peninsula, so one can walk from the sea facing beach to the riverine beach. The sand was spotless and the waters very clear and clean. The only downside is that one has to clamber down a rock wall to get to the beach.

After spending some time on the sands here, we drove to Hoode Beach. Again, the beach was truly spectacular, a long expanse of golden sand framed by coconut trees. We reached here around 5 pm, which was the perfect time to observe the sun setting over the sea. bringing to an end a wonderful 4 days in a truly beautiful part of our country.

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