A DIY coastal trip via the old NH17

A DIY coastal trip via the old NH17
Photo Credit: Kerala Tourism

Draw up your own itinerary to visit these lesser known places along the old national highway 17 running through Kerala and Karnataka

Uttara Gangopadhyay
July 16 , 2015
07 Min Read

The former capital of the Zamorin rulers of Kerala has many natural and historical attractions. An early morning walk along Dolphin’s Point to see the animals, a sunset view from the beach, a visit to the old light house, a look at the marine water aquarium are a few of the things that you can try out here. Go boating in the canals and backwaters.

You can also drop anchor at Beypore, 10km from town, at the mouth of the Chaliyar river, to watch the boat makers at work, making the Arabian trading vessel, the Uru. The estuarine Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary, is 7km from Beypore.



In 1498, this was the village through which Portuguese navigator Vasco Da Gama, entered Kerala. Since then Kappad or Kappakkadavu has been referred to as the gateway to the Malabar. Today, its rocky beach is a popular attraction.


About 10km from Thalassery in Kerala, this former French colony is a Union Territory. The shrine of St Teresa of Avila is one of the town’s biggest draws, especially during the annual Feast held in October.


Renowned for its three C’s, Thalassery is one of the least explored attractions of Kerala. It is said that it was here that the British played cricket for the first time, the first batch of cakes in India were baked here and this is the town where India’s circus originated. Besides, it was here that a German missionary, Dr Herman Gundert, compiled the first Malayalam dictionary. The fort, the beach, the old pier and the Dharmadom Island are some of the well-known attractions here.  


Kerala’s ‘land of looms and lore’, it has several uncrowded beaches nearby – Payyambalam (2km away), Meenkunnu (10km), Kizhunna (11km). Besides, there are many historical and religious sites nearby.

Watch a theyyam recital at the Sri Muthappan Temple of Parassinikadavu, 18km from Kannur. This is the only place where a recital is held regularly; at other places, it is held seasonally, between October and June.


Edakkal Caves
Located in Kerala’s Wayanad district, the prehistoric caves are 12km away from the Sultan Bathery town. You need to climb a km to reach the caves that contain rock paintings. Carry drinking water and snacks if you want to spend time exploring.


Bekal Fort
The 16th century fort overlooks the Arabian Sea from a height of 130ft. You will need a good part of an hour to see the sprawling fort (open 9am-5pm). The Bekal Resorts Development Corporation has taken up various projects, including a rock garden, a walkway, and a children’s park, to make the area surrounding the fort a tourist attraction.


Known for its coir industry, tourists mainly visit Kasaragod for Bekal Fort. The crowd-free Kappil beach is about 14km from town and 6km from Bekal. From Kodi cliff, catch a sweeping view of the Arabian Sea.

A 40-km drive will take you to the Thaikaddapuram Beach (Neeleshwar, the nearest town, is 6km away), where Olive Ridley turtles come to lay eggs during the rainy season. A local non-government organisation runs a turtle breeding centre.

The port city of Mangalore is commercially well developed. The popular attractions include the temple of the guardian deity Mangaladevi, the 11th century Kadri Temple, St Aloysius Church, and the Government Museum. Walk past the casuarinas to reach the edge of the Ullal Beach, 8km from the city. The beaches of Suratkal and Tanni Bhavi are within driving distance from the city.

This pilgrim town in Karnataka, a must visit for Vaishnavites, Udupi is as much known for its Krishna temple as for its vegetarian cuisine. Malpe, a fishing village 6km from town, has a golden sand beach fringed by palm trees.

You can extend your stay to make a trip to Agumbe, also called the Cherrapunji of South India, nearly 60km from Udupi.


Jog Falls
As you drive along NH17, make a detour from Bhatkal town, to drive to drive to Jog Falls or the Gerusoppa Falls. A forested trail will take you to the spot where the Sharavathy River cascades down the hill as four streams – Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer. To see the waterfalls in its full glory, you have to be there during the monsoon or soon after it. The Hotel Mayura Gerusoppa Jog Falls is right opposite the falls.


The sombre beauty of Karwar inspired a young Rabindranath Tagore to pen his first poetic drama, Prakitir Parishodh (the revenge of nature); the town’s beach is named after the Noble laureate. The Devbagh Beach is situated where the Kali River meets the Arabian Sea, You can go boating in the Kali river. At Devbagh, you can ride a banana boat, cruise on a speed boat, go snorkelling, etc. Jungle Lodges and Resorts runs a beautiful resort here.

About 40km from Karwar is Gokarna. You can hole up at this pilgrim town to enjoy its golden beaches on the edge of the town, including the famous Om Beach.


Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
About 170km from Karwar, this wildlife sanctuary (open 6am-6pm) can be your last stop before you disappear into Goa or head back home through Belgaum. Apart from wildlife safari, you can also go on trekking and white water rafting in Dandeli. Located on the bank of the Kali river is the Kali Adventure Camp.

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