Nellore’s Mypadu and Koduru beaches are nothing like the clichéd hubs of frenzied seaside activity
Nellore’s Mypadu and Koduru beaches are nothing like the clichéd hubs of frenzied seaside activityfurther down the coast. The road that leads from Nellore to Mypadu is flanked on either side by paddies interspersed with large, freshwater ponds with fishermen swimming in the waters and numerous fish and prawn hatcheries. Welcome to the land of fragrant nelli rice, which lends the district its name, and the most succulent shrimp on the East Coast. Nellore’s twin beaches are devoid of tourists. They are full, instead, of fishermen and little kids playing cricket on the ample sands. This is what Mahabalipuram and Pondy must have been like, before they were ‘discovered’.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
The beaches, the temples, an old church and a dargah, the Pennar river, the lake and a little bit of boating sums up the delights here.
The seemingly endless stretches of golden sand on Mypadu Beach will very likely be all yours when you get there. Colourful boats line the beachfront, fishermen tend to their nets, crows swoop down to pick up fish, boys play a game of beach cricket, and that’s it. Get the fishermen to take you out in their catamarans for a ride. Or you can ask the staff at the APTDC Mypadu Beach Guest House to arrange aquatic motorbikes (₹250 for a 5-km/ 2-minute boat ride).
The road to Koduru Beach from Nellore is kuccha, promising the traveller a very bumpy drive. Eleven kilometres from Mypadu, this beach is more visited by people from Nellore and Chennai, and you can come here if the solitude of Mypadu gets a bit too much.
The Raja Rajeshwari Temple is located close to the NH5 entrance into Nellore. Part of a government project to preserve old temples, it looks rather modern now.
Nellore’s Dargah, fronting a lake located on the road to Jannawada, 8 km from Nellore, is built of red stone. The view of the dargah against the fiery orange of the setting sun reflected on the lake should not be missed.
While on this road, you can continue further to the Irukalala Parameshwari Temple. Within the temple, you’ll find goddess Irukalala Parameshwari does not reside at ground level – her sanctum lies underground.
The Ranganatha Temple has Lord Vishnu lying at ease on the serpent Seshnag’s tail, with the serpent’s hood protecting him. This 500-year-old temple with a 29-mtall gopuram has a sculpture of Ranganatha Swamy carved on the gopuram itself. The temple lies on the banks of Nellore’s River Pennar.
The most playful avatar of Vishnu resides in Krishna Mandir in Moolapet (20 minutes from Nellore Railway Station), which houses an idol of Krishna standing with his flute, next to a cow. Lord Krishna is called Rukmini Satyabama Sametha Krishna here, which means Krishna flanked by Rukmini and Satyabama, his wives, on either side.
Very close to the Krishna Mandir lies the 600-year-old Shivalayam, among the oldest temples in Nellore District. An enormous 20-ft-high idol of Ganesha marks the entry to the temple. The calm inside is amplified by the chanting of ‘Om Namah Shivaya’.
WHERE TO STAY AND EAT
APTDC’S Mypadu Beach Guest House (Tel: 0861-2341877, Cell: 08498862244; Tariff: ₹1,700-2,000) is the only option in Mypadu, situated right next to the beach. They arrange meals for guests.
If you’re a heritage buff, it’s a better option to stay in Nellore. Hotel DR Utthama (Tel: 0861- 2317777; Tariff: ₹2,395-9,999) is the best equipped hotel in town, with a swimming pool, restaurant and bar. AP Tourism’s Haritha Hotel, Nellore (Tel: 2347707-09; Tariff: ₹1,800-2,700) has a restaurant.
Nellore has several eateries, ranging from the very urban Wang’s Kitchen to three star service at Hotel DR Utthama. Nellore’s two most famous eateries are Komala Vilas and Venkata Ramana Vilas, and you cannot miss an Andhra meal at either. Typically, meals here consist of rice with ghee and gunpowder, a pappu (dal) and kura (vegetable dish), sambhar, rasam, appalam, banana and payasam. Best of all is the refreshing majjiga charu, a delicious buttermilk curry. Don’t leave Nellore without trying it’s chepala pulusu and prawn curry with aromatic nelli rice.
When to go Round the year but December to February is the best Location Mypadu is on the coast of Nellore District near Andhra Pradesh’s border with Tamil Nadu Air Nearest airport: Tirupati Rail Nearest rail: Nellore