St. Mary’s Island


If you are a person, who loves traveling and wants to explore the beauties of Nature and planned to explore it in Karnataka. Among the various beautiful places of Karnataka lies a lovely island, which is full of coconut trees known as The St Mary Island, which always fascinates the tourist, who visit there.

St. Mary’s Island is a group of four small islands situated near the Malpe beach in Udupi, Karnataka region, in the Arabian Sea in the west of Indian peninsular region.

The island shores are made of basalt rock formed by lava comes of volcanic activities and is full of coconut tree everywhere, also known as Coconut Island.St. Mary’s Island is full of unique columnar joints, formed during the formation of the earth and it is a geological heaven for Geologists and Environmentalist.

In India there are 26 geological monuments, out which four are in the state of Karnataka and St. Mary’s Island is one of them and considered as an important site for “Geo Tourism”, declared by Geological Survey of India in 2001.

Routes to reach St. Mary’s Island

There are several ways to reach to St. Mary’s Island The St. Mary’s Island also known as Coconut Island is 58 km (36.0 mi) to the North of Mangalore city of Karnataka, which is also the nearest airport.

Mumbai, Kochi, Kazhakoottam, Kanjiramattom, Muthalamada-I and Thrippunithura are linked to Malpe, by the West Coast Railway. The Konkan Railway (map pictured) passes close to the Islands, starting from Mangalore passing through Udupi, Kundapura, Goa, Ratnagiri and Roha near Mumbai.

The famous religious town Udupi, is about 60 km (37.3 mi) West North West of Mangalore. Malpe is 4 km (2.5 mi) from Udupi town.

The only way of getting to St. Mary’s Islands is through the boat. Regular ferry service ply the 6 km distance from the Malpe fishing harbor (which has a ship building yard also) to the islands. However, the frequency of these boats may vary depending on the number of tourists visiting.

The first boat to leave for St. Mary’s island starts off at 9.00 AM provided there are at least 30 people for the journey. The ticket cost INR 70/- for adults and INR 30/- for kids (aged between 3 and 10). It takes about less than 30 minutes to reach the island. At the island, another small boat will ferry passengers back and forth from the bigger vessel.

History of St. Mary’s Island

In 1498, the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama was on his voyage to search India and landed to Calicut. In the course of his voyage, he stayed to this island and named the island as “El Padron de Santa Maria” and dedicated it to Mother Mary.

Geological Details

According to Scientific and Geological study, during the evolution of earth when Madagascar and Africa were attached to Indian peninsula. At the time of their separation a great volcanic eruption occurs, the lava which comes out of it, condensed and formed these islands group.

Famous Tourist Activities

  • The rocks found on Island are hexagonal in shape, the shores of the island look like made of columns of rocks and made of basalt. These rocks provide a convenient vantage point for tourists to catch the beautiful glimpse of Malpe, harbor and the eye-catching the sunset over the Arabian Sea.
  • The shores of rock are covered with a large variety of seashells around them. The Govt. had installed Benches near the shoreline for the benefit of tourists.
  • The popular tourist activities could be to go for The Trekking on the island which took about 90 minutes across the whole island. The beautiful Sea shells were scattered along the shoreline are interesting to collect and study.
  • There are various varieties of Bird found on the island, therefore Bird Watching is a popular activity on the islands. Commonly found birds are Brahminy kites, white and gray egrets, Sandpipers, and seagulls.
  • There are varieties of beautiful butterfly colonies present on the island, which provide the tourist a pleasure to the depth of their heart.

Places near St Mary’s Islands

  • The Vadabhandeshwara temple dedicated to Balarama was consecrated by Saint Madhwacharya. This spot attracts many pilgrims.
  • The ruins of the Daria Bahadurgarh fort can be seen on the islands. The fort is thought to have been built by Bidanur’s chieftain, Basavappa Naik.
  • Malpe beach is unique in that it has silvery powdered sand and a serene stretch of sea.
  • The coconut palms and colorful sunsets have made this place a popular tourist spot.

Tour Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Leave a Review