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Plan now to travel later: Getaways in Kundapura, Karnataka; Coonoor, Tamil Nadu & Ganpatipule, Maharashtra

Ganpatipule Beach bustles with activity, and you’ll find plenty of photo op
Photographer: Sameer Mangtani

Go on a family vacation, find solace in the hills, and hit the beaches


Take the family along to Kundapura, Karnataka
Out of Mangalore (90km)
Located on the coast of Karnataka, less than a hundred kilometres from Mangalore, Kundapura is the ideal family holiday destination. Whether you’d like to do something with your partner, want the kids to have a good time, or ensure your parents are entertained too, there’s something for everybody.
There’s plenty to see around town. Start off with the Holy Rosary Church, a 17th-century structure that has seen colourful and turbulent years. Head next to Kodi Bengre, the place where the Panchgangavali River meets the Arabian Sea. While the beach is clean and ideal for a peaceful walk with the family, you must head to the top of the Kodi Lighthouse for a breath-taking view of the surrounding countryside. If the family gets peckish, a little distance away is Kinara Restaurant, a lovely little beach shack and one of the very few in the area. Speaking of food, try the famous chicken ghee roast at Shetty’s Lunch Home. The fish thali, and the kane fish masala fry are equally delicious.
Places such as Kundapura are delightful reveals, ones that only appear on your map if you travel locally. Explore our country; there are many such hidden gems just a small distance away.


Soak up the hills in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
Out of Coimbatore (70km)
Just about 20km from Ooty, one of the most popular hill stations in India, lies the lesser-known Coonoor. Here, the throngs of tourists are thinner, the air is a little fresher and the scenery just as magnificent.
Begin exploring the town at Sim’s Park, a terraced horticultural park, home to over a thousand species of native and introduced flora – cedars, champaks, roses, and a pretty, sun-striped plant nursery. Around a 10km scenic drive from town is the Dolphin’s Nose peak, which provides a startling 360° view of these parts, with some families of rhesus monkeys for company.
The peak is flanked by ravines and the Catherine Falls in Kotagiri, the oldest hill station in the Nilgiris. The other thing that will catch your eye here are the bright dwellings of the indigenous Kurumbar tribals that live here.
If you’d like more of a challenge, make your way to the 18th-century Droog Fort, thought to be Tipu Sultan’s one-time military outpost. The fort is perched 6,000ft above sea level and the hike up follows a red-dirt track cutting through the Nonsuch Tea Estate, and finally leading to a steep ascent to the summit, known as Bakasura Malai after the demon in the Mahabharata. The panoramic view of the Nilgiris from here is, again, breathtaking. Soak in as much as you can on a Coonoor visit. Slow travel can be a delicious treat in these fast times. 


While away some time in Ganpatipule, Maharashtra
Out of Mumbai (333km)
One of the best things about heading to the small temple town of Ganpatipule on the Konkan coast is the drive there from Mumbai. Hugging the coast, the road has sparse traffic and the surrounding landscape is pretty. By the time you reach Ganpatipule town, you’ll already be in a holiday state of mind.
With two beaches, Ganpatipule Beach and Aare Beach, located near each other, get ready to dig your toes into the sand while the sea breeze embraces you. Aare Beach is serene and usually pretty deserted save for a few boulders that make the perfect perch from which to watch the sun set. Ganpatipule Beach, on the other hand, has a lot more going on. If you’re close to the Swayambhu Ganpati Temple, you’ll see hordes of visitors, horse carriages, dune buggies, jet skis and camels, and vendors offering a wide range of refreshments.
If you are keen on some history, head to Jaigad Fort around 15km away. The 17th-century fort’s outer wall is all that remains today, but the view from the ramparts is easily one of the most stunning on the Konkan Coast.
Make sure you catch the sunset back in Ganpatipule from Aare Beach. The warm hues of the dying sun melting into blue waters will be etched into your mind for quite some time to come. It is a really small town with not much else to do, especially after dark. But then, pretty much nothing is what most visitors are here to do.

Travel these trips in the near future with LPMI’s April 2020 issue. Pick up a copy from your newsstand or click to subscribe via Zinio or Magzter.