For those unwilling to travel long distances for a weekend picnic or looking to beach avoiding the overt commercialisation of Panambur or Tannir Bhavi, Someshwar is the destination.
Arguably one of the most picturesque beaches in the district, entry to the beach is from the top of a low monolithic hill on which the 500-year-old Somanath Temple, claimed to be worshipped and developed by Rani Abbakka in the 16th century, sits.
From here, you can see the sun change colours as it dips into the Arabian Sea or observe the casuarinas and palm trees straining against the breeze as the coast snakes towards the Kerala border.
You can either sit on the soft, clean sands of the beach, or on the large rocks that jut out, called Rudra Shile, towards the sea, or for a view, on the benches places close to the Somanath temple.
For a piece of nirvana, weekdays are the best. Shashidhar K.J., who travelled to the city on a holiday, said it was a “blissful” feeling to fall asleep in the shade of casuarinas.
Weekends get crowded, but the long coastline is dotted with spots of tranquillity.
Local fisherman Suresh Uchil said although the sea was turbulent during monsoons and in the months following it, during the rest of the months it was safe.
“If someone gets adrift, usually the fishermen rush in to rescue the person,” he said.
A strange place of attraction on the beach, he said, was the edge of the giant protruding rock that faces the swirling sea with a cliff. “Years ago, the place gained notoriety for suicides, especially those involving couples who used to tie themselves up with a cloth and jump off the cliff.
There were many instances, and each crime was reported widely in the district.
Some people still remember that, and ask for the spot,” he said.
Though practically nothing exists for the adrenaline seeker at the beach, the Tourist Department does run a solitary jet ski.
Though, coming at Rs. 200 per person, or Rs. 300 for two on a jet ski, the price for a joy ride that lasts less than a minute doesn’t seem worth it.
MOHIT M. RAO
Someshwar Beach, near Ullal, around 10 km from Mangalore. Though there is a slight rush on weekend, the beach is long enough to give a sense of tranquillity. November to March is the best season.
How to get there
Proceed on National Highway 66, and take a left at Thokottu, towards Ullal. At Rani Abbakka Circle, take a left, and go along the road for around 4 km. The arch of the Someshwara temple is an indicator to take the right on the curvy road towards the beach. The beach can be accessed by taking the left towards Ullal Railway Station from the highway.
What to pack
Beverages and snacks are easy to get near the temple.
What to see
The beach is clean, and the long coastline provides great places to sit. The main rock on which the temple stands, with benches flanking the rock, provides a great view of the sunset and the coast.