St. Mary’s Island – An Immaculate Geological Treasure on the Karnataka Coast
Spectacular beauty, intact and ancient geological attractions, and the historic land where Vasco De Gama first stepped; all define the St. Mary’s island in Karnataka. They also are the reasons why we group of four girls decided to explore it this October after the rainy season. At least, we would not face the risk of heavy rains debilitating both our group and ferry boats.
We decided to go by train from Mumbai, as the scenic beauty on the way was praised in the speech of our other friends and relatives. The nearest station is Udupi, where we got down. From here, we took a pre-paid rickshaw service and reached to our accommodation, which was a homestay, Balakrishna Udupi. It took around 15 minutes to reach to this holiday home.
Heading towards the Island
We took rest the first day, as half day had gone. The next day, we headed to the nearby Malpe beach, which took 11 minutes of traveling. Luckily, the homestay had done our ferry booking. The beach itself is an attraction amongst the water adventurers. However, we were here to reach the island, as it is the only embarking point to go to the island.
From the Malpe harbor, a ferry to this island costs around 300 INR per person and takes around 30 minutes to reach. We were lucky to have no waiting time, as the ferry was waiting for four more passengers to fulfill its quorum of at least 20. We fulfilled it! This includes transferring all passengers to a small boat that takes five minutes to drop them at the island’s coast.
Crystal-clear emeraldwatergently cuddled the feet as we sat on soft white sands. We could only hear the swaying rhythm of palm trees and the gentlesound of waves. Yes, this island is uninhabited. Geographically, St. Mary’s Island is a cluster of four distinct islands namely, the South Island, North Island, Coconut Island, and Daryabahadurgarh Island.
One of the island’s shoreline is composed of only crystalline hexagonal rocks on golden sands, which are seen only here in India. Interestingly, one section of the island is full of sand, while the other is full of shells and rocks.A variety of seashells, varying in terms of textures, sizes, and shapes appear to be sprinkled beautifully.
It was disappointing to know that we were given only one hour by the ferry service to explore the island. Still, we spent maximum time in observing these rocks, which were formed from basaltic lava due to volcanic activity occurred millions of years ago.
The terrain of this island is unique, as there are no long stretches of golden sand.Surprisingly, itsrocky area makes it fit for a tour. Tourists are prohibited from indulging in any adventurous sports. Even walking along the shore and swimming are prohibited, as tides are pretty strong and beachside rocks are pretty sharp.
There are no hawkers, food stalls, accommodations, or other commercial spots, which has made St. Mary’s island more fascinating. It has a lush green cover above which different birds are visible for some quick photos.
We then spent a fewminutes in strolling around the island to cherish the natural sights and soundsaround us.