Kundapura (Kannada: ಕುಂದಾಪುರ) is a city in Udupi district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is the headquarter of the Kundapura taluk and is about 36 kilometres from Udupi. Kundapura is noted for its 95,000 solar lighting installations by Selco Solar, a Bangalore-based social enterprise.
This name can be traced to the Kundeshvara temple built by Kundavarma in the vicinity of the Panchagangavalli river. Kundapur is also described as the 'town of the sun'. The name may be derived from Kunda, meaning jasmine, owing to the abundance of jasmine-trees in the area. According to others, Kunda means 'pillar' in Kannada, and here refers to the traditional method of constructing houses. Kunda has another meaning, indicating a high place. Up to 18th century, nearby Basrur was important town and Kundapura (a place in high place) was built later, particularly during British period. Kundapur town is surrounded by water from three sides (North - Panchagangavali river, East - Kalaghar water, river, West - Kodi back waters, and further west, Arabian sea), leaving south side as main connecting land mass.
It was the principal port of the Rajas of Baindoor who came to prominence after the decline of the Vijayanagara power. The Portuguese and German Missionaries settled here in the 16th century and built a fort. A well-built redoubt constructed by Hyder Ali commands the entrance to the river. After the fall of Tipu Sultan in 1799, the town was taken over by the British.
Kundapur is well connected by Road to Parts of the country.Kundapur is also connected by Konkan Railway which runs through Mumbai, Mangalore. Kundapur Railway station is about 4 km from city. The nearest air port is Mangalore Situated around 100 km from kundapur.
As of 2001 India census, Kundapura had a population of 28,595. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. Kundapura has an average literacy rate of 92%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 94%, and female literacy is 88%. In Kundapura, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age. The town mainly consists of Kannadigas who speak Kundagannada (a dialect of kannada). the town also consists a small number of Konkanis and Tuluvas. The Goud Saraswat Brahmins who fled Goa during the Portuguese arrival in 16th Century arrived by Boat in Basrur and some settled in Kundapura and surrounding villages.
Places of interest in Kundapura taluk
- Kundeswara temple is within the town, with big arches. Kundapura town is surrounded on three sides by water / back water - and as such one can find good scenes of water and coconut trees all around. The boat point to Gangolli is one such beautiful place, with vast area of back waters of Haladi river, which joins Arabian Sea nearby. From this point, the range of Western Ghats at a distance of 20 km, including highest peak Kodachadri is a beautiful sight. The three-sides- water- town concept of Kundapur is not exploited to develop tourism industry in this area. There are good number of lodges in this town and well connected by Highway to Mumbai, it has good potential to develop as a scenic place.
- Sri Vinayaka (Ganesh) Temple at Anegudde, between Kota and Koteshwar towns. (5 k.m. from Kundapura) The area where the temple stands is called Kumbhashi. Among the several temples in Kumbhashi Anegudde, Sri Vinayaka Temple is the oldest, and it is also the most popular in this region. This Ganesh temple is on a small hillock, giving the name Anegudde, "Ane" meaning elephant and "Gudde" meaning a hillock (in kannada).
- Mekekattu Nadhikeshwara temple is interesting place, about 20 k.m.from Kundapura. It is nearer to Barkuru (Udupi Dist). Legent says it is a creation of sage Parashurama as applicable to all places of Coastal Karnataka. With the passage of time the area where the temple is situated has been called by different names. It attracts several visitors every year particulary during annual festival, hasara and Sedi. Striking feature of Mekkekattu temple is a collection of coloured, wooden idols, some of which measure up to 10 feet height! Most of the wooden statues are in warrior dress, giving an impression that this entire row of wooden statues are made to remember an incidence of war that would have taken place here during 1600-1700 AD (no historic evidence for this war is found yet, but can be linked to Mogul / Bahamani Invasion). Some of the statues are like Muslim soldires, some like maratha soldies. Some even hold a replica of old gun, some carry swords and ready for war. All wooden statues are given local mytholigical name and there are tiger, crow, moneky also in the row. Yettinahatti, very near to Mekke kattu is interesting place where bulls are worshiped, and may have some historical links with Mekke Kattu.
- Padukone is a coastal village located approximately 17 kilometres (11 mi) north of the taluk center. Part of the village is surrounded by the Souparnika River and one has to cross this river in a old wooden boat from Maraswami. Padukone is a beautiful village surrounded by coconut trees,water and Kudru.
- Basrur - Many temples are located here on the southern banks of the river Varahi. History says Basrur is main and center place of Kundapura Taluk and it has several historical structures.
- Uppinakudru - Uppinakudru or salt island is located at 6 km towards north of Kundapura which is a taluk headquarters in Udupi District (Karnataka , India) .
- Hoovinakere - It is the birthplace of the philosopher Vadiraja, who preached Dvaita philosophy after Madhvacharya.
- Koteshwara - The Koteshwara temple is a historical and religious centre. Here the lake adjacent to temple is larger than the main temple. One of the many legends about this lake is that there is an underground tunnel to Vandaru Kambala Gadde which is at a distance of 20 k.m. We have Pattabhiramachandra temple, Mariyamma Temple, Kodandarama Temple in the same place.
- Saligrama Village - A small village with a historic temples of Narasimha(Gurunarasimha) and Hanuman.
- Hattiangadi has another well-known temple of Lord Ganapathi (Ganesh), and many other ancient temples besides.
- Kirimanjeshwara - Located about 22 km from Kundapur, it has the Kirimanjeshwara temple amidst beautiful surroundings. There is another old temple called the Agastyeshwara temple, named after Sage Agastya.
- Shankaranarayana - village located about 32 km to the east of Kundapur, it is traditionally called Krodha Kshetra and is one of the seven places of pilgrimage in the region mentioned in the Skanda Purana.
- Trasi - Located about 12 k.m to the North of Kundapur, Trasi has a beautiful 1 km long beach with Turtle Bay and Beach Resort.
- Maravanthe One of Karnataka's most beautiful beaches. It is about 55 km from Udupi. NH-17 runs right next to the beach and the Suparnika river flows on the other side of the road, creating a spectacular scenery. A boat ride from Maharajaswami temple of Maravanth to Padukone is enjoyable. The river Souparnika, which almost touches Arabian sea hear, makes a U turn and goes eastward to join the Sea only after a journey of more than 10 kilometers, which is a geological wonder.
- Kollur is one of the Shakti Pithas established by Shankaracharya. Souparnika river flows here midst of dense forest. Several lodges are available in Kollur, which would make a memorable stay almost within forest. Kodachadri hill with a height of about 3800' at the backdrop is trekkers' paradise. Trekkers can start trekking from Nagodi village near Kollur and reach Kodachadri peak after about three hours trek. Thick forest, sholas, grass lands and cool air are a specialty of this place. There is moola stana (original place) of Kollur Goddess at Kodachadri. An Iron pillar, said to be ancient weapon used by Goddess Mookambika to kill Kolasura, a demon, stands in front of small temple near Travelers Bungalow and the antiquity of this Iron pillar makes interesting sight. But present priest says that this Iron pillar might have been installed during Mysore Wodeyar's regime or during British period to identify this place from distance as an Iron Ore deposit indication. Kodachadri is one of the most beautiful spots of Western Ghats, as described by Dr. K. Shivarama Karantha. Sunset from Kodachadri Peak during winter is most beautiful and unforgettable sight. Even though there is a Travellers Bungallow, other facilities like food etc. are rudimentary and thouse who want to stay overnight should be prepared for basic facilities at minimal.
- Ottinene - This is a sunset point on the seashore, near Byndoor village on the National Highway. The Kshitija Nature Resort, a beach, and sunset point are favorite spots with travelers here. Byndoor is also a beautiful village near the sea.
- Kodi Beach This is a nice beach located about 4 km from Kundapur. The Kinara Restaurant is a nice place to spend the time, while enjoying the beauty of Arabian Sea.
- Bhandarkars college is a first grade university located in Kundapura. The college campus with adjascent cricket ground makes good sight.
- Gangolli,even though very near to Kundapura, one has to travel more than 15 km to reach this place as Panchagangavali river separates this from Kundapura town. One can also take boat ride, which depends on High tide timings! This is a beautiful place located at bank of 5 rivers and Arabian sea. Fishing is main activity. Veereshwara Temple is one of the oldest temple of Gangolli.
- Rattadi This place is between Halady and Amasebail, Named after god `Ratteshwara`.
- Maranakatte This is a place located at a distance of about 18 km from Kundapura and known for its Temple of "SRI BRAMHALINGESHWARA", which is located in the bank of river Souparnika. It has a mythological connection with the Kollur "MOOKAMBIKA" temple, this being the place where the Goddess of Kollur killed Mookasura, the Rakshasa(Demon).
- Halady a village at a distance of 22 k.m. from Kundapura town is known mainly as a junction of roads leading to Shankaranarayana, Amasebail and Hebri. An old Tiles factory was busy burning red tiles during 1980s in Halady, but this industry has become obsolete and outdated because of dwindling forest cover, from where the logs were supplied to bake tiles. The Halady River or Varahi River is flowing besides this village. Marlu chicku is one deity of Halady which attracts large number of people from far off places, and another temple is of Laxmi Narasimha with 7 feet stone statue. The river in front of this temple is beautiful scene.
- Vakwadi This is a small village located between Anegudde and Huvinakere and about 2 k.m. from Koteswara. A temple of Mahalingeshwara about 2 km from Anegudde is there to serve.
- Bidkalkattethis is a small village near halady.this place is between molahalli and hunsemakki. it has govt.high college & hospital.
this is on the state highway kundapur-shimoga & udupi-shimoga.
- Molahallithis is a small village near bidkalkatte.it is a birth place of 'sahakari pithamaha' M.Shivarao. Shivaraya temple is located in this place.This village hosts a Kambalawhich is known in Kundapura Taluk.
Distance from Kundapur to major cities
- Bangalore-445 km
- Chennai-785 km
- Kochi-530 km
- Mysore-355 km
- Panaji-274 Km
- Mangalore-100 Km
- Udupi-36 Km
- Mumbai-960 Km
- Shimoga - 150 km