Are you curious to see the sea glow in bioluminescence or the blue-green glitter of the waters at night? Of the many bioluminescent beaches in India, some are noteworthy in Karnataka. Discover the 5 bioluminescent beaches in Karnataka, how to reach them and the best time to visit for a magical holiday.
What is the bioluminescent beach?
In a bioluminescent beach, the seawater and the shore assume a beautiful glow at night, which is a magnificent sight to watch. Living organisms such as marine invertebrates, fireflies, fungi and some microorganisms cause the sparkling effect on the waters because of a biochemical emission of light. Hence, they produce a magical beauty at night, making your visit to a bioluminescent beach all the more endearing.
The bioluminescent beaches in Karnataka call for a mesmerising view. However, it is not advisable to touch the bioluminescent waters or swim because of the algae bloom, which could harm humans.
Bioluminescent beaches in Karnataka
Mulki Beach, Mattu Beach, Padukere Beach, Paradise Beach and Nirvana Beach glow at night in Karnataka.
Mulki Beach, Mangalore
Mulki Beach, near Mangalore, is one of the bioluminescent beaches in Karnataka, making it worthy of travel owing to its sparkling waters at night. This offbeat destination is a small quaint town situated on the banks of the Shambhavi River. Besides the peaceful vibes and bioluminescent activity, Mulki Beach is popular among tourists for surfing, wakeboarding, kayaking and snorkelling. Hence, you can also engage in bioluminescence kayaking in Mulki Beach, which makes way for a delightful experience.
How to reach Mulki Beach, Mangalore
Mulki is in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, which lies 26 km from the coastal city of Mangalore and 31.6 km from the pilgrimage centre of Udupi. It is 376 km from Bangalore. Mangalore is the closest airport to Mulki, and from there, you can take private/public transport to Mulki Beach, which is about a 45-minute drive.
There is a railway station at Mulki on the Konkan railways. However, if you do not have a direct train to Mulki, you can take a train to Mangalore and then reach it by private/public transport. Mulki is well connected to Bangalore. Hence, you can take a bus or drive by car to visit Mulki Beach.
Mattu Beach, Udupi
Mattu Beach also happens to be one of the bioluminescent beaches in Karnataka. Located about 10 km from Udupi, this unexplored beach is slowly gaining popularity owing to the bioluminescence effect on its waters. Mattu Beach assumes a neon glow at night because of the bioluminescent phytoplankton for quite some time now. So, the chances are pretty good to witness the stunning beauty of the waters. Hence, linger at the pristine and unexplored Mattu Beach after sunset to glimpse the glowing sea. Moreover, you can also engage in watersports. Since Mattu Beach is close to Udupi, you can also relish the delectable cuisine of the temple town.
How to reach Mattu Beach, Udupi
Mattu Beach is only 10.5 km from Udupi and about 49 km from Mangalore. It is 400 km from Bangalore.
The Mangalore airport is the closest airport to Mattu Beach. Tourists can take a bus or a cab from the airport to Mattu Beach. The Udupi railway station is the closest to Mattu Beach if you wish to travel by train. You can then take a bus or hire a cab to the beach. Mattu Beach is well-connected by road. Hence, you can also drive down to this beach.
Padukere Beach, Udupi
Padukere Beach, south of Malpe and about 29 km from Udupi, attracts nature lovers, photographers and Zoologists because of its bioluminescence. The radiant blue waters hitting the shores at night caught the sight of some fishermen, after which the Padukere beach emerged among the bioluminescent beaches in Karnataka. This beach is also unexplored, and the sunset over here is mesmerising. It sees less footfall, and hence, it is serene.
How to reach Padukere Beach, Udupi
Initially, tourists had to reach Padukere Beach by ferry, but now the beach is accessible owing to the construction of a bridge. Tourists can stay in Udupi or Malpe (30.7 km) and visit the Padukere beach.
Padukere Beach is about 29 km from Udupi, 82.3 km from Mangalore, about 407 km from Bangalore and is accessible by road.
Paradise Beach, Gokarna
Paradise Beach, or the Full Moon Beach in Gokarna, is a secluded beach with about 70% of the area covered by rocks and the remaining by pristine sand. Once a haven for hippies, tourists can reach this beach only by trekking or ferry. People have spotted Phytoplankton in Paradise Beach, Gokarna, which makes the water glow at night. Hence, this beach is also one of the bioluminescent beaches in Karnataka. People also camp and engage in night treks here with prior permission secured from the concerned authorities.
How to reach Paradise Beach, Gokarna
Tourists can trek from Om Beach, Belekan Beach or Half Moon Beach to reach Paradise Beach, Gokarna. However, trekking back to Half Moon Beach after sunset can be hazardous owing to the presence of rocks.
Bangalore is 486 km from Gokarna. You can reach Gokarna by train from all the major cities of Karnataka. Alternatively, you could take a bus to Gokarna from Bangalore and other cities. The nearest airport to Gokarna is Dabolim in Goa, which is at a distance of 142 km.
Nirvana Beach, Gokarna
Nirvana Beach is another tranquil waterfront where you can see the electric blue beauty of the waves at night. Apart from being one of the bioluminescent beaches in Karnataka, Nirvana Beach is an ideal spot away from the hustle and bustle. This beach is also far from commercialisation; hence, carrying food and water with you is advisable. The sunset on this secluded beach is spectacular. Since it is a peaceful haven, Nirvana Beach is ideal for people who wish to relax and laze around.
How to reach Nirvana Beach, Gokarna
The nearest airport to Gokarna is in Dambolim, Goa, at a distance of 142 km. You can proceed from Gokarna to Nirvana Beach, just about 11 km by cab. You can also travel by train to Gokarna, which is well-connected to most cities in South India. Since Gokarna is accessible by road, tourists can also take a bus to this beach destination from Bangalore, Goa and Mangalore. Otherwise, you can drive to Gokarna from these cities to visit Nirvana Beach.
Best time to visit the bioluminescent beaches in Karnataka
The best time to watch the glowing waters of the bioluminescent beaches in Karnataka is during the post-monsoon period between October and January on new-moon nights. The sparkle in the waters gets dimmer when the moon is full and bright. Hence, visiting the bioluminescent beaches on new moon nights is advisable.