Byndoor – An offbeat beach near Udupi

posted in: Asia, Beaches, India, Karnataka | 8

Was it the magic of the rising sun that was beginning to add its golden glow to the trees at one end?

Or was it the sea spray that continued to create a misty sheer around the beach and the backwaters?

To the east was the sunrise while on the west was a pristine beach separated from its backwaters by a carpet of green.

I knew not where to look but I was sure that I had lost my heart – to the conflicting sights of Byndoor. 

It was a late night that I arrived and checked in to Sai Vishram beach resort in Byndoor. The only thing I saw was a comfortable bed in my tent room. I could smell and hear the sea but I did not know how close it was. It was only in the morning that I discovered that my room was right on Ottinene beach of Byndoor. Eager to catch the sunrise, I resisted the call of the beach and followed the resort manager to a viewpoint where I saw the magic unfold. That was the moment, I lost my heart to this offbeat beach near Udupi – Byndoor.

A wide angle shot of the sunrise over Byndoor - taken at Kshitija Nesara Dhama view point

The opening lines in this post tell you of the conflict that I faced at the view point called Kshitija Nesara Dhama in Byndoor. Technically this was my first glimpse of the place. What I saw captured my heart and what I experienced later that day has firmly lodged this beach destination – Byndoor on my list of must-visit places in Karnataka. In fact, I plan to return with my family to Byndoor (Baindur) soon for I just did not have enough of it in this one short visit.

This post introduces you to this offbeat beach near Udupi, shares all the things to do in Byndoor and gives you tips on getting to this destination. So let’s get going.

Check out one more of Udupi’s beach attractions – St. Mary’s Island. Its rocky shores have earned it the status of National Geological Monument of India. Discover why through this post. 

Read here

About Byndoor (Baindur)

Byndoor backwaters

Byndoor is pronounced as By-an-door and is also, spelled as Baindur. The name goes back to the legend of a sage by the name of Bindu. It is said that he performed a penance somewhere along the Ottinene hills. This is a small coastal village is just 70 km from Udupi. The Byndoor river flows through the village into the Arabian sea and it is the confluence of the two that make an amazing landscape – one that I witnessed in the wee hours of the day.

How to get to Byndoor?

The best way to get to Byndoor is by rail. The town has its own station that is part of the Konkan railway route. There are regular trains from Mangalore and Bangalore that get you to Byndoor.

Byndoor does not have its own airport at the moment, though there are plans for one small one. The closest one right now is at Mangalore which is 130 km away. One can hire a cab at the Mangalore airport or just get into the many public buses headed to Byndoor.

Byndoor is located on the Mangalore-Goa highway. The drive to Byndoor from Mangalore or even Udupi is very scenic. You will be passing through the lovely Maravante beach.

Where to stay in Byndoor?

My tented cottage at Sai Vishram beach resort in Byndoor

What is the best time to visit Byndoor?

Byndoor is best visited between the months of September to March, when it is not very hot. Monsoons can get a little heavy in the town.

Keep in mind that the turtle nesting season starts in January and you might get lucky to spot some of these turtles on the Byndoor beach

Things to do in Byndoor

A tiny coastal village along the Goa highway, close to Udupi but not in Udupi – what can you really do in Byndoor?

You will be surprised by the number of things to do in Byndoor. It is a classic case of don’t judge the place by its size. See for yourself and you will understand what I mean!

Park yourself on Ottinene Beach in Byndoor

Ottinene Beach of Byndoor

Soft white sands marked by prints of sandpipers playing tag with the gentle waves of the clear blue Arabian Sea – that would be my single-line description of the Ottinene beach in Byndoor. No crazy crowds, no loud music and none of those bustling shacks. Just an unending sandy shore fringed by coconut trees.

My resort – Sai Vishram beach resort is located on this beach. As a guest, you can just grab one of their cosy beach chairs on the Ottinene beach and make the most of the place.

Fishing boats on Ottinene beach in Byndoor

Ottinene beach also, connects to a shore marked by the Someshwara temple. That particular shore is called as Someshwara Byndoor beach. Though I could not visit here, I believe the Shiva temple is worth a visit with its intricate carvings and old Shiva Linga. That part of the Byndoor beach is closer to the river-sea confluence.

Experience a sunrise or sunset at Kshitija Nesara Dhama

Sunrise over Byndoor as seen at Kshitja Nesara Dhama

This is the magical place that I have described in my opening lines of this post. Though it is considered as a sunset view point, I can say this with absolute confidence that it is a great place to enjoy a sunrise. Managed by the forest department, Kshitija Nesara Dhama is atop the Ottinene hill. It is actually a park with a hiking trail that leads to the beach below. There are a few rooms that are available on rent.

The confluence of Byndoor River and Arabian Sea as seen from Kshitija Nesara Dhama

The view point is a perfect point to see Byndoor river merge with the Arabian sea. The landscape that unfolds is a lovely case of contrasts – a green cover of Mangrove trees separate the energetic waves of the Arabian sea from the calm backwaters of Byndoor river. For me, the sunrise added another dimension to the panorama. The whole view was just heady!

Enjoy water sports on Byndoor beach

Parasailing - a fun activity on the beach

The best place to enjoy water sports on Byndoor beach would be at the Sai Vishram beach resort. The team offers kayaking, banana boat ride, parasailing and even Jet skis. What makes it fun is the absence of the crazy crowd. It is almost like your own private adventure experience.

Experience an air boat ride in the backwaters of Byndoor

Ride an air boat - one of the thrilling things to do in Byndoor

The best way to navigate the shallow backwaters of Byndoor is to take an airboat ride. A lightweight boat with a huge rotor like a helicopter takes you over the shallow waters (just about ankle height in some cases) and gives you a lovely glimpse of the Byndoor mangrove forest.

Protip: Grab the front seat so that you have uninterrupted views and get the best of the mist spraying on your face. Trust me! It is rejuvenating.

Grab an ayurvedic massage at the Sai Vishram beach resort

Try a relaxing Ayurvedic Massage when in Byndoor

What is a vacation without relaxation! Among the various facilities that the lovely beach resort in Byndoor offers is an ayurvedic massage. With prior bookings, you can avail of both long-term and short-term ayurvedic treatments here. I honestly, would not have minded a soothing massage but well! I guess I will have to return back for that!

Go birding near the mangroves of Byndoor

Kingfisher - one of the common birds that you can spot in Byndoor

As I stood near the backwaters, I caught glimpses of some really interesting winged beauties. Egrets, kingfishers and River terns were around in plenty. Towards the beach, you are bound to catch the sandpipers and gulls. At the Kshitija Nesara Dhama viewpoint, I managed a fleeting glimpse of a Paradise flycatcher and drongos. Clearly the mangroves of Byndoor are home to many of these exotic birds.

Head out for a day trip to Mookambika temple in Kollur

The Mookambika temple in Kollur is just 25 km from Byndoor. The statue of Goddess Mookambika is said to have been installed by Adi Shankracharya himself, which dates the temple back to the 8th century. It is highly revered as a religious peeta in South India. A trip from Byndoor to Kollur adds a vibrant shade of heritage to this lovely beach destination. What is more – you get a taste of the cool Kodacheri hills.

Volunteer for a beach cleaning drive

Anudeep and Minusha - the couple honored by India Tourism for their beach cleaning drive in Byndoor

There are a bunch of beach cleaning initiatives organized by young enthusiastic locals like Anudeep Hegde. During my visit to Byndoor, I was lucky to meet Anudeep and his wife Minusha. The young couple got married in the crazy year 2020 and instead of heading out for a honeymoon, volunteered and started a beach cleaning activity in Byndoor. Their inspirational work caught the eye of our Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who featured them in Mann ki Baat.

The couple and their friends organize beach cleaning drives in and around Byndoor – usually on the weekends. It is a good idea to join them for a few hours if you are in Byndoor. A nice way to give back to the pretty beach that has given you so much joy!.

Well, don’t you think Byndoor is an absolute treat! Pin these if you like the post and plan to get there.

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Travel Tips

  • Sunscreen, cotton clothes and beach sandals are a must when on a beach. Don’t forget to add them to your packing list.
  • Avoid bikinis on the Byndoor beach. It is a small town and one must be cognizant of the cultural sensitivities here.
  • Keep the beach plastic-free. There are no designated trash cans on the beach but that does not mean that you leave cans and plastic bags around. Kindly collect them and take them back with you to a point where you can safely dispose them.
  • For the beach volunteering activity, you can get in touch with Anudeep Hegde at +91 97 31258717
  • You can even visit Byndoor as a day trip from Anejhari Butterfly Camp – a Jungle Lodges resort located in Kodacheri Hills.

Booking resources

  • Booking.com has one hotel – Hotel Ambika International listed for Baindur. The other options on the website incude stays in Udupi and Kollur. You can use the link given to book your stay 
  • Tripadvisor and their partners is the other option that can help you with your booking for Sai Vishram beach resort in Byndoor.  
  • If you are looking for specialized tour agencies in this area, consider Dream Holidays Manipal and R.R Tours and Travels. You can get in touch with Poonam Shetty (Dream Holidays) at +91 96865 74959 or Roshan Pinto (R.R Tours) at +91 98453 31926 for any travel arrangements and packages that you might want in Coastal Karnataka including Manipal and Udupi. 
  • For any home and travel shopping, consider going to Amazon using this link
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. Thank you for supporting me with this. 

P.S : I visited Byndoor as a part of the Coastal Karnataka trip for which I was invited by Ministry of Tourism, India – Bengaluru.

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