St. Mary’s Island – A dream and an Island
Crystal clear waters of the sea gently caressing your feet as you sit on the soft white sands of the beach underneath the shade of a swaying palm tree, and all you can hear is the gentle lap-lap of the waves and your own heart beating. I am on an uninhabited island and am king of all I survey!
Isn’t this a dream what most of us have?
We too had a dream and this dream was fueled by some local vernacular films that we had watched which showed the hero and the heroine cavorting on a beautiful island with blue waters and strange rock formations.
Our inquiries revealed that the place was not far from Bangalore, India, just about an overnight journey by bus. The island had an interesting name, St. Mary’s Island! and situated in the Arabian Sea, of the coast of Malpe and very near to the temple town of Udupi, Karnataka, India.
We were determined to visit this place at the earliest and in spite of it being a rainy season we boarded a night bus from Bangalore to Udupi and reached there in the early morning and took an auto rickshaw to Malpe which is about 6 kilometers away.
The gloomy weather did not bode well for us but our spirits were not dampened, excitedly we checked in to our hotel and after a hurried breakfast were again seated in an auto rickshaw making our way to a ship building yard or port from where we understood we would get a boat that would take us to St. Mary’s Island.
The rain was pouring down now and the wind was howling in our ears and the auto rickshaw looked frail and vulnerable against the fury of the rain and wind. Somehow we reached the gate to the port where we disembarked and rain for shelter. We were in for a big disappointment! We were told, that because of the inclement weather the boats would not be moving. Our hearts sank! There was no sign of the weather getting any better, in fact it was getting worse! We retraced our steps and were back in the hotel. We spent the day confined in our hotel and returned to Bangalore with our dream unrealized but determined that we would be back again!
A month later, we were back and this time a clear blue sky buoyed our spirits. We checked into the same hotel and again made our way to the port. We reached the place and found a small ticket counter and were told that the fare was 120 Rs. per person and the boat would take us to the island where we could spend a couple of hours and then the boat would bring us back. But there was a catch! The boat would move only if it had a minimum of 20 passengers to ferry!
We were asked to wait for other passengers to turn up as we were the only two at the moment! But we were out of patience by then and could not wait for others to turn up, in fact there were chances that not many may turn up. So we had a quick discussion with the man behind the counter and agreed to pay the fare for 20 people and the boat would take us to the island.
Soon we set sail, just the two of us on the boat, sailing in majestic splendor towards our destination, St. Mary’s Island. It was a 30 minute boat ride as we glided through the clear blue waters of the Arabian sea. In the distance we spotted the tall palm trees of the island swaying gently in the breeze as if they were waving a welcome to us.
The boat anchored very near the shore and we gently stepped into the cool and clear water and walked across the clean sand to the island. We spent some time lying on the sand and letting the waves gently massage our feet and then we were on our way to explore the island.
The island has no inhabitants and is bereft of any hawkers, food joints or any other commercial venture making it all the more alluring. It has a verdant green cover and we could see and hear different birds basking luxuriously in this green utopia.
We examined the unique rock formations on the beach near the island. These are as we later understood, columnar basaltic lava formed by volcanic activity that may have taken place more than 80 million years ago.
We then spent some time just strolling around the island allowing our senses to absorb the natural sights, sounds and fragrances all around us.
Soon it was time to go and we boarded our boat and looked wistfully at the island as it slowly receded away from us.
Oh! how lovely if we could live on this island both of us echoed our thoughts simultaneously.
Experience the serenity of St. Mary’s Island. Here is our short video on St. Mary’s Island. Please watch in HD on full-screen:
For more details about St. Mary’s Island, check here.
Do you feel like visiting this beautiful island? Would love to know your thoughts.