St. Mary’s Island also known as Coconut Island and Thonse Par, are a set of four small islands in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Malpe in Udupi, Karnataka, India. They are known for their distinctive geological formation of columnar rhyolitic lava (pictured).

St. Mary’s Island-Sunset

The island is surrounded by azure waters and white sandy beaches, making it an ideal spot for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing.The best time to visit St. Mary’s Island is from October till January as the months see pleasant temperatures making outings to the beach comfortable and enjoyable.

The beauty of the island is accentuated under the warm winter sun with pleasant temperatures. Comfortable cottons should be suitable. Speedboat facility is available that takes the tourist to the island from Malpe beach.

St. Mary’s Island History 

In the year 1498, Vasco da Gama landed at St Mary’s Islands on his journey from the Kingdom of Portugal, he fixed a cross and named one of these islands O Padrão de Santa Maria in Portuguese, as a dedication to St Mary, the virgin-mother of Jesus, before proceeding to Calicut (Kozhikode) in the Malabar region, the present-day Kerala state. That’s how this place got its name. 

St Mary’s Island Keypoints

Elevation 32.8 ft
Duration October till January
Best Season Winter 
Weather Slight cold winds 
St Mary’s Island Keypoints

Scoutripper. Mary’s Island Highlights 

  • A quaint island just off the Udupi coast, this tropical island is lined in a white-sand beach, rock monoliths and spectacular wildlife.
  • The rocks of St. Mary Islands consist of dacite, rhyodacite and granophyre, showing close similarity in texture, mineralogy and petrochemistry, to similar rocks described from the islands of Salsette and Bassein. 
  •  Before visiting the island, make sure that you carry sunscreen, a hat or a cap, sunglasses, and plenty of drinking water. 

Places To Visit In St. Mary’s Island

1. Malpe Beach 

Malpe is a natural port in the Udupi District in Karnataka, India.Located at the mouth of the Malpe River about six kilometres to the west of Udupi, it is an important port and a major fishing harbour on the Karnataka coast. The town of Malpe is associated largely with settlements of the Mogaveera fisherman community. Malpe is a hub of Mogaveera, Billava Christian and Muslim population. 

2. Malpe Sea Walk

You know we love Malpe Beach, and all the wonderful things it has to offer apart from sun, sand, and sea, and the Malpe Sea Walk is a cherry on the top. Located by the Malpe Harbour, get there by taking the Malpe-Udupi Road. 

3. Delta Beach 

Delta Beach, also known as Kodi Bengre Beach, is located in a small village of Kodi Bengre in Udupi district, Karnataka. The beach is located at an estuary where the Swarna River meets the Arabian Sea.

Places To Visit Near St Mary’s Island

1. Hanging Bridge Kemmannu

The hanging bridge is constructed to provide connectivity to the other side of the river. The Kemmannu hanging bridge connects Padukudru to Thimmannakudru. The hanging bridge is 280 feet long and was built in January 1991 during the annual training of NCC cadets. There are 26 families residing in Thimmana Kudru

2. Daria Bahadurgad Fort

It is easy to reach Daria Bahadurgad fort once you reach Udupi Railway station which is just 8 kms away from the fort. There are boat services from Malpe town to Daria Bahadurgad and the boat fare is very reasonable. Malpe is well connected by road too from Udupi.

3. Vadabhandeshwara Temple

The temple is for Lord Balarama the Brother of Lord Krishna. The Lord was here installed by Sri Madhwacharya who found 2 deities one of Lord shri Balaram and one of Shri Krishna. The Shri Balaram deity was installed at this temple and the Sri Krishna diety at the famous Sri Krishna temple in Udupi. 

Things To Do In St Mary’s Island

1. Slow Walk On Beach

Sand on bare feet feels like a massage. Even if you are just sitting and pushing your feet around in the sand you’ll get the same feeling. Walking in any natural setting is relaxing and helps reduce stress.Time on the beach increases your self-esteem and promotes relaxation. People with attention deficit disorder can feel calmer at the beach. Walking along the shoreline can make you feel less isolated and happier.

2. Enjoy View & Nature

Specifically, nature has the power to restore, soothe, heal, and increase our feelings of connectedness. Here are some specific ways that scenic nature views help our mind and body. Nature can generate many positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and creativity and can facilitate concentration. 

3. Shopping

It makes us feel good and it gives us a sense of satisfaction, however transient. And of course, this good-feeling-spike is exactly what causes us to shop even more! We seek fulfilment in material things. And we try to impress other people with the things that we own rather than the people that we are. But these pursuits will never fully satisfy our deficiencies. So do as much as shopping to make yourself feel like a boss lady. 

4. Street Food

Colourful and diverse, street food is an experience you can find all around Udupi. It’s generally convenient and cheap, but its appeal goes far beyond that. Street food can be simple yet utterly delicious, and it’s often a great way to sample some authentic local cuisine.

How To Reach St. Mary’s Island

How To Reach St. Mary’s Island By Train 

The nearest rail head is at Udupi, which is 4 km from Malpe. One can easily get an auto rickshaw or a cab for Malpe. 

How To Reach St. Mary’s Island By Flight 

The nearest airport is at Mangalore which is 58 km from Malpe, the boarding point of ferries for St. Mary’s Island. One can easily get a cab or a bus for Malpe from the airport.

    How To Reach St. Mary’s Island By Road

    Road: Malpe is well connected by road to Mangalore and Udupi. There are lots of public and private buses that connect Malpe to Mangalore and Udupi.

    How To Reach St. Mary’s Island By Sea 

    Sea: From Malpe Harbor regular ferry services can be availed to reach St. Mary’s Island. Ferries are the only way in and out of the Island.

    Final Thoughts About St. Mary’s Island

    This place is surrounded by a beautiful view of sea, sand and a perfect sunset and marvellous eyesight. St. Mary’s Island is not so popular but when you visit once you’re gonna Fallin in love with this place.

    St. Mary’s Island

    Here lies a beautiful combination of nature and thoughts of people that makes you mesmerise in the beauty of St. Mary Island. If you’re truly a beach type person then this place is a perfect destination for a holiday and for enjoying your day.

    Bangalore To Thottikallu Falls

    If you want to spare a day from your hectic routine then you must visit this that is just a few hours away from Udupi. This place is all about beautiful scenery, natural eyesight and fresh feeling. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) For St. Mary’s Island

    What is special about St Mary’s island?

    St. Mary’s Island is famous for its unique columnar basaltic rock formations.

    Is swimming allowed in St Mary’s Island?

    Swimming is permitted only in those two areas. Four watchtowers have been built and the tourists will be observed by the lifeguards.

    What is the old name of St Mary’s Island?

    Mary’s Island in Karnataka is also referred to as the ‘Coconut Island’ due to the presence of a large number of coconut trees across the island. It is also locally known as ‘Thonse Par’.

    Is St Mary’s island worth visiting?

    St. Mary’s island is a must see for its unique rock formations that cannot be found anywhere else in India.

    Why is it called St Marys Island?

    Within the chapel was the Lady Light, also known as St Katherine’s Light. The light was later, wrongly, ascribed to St Mary and, as a result, the island became known as St Mary’s Island.

    How big is St Mary’s Island?

    6 square miles: St. Mary’s Island is the Isles of Scilly’s largest island (population 1,800) and the gateway to the rest of the islands.