7 years ago, when we drove down to Kerala for the first time, we had Yaseen in a car seat sleeping. We slept in our first highway hotel, and I decided that I really loved this kind of spontaneous life. It’s effortless and exciting at the same time. I remember I couldn’t sleep that night because Sadik told me that in the morning, we would be driving on the beach. I was so eager to see sunrise and to be on the road again.
That morning we woke up in a freezing hotel room in Kumta, Karnataka, still hundreds of miles from our home in Kerala. It was a really small town, and it was silent and plain.
(8 months old Yaseen & my sister)
Yaseen was not even on solid food, and he only drank milk for breakfast. Sadik and I decided we should find a rustic south Indian meal on the road ahead of us when we realized that the hotel kitchen wasn’t even started and all staffs were still sleeping in the lobby as we checked out.
We drove. The mysterious winter fog on the road dissipated and the air became brighter and lighter. The road was empty, and we noticed many trucks stopped on the sides of the road. Nobody was driving except us. We forgot about breakfast as we were captured by the pictures of small villages and green terrains. The small deserted road was weaving before us, stretching endlessly. And then finally, the sky brightened up as the beach revealed on our right.
Maravanthe Beach is a beautiful golden sand beach near Kundapura, Karnataka, India. I think the beach must be about 2-3 km long. What so unique about this beach is how the magnificent National Highway 66 traveling next to it with Suparnika River running on the other side of the road. The drive in this stretch is mesmerizing. You feel wrapped by the powerful nature.
NH66 on this stretch was a narrow road before because of the restraint of space between the beach and the river. Those days, there wasn’t a lot of traffic on the highway, but now because of the increasing amount of vehicles on this highway, the tranquil road is forced to expand. There is an on-going renovation and expansion of the entire NH66 right now (except in the stretch of road in the state of Kerala) and the road on Maravanthe Beach is being enlarged. I can see how the local government intends to preserve the beautiful beach and the river and to put some control on shops and tourists.
The sand on Maravanthe Beach is fine and golden. The waves are very strong here so it is not safe to swim. A lot of people come here just to stroll in the sand and watch the waves purl. Some people are happy just to get their feet wet. It’s one of the most famous places to visit in the region, and everyone travelling on this road always gets pulled over by its beauty.
At night, as you notice the dots of light from the fisherman boats in the distance of the dark sea, trucks drivers stop here to rest so you can find a little tea shacks everywhere on this beach.
Maravanthe Beach will continue to be our stop when we drive down south. Whenever we park our car there next to the beach, it feels strangely like home. Well, we can call it home because we love it so much, and we always want to go back again and again.
I can’t wait to see the final picture of the finished highway on this stretch. I know it will look extraordinary.