Kundapur, a popular temple town, is the headquarters of Kundapur taluk of Udupi District of Karnataka. The town of Kundapur, located at the centre of the coastal belt of Karnataka, has palm-fringed backwaters also. Kundapur town is surrounded by the Arabian Sea and the Kodi back waters on its west, Panchgangavalli River on its north and Kalaghar River on its east.
Situated along the west coast of Karnataka, Kundapur is accessible only through its southern side. Kundapur town is at a distance of 36 km from Udupi, 100 km from Mangalore, 300 km from Panaji and 450 km from Bangalore. It lies in the close vicinity of the Western Ghats, a zone famous for bio-diversity.
The name of Kundapur was derived from the Kundeshvara Temple built near the River Panchgangavalli by Kundavarma. Kundapur was often described as the ‘town of sun’ in the ancient texts.
Kundapur has a rich historical background. It was once part of the Vijaya Nagara Empire. After the collapse of Vijaya Nagara power, Kundapur came under the control of the Rajas of Baindoor and under their rule became the principal port town.
Kundapur later came under the rule of the Portuguese during the 16th century. It was also a part of the Kingdom set up by Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan. Kundapur witnessed the fall of Tipu Sultan in the year 1799 and came under the rule of British.
Kundapur was a famous port town during the middle ages with thriving trade connections with many countries in the Middle East. When it came under colonial rule, the port of Kundapur was used as the trade centre by the colonial powers.
Today, the ancient temple town of Kundapur has become a major tourist spot of Karnataka. Historical monuments, which include ancient temples like the Kundeshvara Temple and the Holy Rosary Church, are reminders of the bygone era and attract tourists as well as historians to Kundapur.
Sri Vinayaka Temple, Mahalingeshwara Temple, Mekekattu Nadhikeshwara Temple, Hattiangadi Temple, Koteshwara Temple and Kirimanjeshwara Temple are some of the prominent pilgrim destinations in the area.
Kundapur also has several activities to offer. Nature lovers and rock climbers often go for trekking and hiking in the nearby mountain ranges of the Western Ghats whereas beach lovers can go to the coastal areas like Kodi Beach. Boating in the backwaters of Kundapur is also a common activity. The best time to visit Kundapur is from October to April.