Kemmannu-The Enchanting Land of Islands, Coconut palms and Backwaters

Jun 12, 2010

There are a number of exotic places nearer to our own towns and villages, but we are unaware of their charm and beauty and think of going to faraway places for the weekend getaway or family picnics. Recently, I had an unexpected trip to Kemmannu just before the monsoon was to set in. After one day’s sojourn on this enchanting land of islands, backwaters and coconut palms, i have no hesitation to say that Kemmannu can be considered as a blend of Goa and Kerala.

My visit to Kemmannu was rather unexpected as one of our friends from Dombivli, Alex Monteiro had constructed a house in Kemmannu some years ago and would come often with his family to spend holidays. Being invited to visit his house, i took the opportunity and decided to visit his house and explore this enchanting land cradled by the turbulent Arabian Sea and the serene Suvarna River.

Boarding the city bus at Udupi heading to Hode, as advised by Alex Monteiro, my wife and i alighted at the stop next to the Kemmannu market. After preliminary greetings and usual talk,  i went around Monteiro’s house to explore the surroundings. The house is located right on the bank of the branch(backwater) of the Suvarna River. The rear sandy courtyard of the house extends till the edge of the backwater canal beyond which i could see few islands or kudrus as they are locally known. Meanwhile, I could see boatmen moving on the backwater canal transporting commodities including dry woven coconut palms which are used by the people living nearer to the sea to cover the front portion of their houses to prevent rain water hitting their front doors and walls. As most of the Kudrus are not connected with motorable roads, small bridges and the boats are the only means of transport to the many households situated on these widespread small islands.

After we had a lot of nostalgic conversation sitting in the backyard watching the boatmen going up and down, Monteiro exhibited his fishing gears including gas light and fish trap as well as an angling rod. He is a great fishing enthusiast and even intends to possess a powerboat in the near future after retirement so that he can spend his time at Kemmannu with various activities including venturing deeper into the Suvarna River for fishing.

After lunch, Monteiro suggested that we could go for a ride around Kemmannu, an opportunity that i did not want to miss. He took out his vehicle and all of us drove towards the fishing port of Bengre. As we drove ahead i could see the roaring Arabian Sea towards the left and the calm Suvarna River towards the right and the road in the middle of the strip of land  lined with fishermen’s houses and covered with coconut trees.

Stopping at Bengre we walked towards the fishing port at the mouth of the Suvarna River as it merges a little further with the Arabian Sea. The fishing port presented a deserted look. According to Monteiro, during fishing season, the fishermen would usually auction their catch from around 2.30 pm. We could see practically all fishing vessels anchored in a line. When asked, a fisherman standing nearby as to why there was no auctioning of the fish, he said that the fishermen could not venture into the sea due to bad weather and the sea had been rough. From the Bengre port we could see the opposite bank of the Suvarna River known as Hangarkatte which has a  big structure used for ship building.

From Bengre we drove further down where the narrow strip of land ends with the Suvarna River merging with the Arabian Sea. Climbing the parapet wall we could see the other side of the river and the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea with huge waves striking against the boulders.

After spending considerable time at the conjunction of the Suvarna River and the Arabian Sea, Monteiro drove us back and proceeded across a small  bridge connecting an island named Padukudru. Moving further through the rough road we reached the point where the so called ‘Hanging Bridge’ is located. The stone slab at the base of the bridge proclaims that the bridge is named as ‘Deepak’ which is 280 feet Suspension Bridge. It was constructed by 2 and 4 Karnataka Engineering Company NCC Cadets during their annual training camp from 16 January 1991 to 27 January 1991.

The suspension bridge connects one island with another. As i walked through the bridge i was amazed about the efforts that have been put up by the NCC Cadets in constructing this marvellous bridge and came to the conclusion that our youth can produce wonders with little of guidance and lot of imagination, enthusiasm, discipline and dedication. I salute those NCC students for erecting the bridge which still remains as a testimony of their hard work since the last twenty years.

After having tea at Monteiro’s house, he dropped us at Udupi bus stand from where we took a bus to Moodubelle. On the way back, I was just thinking about the wonderful places that we have in close proximity, but ignorant about them. After a day’s visit to Kemmannu i was quite refreshed with new site seeing and experience which i felt that i could share with the readers of Daijiworld.


Dr Eugene D`Souza - Archives:

by Eugene D’Souza, Moodubelle
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Comment on this article

  • Stanley D'Souza, Thimmannu kudru

    Mon, Jul 11 2011

    I am so proud to see my island thimmannu kudru and kemmannu and i love the Greenary and the blue waters. I will see to it that it will always remain the same. I am the son of famous Mr.Borges D'Souza of Thimmannu Kudru.
    I am planning to settle there with my wife n family shortly.

  • Clara Lewis, Kemmannu/Dubai

    Wed, Jun 23 2010

    The villages surrounded around Kundapur Taluk and Udupi Taluk in the coastal region almost look alike, same as Kemmannu, one can see long sandy beaches, rivers, backwaters, lakes,(locally called aagher and people breed prawns in them) ponds, peddy fields, small bridges to cross and kudrus. In villages one can see lots of coconut trees, mangrooves, mango, jack fruit, and beetle nut trees and lots of greenery, main occupation is fishing, farming and trading, in rainy season the sea is rough. Lots of fresh sea food is available and also one can see many ice factoreis in different cities such as Trasi, Kundapur, Malpe, Thottam, Ganguly etc, in the ice factory they pack fish, prawns etc and export them to other countries. In every village one can see a church and many temples dedicated to different deities, roads are narrow and muddy, some narrow roads are pass through coconut plots, fishing Launchs and boats one can see in Kundapur, Malpe, Kemmannu, Hungarkatte, Gangully and Marsaame. The upper side villages of coatal region are hilly area, one can see more mountains and plenty of bush and wild trees, also plenty of beetle nut trees and banana plantation. The coastal region is locally called 'Karaval'. Karalvalichi thoade is the surronded villages of the sea.In rainy season the peddy fields looks like green carpet is spread all over the villages. Mostly people live in Big terrace/tiles houses souranded by coconut trees. once in a week there is a market day in the main town.

  • James Fernandes, Barkur/USA

    Thu, Jun 17 2010

    If I pick up a floating coconut found in the middle of the Kemmannu river, am I a robber? Can any one reply?

  • James Fernandes, Barkur/USA

    Mon, Jun 14 2010

    Arjun: Tourists/Tourism does not disturb the serenity or the beauty of any site. Tourists respectfully place their waste such as water bottles, cups, plastic bags, diapers, spit, banana skin or fish bones in proper dispsal containers. If such containers are not available, each tourist carries his/her own extra garbage bag.
    Beauty is to be viewed and admired not touched, disturbed or exploited. Ask any Kemmannu lilly or Lilly!

    Industrial pollution or commercial exploitation is to be avoided, as per Arjun. If Industries were to follow the safety regulations and dispose off their waste as per the governmental guidelines, (instead of dumping in the rivers) Arjun would not not have made his appropriate and profound statement. Hope the Kemmannu river waters stay blue as photographed by the author Dr. Eugene D'Souza, or as seen in, and not turn "Kempu Mannu, or Kemmannu!!

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Mon, Jun 14 2010

    Arjun, please don't get provoked for my suggestion. I do understand your feelings to keep the beauty
    of the place without the tourists.

    Some of the remote villages of  Kerala have turned as tourist paradise, and thousands of people
    are making a living. They were places like " Kemmannu".

    If I wish to see the beauty of  "Kemmannu", then I am a tourist. I don't have a relative there, so
    I need to stay somewhere else, so hotels must be started.

    If you are telling, "this is our own place" nobody should come here to see the beauty if so, I don't know, how to explain that mentality.

  • naresh, hydrabad

    Sun, Jun 13 2010

    nice pictures

  • Arjun, India

    Sun, Jun 13 2010

    A.S.Mathew, U.S.A,,no we don't want tourists and commercial exploitation..please leave the serenity of this place alone..

    How is the mosquito situation in the island, what measures have administration taken to control any possible outbreak of preventing mosquito borne diseases..the abundance of water, tropical environment..add mathew's receipe of tourists, it comes with garbage, filth and would become potential breeding the islands need to be protected before evil eyes of unsustainable development and tourism hits the place..Amen!

  • Anil Dsouza, Halealve/Cardiff

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    This is my Grandparents place and i must say its a heaven.My granparents stay in Timmankudru and that is more beautiful, with 4 to 5 houses in an island.

    Excellent article and fabulous pics

  • James Fernandes, Barkur/USA

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    There is a website called, for further information. The lovely local people are very serious in keeping the rivers free of plastics and other pollutants.

  • Ivy D'mello, Kallianpur/Dombivli

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Dear Dr.Eugene,

    Very nice article.This reminds me of my childhood days.My granny was in Padukudru, Kemmannu. When we were small, along with my younger brothers, every summer vacation we used to come to Padukudru. Even after my PUC(we were staying at Uchila),I was going to MGM College from Kemmannu. I used to enjoy walking on the hanging bridge and the rides on the boats. Now also whenever we go during holidays, we never miss to visit my aunt(my granny is no more), who invites us for a special lunch. I enjoy catching the shell-fish.

    The photography is fantastic. I would like to meet your friend Alex Montiero.

    See you at Infant Jesus Church, Dombivli.

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    These places can be turned into tourist paradise. The charm and tranquillity of this place is
    hypnotizing. The Creator's design is rather amazing: how beautifully He has created everything for us!

  • vasant raj, udupi/Abudhabi

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    No doubt, it is an wonderful place.Unfortunately our state govt. is not interested in development of Tourism. They beautify only Bangalore city, not Kemmannu and surrounding area.

  • Gladys Laura Mudarth , Mangalore/Canada

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Our one daughter in law (DIL) is from Kemmannu and her mother from Hoode before. Lucky me, I want to visit the Suvarna River(Gold) on my next trip. Thank you Daijiworld.

  • leon, kemman/leon

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Enchanting article with exotic pictures about a beautiful place, I realized only when I came to work in this desert. Thank you so much MR EUGINE D'SOUZA

  • satish chilly willy, Kemmannu-tonse-Dubai

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    it our websites nice see kemmannu and also you can visit e have more information Satish Chilly Willy Dubai

  • Robert Fernandes, Udyavar / Dubai

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Thanks to Mr. Eugene D'Souza, Moodubelle for the fantastic article and nice photographs of Kemmannu. The photo of fishing gears in particular with Gas Light (Petromax), Kuttali and Mokkeri made me feel nostalgic. Very delighted to learn that KEC NCC Cadets built the hanging bridge 20 years ago during their annual training camp in mere 12 days time.

  • Agnello, Muscat/ Mangalore

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Very nostalgic Eugene, thanks for briginging on the memories. Memories of our childhood. Though we were from Mangalore we used to visit our Aunt's place at Tonse. Taking a bus from Udupi to Kemmannu, we used to walk to Tonse or take a boat there if the tide was right.Memories of going fishing 'light' with petromax and kuttige...Such good times.

  • Melwyn, Kallianpur

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Nice Article, you should contact, Mr.Joseph at 00919980894798, he has his motor boats and own resort like island well maintained, a very nice place for a day out for a reasonable rate. This Island is called Pharangi Kudru, last and close to where River Swarna meets Arabian Sea. He also provides nice home made food. On a special request the Crabs one of the best.

  • joy, mumbai

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    really good place to live
    we have to learn about natural beuty

  • Jaimini P.B., Manipal,Sharjah

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Now I realized the meaning of Doorada Betta Nunnage ! Hittala Gida Maddalla ! I didn't visit this place although I spent 30 years in Brahmavar,Kallianpur,Manipal.One need not read article here because PHOTOS SPEAK....Thank you Eugene D'souza.

  • Stanley Noronha, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Very nice article and beautiful photos, Dr. Thanks for sharing. We truly are surrounded by lovely beaches like kemmannu, malpe, udyavur, kaup etc to name a few. The backwaters and rivers give natures beautiful sceneries one can really enjoy. The coconut 'thot' and the cool sea breeze makes one to feel the natures blessings. We really enjoyed kemmannu very much when we were visiting our aunt in those days. The river fish like kane (lady fish} and shetka are very best over there not to forget the mornings sweet soor (toddy). Yes ofcourse we truly have exotic places near our home town and one must enjoy them.

  • Mohammed Sadik G, Hoode-Dubai

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Indeed Hoode and surroundings going to be a picknic spot. I think Mr.Alex Monteiro has forgot or due to time constraint not taken his guests to the house boats and guest house managed by Isle resorts malpe and upcoming Naturopathy Hospital by our brother Mr. Zafer with joint effort of Dr. Rafik in one of the Kudur.The hospital is going to be a landmark located in lush greenscape with nature's exotic views. The narrow strip of bengre looks marvelous while flying top roaring arabian sea by one side and calm suvarna from another and the breakwaters are fantastic. My heartiest regards to Mr. Eugene for bringing this article.

  • Alex, Dubai

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Its Swarna river = Gold

  • Eisen Picardo, Kemmannu

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Dear Mr Eugene,
    With due respect to your trip and you desire to explore the place, I am sure you would have gained more insights of this place had you met a fellow Kemmannite... they have lots more to share. Also you would have gained access to the lives of people (vados) and the different communities settled in kemmannu. We would be pleased to highlight Kemmannu & its small islands in a more better way.
    Thanks for the article

  • Gambhir., Malpe

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Wonderful article.I should really thank mr.Eugene D’Souza, Moodubelle for addressing my native place in daijiworld.... as said by mr.Eugene, kemmannu is also match for Kerala n Goa. Ihope many of the daiji readers will read it... and surely vist Kemmannu.

  • Flora Dsouza, Kalmady - Jerimeri (Mumbai)

    Sat, Jun 12 2010

    Nice Article Dr. Augene. Kemmannu is a nice place. Nice to see the fishing articles like Gas light, Kutteri, Morgi etc. Also there are other fishing instruments kurli dharchem bat, bolpu, rampon etc. In the past, people who were staying at Kemmannu Kudros were using these instruments for catching fish. Till now boat is the only means to reach Kudros, and one can attract the attention of the boat rider only by “Koooooo or VODA VOOOJJA”. Many are using boat journey “to & fro” Hoode – Hangarkatte – Hoode, its very enjoying and also time saving.

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Title: Kemmannu-The Enchanting Land of Islands, Coconut palms and Backwaters

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