Kapu (as the locals say it) or Kaup, is a town located between Udupi and Mangalore along NH 66, about 40 km to the north of Mangalore. Kapu was renamed as Kaup by the British. Apart from the beach, it is famous for its lighthouse, three Mariamma temples and a fort built by Tippu Sultan. Many films have been shot at this location.
On reaching Kapu town, one can either hire an auto or just take a leisurely stroll to the beach, which is only 1.5 to 2 kms from the main road. Kapu’s long sandy beaches offer a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea. The sea is pretty rough and intimidating compared to the gentler Malpe beach nearby. It is about 15 km from the university town of Manipal and is a favorite hangout for the students. The beach also sports a shack and a bar with seating in the open sky. Though the sea is mostly calm all year round, but there have been isolated cases of drowning at this beach.
The beach is pristine white, where one can trudge the distances without a care, no empty plastic bottles or bags littering the way. Mornings and evenings are preferable, as one can experience the cool invigorating sea breeze kissing one’s face. The place is not very crowded and one can enjoy the stay in the beach in a quiet atmosphere.
At a distance, one can see the Kapu Light House and a small fort adjacent to it. It is supposed to have been built by Tippu Sultan, but not used these days. The sight of the Light House silhouetted against the setting sun, with the orange sky in the background, is breath-taking. Besides the lighthouse and fort, Kaup also has ruins of Jain Basadis that line the stretch of sand. The best time to visit Kaup Beach is from October to December.
The Kapu light house was built in 1901 and has for these many years stood on the rocks guiding thousands of sailors and warning the presence of dangerous rocks. It stands 27.12 m above the base and offers a magnificent panoramic view. The stairs keep getting steeper and steeper as you ascend inside the lighthouse. At the last spiral there is a room with wooden steps, it’s more like a ladder to be precise, where you will have to snug yourself through to get to at the balcony of the Light House. You are allowed for just a few minutes to enjoy the views, before the ticket checking staff asks you to make space for others who are waiting.
Its best to get there as one of the first batch of people, as this will give you a few more minutes to enjoy the view from the top and take memorable photos.
You can use this map to get there