Saturday, 24 October 2015

St Mary's Island

The western coasts of the islands are a seashell haven with seashells of various shapes and sizes littered along the coast. There is no sand beach to swim and relax since it is scatted with basaltic rocks. But there are flat slabs to sit and enjoy the serenity of the place. The beach has security guards who ensure that visitors do not venture into danger zones of the islands. Watching Sun set at the Islands is also a special sight. It is a popular picnic spot with locals and tourists alike. December to March is the best season to visit the Islands.St Mary's Island is one of the unique geographical formation one can come across in India..
All links to the island are only through the mainland town of Malpe, which is a major fishing harbor. The beach at this location is enlivening. It is located at a distance of 5 km west of Udupi town, the administrative headquarters for the Islands.



Access to the islands:
The only way of getting to the islands is by boat. Regular ferry service ply the 6 km distance from the Malpe fishing harbor (which has a ship building yard also) to the islands. However, the frequency of these boats may vary depending on the number of tourists visiting. It is 58 km (36.0 mi) to the North of Mangalore, the coastal city of Karnataka, which is also the nearest airport.


Geology:
The columnar basaltic lava found in these Islands, which is very well developed in the basalts of Deccan Trap, exhibit an imposing range of hexagonal shaped or multi-faced (polygonal) columns split into a horizontal mosaic. In geological idiom these are called “Columnar Joints". The lava rocks form regular five, six or seven-sided pillars, called “laminar lava”, and are found in varying heights in all the islands; the tallest of the columns is about 6 m. Considering the importance and rarity of such an occurrence, these islands were classified as a National Geological Monument in 2001 by the Geological Survey of India.