Here are bunch of photos of St Mary’s Island, taken by my photographer-friend Nagesh who has roamed this coastline since his childhood (and who is, incidentally, shooting India’s first fully digitally shot movie). Since they are such lovely snaps, I decided to let the story follow the photos.
St Mary’s island is a little slip of land about 30 minutes out into the sea from Malpe Beach in Udupi. As you can see in the photos, God certainly let loose on this one; it is gorgeous and I can say this with the certainty of someone who has seen a fair number of beaches and islands across the world. The island is full of crystallised basalt rock, a unique rock formation found in very few places in the world, the most notable being the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. And, the sea between the island and the long curve of the beach at Malpe is placid and gentle (or at least looks that way).
As I stood on this little island last week, it was clear that it is crying out for a bit of tender, loving attention. Here are a few touches I can think of:
- an audio visual tour of the island, its unique geography and its marine life
- a weekly experience for very young children to be exposed to the idea of an island (a small experience of Robinson Crusoe)
- A once in a year weekly festival of crystallised basalt rock (came across a similar idea in the ‘Giant Crystal Project’ in Iceland)
- An area of the island dedicated to indulging in sustainable water sports – sailing, canoeing etc.
More imaginative minds than mine can surely figure out more options. The island is a treasure and it would be a great feather in Karnataka’s cap if this was not left at the deep state of neglect it is today.