Bewitched by the Sunset at Kapu Lighthouse Beach

Sindhu Murthy


It was quarter past 4  in the evening when we reached Kapu beach after a pleasant drive along the palm-strewn alleys along the Arabian coast in the southern state of Karnataka in India. The weather was quite humid and the sun shone brightly in all its glory. Though we had visited Udupi and Mangalore on multiple occasions earlier, we had never managed time to visit Kapu during the right hours to witness the magical sunset it is popular for. But our recent visit was different. Watching the sunset at Kapu lighthouse beach was our main agenda and we planned the rest of our itinerary accordingly.

Kapu Lighthouse beach
Kapu light house

Kapu beach also referred to as Kaup beach is located at about 2 km from the highway connecting Mangalore and Udupi in Karnataka. The Best time to visit the beach is during sunset. The lighthouse is open to visitors from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm every day.

Kapu light house

While the beaches of Gokarna are gaining the attention of the foreign travelers for their proximity to Goa, a lot of pristine beaches down south in Karnataka go unnoticed. Kapu is undoubtedly one among the best-kept secrets of Karnataka.  What is more compelling about Kapu is the  27 mt high Lighthouse which is still functional. Built in the year 1901 on a huge boulder on the Arabian coast, the lighthouse at Kapu beach has for many years stood unperturbed guiding thousands of sailors and warning the presence of dangerous rocks.

When we visited, the beach was mostly secluded except for a few people who were playing with the waves. The huge waves which crashed against the boulders splashing high in the air made for an enthralling sight.  There was a  small rivulet that joined the Arabian sea just beside the Lighthouse.  A huge cast of tiny crabs wandering on the banks of the shallow rivulet that meandered out from the coconut groves was fun to watch. A couple of colorful fishing boats were parked on the beach after they were back from the days catch.  As the sun slowly descended towards the horizon, more people started gathering at the beach, most of them were students from the nearby colleges.

Kapu Backwaters

We flocked to the lighthouse entrance as the clock struck 5.00 pm. That being my first experience of getting into the hollow of the lighthouse, I was enthralled by the spiral staircase inside. Like a child in glee, I started climbing the stairs only to realize soon that they got steeper as I got higher.  Through the tiny windows made on the lighthouse wall along the staircase, I could see the sea unfolded itself in front of me as I climbed higher. The spiral staircase ended at the light chamber which housed a  PV light source surrounded by many reflectors to amplify the light. The final flight of steps from the cabin was the toughest to climb given that I had to carry my camera in one hand. It was probably the fear of enclosure that made the climb all the more difficult. Relief came when I could get out of the light chamber onto the deck surrounding the chamber.

Inside Kapu LightHouse

The sight from the lighthouse deck was breathtaking. I could see the sea extend beyond the horizon. The tiny puffs of clouds drifted gracefully against the blue sky. The coconut trees swayed with the wind as if performing a symphony. The people walking and playing on the beach looked like tiny toys. Far across the sea, a ship sailed slowly towards the coast. A flock of gulls played nonchalantly in the backwaters while a pair of chimneys of a factory peeped out from beneath the greenery standing testimony to the ambitions of human to emerge over nature. The sun had slowly started its descent towards the horizon spreading its golden hues all over the sea and the land. The light was perfect and so was the time.

sunset at kapu

The setting sun had turned everything on the beach to amber. The tide had ebbed and there were more people playing on the beach. The sea water had turned into molten gold. I had read that the Kapu Lighthouse beach was considered one of the best locations to witness sunset and the reasons were quite evident.  The best part of my visit to Kapu beach came when the sun turned into a full ball of orange as it descended into the sea beyond the boulders. There were a few people having fun on the boulder and I made sure I froze the moment forever by capturing a few silhouettes.

silhouettes at kapu
silhouettes at kapu

I m sure I will see more beautiful sunsets and sunrises as I travel more. But, I would remember the day I visited the Kapu lighthouse beach forever as A day on which the sun painted the world gold! Have you ever been bewitched by sunsets? Which has been your favorite sunset destination? Let me know in the comments below.

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